"Alas, you are in the tomb of death where your soul is doomed to wander forever". A fancy way to say you have just snuffed it, but dead you certainly are. So ended all my attempts at this real time adventure game from MP Software.
The plot is based in Egypt where you have to explore the lost pyramids of Kacalud and find the legendary golden mask. I found the pyramids and even a golden sword, but no sign of the golden mask. In fact, as I needed to return the sword to a tend in the archaeologist's camp in order to score twenty points, and I haven't managed to do this, I haven't yet managed to score a point before dying. Not very good in a game that awards twenty points for each valuable artefact, a bonus for finding the mask, and a possible score of 500 points!! I obviously have a long way to go.
The game runs logically but is a little fussy about the words. In a number of places GO IN is not acceptable, only ENTER, and when only one object is in view, GET by itself is not sufficient but GET object must be used in full. When a game is sufficiently puzzling in its own right I find such restrictions on terminology annoying.
MP Software describes the game as a real time adventure. This means that the game will continue to play when it is waiting for a command to be entered. The only evidence I have seen of this is the occasional "time passes" output whilst I have been thinking. Time can be halted and restarted by using the ESCAPE key and SPACE bar respectively.
The screen is split into two parts. The top gives the computer responses and descriptions, while the bottom displays your input. This latter section is only a few lines deep so it is impossible to look back over more than three or four moves - map making is therefore essential.
The computer outputs, which are virtually instantaneous, are in different colours for descriptions, items found, and other responses, which makes for an attractive display. As with most BBC adventures this is text only, but personally I don't rate that as a minus point.
Only one grumble - HELP is replied to with "You must be joking, nobody tells me what's going on around here so why should you get to know?" Perhaps expecting a constructive reply was asking for too much?