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SummaryAlmost a take-off on Indiana Jones .. without the whip
The GoodP.I. Cameron once again digs into mystery and intrigue in Pharaoh's Curse, which is much better than his previous adventure, Loch Ness. He is supposed to meet Moira McFarley, his Loch Ness acquaintance, in Egypt where she is working at the Cairo museum. Evidently Moira has uncovered an unusual archeological artifact and caused an "ancient evil" to be released. Not only is Moira missing, but several other very strange things have happened at the museum. And then, he discovers that the Nazis are here to steal whatever it is she has found. So, it doesn't take long for things to start to heating up. And then, there's the mummy ....
What is so striking about this game are the facial expressions the artists gave to Cameron during conversations and at other times. Those expressions give real him a real personality and you grow to like him. Scenery and other character attributes are equally nice. The lighting effects (sun and shadows) are exceptional.
Music in the game is original and, well, Egyptian. But, it doesn't overpower you. It adds a good background to whatever you are doing. Some of the sound effects were a bit weird at times, though. Take a step, for instance, and you may hear the sound of 5.
For those of you who are inclined against 1st person games because you don't like adventuring alone, I'm pleased to tell you that there are plenty of other characters to talk to. (See the screenshots for pictures of some of them.) Although conversation as such is handled by way of cut-scenes, it doesn't feel as lonely as other first person games.
Puzzles are inventory-based only and fit in with the story. There is one safe to open, but you use an inventory item to assist you. There are no mazes, no slider puzzles, no color-match or sound puzzles. Everything you do is logical and things you find are natural to the situation.
The mouse-driven interface is clean and easy to use. And I was pleased to see the 16 save-game slots, a big improvement over previous games by the Galilea/Wanadoo/Index+ breed. You can die in this game, so saving often is a must.
The BadThis game can easily be finished during a weekend, so it is a bit short (even though it has 2 CD-Roms). Of course, this depends upon how you play.
My biggest complaint is puzzled-based. One particular puzzle lacks critical clues to help you solve it. Not to give too much away, I will say that it involves identifying Egyptian gods/goddesses by their pictures alone. One book, letter or pamphlet would have been enough to match up their names with their pictures, but it was completely left out. Therefore, unless you know alot about Egypt, you may need a little help to solve it. (See the links section for hints and walkthroughs.)
Also, the game includes some timed segments. They're not really hard, if you know what item to pick from inventory and don't dilly dally around.
The Bottom LinePharaoh's Curse is an enjoyable game with enough mystery to keep you entertained for a time. Cameron's personality comes out during the game making him more "real". If you like Egyptian-themed games, but don't like translating glyphs or working intricate puzzles, you'll probably like this one. I did.
The "Teen" ESRB rating may cause parents concern, but in my opinion it could have been rated for a younger age group. The few deaths have no visible blood and there is no foul language.