Ancient Quest of Saqqarah

By John Walker on June 17th, 2008 at 9:53 pm.

Ancient Egypt in a casual game? How can that even work?!

With one of the most confusing press releases ever, Game Club Cafe have announced the “soft release” of their latest casual-em-up, Ancient Quest of Saqqarah.

“Yes, that’s right! Khufu says that the soft launch of our major puzzle game is today! He may be a blue magical monkey, but he’s hardly a liar.”

It begins. Fortunately, the game itself is a lot simpler, and rather fun.

I don't know what happened to all my shots of the game being actiony, but they vanished. So this is a bit of a dull one.

A soft launch, we’re told, “means that the game is available for download and purchase on our website and on GameClubCafe, before it hits the major portals and we won’t be able to apply any further changes.” So that settles that.

Saqqarah, meanwhile, begins with so many tropes of the casual world that you wonder if it might create a black hole. Themed around ancient Egypt, and based on a varient of match-3, it couldn’t be more cliched. However, the variation is a nice one. You swap tiles to create groupings of three, which results in the lines connecting the tiles being filled in. The aim of doing this is to fill in all the lines, such that they fill in the entire grid… oh, play the free demo, it’s a lot simpler than explaining it.

Frighten the kids.

The production is all top notch, and while it does look as though it comes from the mysterious Casual Games Machine that makes them all look like they were designed by the same guy, it’s at least imaginative within that. Lots of visual hyperbole, exploding things, bursts of colour, and other pretty, shiny lights. And the voice of Khufu, the disturbingly blue talking monkey thing, is rather jolly.

There’s a ton of game here, and it mixes up the way the puzzle is approached in each of the temples you play through. There’s a free hour to be had here. Then it’s the usual $19.95 for the full thing. (Now can we see at least one casual developer do something other than match-3, Mystery Case Files, or Diner Dash?)

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6 Comments »

  1. roBurky says:

    I’ve been reading the blog of the Codeminion guys, and I gather the main reason you see little variation or imagination in casual games is that the portals/websites that most of them get sold on will only accept games from the best-selling genres.

  2. Down Rodeo says:

    “He may be a blue magical monkey, but he’s hardly a liar.”

    Um. Well… Does that make the game worth it already?

  3. toxygene says:

    (Now can we see at least one casual developer do something other than match-3, Mystery Case Files, or Diner Dash?)

    yes you can … you just have to lurk moar:
    http://www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/2110/rubber-dubber/index.html

  4. MacBeth says:

    Getting an antivirus warning when I download the demo… NOD32 reckons it is detecting “probably a variant of Win32/Statik application”

    AV paranoia or for real?

  5. Nero says:

    Oh, I just bought Luxor 3 on Steam (which is another Egyptian themed match 3 color game, but more like Puzz Loop) but I’m a sucker for these kind of games so I bought this one also. Glad to see that it does some variants and not just regular Bejeweled type formula. That second temple puzzle mode is quite fun. Amazing how many of these types of games there are out there.

  6. Ize says:

    It’s Good!

    Have a great time playing!