CRASH - The Online Edition
— Issue 60 Contents|
• Eat your heart out Indiana Jones
This is the picture — you are standing beside your 1930s biplane in the Sahara desert, overshadowed by one of the great pyramids. A firm believer in the occult, you’ve been alarmed by learning of a curse laid on this place. The pyramid was built in ancient times with a special chamber at its Apex for the ancient Egyptian sun-god, Re. The sole reason for its construction was as a curse on the people who had revolted against the High Priest. And if anything should obscure the sun’s rays during daylight hours the curse will be fulfilled and the Moon explode.
Now here’s your problem: a total eclipse of the sun is due in just two hours time. Your thankless task is to find Re’s shrine and destroy it before the eclipse brings about a catastrophic disaster. Your equipment for this task is about the best the 1930s could provide: a revolver, wrist watch, compass, and water bottle, which can be topped up from water troughs found inside the pyramid.
The many rooms of the pyramid (all portrayed in glorious Freescape) contain many objects, including chests of treasure, jewels and Ankhs — special symbols which can be used to open the barriers on some of the doors. Stairways allow access to higher levels of the pyramid, but the route to the shrine is a tortuous one which can only be completed by solving a variety of mysterious puzzles.
Time may be your worst enemy in this quest, but is not your only one: poisoned dart booby-traps can prove fatal, while falling off high ledges isn’t too healthy either. Your health is shown by a heart, the faster it beats the nearer a fatal heart attack. If you want you can slow it down by resting, a special function which speeds up time until your health’s restored. The Freescape technique was impressive in Driller and Dark Side, but Total Eclipse uses it to its full potential, creating a sinister, claustrophobic atmosphere to suit the Egyptian scenario. The pyramid is full of nasty surprises and mysteries that will take a long time to discover. In fact I think Total Eclipse is probably the best Freescape game yet, with much more attention paid to deep game content. This is one that should keep you playing until you complete it.
PHIL ... 92%
MARK ... 95%
NICK ... 93%
Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: the Freescape solid 3-D is just as impressive as ever, but seems slightly faster (5-10%) than in its predecessors
Sound: no tunes, but some good, informative effects
General rating: the third Freescape game takes a new theme and is — probably — the most playable so far