Riddle of the Sphinx - Box

Riddle of the Sphinx
An Egyptian Adventure

This is the closest most of us will get to actually exploring an Egyptian pyramid. There is game stuff and a back story to make it more interesting but exploring pyramids is pretty much going down dark corridors and launching probes. Of course there are the burial rooms with golden treasures, artifacts, giant granite sarcophagi and other wondrous things. I was so intrigued with what appeared to be an accurate representation of the setting that I contacted Tivola for more information and spoke to Jeff Tobler, one of the co-developers of the game, and found out the following:

The game environments, especially the Giza Plateau, are very accurate. Data was compiled from photos (both privately taken and published), articles in research journals, documentaries, and historical accounts by the early Egyptologists.

They consulted with Dr. Mark Lehner -- an Egyptologist and archaeologist who actually mapped the Sphinx back in the 80's and had a computer model made using his plotting data. The dimensions and composition of the Sphinx and Sphinx Enclosure are accurate, down to the brick repairs on the paws and the scaffolding, which was put in place to make additional repairs - ultimately to keep the Statue from crumbling to bits.

The Great Pyramid of Cheops is even more accurately modeled and rendered down to the metal brackets or braces along the edges of the telescoping walls, put in place to hold up the crumbling stone. The King's Chamber features a replica of the red granite lidless sarcophagus (the lid and the contents of the sarcophagus were never found), and the chunk of granite off to the side of the sarc, which originally blocked the entrance to this tomb.

Probably the most realistic is the rendition of the robot traversing up the southern airshaft in the Queen's chamber. This mimics the exciting but unsuccessful attempt made by Rudolph Gatenbrink in '93. In the game, however, the player makes it a successful trip, finishing what Gatenbrink set out to complete.

The other areas of the game include replicas of actual artifacts and relics, including the recreation of the Statues at Abu Simbel. What is unique is that the player can climb up these statues - access that is simply not granted in Egypt.

This kind of careful detailing is why the player gets the feeling of being inside of a tomb trying to unravel the false leads that the pharaoh's builders created to keep robbers from finding the final chamber. A good and satisfying experience but not for the impatient.

Editor Review 11/01

  • Riddle of the Sphinx
  • © DreamCatcher $19.99
  • Windows 95/98/Me, Mac
  • To Order: Windows http://www.amazon.com
  • To Order: Mac http://www.amazon.com