Imagine… It’s 1994. You just got the “hottest” new Game Boy game: Pyramids of Ra. You’re so excited to play it but ah, drats, it’s time for bed. So, you grab your Handy Pak and crawl into bed, hoping that your mom doesn’t come in and catch you still awake. OK, well maybe not everyone was as lame as I was back then. But needless to say, it was easy to get excited about games in those days… Even if they were black and white, or as close to it as the original Game Boy could produce.
Pyramids of Ra was a puzzle game in which the object was simple: Bounce a ball around a map of blocks, making sure to hit every one and return to the starting point. The hard part was that each block would crumble away as it was landed on (some took more than one time) and the trick was to leave a path that you could use to get back.
So, the obvious question I know you must be asking yourself… “so, what the heck does this have to do with Android?”
Here it goes… Recently released to the Android Market was a similar game called Athol Adventure, by developer 59Pixels. It’s not exactly the same as Pyramids of Ra, of course, but the object of the game is essentially the same. But, what is similar in gameplay is worlds apart in almost every other way. Athol Adventure is, as one would expect, an incredibly modernized version of this classic puzzler.
You, a princely character, have just been married… but your happiness is short lived, for an evil witch has come to take away your beautiful wife. OK, so it’s a cartoon drawing, so beautiful might not be the best word to use, but you get the gist. In order to save your bride you must travel accross the island through treachorous mazes of block platforms. Avoid exploding blocks and fireballs and don’t choose the wrong path to find your way to the Hall of Heros and win the day.
With over 75 levels including plenty of bonus levels (and according to the developer, a level generator in the works) this game is sure to keep you occupied. None of the levels are exceptionally difficult, so don’t feel like you will rack you brain to get through. But, that isn’t to say that some of them aren’t challenging. Each level only takes a few minutes, making this game is a great way to pass the time here and there. Of course, your progress though story mode is saved along the way.
The graphics are simple but crisp, clean, and vibrant, and are nicely done throughout. Generally speaking, the game runs smoothly and consistently, except in times of high cpu (such when background services fire up).
Athol Adventure is a free game. It is supported by ads, and they certainly don’t let you forget it. It’s not that they are particularly intrusive, but rather they are very persistent and are always in view. As with almost all ad-supported applications and games in the Android Market, I have gotten quite good at not really noticing them.
All in all, it is certainly worth a play if you are into puzzle games, and even if you are not. Heck, it even prompted me to hunt down my old original Game Boy, which I did end up finding (by the way… it still works). Now, to find my Handy Pak…
Developed By: 59Pixels