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StarMaiden's TMB Review!

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  • StarMaiden's TMB Review!

    Ah, it's been such a long time since I've been on the boards (being in college and all), but now I'm back to give you a spoiler-free review of Tomb of the Lost Queen!

    *NOTE: Just a heads up: my review is quite long, but I wanted to be as in depth as possible.

    Plot: Nancy is invited to come to Egypt to help out with an archeological excavation. However as soon as she gets there, an accident has already occurred and it seems like there are more where that came from. Is it really the curse of the Lost Queen or is someone on the site behind all of it? What are the secrets surrounding the Lost Queen?

    So this plot basically begins with "Nancy goes somewhere and, oh! Weird things are happening? Time to solve the case!" While I'll admit that her reason for being there is a little shaky, the plot develops well and there was a lot to uncover about both the people on the site and the Lost Queen herself in order to finally figure it all out. However, because there was so much to uncover, it was easy to get mixed up and be unsure of what to do next.
    Plot Rating: 7/10

    Jon Boyle- One of your phone friends because he was sent home after getting hurt in an accident at the site. He's an Egyptologist who is also helpful for talking about different members of the team.
    Abdullah- An archeologist who is considered by many (including himself) the best in his field. He's definitely full of himself and a little harsh, but I always got the feeling that he had a right to be since he seemed so experienced. He seemed like a man I'd want to be my professor, someone I'd want to learn from.
    Lily- An archeology student who is working for Abdullah. She's kind of bossy and unhelpful, but at one point she wanted to be a paleontologist so I was okay with her for a while XD
    Jamila- An Egyptian woman who appears to be at the site only because she believes that the tomb was built by aliens. She's definitely out there, but she's worth listening to.
    Dylan- An English tour guide who wants to be the first person to lead a tour of the tomb. He always seemed to be giving you a "smoldering" smile and he was kind of a jerk, but he was interesting and funny to talk to.
    Professor Hotchkiss- If you've played TRT and CRY, then you've met Hotchkiss before. She's still the crazy but obviously super intelligent woman we've met before, and now she's back as a phone friend again.
    Bess is also one of your phone friends, but you already know her as one Nancy's friends from back home.

    Overall, the characters had very diverse personalities and there were a lot of people to talk to. Also, I felt like the dialogue you had with them was a lot more in depth than it has been in recent games, especially more than in ASH.
    Characters Rating: 10/10

    Location: The tomb itself and the tents on site. It may sound like these are the "only places" you can go, but the tomb is HUGE. There are hidden passages and puzzles to open them and secrets around every corner. It was everything you could ask for in a location. There was so much to find. I'm grateful that HeR was able to give us such a big, explorable place after we'd been asking for one for so long.
    Location Rating: 10/10

    Puzzles: Challenging, but in a healthy way. Most of them required getting information and piecing it together in order to figure out the puzzles, but a few of them required simple logic. Also, many of the puzzles were present before we actually were able to solve them and it made it a little difficult to figure out which one you had to do next. I think a better solution would be to just make them un-clickable until the time was right for solving them, although having a lot of them present at once seemed more realistic.
    Puzzles Rating: 7/10

    Creepiness: The tomb can be dark and mysterious at times, but I can only recall a few times being a little creeped out. And even then there weren't any "jump out of your chair" scenes like in SAW, for example. The game probably could have played with the creepy factor more, especially since it was centered on a curse and other mystical elements.
    Creepiness Rating: 5/10

    Educational Elements: Okay, the only reason I'm making this a separate section is because it's something I personally have been wanting in the more recent games. For me, it seemed like recent games didn't have the same ability to teach us about the places/people/things we were investigating, but this game gave me what I was looking for. You could learn about different rulers of Egypt, ancient Egyptian mythology, hieroglyphs, and more. There was so much to learn in this game and I'm really appreciative that HeR was able to bring this element back!
    Educational Elements Rating: 10/10

    Graphics: The scenery was beautiful! I thought that the characters looked better than ever and I thought that the tomb was breathtaking.
    Graphics Rating: 10/10

    Music: The music definitely has an Egyptian theme and adds to the atmosphere, but it wasn't very diverse or memorable in my opinion. At least it did it's job.
    Music Rating: 5/10

    Ending: It was kind of confusing and I still have some unanswered questions. Also, it managed to feel rushed despite everything that led up to it. It was actually disappointing after seeing how great everything else in the game was.
    Ending Rating: 6/10

    The New Interface: Yes it's different, yes it took a little getting used to, but I thought it was fine. Honestly I thought it was nice that we could just scroll through our items and put them back without having to open a new window like in the old UI. So it's a change, but it didn't bother me enough to dislike playing the game. I'm not going to give it a rating because everyone will feel differently about it and it's just something we're going to have to get used to in the coming games.

    The Next Game
    It looks like it could be really interesting, but I can't say much about it yet. I'll just say that it seems hit-or-miss to me right now, although you could say that about any of the games whose trailers we watch at the end of a solved case.

    Thoughts concerning some of the characters beliefs/statements: This is something that's been bothering me while reading some of the reviews that have been put up recently. A lot of people talked about how Dylan's comments were politically incorrect or that Jamila's statements were too similar to those of certain extremist religious beliefs. And I agree, but there are people like that in the world. There are people who will think that their country is the better than yours and there are people who will have drastically different religious beliefs than you. HeR wasn't telling anyone to have those beliefs by having these characters in the game, in fact I think it was good for them to do so. It can be eye-opening to realize that people in the world can be that way, but it's the truth. As long as HeR isn't telling anyone to act a certain way, I think that it's fine for them to put characters like Dylan and Jamila in their games. It's more realistic, in my opinion.

    Long story short: I can say that it was truly reminiscent of the ND classics. If you've been playing these games as long as I have and you've been missing the qualities that were present in the old games, I feel confident in saying that you will find most, if not all, of them in Tomb of the Lost Queen. Now, I'm off to play it again because it was so great!
    Overall Rating: 9/10
    Last edited by StarMaiden; May 7, 2012, 04:00 AM.
    ~*My reviews and my petition!*~
    *Ransom of the Seven Ships
    *Warnings at Waverly Academy
    *Trail of the Twister
    *Secrets Can Kill - Remastered
    *The Captive Curse
    *Tomb of the Lost Queen

  • #2
    Excellent review, StarMaiden. I really enjoyed reading your views very much. You were very thorough and detailed without giving spoilers. Some of the puzzles are quite challenging this time around but considering ASH had no puzzles to speak of, I am happy this game has plenty of them. I liked the way you handled the "political" issue which didn't bother me at all in the game. As you say, people with different views are everywhere in our lives and HER does not ask you to agree or support these views. I am enjoying this game very much and although, not done yet, believe it will be one of my favorites. Thanks for sharing!
    Last edited by elpana; May 7, 2012, 06:05 AM.

    Some of my favorites:

    Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake
    Danger on Deception Island
    Secret of Shadow Ranch
    Curse of Blackmoor Manor
    Treasure in the Royal Tower
    Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon
    The White Wolf of Icicle Creek
    Legend of the Crystal Skull
    The Phantom of Venice
    The Haunting of Castle Malloy
    Warnings at Waverly Acadamy
    Shadow at the Water's Edge
    The Captive Curse
    Ghost of Thornton Hall
    The Silent Spy


    • #3

      I love educational games too.
      ~~ LadyLinda ~~ -----
      LINKS...ND20+ Easter Eggs & Glitchs...CAP Phone Charms...ND Game Extras...TMB Phone Charms


      • #4
        Great review, StarMaiden. I think you covered just about everything there is to cover without spoiling anything, all in all a good read.

        One thing you mentioned that I hadn't even considered before was how many puzzles are accessible to the player before they can be solved. I agree that it's realistic to include them this way, though I actually quite liked that HER did this because it made things so much more difficult. Ultimately, I felt much more victorious when I did finally figure them out.

        I also definitely agree that the character's quirks, which some may see as "extreme" or "harsh," are fine as they are. These kinds of things make the characters from this game really stand out from quite a few past ND titles. For instance, I liked hearing Abdullah call everyone else stupid. Was it "nice" of him, no. But this way of characterizing him as an arrogant man is so much more realistic and effective than calling Bess and hearing Nancy say, "He seems kind of arrogant to me."

        What great points to bring up - thanks for mentioning them !