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Family Vacation: California Giveaway

Game Giveaway of the day — Family Vacation: California

Barb never thought she’d win, but she did in Family Vacation: California.
User rating: 165 (67%) 81 (33%) 27 comments

Family Vacation: California was available as a giveaway on December 12, 2015!

Today Giveaway of the Day
free today
Pursue a snow-white deer through an enchanted forest!

Barb never thought she’d win, but she did in Family Vacation: California. Her submission to be a contestant on the game show: The Price is Nice! was accepted and she and her family are on their way to sunny California. It’s up to you to help them get to their destination safe and happy. You’ll have to help them pack, get to the airport on time, board the plane, have a safe flight and get to their hotel at the other end. Once at their destination, you’ll hit the beach, take in a ballgame and go to Playland Theme Park, before helping Barb compete on her favorite game show for cash and prizes.

Game Features:

  • 25+ Levels over 8 chapters;
  • 15+ challenging puzzles;
  • Bright, colorful graphics;
  • Fun for the whole family!

System Requirements:

Windows XP/ Vista/ 8; CPU: 1.2 GHz; RAM: 512 MB; DirectX: 9.0; Hard Drive: 188 MB


Xing Interactive



File Size:

176 MB



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Comments on Family Vacation: California

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F.Y.I.: This game is available on the GameHouse site, + there is a sequel available also! It's name is "Family Vacation 2: Road Trip". I just very quickly glanced at it on G.H. and the family has upgraded to an RV for travel; hence 'Road Trip'. Looks to be on the same level as the first issue. Enjoyable for the kiddies! But...I'm just a kid at heart, like so many of us. Happy...Happy!! :) I'll mention this as a note in the Games forum, also. Just so if people are interested and missed it, like me!

..............................Moderator comment...............................

Thanks Cheryl. I did check by googling the game plus each of the free game sites, but saw no Gametop; musn't have looked hard enough. Thanks for the heads up. Will mention this next week if i remeber, just in case anyone missed the game.

Reply   |   Comment by Cheryl Tucker  –  5 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

would download but when i went to install it would say it was missing parts of the file n to download again
so i did 3 times
i gave up in the end did not want to waste my time or my downloads
very disappointed. guess this will be one i will not be playing

................................Moderator Comment.................................

Hi Sue, check the FAQ's thread that I link to in the problems section of my review (see comment number 1). It could be your security that's causing the problem?

Reply   |   Comment by sue  –  5 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

It downloaded in a few minutes on 8.1 and opened easily. Game play was easy.
I did change the cursor when had trouble clicking on the item. Some of game was
simple to me, but then had some different activities to break it up. Play is quick since easy!!
Thanks for another good game and have a great week!

.....................................Moderator Comment.............................................

Thanks Lee :)

Reply   |   Comment by Lee C.  –  5 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

Well, hmm! A family vacation with no begging or whining or pouting from the kids? Everybody is just happy! happy! happy! That's weird!

I think this game is geared toward kids, to introduce young people to HOG games -- we adults prefer spooky or suspenseful and complicated mysteries, not just weird families -- and for that, it's good: crisp, bright graphics, easy-to-find hidden objects, simple story line with no going back to earlier scenes to search again. I'm glad the dialog isn't spoken, because we can turn off the sound of the game music, which is bad. Hint recharge and puzzle skip button may be a bit too slow for the younger players.

Well done for beginners or younger players.

Reply   |   Comment by Mac  –  5 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

Almost forgot to check the game today. With just over an hour left to download and install. Thanks for the HOG game, they are my favorite type of game.

Reply   |   Comment by Jackorama  –  5 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

Windows Vista, installed fine and at least for now it's easy to run on my old laptop. I don't have high resolution so it barely plays in windowed mode. My only complaint, if you want to call it that, I wish the game had a wide screen instead of the old square screen so I don't have to hide my taskbar to see everything. There are no difficulty settings so the game plays in easy mode. That's fine though, I always play in easy mode! The graphics are nice and cheerful and I like them. A relaxing game to take some stress off at a time when a lot of people probably could use some relief!

.................................Moderator Comment..................................

Thank you Therese

Reply   |   Comment by Therese  –  5 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

Just getting started, but it's a pleasant little game for what it is. The description makes it sound like it's going to be a TM but it is not, it's completely Hidden Object. It doesn't aspire to be anything fancy, just HO scenes, and it fills that role just fine, as there are also a few items in a hidden area in each scene just to mix it up. Im glad it doesn't have voice overs because poorly done VOs are more distracting than just reading. Should be fine for young readers, or us older folks who prefer to relax with our games.
I havent reached any mini games so far, and glad for it, as I dont care for those anyway, hoping they are either super easy or have quick skips. In any case at least it's not over loaded with those.

The tutorial really should have included the reason for the differently displayed list items- normal items are written in yellow, items written in blue are in the hidden area, while the items that have a pink puzzle icon have to have their icon clicked on to open a sub-list of items shapes to find to finish that item. I was confused with what that puzzle icon meant for quite a while- the help does not do anything when you're down to the puzzle item. I clicked all over the scene before finally idly clicking the word itself, which turns out to be what they wanted, but didn't bother to tell you. Hopefully that's the only important tip they neglected to include. Now back to my game, I have suitcases to finish packing. :)

................................Moderator Comment.................................

Thank you for your feedback Connie, much appreciated.

Reply   |   Comment by Connie T  –  5 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

" You’ll have to help them pack, get to the airport on time, board the plane, have a safe flight and get to their hotel at the other end"
Sorry but this is why I stopped vacationing and turned to playing games for recreation. I'll pass. ;-)

Reply   |   Comment by wyrwolf  –  5 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

I'm having the same problems on Win7. I finally got to options, hard to do with a jumping sluggish cursor, and deselected the custom cursor. Cursor now working fine but the game is sluggish and takes forever to get to any screen. I can't play it.

Reply   |   Comment by Dona  –  5 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

How do you uninstall Family Vacation: California? I've finished playing it and don't have room to keep it on my pc. Thanks

.............................Moderator Comment.................................

Like most gamegiveaways, to uninstall just delete the installed games folder. Most gamegiveaways don't come with an uninstaller as they are free standing.

Reply   |   Comment by Mewzical  –  5 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

Runs fine on my old Vista system. Rather simplistic, I played through in about ninety minutes ...though I did resort to hints a couple of times (that "brush" looked more like a hand mirror). As noted above, a good game for kids, or for playing with your kids. Given the number of items in the scenes (especially multiple items - like five of one thing) I wonder if you must find different items if you play again, otherwise there's little replay factor for me; but it was a pleasant hour and a half so rates a thumbs up.

Reply   |   Comment by jgf  –  5 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

There's someone disguised as a bush trying to sneak past their front door ..

Reply   |   Comment by imontheinternet  –  5 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

Very cute game. Everything works great. Installed on Windows 10 with no problems. Thanks GOTD

Reply   |   Comment by Cathy  –  5 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

"Also, when I bring up Task Manager to stop the irritating game, it says that it’s a 32 bit program."

You'll find that better than 90% of the Windows software available is 32 bit. 64 bit versions of software, including Windows, let you use more RAM [memory], but most software doesn't need it, so rather than produce 2 versions of whatever app or game, developers by & large just stick with 32 bit, & it's fine.

"Absolutely does not work on Windows 10, 64 bit. Everything is sluggish, and the game cursor skips around the screen."

If neither compatibility settings or Whiterabbit's suggestion work for you, since you're already familiar with Task Mgr., maybe see what else is going on... 10 often has a lot more going on in the background than earlier Windows versions, especially if you're using the built-in Windows Defender [re-branded Security Essentials]. If for example one or more of those background processes is taking up 100% of your hard drive read/write capacity [or nearly that], it can do as you've described.

.............................Moderator Comment.................................

Thanks Mike, not had much time to moderate today, so appreciate your help. :)

Reply   |   Comment by mike  –  5 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

Funny little game downloaded and installed without a problem on my WIN10 - also don't have any problems playing. Only thing I did is changing the cursor to standard cause mine was hoping around a bit. I prefer the customized cursors but if they don't work fine I change to normal.

Just move over the options word until you get a pencil in front of the word, then you can click on it.

Thanks for this one.

Reply   |   Comment by Anu  –  5 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

Works fine on my Windows 10, 64 bit. Worked perfect just after unpacking and installation. Nice game, and nice music. Have a nice weekend.

Reply   |   Comment by Paul  –  5 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

Absolutely does not work on Windows 10, 64 bit. Everything is sluggish, and the game cursor skips around the screen. I can't get it to go to Options, so I can use my own cursor. Also, when I bring up Task Manager to stop the irritating game, it says that it's a 32 bit program.

.......................................Moderator comment...................................

It works fine on both of my computers that have win 10. Try running Razers
game Booster.

Reply   |   Comment by Robert  –  5 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

It's a shame it's not supported on Windows 10, else I would be downloading this.

Reply   |   Comment by Roger  –  5 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

Sorry, it runs fine, I had a video driver problem. :)

Reply   |   Comment by Jack H.  –  5 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

The game runs like a slideshow for me, too bad. :(

Reply   |   Comment by Jack H.  –  5 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

Language active="EN" labels="content/messages/GameMessages.xml
Language active="FR" labels="content/messages/GameMessages_FR.xml

Reply   |   Comment by bricolou  –  5 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)


Cela a disparu du message précedent....

Reply   |   Comment by bricolou  –  5 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

Pour ceux qui voudraient jouer en français.le jeu est déjà pourvu de la version française.
1-Aller dans le répertoire du jeu et ouvrir le fichier : "FamilyVacationCalifornia_Game\content\config\config.xml"
2- Dans ce fichier on remplace :


3-On lance le jeu.

For those who would play in french. The game is already provided with the French version.
1-Go to the game directory and open the file : "FamilyVacationCalifornia_Game \ content \ config \ config.xml"
2- In this file replace:


3-Then launche the game.


Reply   |   Comment by bricolou  –  5 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

Win10 Home 64bit. I did have to do the compatibility check, High DPI setting I think as the screen was way to big at first. Music is crap. There was no getting out of the first scene, I just had to sit and watch. Not sure if there was a skip button but this was all before the compatibility problem. Might be good.

Reply   |   Comment by Suzanne  –  5 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

This looks like it'll be fun. :)

I like hidden object games but NOT those dark, depressing things Big Fish seems to have all the time!

Thank you for a colorful, happy game - I'm going to enjoy this one! :)

Reply   |   Comment by Lynn  –  5 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

Hints do not actually work, got stuck and hint does nothing.

..............................Moderator Comment....................................

The hints worked for me. Though the hint system didn't activate right away.

Reply   |   Comment by takiainen  –  5 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

Family Vacation: California:

In Brief:

Family Vacation: California is a basic Hidden Object game, with slightly cartoon like graphics. If you like HOG's but don't want something too challenging, this is for you. Ideal family game..

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The downloaded zip file is 176 MB in size that unpacks to a read me and a wrapped setup file (the orange colored file with the key symbol), plus there's a setup file with security (setup.gcd) that's protected from being hacked (because the previous giveaway system was easily cracked). This file may cause some security software to alert the user to a possible malware attack, Any positive hits you may get (as one community member did with one of last weeks games) 'WILL' be false positives.

The game giveaway team check every game giveaway for malware using several well known anti -malware suites. There has never been a game giveaway infected with malware since the project started back in Dec 2006. The owners know that allowing such things would compromise their business, so they make sure all software given away via the gamegiveaway sites are thoroughly checked for all types of malware before allowing community members to download any files.

Some community members have been having problems installing games since the security software was added last year. It's been found that turning off your security temporarily or configuring it to accept the setup.cgd file usually sorts the problem out. Also try right clicking on the orange colored set up file and select Run as Administrator.

The game installs to the following path


The installed game is MB in size.

During the installation wizards progress you are given the opportunity to select your own installation path if you wish; (it's highly recommended, especially if you have a second HDD or a partitioned drive as it will help to keep your system running smoothly - the more you fill your root drive (usually the C: drive), the slower your computer will run, especially as it fills up – if you’ve got a decent sized hard drive of more than a few hundred Gigabytes it’s always a good idea to partition it into at least two drives so that you can keep the operating system and other essential applications separate from other programs and games.

Unfortunately, if you miss todays game giveaway, none of the free game sites I usually suggest have this game at the moment.

family vacation 008
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Barb never thought she’d win, but she did in Family Vacation: California. Her submission to be a contestant on the game show; The Price is Nice! was accepted and she and her family are on their way to sunny California. It’s up to you to help them get to their destination safe and happy. You’ll have to help them pack, get to the airport on time, board the plane, have a safe flight and get to their hotel at the other end. Once at their destination, you’ll hit the beach, take in a ballgame and go to Playland Theme Park, before helping Barb compete on her favorite game show for cash and prizes.

Reference: Accessed HERE 12th December 2015

There are reviews of Family Vacation: California worth reading over at Big Fish HERE; just scroll down the page to find the community reviews.

The Game:

The Simmons family leads an ordinary life in the suburbs. Dad’s an aspiring photographer, the son loves his electronics and baby sister plays happily with her dolls. One lazy afternoon, the family spends some time thinking about where to go on their next family vacation only to have one sprung upon them on the spot. Mom has earned a spot on “The Price is Nice,” and you’re all headed to California for the game show!

The gameplay in Family Vacation California is incredibly simple, featuring one hidden object scene immediately after the other, with comic book inspired cutscenes telling the story. Each scene contains a list of items to find, including a few that must be found in a drawer, behind a door, or in another location within the scene itself. Unfortunately, it can sometimes take a while to find these hotspots (especially those found in unintuitive locations), as you’ll need to rely on a changing cursor, or simply wait long enough for the area to start to sparkle.

family vacation 013
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Adding a touch more complexity to the experience are very simplistic puzzles, like a tile-sliding puzzle or Tangram. Back in the hidden object scenes themselves, you’re sometimes asked to find the various components to another item, like a Lunch Tray or Camera, and it’s unfortunate that we aren’t given puzzles during these instances as well, just to further flesh out the experience. As it stands, these puzzles come with fairly slowly charging skip meters, but their ease of difficulty isn’t likely to slow many gamers down.

As you advance the story, you’ll be able to take pictures of the family with dad’s camera for the family photo album, with these instances marking a transition from one area of the game to the next. For instance, after you pack up the family car, you’ll take a picture and will instantly zoom off to the airport. You can’t walk around and explore; you’re simply taken along for the ride.

Technically, the game functions well enough. Most hidden objects are simple to find, and are named appropriately, even though some the background graphics are incredibly straining on the eyes due to bright, complex patterns (a wall of magazines in the airport newsstand, for instance, was particularly jarring). And while the dialog does a nice job of representing the family’s wants and thoughts (the kids want window seats aboard the airplane, as one example), I was immediately thrown from the story by the simple fact that the Simmons’ youngest daughter, who can be no more than two or three, speaks better English than many adults.

family vacation 016adult picture hosting
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It’s unfortunate, too, that Family Vacation California doesn’t have voice acting, as it would have made the game all the more kid-friendly. As it stands, the game offers very little in the way of challenge or complexity, so hardcore fans of hidden object games will likely be more bored than entertained. For a gamer that’s just starting out however, it’s a nice introduction to the genre’s basic mechanics that we see time and time again. With voice acting, it would have completely eliminated the possibility that these young gamers wouldn’t have been able to read well enough to keep up. On the other hand, if you’re the type to play games with your kids, perhaps that’s not a bad thing.

With Family Vacation California, you have a mixed bag, depending on what you typically want out of such games. If you’ve come to appreciate the growth and complexity the genre has experienced in the past few years, you’ll likely want to pass this one by. However, if all you’re interested in is something to pass the time, you could do much worse than this.

Reference: Accessed HERE 12th December 2015

Video & Images:

You can see some videos of game play HERE and HERE

System Requirements:

OS: Windows XP/Vista/8
CPU: 1.2 GHz
RAM: 512 MB
DirectX: 9.0
Hard Drive: 188 MB

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A straightforward Hidden Object game, with simple but decent graphics, standard Hidden Object pages interdispered with the story and simple puzzles. This should appeal to all ages.


Gameplay: 7
Graphics: 7
Audio: & sound effects: 6
Re-playability: 6
Originality: 6

Total = 6.4 out of 10



If you have any problems installing or getting Family Vacation: Californiaworking, please go HERE for help. I've posted most of the common problems and solutions in a FAQ thread, which you can find in the sticky section of the forums by following the above link.

If you think the game is infected - IMPORTANT - PLEASE READ

For those of you who are getting hits by your anti malware suites; it's because they are picking up the Themida based protection, which was put in place to protect the game from unscrupulous community members that were hacking the giveaway wrapper which then gave them unlimited access to a registered copy of the game, which was being put on peer to peer sites. Some community members were even uploading video tutorials on You tube telling you how to do it yourself.

Themida based applications are sometimes seen as a threat by anti-malware. I can assure you this game and hundreds before, that have given community members cause for concern have been totally safe. The game giveaway team have managed to secure well over a thousand games for us since they first started giving away games back in late 2006; firstly via the main site (Oct 2006), then via the game giveaway site (early December 2006). There has never 'ever' been an infected game given away.

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If you are able to configure your anti-malware suite to allow the 'seemingly offensive' file through security, the game should then install normally. if you can't, or don't know how to, then the other way would be to temporarily turn off your protection. You do so at your own risk, but please do take into account what I've already said above; in a nut shell, every malware occurrence reported here since the game giveaway went live in Dec 2006 have been false positives due to overly sensitive anti-malware suites.

It would be against the giveaway teams best interest to allow such an occurrence as it would destroy their good standing with the big search engines and I'm sure many who have frequented this site for a long time would leave. The giveaway team use several anti-malware suites to test every game given away here.

Another thing to consider when you think the game is infected, if it really was, there would be hundreds of community members posting about the infection; we rarely more than a few posts for any particular game; though, since the gcd file that contains the Themida code was introduced in 2012 I have seen many more community members reporting infections due to the Themida based code found in the giveaways wrapper protection. However, out of the thousands of downloads each week, those numbers are insignificant and supports the fact that the results they are getting are actually false positives. They have always been proven to be so.

If you are posting late in the day I would also suggest posting in the main giveaway forums; in the game discussion section, because I cannot moderate 24hrs a day over the weekend. I've created a thread HERE for that purpose. If you've installed Call of the Ages but it doesn’t work for some reason, it should still be registered, so someone may be able to help at a later date. Unfortunately if your problem is actually downloading it, once the giveaway deadline is reached you will no longer be able to download the game unless you've already started downloading it before the cut-off. Sometimes you can still register the game after the giveaway has ended so long as you managed to start the download before the giveaway ends. I've tested this and the grace period lasts for up to 1 hour. Apart from the above instances; i.e. already installed, but having problems running the game, (with the possibility of receiving help from the community via the giveawayoftheday game discussion forum); or still downloading after the cut off period, but within the 1 hour grace period, or registering within an hour of the cut-off period. Once the giveaway period is over there’s nothing that can be done to get the game (unless its available from one of the free game sites) until the game is given away again (though that isn't always guaranteed).

It's worth checking the giveaway game discussion forums the day before the giveaways go live to see if we are getting a large sized file (I usually post a comment about approximately how large a file is, though if I'm particularly busy I may neglect to do this). It is especially important for those who have slow connections and even more so if the game is popular. We can have up to forty thousand (40 000) community members downloading over the 24 hour period, with the bulk of community members downloading in the first 12 hours of the giveaway going live, there is always a massive strain on the giveaway servers. The bigger the file size, the more community members will be downloading at any one time. Because the bandwidth is shared equally among all community members, downloads can become excruciatingly slow, so if you do have a slow connection, its important to start your download as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Because these games are free, the giveaway owners cannot invest in more bandwidth without compromising the whole project, so we have to be satisfied with what we have at present.

A download manager can help speed the download up and also protect the download in case of an interruption. There's nothing as frustrating for those with really slow connections to have the connection break after an hour or so, then have to start from the beginning again. I would ask community members if you do have decent bandwidth please avoid using a manager as it does add to the number of downloads occurring at any one time, for example some download managers will download your requested file in up to 32 packets simultaneously, that will take 32 download spots, thus slowing down everyone else's download speeds. For those with slow downloads (due to having a slow connection e.g. a 2MB Broadband connection or less) I would advise using a download manager if the file is larger than around 200MB. My broadband connection is 100MBs, so I don't need to use a download manager, (I do have one called Internet Download Manager, but don't use it when downloading files from the giveaway site). For me a 1GB file usually downloads in about 1.5 minutes or less. My connection is quite a long way from the provider so it is slowed a little, but is still quite good at a download speed of around 12 to 14 MB's per second.

I hope the above goes some way in explaining why we sometimes have really slow downloads.

It’s always worth checking out the free games sites because sometimes the games we get here are also available for free from them. MyPlayCity (MPC) has the most with over 1000 games to choose from and Toomky Games is highly recommended. Unfortunately today's game isn't available from any of the recommended free game sites apart from the Gamegiveawayoftheday. :)

If you do download any games from MyPlayCity, Gametop or the other free game sites please 'do' watch out for toolbars etc. Make sure you un-check the check-boxes during installation, and, in the case of MyPlayCity, every time you boot the game up, (this may have changed now as these free game sites tend to change the format frequently)....... I've posted links to all of the common free game sites below in the games, games games section. If you do download a game from any of these sites you do so at your own risk. We cannot be held responsible for problems arising from an installation recommended here. :)

For now I won't be recommending you download games from Jenkat Games. They have changed the way you get games from their site and until someone informs me that they have reverted to their original download schemes I won't be recommending downloads from them. Diane has posted information about this over in the game discussion forums. TooMyk Games are now safe to download from. They have removed the games that were suspect and have cleaned up their act. As always, you download from those free game sites at your own risk. The gamegiveaway site is the safest site I know of where you can get free software (BitsduJour is also great for free applications) and games. The only disadvantages with downloading from here is you have to download and install within the day of the giveaway (apart from the instances mentioned above and if and when you upgrade or buy a new computer legally you aren't allowed to transfer games given away previously, unless they are being given away on the day you upgrade, or if you've purchased a license. :)

You just have to look at the sites track record since the game giveaway site was created back in December 2006. No games given away here since the inception of the gamegiveaway site have been infected with malware, there are no toolbars installed, nor home pages hijacked or browsers changed. There is one slight annoyance, but that only occurs if a community member isn't paying attention; i.e. when the final window pops up after installing a giveaway, called 'the Software Informer' installation window. Some community members have complained that they were given no choice in its installation. That is not true; when the final window pops up, there are two buttons, one asking if you want Software Informer installed and the button to close the giveaway window down. Some community members have clicked on the wrong button, probably because they weren't paying attention. Thankfully Software Informer is a genuine application, that can easily be uninstalled by the usual means. It's actually a useful piece of software, especially if you have a lot of applications running on your computer. Basically the program will list the programs that need updating, or programs that have available updates. They wont be automatically installed (thus cancelling many giveaway registrations); you have to click on individual buttons to update each program/application. :D


Games, Games, and yet more Games:

There are 291 games on sale over on Steam this weekend.
To advertise the coming of the latest Doom game there is a franchise sale on for all the Doom games with between 66 to 75% off (apart from the latest one, which will be released this coming Spring. If you like zombie games there's 33% off Killing Floor 2. (personally I've found the second game much harder to play than the original, which was actually an half life 2 mod until the team that created it made a standalone game that i've been playing on and off since it's release several years ago, and even had a rented server until last month. The new game has much improved graphics, but I've so far never been able to survive past the second level even though I'm a fairly experienced player. There's 66& off the excellent Total War Attila (I prefer Shogun 2). If you're into strategy games like the total war series, The Humble bundle has just released a new bundle called The Humble Weekly Bundle: Total War Encore. For only $1 you can get Medieval II: Total War Collection, Viking: Battle for Asgard, Shogun: Total War Collection (the very first Total War gam not Shogun 2), Total War: ROME Original Soundtrack, Total War: WARHAMMER Illustrated Campaign Map, Total War: ARENA 30 Days Premium Account (plus extra's), Total War Battles: KINGDOM and Total War eBooks Total War eBooks. For more than the average of $9.09 (at the time of writing) you'll get Total War: ARENA - Premium Spartan Hoplite Unit (combines with the online Arena game), MEDIEVAL: Total War Collection, Empire: Total War Collection (with all of the dlc I paid around £80 for this when it was first released, this is my second favorite Total War game), 66% off Total War: ATTILA coupon, Total War: SHOGUN 2 Collection (my favorite) and Napoleon: Total War Collection. Make the tier 2 up to $15 or more you will also unlock Total War: ROME II Emperor Edition, Total War: ROME II - Wrath of Sparta Campaign Pack, Total War: ROME II - Caesar in Gaul Campaign Pack, Total War: ROME II - Nomadic Tribes Culture Pack and Total War: ROME II - Pirates and Raiders Culture Pack. That bundle is well worth the full $15. All the games are superbly made and will give you literally thousands of hours worth of fun.

There's allso 80% off the double fine bundle that includes Broken age with soundtrack, Brutal Legend plus soundtrack, Costume Quest,. Grim Fandango Remastered plus soundtrack (considered one of the best adventure games of all time), Hack 'n' Slash, Iron Brigade, Massive Chalice plus soundtrack, Psychonauts plus original score and soundtrack (classic game that was largely ignored when it was originally released), Stacking and Spacebase DF-9, the lot would cost you £134.84 if you purchased them seperately, but only costs £15.19 (amazing). If you are into anime there's 50% off Nekopara Vol. 1 (this is a mature visual novel in the anime style, not for children), There's 75% off Warhammer 40 000 Dawn of War Retribution, If you like racing games there's 75% off Ducati World Championship, 75% off Gas Guzzlers Extreme (this is a racing game with guns), 70% off the excellent puzzle games Hexcells and Hexcells + (you can buy these two games as a pack even cheaper), 75% off Sacred gold, 66% off 100% Orange Juice, 90% off Orbital Gear (for only £0.59p you get an excellent sidescrolling shooter where you utilize the gravitation of celestial objects to give your mech momentum through space. Arm your Mech with two of twelve different weapons and destroy your enemies). 75% off Goodbye Deponia, 80% off Chaos on Deponia, 75% off FarSky (an open world survival game), 66% off Blue Estate The Game, 85% off Blackguards 2 (a turn-based strategy-RPG), 75% off Nililumbra, 75% off Enigmatis: The Mists of Ravenwood (Hidden Object game), 90% off Teddy floppy Ears bundle (includes Teddy Floppy Ear - Kayaking, Teddy Floppy Ear - Mountain adventure and Teddy Floppy Ear - The Race, this bundle is an excellent childrens bundle with a cool racing game, an adventure game with educational content and a kayaking game again with lots of educational content, based on a famous Polish cartoon; that has very positive reviews), 75% off the excellent physics based puzzle Vessel, 70% off Beep ( A combination of Yoshi’s Island-style platforming with a gravity gun right out of Half-Life, BEEP is an amazing physics-platformer. Despite its friendly art style, this is a hardcore platformer in the truest sense), 90% off Koi-Koi Japan [Hanafuda playing cards with gorgeous Japanese art style], 60% off Bardbarian, 85% off Sang Froid - Tales of Werewolves, a beautifully illustrated and excellent Tower Defense/Action/Strategy game based on folklore - this is no typical TD game - (I highly recommend this game), 50% off Quest for Infamy, 75% off GooCubelets, 70% off Dark Arcane: The Carnival, 76% off Star Saviours, a hard hitting Shmup (Space Shoot em Up) Inspired by the classic shmups Ikaruga, Raiden, and Radiant Silvergun, 80% off booster Trooper, 80% off The wonderful End of the World (one of my favorite Indie Developers called Dejobaan Games first game before they released their classic AaAAaaAAA: A Reckless Disregard for Gravity, one of my all time favorite indie games), 80% off Nethergate: Ressurection (Classic 2008's isometric RPG), 90% off Aaru's Awakening (a hand drawn 2D action platformer set in the mythical world), 85% off 8Bit boy (Huge classic platformer with several power-ups and 8-12 hours of main story & 300+ hidden locations just begging for exploration · 56 big Levels · 5 huge worlds), 90% off Incoming Forces ( a classic shooter from 2002 with space battles and ground forces, well worth getting, especially at this low price of only £0.69p), 85% off Eaten Alive (a Point and Click, Adventure, Horror game with Puzzle and Mystery game-play elements - it's only £0.12p), 82% off Forsaken Uprising a Multiplayer Medieval First Person Survival Game, open world sandbox construction lets you build castles piece by piece, for only £0.35p, it's worth a try, especially if you like open world games. It does have a lot of negative reviews, but i still think it's worth considering, 90% off Violett Remastered a point and click adventure with a colourful art style, 90% off Merchants of Kaidan (A challenging trading game with lots of RPG elements), 80% off Pixel Survivors (£0.55 for a god-like simulation game that reminds me of an early facebook free game), 83% off Brilliant Bob (3D platformer with excellent story and puzzles), 85% off Red Goblin: Cursed Forest (only £0.59 for a psychological adventure with puzzles), 90% off survivor squad a Strategy Action game where you control a Squad of up to four survivors and guide them through a highly randomized world looking for supplies to aid you on your journey (only £0.59p) and 80% off Dark Shadows - Army of Evil (a fantasy first person RPG - this has a lot of negative reviews but I thought it was okay and i paid full price, you can get it for £1.39). There are loads more excellent deals but it would take me all evening to detail them here; just check out the specials section for all the games on sale HERE.

There's loads more in the weekly sales and the 48 hours sales to choose from; and almost certainly something for everyone. The next set of weekly sales starts on Monday with usually a few hundred titles added. :)

You'll also find some excellent deals over on the following Game sites.

GreenManGaming They usually have coupons to the value of 23% and sometimes more off pre ordered games. I've just pre ordered Just Cause 3 XL and XCOM 2 using a voucher and saved £22 on the price paid in the Steam store
Gamersgate Summer Sale
GOG (DRM free games)
GameFly (soon to be sold off)

I've removed the Desura link because the owners are bankrupt and there has been no activity on the site in months. The servers are still live (at least until Bad JoJo's subscription to the servers has ended, Bad JoJo are the owners of Desura and Indie Royale, or were until filing for bankruptcy). If you own any games via Desura I advise downloading all of the drm free games you have on that platform and on the Indie Royale site before the sites are taken down.

Free Game Sites:

Toomky Games
MyPlayCity (over a 1000 games to choose from)

To be honest there are too many game deals around too list them all. Just visit the sites I recommend above and I'm sure you'll find something that suits you for a very decent price. If like me you prefer Steamworks games, many of the above sites also sell steamwork games.

If that's not enough, check out the Game Discussion forums HERE for details of other games either free or on deals such as the Indie Game bundles (there's over 20 of them - If you purchased all of them you'd be paying around $80 for around a thousand dollars worth of games); or check out the four day sales at IndieGameStand. you'll find the indie bundles thread HERE. The thread is outdated, but all of the links will still take you to the latest bundles.

The latest IndieGameStand game is Redshift Blueshift:
Redshift Blueshift is a tournament-ready pong-like 2D shooter in which two pilots fight for glory in their variable paddle ships! Power up your shields, unleash a horde of drones and homing missiles on your opponent and keep the hyper-ball in play! Supports local multiplayer and single player vs AI.

You can get the game for $1; pay over the average to get a second version for free to give to a friend or family member . (The price at the time of writing was $2.08. It rarely goes above $2 unless the bonus content includes a second or third game).
The deal ends Wednesday 16th Nov 2015 5am (GMT)

The latest DIG game is Volt:
You were on the way to a recycling process when fortunately for you - and unfortunately for the environment - you accidentally ran off.
Now your goal is to escape from the facility, which is an extremely difficult task due to the fact that you are a battery without legs. Equipped with a limited number of electric beams, you can connect to walls, move or destroy objects, turn switches, and charge generators.
You also have the ability to jump or push off the walls - the rest is up to physics and gravity.
Key features:
- puzzle platformer with a lot of explosions
- over 60 levels divided into 4 industrial-themed zones
- boss stages
- unlockable 12-bit levels
- unlockable batteries
- unlimited lives !

Pay £0.99 for the game or you can get two keys if you pay more than the average of $1.28 (at the time of writing ). One Steam key to share with a friend or family member perhaps? You'll find that deal HERE. They also have five bundles of several games that'll cost you less than $1.50 each HERE (DIG Bundles 47, 48 & 49, reBundle 9 and Greenlight 3). You get Steam keys for all of these games except the Greenlight bundle, however, if a game is Greenlit, you will get a Steam key.
The single game deal ends just after Midnight Sunday 13th December 2015 and will be replaced with a new game.

Most of the bundles available retail for around $5 give or take a few dollars (apart from the Daily Indie bundles that only cost $1.49 for six games), but you can pay as little as a dollar for some. There are some excellent bundles out at the moment. I highly recommend the first four sites as they regularly change their bundles, at least weekly. Bundle Stars is the most prolific, usually with at least 10 bundles, but sometimes a lot more. some bundles stay for months, others for only a few days. I also recommend buying the Greenlight bundles as you will get quite a few being greenlit and save a large amount of money on newly released games. I reckon at least 75% of the games from those bundles have been Greenlit since I purchased my first Greenlight bundle. (I've bought at least 50 bundles with only Greenlight games and they have never cost more than $3 to $4 per bundle, with savings up to 90%. The flying bundle is the only one that will inform you when a game has been Greenlit and will send you your Steam keys, the rest you have to check your accounts page to see if they have added Steam keys. sometimes it may take several weeks after the game has been released before you get your keys, but generally its either the same day or a few days at the most.

Bundle Stars (26 bundles)
Groupees (3 bundles)
Indie Gala (5 bundles)
Humble bundle (2 Bundles)
Indie Royale (this bundle is no longer live)
Bundle Bandits (0 bundles)
Blink Bundle (0 bundles)
Play Injector (0 bundle)
Get Loaded (0 bundles)
Games Rage (0 bundles)
Flying bundle (1 bundles)


The free game from Origin has just changed from Command & Conquers: Red Alert 2 to Jade Empire: Special Edition (Highly Recommended).

Step into the role of an aspiring martial-arts master and follow the path of the open palm or the closed fist. In this multi-award-winning action-RPG, your choices and actions will determine the fate of the entire Jade Empire. Will you prevent the destruction of this beautiful land, or will you crush it beneath your heel? Are you a warrior who uses his strength and fighting mastery to bring peace, or will you instead use your power to bring pain and ruin?
The choice is yours.

Game Features:

The Original Award Winning Jade Empire
An incredible, engaging story that makes you the noble hero or the treacherous villain!
A wealth of fascinating characters to interact with.
Beautiful, mysterious lands to explore, discover, and save...or conquer.
A rich blend of role-playing and exciting real-time combat.
New monsters and enemies.
New fighting styles.
Customizable, intuitive controls including support for game-pads and keyboard/mouse.
Increased graphics resolutions and new visual effects.
Improved combat AI and difficulty levels.
New world map interface.

Check it out HERE.

You do need a free Origin account and install the Origin client to get these free games. Once you've installed the Origin client and signed into your account select 'On the house' from the 'Free Games' drop down menu. Then select download now. The game will then be registered to your Origin account permanently.

A Request for help:

Developers rely on good feedback to improve their games. If you download this game please take some time once you’ve played it a while to leave some constructive feedback either positive or negative. The more constructive feedback we get, the more likely developers are going to give more games away. The giveaway site already has a very good standing with the search engines. Developers want their products out there on the WWW, this site has the potential to do that. The game giveaway project gives away on average between 9 to 17 thousand downloads for each game depending upon what genre and how obscure the game is. That’s a lot of homes these games are being downloaded into and a lot of 'potential' cash that’s being lost by the developers. If we get better games because of better feedback, the community are likely to continue to benefit from the generosity of the developers. Satisfied community members are then more likely to visit the home sites of those developers and purchase games that they may not have bothered with before they discovered the developer via the game giveaway site, thus giving the developers more incentives to give away even more decent games.

Please leave some feedback once you’ve checked the game out. It can be positive or negative, but please explain what your reasons were for the feedback you post. You could also leave suggestions for improving the game, for example, this game could do with more block types for the levels editor, add more power-ups, describing the ones you think would be suitable, add some mini games (which seem all the rage in some arcade games now) or enable the user to be able to change the in game music easily.

Thank you in advance to all those who take the time to post a constructive comment, and a big thank you to Playrix Entertainment for sharing and to the game giveaway team for getting these games.


Whiterabbit aka Stephen

Reply   |   Comment by Whiterabbit-uk  –  5 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)
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