Luxor: Pharaoh's Challenge Review
Umm. Yea, so puzzle games are an interesting genre to me. I see these types of games as time wasters, and I mean that in the best possible way. These are games that you toss in to play when you have some extra time to kill but not enough to get involved into a multi-hour story game. No, these are easy to digest games that you can play for just a few minutes or up to hours depending on how addicting they are. The question now is Luxor: Pharaoh's Challenge for the Wii the former or latter.
Luxor: Pharaoh's Challenge is a puzzle game with a bit of shooter thrown in. Part of it reminds me of Centipede and part reminds me of Tetris. The game play is as follows: you control a shooter at the bottom of the screen that can only move from side to side. Also near the bottom of the screen is a pyramid. At the start of each level a chain of multi-colored balls/spheres start near the top of the screen and move their way around the level until they reach the pyramid. Your job is to not allow that to happen because once the chain reaches the pyramid you lose. Your shooter shoots colored spheres at the chain. Once you get three spheres of the same color in a row on the chain those spheres get removed, which means the chain is shorter and a tad easier to control. You goal is to remove all of the spheres from the chain thus protecting your pyramid.
OK, so like most puzzle games the concept is fairly simple but naturally it's easier said than done. Once multiple chains are on screen the action gets a little chaotic and you have to start planning your shots. Your shooter, or little ship at the bottom, shows you the current sphere color you have loaded to shoot and the color of the sphere after that. Say you have a red sphere in your shooter but the chain closest to the pyramid only has one red sphere to match with. Depending on what color your second sphere is you may choose to shoot the close chain or maybe you need to quickly confront the other chain. It certainly does take some getting used to the different strategies.
There are power-ups that either affect your shooter or the chains. For example, a reverse motion power-up will cause the chain to reserve its course for a few moments while a stop motion power up pretty much does what it says. An example of a power-up that helps your shooter, and are shot from your ship just like spheres, is the lightning bolt which will travel in a straight line toward the top of the screen and wipe out any spheres it comes across. Another example is the wild card sphere which will turn the color of any sphere in the chain that it attaches to.
Graphically Pharaoh's Challenge is just average looking. The backgrounds are pretty static and really not as detailed as one would expect. Sound is basic with an overall Egyptian vibe. The animation of the various power-ups are neat at times but again nothing to write home about. My biggest complaint about the game is the Wii controller. It is not the best controller for this type of a game, even though all you're doing is going from left to right. There is just something off about the sensitivity. Also this game, also known as Luxor 2 (it even calls itself that on the save screen) seems a bit expensive at $40 when the PS2 version can be had for under $20 or a Xbox live version for even cheaper.
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 70%. Luxor: Pharaoh's Challenge is enjoyable enough but doesn't justify its higher price.