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Review by: Bob Mandel
Published: December 9, 2002
Earlier this year DreamCatcher Interactive published Galilea Multimedia’s The Cameron Files: Secret at Loch Ness. Unlike many offerings in the adventure genre, it combined a puzzle-oriented quest with detective work. Now the same developer and publisher have released a sequel – The Cameron Files: Pharaoh’s Curse. There’s no need to have played the first game before the second, even though the general tone is highly similar. This latest release continues to allow you to use a first-person perspective while exploring your surroundings in order to solve an important enigma.
Private investigator Alan Parker Cameron returns to continue his display of sleuthing skills. He receives an urgent plea for help from Moira MacFarley, a friend who’s working at an archeological dig in Cairo, Egypt. Upon arrival he discovers that Moira is missing (parallel to Lord MacFarley’s disappearance in Secret at Loch Ness) and that roadblocks are keeping him from figuring out exactly what’s transpiring. In the course of his adventure, he learns that a mummy appears to be on the loose, and he has to figure out why. As in the predecessor to Pharaoh’s Curse, Parker launches an intensive investigation, searching for clues and unlocking a world of supernatural intrigue.
Like so many other games of this type, such as Riddle of the Sphinx and Jewels of the Oracle, the Middle East is the setting for the action in Pharaoh’s Curse. The investigation begins at Cameron’s hotel. As in Secret at Loch Ness, there aren’t many sharply disparate locations; in contrast to most similar titles, you don’t get to travel to completely distinct places in different parts of the world. Among the exotic locales you do visit are downtown Cairo, the Nile River, a small island in the middle of the river, the Cairo Museum of Antiquities, the secret temple of Moat, a curator’s office, a couple of warehouses and the ancient tomb of Tchoumchekti.
Along the way you meet several suspicious characters, including German archaeologist Von Bos, Frenchman De La Destriere, the museum’s curator and a Russian countess named Olga. You also find out a lot about Professor Pinkerbottom’s archaeological expedition. A mummy even attacks you. The manner in which you meet these people and your pre-scripted conversations with them are designed to make you uncertain about whom you can and cannot trust. In addition, certain mystical symbols – such as scarab medallions and ancient ankhs – play a critical, yet not immediately understandable, role in your investigation. You even encounter someone, looking and sounding as if he’s from India, who makes a return appearance from Secret at Loch Ness.
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