Tutankham Review

Catalog No.: n/a
Release: Parker
Players: 1 – 2 (alternating)
Variations: 8
Scenes: 100
Scrolling: No
Rarity: 10 (Prototype)

Review by Dieter Koenig

Inside Pharaoh Tutankham’s pyramid are treasures beyond your wildest dreams, guarded by supernatural creatures. Enter King Tutankham’s tomb and see what awaits you … if you dare.

Well, you know I am brave, so I dared.

This arcade conversion for the Philips Videopac is a mixture of an action game and an adventure game, which is absolutely unique on this system. Sounds a bit like Quest For The Rings, but Tut is different, is much larger.

The game starts with a great looking, animated title screen – a rarity in the Videopac library. After choosing a difficulty level, you have to move an archeologist through one hundred different screens (I have counted them!) in seven chambers of King Tutankham’s pyramid. Your goal is to collect as many treasures as possible and avoid or shoot the eight different kinds of creatures that want to kill you. Some of them you will know from other Videopac games (snakes, turtles, monkies), others you have never seen before on that system (scorpions, mummies, bats, and more). The creatures look fantastic and their animations are great, the archeologist is bi-colored. All in all the graphics are outstanding!

The playfield is in fact a normal Videopac maze, but the wisely chosen colors and the great layout add a lot of atmosphere to that game. You don’t even notice that you move your archeologist through one of those Videopac mazes, that appear in so many games on that system. The level design is challenging, but never unfair. The game has just the right difficulty level, and that makes the gameplay so great. The dense atmosphere pulls you into another world, and you cannot escape until you have seen the last room with King Tutankham’s death mask.

In my opinion the Videopac version of Tutankham is definitely better than the Atari 2600 version. The graphics and the level layout are much “clearer”. It is really a lot of fun to draw your own maps and explore every single corner of that huge tomb.

Remember, this was 1983! Adventure games with such big playfields (100 screens!) were only known for home computers, the more powerful consoles, and maybe some Atari 2600 titles – but never, never would we have expected that for a Videopac game. Not back then, and not today! Tutankham shows us what this system is capable of with intelligent programming – now we know that games like Pitfall II are not impossible on the Videopac!

It is a pity that this game did not see the light of day back then, as Parker pulled the plug of their video games division shortly before the game should have been released. In my opinion Tutankham is simply the best Videopac game so far.
Philips Videopac
Graphics 90%
Sound 80%
Rating 92%

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