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The Cameron Files: Pharaoh's Curse (Windows)

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MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.2
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5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  *Katakis* (37860)
Written on  :  Jan 11, 2006
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

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Summary

Cameron's second adventure takes him to Egypt

The Good

Alan P. Cameron is back. This time he is asked by Moira MacFarley to join her in Egypt where she is working at the Cairo Antiquities Museum. Moira uncovers an Egyptian artifact and accidentally releases an ancient curse. When Cameron gets to Cairo, he finds Moira missing and very strange things happening at the museum. He also finds out that the Germans are here to steal whatever it is she has found.

Pharaoh's Curse uses a similar interface to that of Secret of Loch Ness, Cameron's previous adventure. A single Egyptian-like cursor allows you to walk in any direction, but changes to something else when you move it over a certain object, and you can interact with that object. Just like Loch Ness, the screen moves around if you move the mouse. I'm used to this as I had plenty of time to get familiar with the interface from the last game.

As well as this, you get a similar inventory to the one you last had. One feature that I found useful is Cameron's notebook. Once a cut-scene has been played, that scene gets stored in your notebook, and with the click of a mouse, you can watch the cut-scene again. This is quite useful if you really enjoyed watching the cut-scene. The save/load feature has been improved. Now you can save up to 16 slots, saving you from overwriting important parts that you didn't want to in the first place.

I couldn't help but notice that the graphics have slightly improved. Unlike the last game, there are light and shading effects. An example is where you look up to the sky at the very start of the game, and move the view around so that the sun is glaring in your face. Since Pharaoh's Curse is Egyptian-like, I expected that each important room that you go to would have wall paintings that were common to the Egyptian era. Turns out that I was right. Toward the end of the game, you 'll see plenty more where that came from.

One of the highlights of this game would be exploring the Wonder of the Nile and looking out onto the Nile River to see a huge orange rock in the background. There is so much to do on the cruise ship, such as breaking into other people's cabins while they are out and collecting stuff relevant to the investigation and analyzing them for clues. You have to wander around on this huge island, and when you get halfway to the top of a cliff, you are faced with a marvelous view of the ocean with a sailboat in the distance.

The music is quite common with the Egyptian era, and most of it reflects well to the situations that you face. The sound effects are appropriate to the actions that you perform, such as moving shit and opening and closing doors, chests, etc. The puzzles are easy to solve, as long as you know what you are doing. Some puzzles are timed, and mainly require you to get to a location as quickly as you can or run away from someone. I had a fright when I opened a door on the ship, only to see a mummy before me, and it threatened to kill me if I didn't do something about him. There is also a puzzle similar to the get-out-of-the-water-before-time-runs-out puzzle from the last game.

Most of the characters offer you help in your travels, and some are quite amusing to listen and watch. I particularly liked the fat German dude that raves on about how he is going to find treasure before anyone else does. Pharaoh's Curse runs completely from the hard disk. That means that you are not required to insert CDs during the game. You are only required to insert one of the two CDs before you start playing, and all of them during installation. No biggie, this.

The Bad

Again, when you save a game, there is no way to enter a description. It would have been useful if you give each slot a meaningful description, when you are about to run into a situation or when you are at a new location.

Your notebook cannot display more than four pages of cut-scenes at once, and you cannot flip between pages. Also, when you are in a room with sounds in it, and you decide to view a cut-scene, the sound is still heard in the background.

Also, the ending is much too short. It is even shorter than Loch Ness

The Bottom Line

Pharaoh's Curse has a similar interface to that of its predecessor, but with more features added to the mix, most notably the extra save slots and the ability to watch cut-scenes again. The graphics have improved and the music is a joy to listen to, especially when the Egyptian theme is relevant. You will get used to the characters, even though some of them are out to get you. During your investigation, you are faced with many puzzles, both standard and time-based, but most of them are easy if you know what you are doing.