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The Mystery of the Crystal Portal Giveaway

Game Giveaway of the day — The Mystery of the Crystal Portal

Join Nicole as she searches the globe on an exiting quest to find her father!
User rating: 22 (85%) 4 (15%) 25 comments

The Mystery of the Crystal Portal was available as a giveaway on January 26, 2020!

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Embark on a brain-bending adventure that's full of unique Hidden Object fun! Journalist Nicole Rankwist has always been close to her archaeologist father, so when he goes missing, Nicole knows she has to find him! After all, he had apparently just made a discovery that could change the course of humanity. Join Nicole as she searches the globe on an eye-popping quest to find her father and discover The Mystery of the Crystal Portal.

System Requirements:

Windows XP/ Vista/ 7/ 8/ 10; CPU: 800 Mhz; RAM: 128 MB; DirectX: 7.0; Hard Drive: 86 MB





File Size:

81.6 MB



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The Mystery of the Crystal Portal
In Brief
The Mystery of the Crystal Portal is a hidden object game originally released via Real Arcade (now part of Gamehouse) during the summer of 2008.

Embark on a brain-bending adventure that's full of unique Hidden Object fun! Journalist Nicole Rankwist has always been close to her archaeologist father, so when he goes missing, Nicole knows she has to find him! After all, he had apparently just made a discovery that could change the course of humanity. Join Nicole as she searches the globe on an eye-popping quest to find her father and discover The Mystery of the Crystal Portal.
Reference accessed HERE. Jan 26th 2020
The Game:
The Mystery of the Crystal Portal, centers on journalist Nicole Rankvist as she receives a strange note from her archaeologist father, Robert, saying that he’s discovered an artifact that has the power to change humanity. When Robert goes missing, Nicole must find pieces of the Crystal Portal key and retrace Robert’s steps by – you guessed it – searching for hidden objects!
Nicole’s journey takes her to five exotic locations, including Japan, the Swiss Alps, the Mayan ruins of Guatemala, and wintry Russia. Each location is broken into two or three scenes where you must search for "normal" objects (the usual random assortment of items such as vase, bucket and saw), story items that will help you advance (like a jug of gasoline to power a generator), container items (more on these in a moment) and "puzzle" items like gears and tile fragments that unlock the final stage of each round, which is always a puzzle game of some sort.

The container items that represent The Mystery of the Crystal Portal‘s major game play twist. Once you find and click on one of these special items, it will open up to reveal a second set of items that you need to find, click on and drag into the container in order to complete it.
Certain containers, when completed, will move or disintegrate to reveal additional objects underneath. Some objects have to be found and used in other scenes, such as finding a can of gasoline to power a generator to light up a darkened cave for you to explore.
The containers are a neat idea, except that you have no idea what the containers look like beforehand because, unlike most hidden object games, you aren’t shown a silhouette or picture of what you’re looking for – it’s only after you’ve found and clicked on the container that little images appear of the objects you’re supposed to find and put inside.
In other words, finding each container involves clicking around randomly until your mouse cursor changes shape to indicate that the object can be clicked on – and then you know that you’ve found a container. Strangely, a little icon of the container shows up only after you’ve found it, and not before.

There’s also the feeling that the story and the sequence of events you’re meant to follow in the game isn’t quite air-tight. For example, when I picked up the last stone in a series of stones to find, Nicole exclaimed that the "last piece of stone was behind the fireplace!" when actually the last stone I picked up was on a shelf. On another occasion, I was told to find matches in one scene so that I could light a fire in another scene to get a better look at a crest at the back of the fireplace. But when I found the matches and returned to the room, the fire was burning but I clicked on the crest and nothing happened. I had to find all the items in a lamp container before the fireplace crest became clickable. (Ok…)
These foibles are easier to overlook owing to the fact that there are no time limits or penalties for random clicking, and unlimited hints as long as you’re prepared to wait for the hint bar to refill (although sometimes hints reveal items that go into containers you haven’t found yet, which isn’t very helpful).
The game has good graphics in its favor, including beautiful scrolling panoramas that introduce each new location. It’ s evident that a lot of care was taken to place items in the scenes that look like they belong there instead of completely random stock photo clutter (in other words, you won’t see a Statue of Liberty or Eiffel Tower amongst the Mayan ruin, thankfully.

The verdict: The Mystery of the Crystal Portal is a good, though not stellar, hidden object game whose laid back set of rules is sure to provide a relaxing experience free of the stress of time limits and penalties for random clicking or using up hints.
Edited reference accessed HERE. Jan 26th 2020
Videos and Walkthroughs of The Mystery of the Crystal Portal:
You can see several in-game videos of game play HERE, HERE, HERE (Deutsche), HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE. You can find written walkthroughs to help if you get stuck so HERE and HERE

If you miss today's game giveaway you can always get the game via TooMky Games 24/7 HERE; or If you prefer to purchase the game you can get it HERE via Big Fish Games.
Problems getting the game to work:
If you're having problems installing or activating or getting The Mystery of the Crystal Portal to work please visit the FAQ's Thread HERE and read through the communities comments because sometimes fixes have already been posted, for example, a common issue seen since the Themida wrapper was introduced three years ago is that some community members installation of the game are blocked by their security because Themida code has been known to hide malware, (usually an error message is flagged for example 'The executable is corrupted' even though in reality it is not); so as a precaution some anti malware programs will block and even delete the suspect installation files even though the files (i.e the setup, read me and setup.gcd files are actually totally free from malware. This issue can be solved either by rebooting your computer in safe mode with networking or a quicker method is to temporarily turn off your security software to allow the installation. You could also try whitelisting the setup.gcd file. In the almost 11 years this game giveaway site has been operating there has 'never' been a game given away that was infected with malware.
If for any reason you want to contact the giveaway team, for example, you have a game to offer the community, or are unable to download the latest game or other issues that the FAQ's thread or these comments don't cover or solve you can do so HERE

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank TooMky Games for giving away The Mystery of the Crystal Portal and also to the game giveaway team, as always, for securing other ways to get free games.
Useful Information not related to today's game giveaway:
If The Mystery of the Crystal Portal doesn't interest you, but you still hanker for something new to play, you'll find details of some game deals whether they be sale items, indie bundles or games being given away for free HERE (I've not updated the thread in a while, but most of the links still take you to the latest deals).
From now until Half-Life : Alyx is released sometime in March, every Half-life game is free to play on Steam HERE. They include, Half-Life, Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode One, Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Half-Life: Opposing Force, Half-Life: Blue Shift and Team Fortress Classic
Indie Gala has some new games added to their free section; these include Deep Space Anomaly - an intensive, fascinating and mad game which is sweeping away all borders where the main objective - to kill enemies and to have fun! Also, Affliction - which is set in the fictional Eastern European country of Ghulovka, amidst a terrible civil war, Affliction allows players to take on the role of Vasya, a patient plagued by nightmares and fractured memories, who awakes inside of a cell in a bizarre research facility where grim human experiments are taking place; and Disgraced - a game based in Feudal Japan, Disgraced allows you to assume the role of a soldier who was reluctantly conscripted into the newly proclaimed Shogun's army. Serving a corrupt and tyrannical government, you're expected to follow orders and commit terrible atrocities. Torn between duty and justice, you must choose your own path, and forge your own destiny
Don't forget to check out the Epic game store for the latest freebie on offer HERE/. It's an excellent physics based game called 'The Bridge'; a logic puzzle game that forces the player to re-evaluate their preconceptions of physics and perspective. It is Isaac Newton meets M.C. Escher combo where you manipulate gravity to redefine the ceiling as the floor while venturing through impossible architectures. Next week it's the excellent Farming Simulator 19
There are more free games over at Indie Gala HERE.
Finally, check out Delenns thread over in the Game Discussion forums for details of other free games and offers HERE

Reply   |   Comment by Whiterabbit-uk  –  10 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+17)

I downloaded this 4 times and none of the files will install. It says the game is activated, but I cannot find it anywhere on my harddrive and it did not ask me where I wanted to save it. Guess I will have to pass on this one. Shame...

Reply   |   Comment by Rebel  –  10 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (-1)


Hi Rebel, it's most likely your security is blocking the installation due to the Themida wrapper. There are three things you can do to get the game installed.

1) ... Turn off your security temporarily, install tyen reboot your security
2) ... Whitelist the giveaway files with your security
3) ... Reboot in safe mode with networking, install the game, then reboot as normal

Themida wrappers can also hide malware, which is why some security software will automatically block the files you need to install the game. Themida wrappers also protect genuine files from hackers, which is why the giveaway team use Themida. They have been giving games away for over 14 years and have never given away a game infected with malware. MyPlayCity games do have low level adware included in the MPC installer. This does not install anything outside of the game. The reason they do this is to earn money from the adverts so that they can pay the developer or license holder of the game. All the games given away via those free game sites are actually commercial games that are also being sold via sites like Gamersgate, Big Fish, Alawar, Game Fools and others.


The TooMky Games version is virtually the same as today's giveaway.

Reply   |   Comment by Whiterabbit-uk  –  10 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+1)

I really enjoyed this game. All finished. Now I need The Mystery of the Crystal Portal 2. Hope you guys can get this one also. Windows 10 Home Edition 64 bit I did do the compatibility Run in 640 x 480 screen resolution. And I think Change high DPI settings.

Reply   |   Comment by Suzanne  –  10 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+2)

way back when the game first came out, I played it. I must have played it so many times, I recognized the images of the game posted before reading the game's name. I played this game on my XP system (I have since upgraded). It got interesting as you progress but I had no issue with how it ran, it was smooth and easily goes from one room to another. I won't download it today, I've enough HOGs to keep me busy, but it is worth playing.

Reply   |   Comment by Deborah1962  –  10 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+1)

In addition to the previous comment:
- Changing compatibility mode forced me to start from the very beginning
- Compatibility mode didn't help anything
- The game does not store the progress of the level: got a message "Profile saving failed" when starting Japan, now have to start it all over; will I do that?..

Thanks GOTD, but this one will not be on my wish list for now. Though the idea appealed to me.

Reply   |   Comment by Mik  –  10 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+1)

As some of the previous persons, I experience:
- Slow and yellowish disappearance of the messages
- Hint button not working
- Custom cursor is very slow
- When I found the 5-th weight in Japan, I was told I found all of them and may now enter the sacred chamber.

Windows 10.

Reply   |   Comment by Mik  –  10 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

I noticed this game doesn't save the game at the scene when I exit. When I go back to the game, I have to do the searching for items in a scene all over again, even though I already completed the tasks. Don't know if I will keep this game if it always does that. I'll never get through it.

Reply   |   Comment by Robert  –  10 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+1)

I'm not sure why I've been lucky - it's installed and playing well under Windows 10. I'm about half way through, the save button works fine and the hints are also working. The dialogue appears with enough time to read too.

The only annoyance is that I have to play it in windowed mode (can't be bothered to change my screen resolution to allow full screen) and it doesn't remember my choice after saving.

It's a bit difficult to work out what to do at first, but it gets easier - just look for the hand symbol to find the 'containers' for the hidden objects.

It's a bit different to the usual HOGs and the side scrolling panoramas between scenes are gorgeous.

Thanks to GAOTD for a nice game that I haven't seen given away here before.

Reply   |   Comment by Ros  –  10 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

Hint didn't work for me either and after being stuck for quite a while I found a walk-through online. That helped. I went through the first part and found all the crystal parts but when I went back to the office it said 'portal save failed' and kicked me out. Now every time I go in and pick this one object it kicks me out and doesn't save.
I was enjoying this (my favourite type of game)
I have read elsewhere that *disabling the custom cursor* helps so you can play the game!

Reply   |   Comment by Anne Hogan  –  10 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

I wrote most of the info blow for another game, but its applicable here as well.

For those of you having trouble with your game progress not saving, the below might help.


I had no problems installing the game on Win 10. I have a folder that is NOT in any of the Windows managed folders (ie not in Program Files or Documents, etc) where I install the game. In my case my data drive is E: so I install all of these games to their folder under E:\Games\

The problem is that these old games were written before Win 10 introduced Controlled Folder Access (now part of Ransomware Protection). By installing the game in a folder that is not 'protected' by that, you avoid most of the problems with compatibility with Win 10.

There are a few of these games that save your game progress in a protected folder. In this case you need to allow the game permission to write to its folder:
- Settings - Security - Virus & Threat protection - Manage Ransomware protection
- If you got the notification that the game was blocked when you exit the game then this will be in the Block History section. (note: you will sometimes see a block notification when you install the game. This happens when it tries to add a shortcut to your Desktop, which is also a protected folder. You don't need to worry about this.)
- In Block History, click on the event where it blocked the game (based on date and time). You will be asked for permission to open it (you may need to be admin too?). You will then see which file within the game actually tried to do the game save (Usually engine.exe or game.exe). You can then change the Action to Allow.
- The the next time you run the game (from the beginning again as you won't have been able to save your game, that's why you are doing this in the first place ;) )
- The above instructions are assuming Win 10 1903. If you have a different version then the steps could be different.

I hope that helps.

Reply   |   Comment by jb  –  10 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

Hint button does not work. Game will not save. Can use walkthrough from Big Fish for hints but still cannot save

Reply   |   Comment by Weepawz  –  10 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

Really? No way of turning off the comments? Annoying! Deleted! Beautiful graphics. :-)

Reply   |   Comment by Marcy  –  10 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (-3)

Same like Sunnie and Siska. Install on Win 10 no problem, hint button not working, messages come fast but disappear like the Cheshire Cat pixeling away (no idea how to describe this). As I can't find the pieces and with no hint button I stopped right at the temple and uninstalled the game. I would have loved to play it.

Thanks anyway, I wait for another one I like.

Reply   |   Comment by Anu  –  10 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

Exactly the same problems as Sunni. Additionally everything seems to be working at about quarter speed. The messages are pixilated before taking about 5 seconds to come up.

Reply   |   Comment by Sieska  –  10 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+2)

Hi there,

I cannot install these games anymore, BullGuard keeps blocking the setup file in the temp folder.
Any suggestions how to configure BullGuard to skip the setup process.


Reply   |   Comment by Dorine  –  10 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (-3)

Dorine, I quote these instructions from medium dot com:
Method 1

If this too does not work, then you can go into your setting and click on “Advanced”, which you will find at the top of the right-hand corner. Now, in the left-hand side menu, select “antivirus” and here you will see the option of turning off the antivirus protection. Then you have to restore the file in Quarantine. Again, go to settings and under Antivirus > Turning. When you see ‘Skip files/folders’, put a check next to it.

In ‘files/folders’, there will be a + icon. Here, locate the file and select ‘OK’, which will add it to the skipped files’ list. Now, if you turn on the antivirus protection again, you should not face the Quarantine issue again.

Method 2

Another route you can take for temporarily disabling Bullguard is to click on the ‘Settings’ in your BullGuard software. On the menu on the left, there will be an option called ‘real-time antiviruses. Click on it and then select ‘off’. Now go to the firewall section and switch off the firewall here. With this Bullguard will get temporarily disabled and you can later get the antivirus enabled whenever you need to.


I suppose you have to temporarily disable Bullgaurd before you start downloading...?

Reply   |   Comment by tiscrea © - The Netherlands  –  10 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+2)

This is such a nice family site. It's great that I can download different games from here everyday and give them to my daughter without either spending hours preplaying them or worrying she will see and be exposed to things she is too young for. Her 10th birthday is later this week. I'm going to give her this game and both games from yesterday - Warhammer and Dino. I'm sure she will love them!

Reply   |   Comment by Mary  –  10 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+1)

Installed on Win 10 64 bit with no problem. I am only at the beginning and the Hint button does not work, that I can see. I re-booted as I've found that some games from this site need rebooting before working correctly. Opened game and got an error reading, but it opened the game anyway. I'm already stuck at the Temple and can't seem to find all the elements needed and the Hint isn't working.... :-(

Thanks for the games and have a super day!

Reply   |   Comment by Sunnie  –  10 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+3)

Adding: The error reading: Profile Save Failed. Portal.

I opened the game again and it did not SAVE where I was, so I had to play it again!

Sad, because I like these types of games. I will be uninstalling the game. :-(

Reply   |   Comment by Sunnie  –  10 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+5)

Sunnie, You may be unable to save because of the Win 10 feature in the Security called 'Controlled Folder access'. These old games often save the game process to a folder that is now protected. You can either add this game as an exception or temporarily turn the feature off while you play the game. I wrote out some instructions for this for an earlier game, I'll go look for it and if I find it, I'll post it here.

Reply   |   Comment by jb  –  10 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+1)

JEDIGEG, Thanks for the suggestions. Don't have time right now. Will try tonight after work.

Reply   |   Comment by Sunnie  –  10 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+2)

Thank you for this HOG. This saves me from having to do some house cleaning tomorrow :-P I had to change the DPI settings to see the whole screen, but now it works fine. Have a great Sunday!

Reply   |   Comment by tiscrea © - The Netherlands  –  10 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+6)

Addition: it is a nice and challenging game with some nice surprises so far. I'm at the docks... :-)

Reply   |   Comment by tiscrea © - The Netherlands  –  10 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+5)

Therese Shellabarger, I just read you comment. I did the following: Rightclick the exe of game on Desktop - Properties - Tab Compatibility - Change High DPI settings - check the box under Ignore high DPI scaling (I'm translating from Dutch Windows so the wording can be a different).

Reply   |   Comment by tiscrea © - The Netherlands  –  10 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+1)
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