Riddle of the Sphinx™ review by: Frank Nicodem on UHS-HINTS.com

February, 2001.
Riddle of the Sphinx™ review by: Frank Nicodem on UHS-HINTS.com

From the very outset, it is clear that Riddle of the Sphinx is not just “another adventure game” but is truly in a class with some of the most respected adventure games. Deploying stunning graphics, a solid story line, incredibly non-linear gameplay, and fascinating puzzles, ROTS (as even its developers refer to it) is a “Rivenesque” game that takes place in the present but deals heavily with the past.

The first thing one notices when playing ROTS are the superb graphics. The 3-D rendered scenes are so stunning that it is easy to get distracted from the gameplay itself and simply traverse the game for the sake of the visual pleasure.

The background music is done quite well and provides an added ambiance to the gameplay. Interestingly enough, the game has been designed and developed almost exclusively by a husband-and-wife team, who were responsible for the majority of the graphics design, the animations, the sound, the production, and virtually every other facet of the creation of ROTS.

The puzzles contained within the game are all readily solvable, although not necessarily simple. There are enough puzzles to hold the player’s interest, and all fit well within the context of the game. None are gratuitous, nor do they interrupt the flow of the game. And once solved, there are none that leave the users scratching their heads, wondering what that puzzle was all about. The puzzles are typically “local” — that is, with minor exceptions, everything needed to solve most puzzles will be found in the immediate area and not require extensive navigation through the game. (There are, of course, some puzzles on a grander scheme — such as the ultimate riddle of the Sphinx itself — which require traversing much more of the game before a solution is possible.) And at one point in the game, there is one of the best mazes I’ve ever played — a circular maze that is almost impossible to map, and which requires persistence, intuition, and a little bit of luck to navigate.

The words that most come to mind when thinking about ROTS are “anticipation” and “satisfaction”. Anticipation, in that every time I went back to the game to continue playing, I knew that there would be something new, and totally enjoyable, to hold my interest; and satisfaction, because in every case, my anticipation was met. At no time did I feel disappointed in the gameplay, nor did I feel that I would have changed anything, had I the opportunity.

Another nice “perk” to the user who has enjoyed playing ROTS can be found in the end game, where a final cut scene hints strongly at a sequel. And I, for one, will be anxiously awaiting any such sequel. All in all, this is easily one of the best adventure games I have ever played.

Karen Tobler

Author Karen Tobler

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