Reviewed: September 22, 2010
Released: August 5, 2010
App Store Price: $.99
Itís becoming a popular trend with developers to bring back some of the old classic adventure titles to the iPhone as of late. But what is even more interesting is that certain developers are like Anuman Interactive are taking things a step further and releasing bigger titles in multisession parts like Egypt: The Prophecy for instance. Iíve been given the opportunity to dive headfirst into this sand-filled adventure for the iPhone and I will catalogue my findings in a three-part review. Original published as The Egyptian Prophecy in 2004 for PC, the title returns to the iPhone as an adaption with a slight name change. The overall game has been altered in parts to allow for a more suitable mobile experience and for the most part works quite admirably.|
The story follows a young magician named Maya who is ordered by Pharaoh to find out what is the cause of disturbances around the worksite of a great obelisk. This same obelisk is the ticket to the Pharaoh prolonged life if everything goes as planned, which they are not obviously. In this first installment Maya discovers several disturbing problems. Someone has placed a cursed item at the temple where the obelisk is to be erected and to make matters worse the architect Pasar has fallen ill. It is up to Maya to use her clairvoyance and the occasional magic spell to aid in the completion of the obelisk in time.
Egypt: The Prophecy features simple controls and are very similar to titles like Secrets of the Mysterious Island. Players can rotate the camera 360 degrees by holding a fingertip on the screen and moving you finger like a mouse to look around. You move Maya around by simply tapping once or twice in the various directions through the two locations found in this installment.
Talking to the various NPCs, collecting items are done by simply tapping on the character and tapping the conversation options until youíve exhausted your options. Egypt: The Prophecy also features a simplified and more user-friendly inventory system than its PC counterpart. This is particularly apparent when it comes to combining objects. As long as you have all the items required it will automatically join them together for the item needed to continue forward in the story.
One of the features that I really liked was the ability to use the iPhoneís newly added gyroscope to act like a compass in Egypt: The Prophecy. With the compass feature enabled you can actually tilt the device to look up and down and to the left and right. This does disable the ability to use finger look, but for the most part it works fairly well. As Iíve only had the opportunity to mess with the gyroscope feature once before going into this review I was definitely a little off on figuring exactly how to hold my phone at first but was able to get it down with little trouble.
Most of the events in this first installment feature setup conversations and require minimal puzzle solving skills. There are a few puzzles however such as a slider puzzle and the even trickier timed puzzle later on that will add a sense of urgency to the adventure. This is a cool feature, as most titles in this genre contain no real sense of urgency to them like Egypt: The Prophecy. In the timed puzzle you have to gather several ingredients and create a cure before an on screen timer bar runs out. I will admit it took me a few tries to do this due to the fact that unless you explored the house and surrounding area thoroughly you would have no idea where these items actual were.
For those needing that extra helping hand, such as locating said items above, you can utilize the permanent help option. This will put arrows on the screen for all the possible exits as well as any collectable or usable item. This feature can be disabled via the menu and can be temporarily activate by a toggle if the user chooses. This does come in handy particularly during that timed puzzle in the last section of this installment.
Graphically, the first part of Egypt: The Prophecy looks pretty good. The landscape is nicely designed and I definitly like the temple that you start out in. The sheer size of the opening temple is amazing and it is very easy to go around in circles trying to find where exactly youíre supposed to go. The few animated cut scenes that you see in part one are pretty decent though do show some of the titles age as they are taken from the original version.
I also like the fact that all of the characters that you encounter actually feature facial animations when they are talking. There is the standard written subtitles that accompany the voice tracks, which is nice. I found only minor discepancies with what is written and what is actually said. The vocal actors for Egypt: The Prophecy are pretty decent and make the story believable with all their talks about the gods that they worship and such. I've always been a sucker for egyptain lore of any kind so I really enjoyed the overall story.
This first installment retails currently for just 99 cents on the App Store, which is not bad for the first two locations in the game. It's nice to see Anuman bringing back some of Microid's old titles to a new generation. Old fans of the title that own an iPhone will probably appreciate it and it's a pretty good adventure title so far for people new to the mobile market.