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Cleopatra: Riddle of the Tomb

Score: 70%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: The Adventure Company
Developer: Kheops
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure

Graphics & Sound:

Cleopatra: Riddle of the Tomb is a very mixed bag. While there are quite a few good points about it, there are enough issues to make you take notice.

A perfect example of this is the game's presentation. I fully expected, when first playing this game, to find it to have a very stereotypical Egyptian style to it, but I was pleasantly surprised. It is obvious that the developers put a lot of effort into discerning the style of the time, since Alexandria was governed by Rome at the time and during Cleopatra's reign; the Grecian influence was very heavy. So kudos in the visual department, the appearance sells the game's setting.

Unfortunately, I can't speak as highly about the audio. While ambient sounds are very fitting, the dialogue and voice acting are just bad. All of the actors sounded very phoned-in and halfway committed, while the dialogue was riddled with modern sayings that just don't fit whatsoever. While the visuals really do immerse you in the time, the dialogue pulls you back out, and as is the case with most adventure titles, there is a good bit of dialogue.


In Cleopatra: Riddle of the Tomb, you play an apprentice astrologer from Greece named Thomas. Your teacher and his daughter (whom Thomas is in love with) has gone missing, and you have been charged with collecting the necessary evidence to predict the future for Cleopatra. She wants to know if she should join forces with Caesar in order to stop her brother Ptolemy, and only you will be able to interpret the oracle's message.

For the most part, Riddle of the Tomb is as cookie cutter as they come, and besides the authentically themed items you pick up, this game could have easily been set in almost any place or time. Granted, some puzzles, like having to create pottery or work a catapult, wouldn't make much sense in a more modernly set game, but it doesn't have to be Egypt in 48 BC.

In your quest, you will travel all around the known world picking up every random object you come across and applying them in fairly logical manners to puzzles. This game really doesn't hold any surprises to gamers who've played at least a couple of adventure titles.


As for the difficulty of the puzzles themselves, Cleopatra: Riddle of the Tomb is fairly good about laying everything out for you. There are only a few times when I had to make serious logical jumps, or simply try everything in my inventory in order to get past a puzzle. Items combine in ways that make sense, and when you apply them to the environment, the result is expected.

Quite frankly, I found the game to be much easier than most adventure titles I've played over the years, but at least the story is interesting enough to keep you playing through its somewhat short plot. I found that as long as you pay attention to the clues and read all of the papers handed to you, you won't have much trouble finding Thomas' love and unraveling the prophecy.

Game Mechanics:

While most aspects of Cleopatra: Riddle of the Tomb are as formulaic as you can get, there is one part that stands out and shakes things up a bit, and that's the ability to choose your Zodiac sign. When you first start the game, it asks you to choose one of the 12 signs. This determines what kind of luck you will have during the game. If you are having a good day, then a clue will be easy to get, but on bad days, you might have to work a little harder, or not be able to get that snippet of information at all. I found this to be a refreshing change because it gave me some hope that I might actually want to play this game again with a different sign, just so I can find out what that papyrus I missed said.

For the most part, Cleopatra is a good game. There is enough going for it to make you want to see it through to the end; unfortunately the bad dialogue really messes up your suspension of disbelief and pulls you out of the game. If you are looking for just another adventure title, then Riddle of the Tomb is your game, but if you are trying to find something truly innovative in this genre, you might want to hold off a bit.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows 2000/ME/XP/Vista, 800 MHz Pentium 3 or equivalent CPU, 128 MB RAM, 1.8 GB Hard Drive Space, 4x DVD-ROM, 64 MB DirectX 9.0c compatible video card, DirectX sound card, DirectX 9.0c

Test System:

Alienware Aurora m9700 Laptop, Windows XP Professional, AMD Turion 64 Mobile 2.41 GHz, 2 GB Ram, Duel NVIDIA GeForce Go 7900 GS 256MB Video Cards, DirectX 9.0c

Microsoft Xbox 360 Mr. Driller Online Windows Jack Keane

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