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Nightfall (Macintosh)

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82
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
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MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
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Description

In the best tradition of pyramid exploration, you start this contemplative first-person adventure game trapped, with no way to go but deeper into the ancient Egyptian tomb. As a journeyman archaeologist banned from the Kirdaza site, you're not even supposed to be there. The dig is closed, oil company property, and no one will come looking for you. Your crackpot notions of a three thousand-year history for the vast tomb, possibly hiding secrets to the origin of life, have made your colleagues eager to forget you, while the earthquake and aftershocks are guaranteeing they will.

As you probe deeper, opening one new passage after another, carefully navigating the remarkable engineering of the tomb, you find you are following in the footsteps of another outcast archaeologist. One hundred seventy years before you, when the tomb was first discovered by modern science, someone else trod this path into its heart, leaving notes along the way. They provide clues and warnings, but the most valuable map comes from your own notes on the mythical passage of the sun god, Re, into the underworld. The secrets of the tomb run deep into the earth, and neither fire nor water -- nor even gravity -- behave as they should.

Ambient, stereo sound and simple exploration mechanics give the game an immersive atmosphere. There are no sudden turns or steps forward; all movement is smooth, executed by clicking and holding on the direction you wish to turn or move. Motion stops when you release the mouse button. In this way, you can slowly spin 360 degrees in the horizontal, while at the same letting your gaze wander from floor to ceiling. Similarly, you move objects by clicking and dragging. You can carry a small inventory, and a map and compass take some of the guesswork out of finding your way around. Nonetheless, the size of the tomb makes getting lost a part of game play. The puzzles are closely focused on ancient Egyptian culture, and by the time you complete your journey through the tomb, you will be well-versed in the narrative of the Re's boat passage, which was central to ancient Egyptian funerary rites.

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The Press Says

Mac Gamer 1999 100 out of 100 100
Mac Ledge Mar 14, 1999 5 out of 5 100
Inside Mac Games (IMG) 1999 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
Just Adventure 1999 B+ 83
Tap-Repeatedly/Four Fat Chicks 1999 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Mac Observer Mar 30, 1999 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 75
AppleLinks.Com Apr 23, 1999 2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars 40

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Trivia

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Related Web Sites

  • Official Website (The Nightfall webpage on Altor Systems' website, which provides additional information about the game, a brief overview, and details about how to order the game.)
  • Postmortem (A postmortem of Nightfall by Altor Systems' Carlos Comacho on the iDevGames website (February 24th, 2001).)
  • Zarfhome: Review (A review of Nightfall by IF designer Andrew "Zarf" Plotkin (January, 1999).)
Slik (886) added Nightfall (Macintosh) on Nov 16, 2009