Nile: Passage to Egypt

Review by Orb
June 2003

Sick of Egypt yet? Not so fast, bucko. From the obscura files and Discovery Channel Multimedia comes Nile: Passage to Egypt. Billed by some overblown PR hack as "4,000 Miles of History! 4,000 Hours of Fun!" Nile is a sweet and uncomplicated edutainment title that has a little exploration, a lot of interesting learnin'-type stuff, and a few fun puzzles all rolled together.

Discovery are the same folks that brought us Byzantine, a perennial adventure gamer favorite, and while Nile has nowhere near the depth, complexity and breadth of that game, it is a simple yet classy package.

The player boards a small boat, called a felucca, and is given a compass, notebook, map, camera and a multimedia player. These items are used to view and record information gleaned during the trip down the river and to note interesting things found.

The felucca moves down the Nile, from the source of the Nile at Lake Victoria to where it spits out into the Mediterranean Sea. Along the way the player visits historical locations, as well as modern ones. Most of these locations are not interactive, and information on items on the shore is obtained from the multimedia player, which has over 300 articles. These can also be accessed via the map feature.

At the tomb of Ramses II, the game becomes interactive. Exiting the boat, you go into and through the tomb. At each node there is a puzzle. The puzzles do not have to be played in their entirety and can be skipped by clicking on a "Go" button. The games are not overly difficult and in a couple instances are quite familiar, including a slider puzzle. The best game of all is the Senet puzzle, a classic game from Egypt, which you play against Ramses II. I personally think Ramses cheats. But it did keep me busy for a good long while.

The puzzles, and honestly there are really not many of them, are most similar in style and feel to Jewels of the Oracle. And this game is definitely better than Curse of the 12 Caves, Jewels' slutty younger sister.

This is a fun little short-term diversion for the history buff or puzzle lover. It's also a great title for kids 10 and up, either to extend a history study for school or for homeschool study. The End

The Verdict

The Lowdown

Developer: Human Code Inc.
Publisher: Discovery Channel Multimedia
Release Date: 1995

Available for: DOS Macintosh Windows

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System Requirements

System 7 or greater
640 x 480 monitor
256 colors
2X CD-ROM drive

486SX or higher processor
8 MB of RAM, hard drive
double speed CD-ROM drive
256 colors
MS-DOS or PC-DOS operating system version 3.3 or higher
Windows 3.1 or higher
MS-DOS CD-ROM extensions (MSCDEX) version 2.2 or later

Where to Find It

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No reproduction in whole or in part without express written permission.