"If you asked me what game I have put the most time in over my entire life, it wouldn't be some console hit or a simulatoion game, or anything of that sorts. No, it would easily be Challenge of the Ancient Empires. I played this game day in and day out for 5 years. I have beaten it on the easier mode at least 50 times, and on the hardest mode (and there is a differnece) twice. This game is not easy, and in truth the age group 10+ is perfect for the game, although I beat it all at 9 :-) So, sure t..."
If you asked me what game I have put the most time in over my entire life, it wouldn't be some console hit or a simulatoion game, or anything of that sorts. No, it would easily be Challenge of the Ancient Empires. I played this game day in and day out for 5 years. I have beaten it on the easier mode at least 50 times, and on the hardest mode (and there is a differnece) twice. This game is not easy, and in truth the age group 10+ is perfect for the game, although I beat it all at 9 :-) So, sure this game is impossible to find now, and really no one is going to go out searching for it, but I love it none the less.
STORY (N/A): I just want to say that I was so young then, that I never paid attention to the story if there was one. You can listen to history however and stuff.
GRAPHICS (8/10): Their are dragons and other enemies as you travel from level to level and world to world. Each world looks significantly different then the last, as it is place in a different segment of the world. They fit the game very well, with little to no slowdown. Sure they are kinda grainy, and you don't look to good, but this was an old game where you used to use floppy discs.
SOUND (7/10): The sound effects were the boinging of your sneakers on the super jump, or the staticy noise of your force field. The music was kinda upbeat yet mysterous. Same track for each world, however that is it. Not to bad though.
GAMEPLAY (62/65): You are a guy who is out to find various scattered artifacts. To find this you will have to solve mystery's and stop the crazy haired guy (don't know his name). You travel through the Pyramids of Egypt, the Ruins of the Near East, the Temples of China, and the mysteries of Greece and Rome. Each one of these levels has its own special thing, such as the letter bells in Greece, or the light triangles, which deflect your little light beam. There are 4 levels per world, and there is a special world at the end of the game, which is a combination of all four. There is also two difficulties, Explorer and Expert, and this is one game where the difference is huge, and is basically a whole different game.
Now, this isn't just a puzzle game, as you will have to jump over worms, or use your stun beam to stop the dragons. You have no forms of attack besides your force field, and you will have to evage the monsters. There is only one master in the whole game, and you will have to hit bells to defeat him. However the puzzles are fairly easy, such as switch the switch to move this platform there, and then hit the switch again to move you farther. There are also treadwheels, which will definitely be crucial to the game. Also anyone who has played this will always remember India and China level 3, where all the section of the level are identical looking, and India and China 4, where you have to go back to the very beggining of the level to beat it. This game definitely has it's memorable puzzles, however easily beatable although nerve racking. Also you have super jumps, power shields, and your light ray at your disposable. The light ray can be used on boxes to move platforms about at your command.
Finally at the end of each level when you collect all 6 of the little artifacts, you get to start working on a puzzle. The puzzle will create some important time in history, thus educating the player. I learned about the Bull in the Thicket, and things like that from this game. In the expert difficulty you will have to flip the puzzle pieces around, which adds a degree to difficulty.
REPLAYABILITY (10/10): I have no clue why, but I played this game more than any modern day game, more than Super Mario Bros in the old days, more than even Ogre Battle 64. I just played this game over and over, beating it time and time again. It was fun for me as a little kid, and I loved every minute of it.
DIFFICULTY (5/5): The 10+ age group does not lie. The puzzles are difficult and specially on Expert difficulty will you have to think things through. I started playing this at 5 or 6, and I kept playing it until I was 11 and we got a new computer, and sadly I couldn't get it to work. Truthfully this is made for all ages.
OVERALL (92/100): Out of all the games I have ever owned this game will definitely hold a place in my heart, as it was by far the most influential game in my life. I was raise on this game, and I loved it greatly. It no longer works on my PC, however I would never get rid of it. It sits on the shelf of my computer games, and although unplayable I will never get rid of it. That box holds my childhood, that box holds my undieing gratitude, that box holds Challenge of the Ancient Empires.
Community review by ratking (July 30, 2002)
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