Not quite as advertised

Advertising mars this otherwise fun adventure game.

We love a good adventure game, and Samantha Swift and the Hidden Roses certainly qualifies, as long as solving puzzles meets your criteria for adventure. As much as we enjoyed the game, however, we were quite put off by all of the advertising and uninvited bloatware that comes along with it.

Samantha Swift looks like it's going to be a lightweight program at just over 720K, but all that download really includes is the Free Ride Games Player. The actual game must be downloaded using the player, and at 112MB, it's not nearly as small as you may have been led to believe. In addition to Samantha Swift, the player also downloaded three other sizeable games without our consent and adorned our desktop with three unsolicited icons. Combine these annoyances with the fact that Free Ride Games Player makes you watch video advertising before playing games and displays annoying advertising around the game while you're playing, and you have a game that's almost more trouble than it's worth.

The game itself is fun, if not particularly remarkable. Samantha Swift is an archeologist in search of valuable artifacts. Players move from room to room through ancient ruins, only advancing after finding all of the items on Samantha's list. Some are hidden in plain sight, while others require a careful eye or even tools to be uncovered. In-game instructions and hints make it easy to play, even for beginners, and the graphics and music are both professional-quality. Overall, we liked playing Samantha Swift and the Hidden Roses, but we probably won't bother playing it again because of the hassle of the advertising.

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