Written by  :  Ernest Adams (130)
Written on  :  Dec 07, 2004
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful

write a review of this game
read more reviews by Ernest Adams
read more reviews for this game


Entertaining and clever, but far from Infocom's best.

The Good

The puzzles were interesting and unusual, especially since many of them involved decoding hieroglyphics. Because it was a text game, all the hieroglyphics were managed with punctuation symbols: #$%@ and so on.

The setting and quest were a nice change from science fiction and fantasy. Some (but not most) aspects of the game were accurate to real Egyptology, too.

The Bad

There were effectively no other characters at all, you spent the entire time alone. That's OK but not nearly as interesting as interacting with people as in The Witness and Deadline. Since it's about exploration, maybe that's inevitable; but it didn't really push the boundaries.

The ending made a win feel like a loss. It was intended as a kind of comment by the designer, but if so it was a trivial one and rather offensive to the player's feelings.

Worst of all, however, was the dumbest trial-and-error puzzle in any game I've ever seen. 24 possible combinations; no clues at all to the solution; and each time you got it wrong, you died and had to reload. On a floppy-based PC, this was exceedingly annoying. (This was a one-off, most of the other puzzles were OK.)

The Bottom Line

Worth playing for the setting and puzzles. Real pyramids don't have a complicated maze of rooms inside -- it was a cross between pyramid, tomb in Valley of the Kings, and Egyptian temple. But that's OK, it used the stereotype cleverly and the location made for some interesting puzzles. Moderately amusing writing, but not laugh-out-loud funny; comedy wasn't really the point. Play it for a bit of light entertainment, but if you're serious about interactive fiction, look elsewhere.