Pharaoh's Tomb

Arcade 1990 Dos Dosbox Apogee Platformer Adventure

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Enjoyable platforming collection

This is a nice little collection of straightforward platform games, which although simple and lacking in originality, are certainly enjoyable enough and perfect for when you're in the mood for some undemanding retro action. In each of the four themed volumes, players control Nevada Smith (a thinly veined parody of a rather more famous archaeologist), who explores exotic locales in his never ending search for treasure. As the title suggests, these games take him to Egypt and in each volume there are twenty single room levels to be completed. In typical platforming fashion, completion requires players to avoid the myriad hazards and obstacles, killing the occasional enemy and locating the key which opens up the exit, all the while looking out for all that lovely treasure. As is typical of retro platformers, there are no health bars here, and one touch of the spikes or mummies which roam the dusty halls will spell instant death for Smith, something which certainly adds to the challenge here. Watch out too for dead-end traps which will force you to re-load and re-start. Although simple, this is one of those neat little old-school platformers that are undeniably fun to play. Given its retro stylings, the game is deceptively easy but actually requires pixel perfect timing and swift reflexes in order to navigate its dangers without dying. Fortunately, the controls are pretty good, responsive and intuitive, while the individual levels are fiendishly well designed, starting out easy enough, but soon ramping up in their difficulty. While not a classic, Pharaoh's Tomb is a fun time-waster with a charmingly gangly hero, so check out the sequel Arctic Adventure for more of the same, or try Rick Dangerous for a more memorable Indiana Jones-style experience.

Beautifully minimalist platformer

What do you need, so to have a perfectly competent and playable platformer? Well, a couple of brick to use to contour the land, maybe a few enemies but that is just not necessary and an interesting protagonist, moving about, maybe looking for a key or an exit! All of these check for Pharaoh's Tomb, as minimalist graphically but as adept as any other platformer could be. So, overall, if you're not looking for a glittery platformer, this one will surely do. Because simplicity is always better than glitter that wants to sell you a lesser product. Because, as minimalist and apparently uninteresting Pharaoh's Tomb is, it actually is very fun to play. Yes, you kind of know that there won't be any massive surprises on the way, but the game sure delivers well its classic recipe. See, the entire series, as all games are pretty similar, all are sidescroller platformers that offer very interesting experiences. Oh, and the game is a great experiment in level design, if you're interested in that, its simplicity is very evocative!

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