The Cameron Files: Pharaoh's Curse


Developer:    Galilea

Publisher:    Dreamcatcher Interactive

Released:   2002

PC Requirements:   WINDOWS 95/98/ME/XP, Pentium 166 MHz, 16 Mb RAM, 4 x CD-ROM Drive, 3D Accelerator Video Card.




by syd

There is no rest for the weary. You (Alan Parker Cameron – hair challenged, private investigator extraordinaire) just get back from your trip to Loch Ness, put your feet up on the desk, get yourself a cup of coffee and wham next thing you know you’re on a plane to Egypt. It seems there are some strange things going on at an archeological dig that Moria McFarley is on and she wants you investigate (she is getting the feeling she is being followed). You arrive at the hotel to check in and of course Ms. McFarley is no where to be found (what is up with these McFarleys’? They are never where they are supposed to be). So begins your search – to find Moria and whatever it is that is stalking her (and meet a couple of real nut cases and some serious cursing (no, not that kind) along the way).

I know, I know – another game set in Egypt, but I’ll be honest, I love all things Egyptian so I was pretty happy to spend my time roaming around a museum full of artifacts (I just wish you could have read what you were looking at). You also get to ride in a boat, climb cliffs and go inside a tomb (even if only for a little while). And yes, just like in Loch Ness you can die – so I suggest saving pretty often because if you’re like me, you’ll be reloading a time or two or three or four. There are 16 save games slots and I used that many plus a few more since I was so paranoid. It’s simple to load or save, just hit the escape key and click on the load or save button and then click on the picture you want. You exit the game the same way by hitting escape and click exit and then the game asks you if you really want to leave, yes or no – you hit yes and it takes forever (ok that’s an exaggeration, it just felt like forever) for the exit screen to come up. You’re looking at a blank piece of parchment and Cameron’s face. The first time it happened I thought the game had frozen but nope, just have patience and that exit button will appear. But if you don’t hit the exit key just right – you wind up clicking on the DreamCatcher web address and if you have DSL like I do – guess where you go?

Inventory is handled just like Loch Ness – when you find an item, click on it and it automatically stores itself in inventory. To access, just right click. You also have the wallet that holds papers, books etc. Make sure you remember to look there. I got stuck a few times because I forgot and a clue I needed was on a piece of paper I had picked up. There is also a diary that stores the cut scenes in case you want to replay them. Truthfully I never used it and I’m not sure why they are there because I don’t remember any clues being in the cut scenes. I more found the diary annoying because I kept accidentally clicking on it instead of the wallet and then had to click all over the dang screen to try and get out. The best thing – there was not one maze – happy days are here again. The puzzles are all logical. No clicking on everything in inventory to see if something will work (well most of the time anyway).

You can install the entire game on your hard drive (I’m guessing it’s the entire game) but you still require the first CD in to play. But there is no disk swapping this way. So if you have the space – do the full install. The only problem I had was the game hated my Soundblaster Live card for some reason. The voices kept cutting out on me, that and the game ran very, very slow in a few places. Most noticeably when trying to talk to the desk clerk at the very beginning and in one other area of the hotel. I solved the problem by switching from Hardware to Software mode. That cleared up both sound and cursor stickiness. Why I should have had to go into Software mode is a mystery since the recommended game specs call for a 16 meg video card and I have a 32 meg but it beat fighting with the mouse. I realize that it also degraded the graphics but not to the point I was really bothered by it. I could occasionally see a broken line in the sidewalk but other than that I didn’t notice much difference. However, if you’re a graphics freak, this may bother the heck out of you. The game is first person, point and click.

In conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed this game, more so than Loch Ness. It’s not super hard and all in all probably took me 20 hours give or take to complete. I really hope there is a Cameron Files 3.

My system specs:

AMD 450
Soundblaster Live
Nvidia TNT 32 meg video card
DirectX 8.1
196 megs ram

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