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Pyramid Quest – Review

EntwicklerX have made some great budget title games that call back to arcade classics although I am a huge fan of their MACE Tower Defence game. Pyramid Quest crosses over Pitfall, Spelunker, Spelunky and perhaps even Elevator Action. It is a traditional 2D platformer with 2.5D styled graphics at with its budget price, it manages to make a perfectly competent game.

The visuals are cute and retro to start with but with zero variation, all the levels start to bleed into each other.

Across 36 levels you’ll guide an explorer through maze like levels. In order to finish the level you’ll need to find all the pieces of an artefact or tome and then reach the exit. Along the way there are five types of coins you’ll want to pick up and you wont’ want to die and lose a life either if you want to three star each level. This is definitely one for the completionists and as levels often plop you in the middle of them at the start, you’ll need to comb each level for every passageway and switch to make sure you’ve got everything before you move on.

Controls largely work ok but there are some occasions where your jump doesn’t register or that you’ll have to jump so close to an edge to make the jump you walk off the edge instead. These are small inconsistencies but they do frustrate you because your character is a giant wimp. He can’t touch anything and just like Spelunker, the slightest fall kills you. This means making sure you land on every step on the way down a chute or else you’ll cop it. You can’t jump on or touch enemies either. Instead you have limited dagger throws to try and get rid of your foe. Most of the time you can jump over them and run away but sometimes its best to take them out. This is is usually when you have a couple of enemies bumping into each other and then causing you to mistime dodging falling blocks or a moving platform jump for example. You see in Pyramid Quest, things don’t line up exactly all the time so you have to wait for when they do, so clearing out enemies around there (especially bats and scorpions) is worth your while.

Green gems mark regular checkpoints so if you die, and you will fall often, respawns aren’t too far away.

Whilst this all comes together quite nicely if a little rigidly early on, my main complaint with Pyramid Quest is that it doesn’t really evolve much across its 3-4 hours of initial gameplay. Levels rarely introduce new mechanics, they just get longer and more maze like. This leads to backtracking rather than trying something new and so what you are doing by level 6 is the same as level 36 – just with a few more arrows or boulders chasing you around. It doesn’t help that the quite nice pyramid theme has zero switch up graphically or musically across the entire game either.

This means that Pyramid Quest is perfectly functional but ultimately quite forgettable too. Fans of classic platformers will get the most out of the game although if you’ve got far on Spelunker or 1001 Spikes, you’ll find this game a breeze. Completionists will need to dig a little deeper to get every coin and three star each level but once your done, I can’t see many returning back. Not because it isn’t playable – it just doesn’t have character or charm. Pyramid Quest is an excellent example of a game that just needed a bit or personality to let you overlook its rigid gameplay a bit so you could really dig in. That, and a little more level variety too.

Review copy provided by developer.

Pyramid Quest
Final Thoughts
Totally serviceable retro platformer that lacks some level variation and personality.
Evokes Spelunker and Pitfall feels straight out the box.
A real collectathon that shows you just what's missing from where to spur you on.
Solid platforming for a budget title.
Levels all look and feel the same and so they blend into each other.
No big gameplay changes from beginning to end meaning the game doesn't feel like it grows as you do.
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