Am I the only person who instantly starts humming 80's Bangles hit Walk Like an Egyptian whenever I see or hear the word Egypt? I just can't help myself and it becomes a bit of a problem when playing a puzzle game that demands extreme levels of concentration in its later levels. Welcome to the Egyptian Addiction.
Lets get the really good stuff out of the way first so we know where we stand. Egyptian Addiction is extremely well presented, has excellent visuals, brilliant audio, an original take on the puzzle genre, a great selection of levels & difficulties AND it can wash dishes for you!! (the last bit might be a lie).
So you now know all the reasons why you should download the demo. I'll wait here whilst you go and do that... I'll see you in a few hours.
Hopefully by the time you've reached this paragraph you have a good understanding of the gameplay involved but if you just kept reading (shame on you!), here's my take on what Egyptian Addiction is all about: you control a coloured shape that must be used to touch other like-coloured shapes before your time runs out.
I know, that's a really bad description but it's rare for me to see an original concept in puzzle gaming. Egyptian Addiction is a little like Sokoban but without the main character. You have to move around levels with a coloured shape, eliminating the other shapes in the room by hitting those shapes that are the same colour. Hitting a different coloured shape changes your own colour to that which was hit, and removing all shapes of the same colour gives you free choice to move onto whatever colour you want to clear next.
It sounds easy but in practise the levels can be a real pain. The biggest obstacle to overcome is the 60 second timer built into the main game mode, not a problem on early levels but expect some frantic movement as the game progresses. Your other problem is the levels themselves, full of walls and wrong-coloured shapes!
The gameplay mechanics are taken a little further with switches to move walls, powerups for assistance and extra game modes where the aim is to simply challenge your own best scores. Without these elements, you might start to get bored with Egyptian Addiction but their inclusion helps a lot with overall longevity.
So far I've given you every reason to give this game a try but I do have a few reasons to leave well alone. Firstly, if you don't like puzzle games generally, this isn't going to change your opinion - it does have a simple concept but if you are easily frustrated, you'll be turning off after 10 levels. Second, the control isn't as good as it could be. Default control is by mouse which just doesn't feel right. Fortunately, keyboard control is an option.
As an overall experience, I really enjoyed Egyptian Addiction. I didn't stick with it for too long as I frustrate easily with this game genre but for those wanting a challenge, you would do well to try this out. This is a game that I think would work well on the Nintendo DS - touch screen control would make a great game greater. Perhaps a tablet PC version could be looked into?
Note: In late May 2006, BigToe Software, the developers of Eygptian Addiction reduced the price of this and all of their games to $9.95, down from $19.95. I'm sure that after playing you'll agree this is a great price!
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