Mummy: Tomb of the Pharaoh
by Al Giovetti
Price: $34 - $50
Genre: interactive movie adventure
Release: September 1996
Developer: Amazing Media
Programmer: Interplay
Music: David Dvoran, edited by Interplay
Art: Amazing Media
Producer: Brian Christian, Fred Royal, Keith Metzger
Publisher: Interplay/Macplay
Phone: 800 INTERPLAY, 714-533-6678
Requirements: PC and Mac, 486 DX, 33 MHz, 8 MB RAM, DOS 5.0 with Win 3.1 or 95, 2X CD ROM, mouse, sound card

History: Most of these things make me scream, "I want my mummy." This new release follows the successful release of Frankenstein: Through the eyes of the Monster with Tim Curry as Dr. Frankenstein. The new game even has a maze of mining tunnels to traverse just like the first one.

Plot: A mysterious adventure through the exotic land of enigmatic pharaohs in ancient Egypt. Your objective is to find out what is making the workers scared, why are there so called Mummies running around, and what's up with the Ghosts appearing everywhere?. Along the way you will be faced with, big uglies in bandages trying to kill you, puzzles that necessitates creative problem solving skills such as (opening safes)-(stop from being pulverized by a rock crusher)-(trying very hard not to block bullets with your body), and finding secret passage ways to the tombs underneath the camp.

You play Michael Cameron, an agent of the National Mining Company (NMC). Unfortunately, you do not play the Mummy in this one . NMC has found an Egyptian tomb in one of their mines. You must guard the Pharaoh's tombs and their treasure from evil intruders, sabateurs, the Egyptian Department of Antiquities, Malcolm McDowell and restless spirits of the tomb. Malcolm McDowell, as Stuart Davenport, watches over your progress and comments on each new discovery you make in the first part of the game.

The plot is linear and weak. There are several loose ends dangling to keep you confused, but other than that if you make a mistake, you die. There are really no significant choices that you make that have a real effect on the environment or the plot. You simply follow the right path and live or deviate and die. And the death scenes are rather boring, there is no real horror here just a short sweet death. You do not really get to interact with anyone, just watch the little FMV movie sequences.

Interface: The only way to interface is by using the mouse, contents of the back pack, and objects\people you come across along this adventure. It's POV is first person perspective, so all the characters will be looking toward the player...don't have time to be shy. Most of the Keyboard functions are self explanatory such as "quit", "save", "load", you can get to the options by pressing once on the space bar.

Puzzles: Over 50 puzzles of the scavenger hunt type are included. There are two different enemies in this game but you can defeat both by helping one (mystery just been stated). Example of puzzle: collect specific crystals to activate an Egyptian apparatus made of stone, the crystals must be placed in right order so that it can cause a shaft of light to find a door which will lead to help find the Staff of Ra which can kill the Socerer\Ghost\had a bad millennia\Egyptian priest. Once this is done, you can reak havoc on the other enemy. Other puzzles include, getting through the underground maze by paying close attention to the hieroglyphics on the walls.

Graphics: All the still art originated from 24bit rendered art files with light sources. There are 50 different locations, including a World War II military base, a phosphate mine, and Egyptian Pharaoh's Tomb and lots of navigable secret passageways.

Full motion video: Sixty minutes of live-action video filmed with about eight actors. All done on green screens. Interplay laid the video on top of the rendered background. The video shoots were about six months. Malcolm McDowell and the other actors do not look as if they were pased on the scenes but actually look like they are part of the backgrounds.

Actors: Malcolm McDowell is competing with others in the interactive movie world. Straight from his appearance in Wing Commander III and IV, Malcom decided to take the detour to Amazing Media and will star in this one. Malcolm is known for his efforts on the silver screen in Stanley Kubrick's classic A Clockwork Orange, killed Captain James T. Kirk (and made many jealous ;-> Ed.) in Star Trek: Generations, and one of my personal favorites Time After Time where he takes the role of H. G. Wells in a new adaptation of the Time Machine. Wells pursues a long time friend and dinner companion, who just happens to lead a double life as Jack the Ripper, who has stolen his time machine. We look forward to Malcom's work in this upcoming cyber screen debut.

Malcolm McDowell plays Stuart Davenport who you have to outsmart in the game. John Heart plays the chief geologist. Marcia Pizzo from Shockwave assault is the Egyptologist.

Music score: David Dvoran did the music. "Our people here edited the sound." EFX helped out with the music and sound (see below).

Sound effects: EFX Systems did the sound, the same audio team that did the Mortal Kombat movie.

Utilities: An automapping system, which is essential to good game play and is demanded by most intelligent game players, is provided with the game. This is an improvement over the mine tunnel maze found in the original Frankenstein product which had no automap.

Documentation: A map is included with the sparse manual, that unfortunately lacked Frankenstein's lists and narritive. The map allows you to find your way around and really get into playing the game.

Multiplayer: An online contest to launch the product featured a $1,000 prize for locating and solving a mystery puzzle in a scavenger hunt. The prizes were awarded in the fall of 1996, after Mummy shiped. There are no multiplayer features in this game.

Hints: The complete map of the mines is in Segal's pockets or was it his trailer? You better search both and then break into the safe behind the calendar in Davenport's office.

Don't let "Keep Out" signs keep you from your destination in the Ore Car.

Mummy Tomb of the Pharaoh Walkthrough Reviewers: The press felt this one fell below the standard set in Frankenstein.

Publish your own review by sending us an email with your text. References:
Chris Hudak, Game Spot Review, 48%.
Arinn Dembo, Game Center Review, 60%.
Peter Olafson, PC Games, volume 3, number 12, December, 1997, pg. 135, 75%.
Angela Bennett, PC Gamer, volume 4, number 4, April, 1997, pg. 150, 65%.

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