Published on March 10th, 2017 | by Dean Love0
Cliffhanger Rooms, Newby Bridge – The Pharaohs Curse
Okay – quick side bar. I used to work as a professional editor. Old colleagues of mine sometimes read this blog. So let’s be clear: this game is called The Pharaohs Curse. I mean they do, I guess. The Pharaohs do indeed curse people. If you believe that sort of thing. They definitely didn’t mean The Pharaoh’s Curse. They did it on purpose, I’m sure. Im sure. Whatever.
Still, the game is far better than the punctuation might lead you to expect! It was just a short wait from our game of Bank Vault Heist and and quick trip outside to another nearby building for a game that’s instantly more visually impressive than the first game. It evokes well its theme of an archaeological dig, but for once you’re not just trying to escape the Egyptian tomb. Instead you need to find and speak the name of the Pharaoh in order to lift the curse placed on all those who enter.
Initially you’re placed at the dig site, and there are various archaeological papers to sift through and things to find, before you figure out how to progress to the tomb itself. The theme is really well integrated with the puzzles, and most of what you’re doing makes a lot of sense in the context of the story (with the caveat that you accept the Pharaoh protected his tomb with a series of puzzles). There’s a pleasing physicality to much of the game, with a few points where we were clearing space on the floor to lay out a set of sizable puzzle elements to work with. Other puzzles involved physical manipulations of much smaller things, and there was one completely skill-based element that offered a nice change of pace.
It’s a really well designed room, a well-implemented if well-worn theme, puzzles that fit together really well and a fair bit of variety. At times it was maybe a bit too dark, which caused us to miss a few things, but it fits the theme and certainly wasn’t overly onerous.
And that’s about it. I’m noticing an increasing number of games like this of late: games that are just damn good but don’t really do anything special (either good or bad) that stands out. It’s just good. So don’t let the brevity of the review fool you, and definitely give it a shot if you’re in the area.
Result – we escaped with less than ten minutes to spare
Date played: 5 November 2016
Team: Dean, Jess, Katherine
Summary: A really well designed room that gets pretty much everything right.