Scarabeus – Pearl of Nile: iPhone Game Review

This would not be the first time that I label an iPhone game difficult, but I guess there’s a certain appeal in the game Scarabeus that will have players coming back for more. Maybe it’s the graphics (it sure looks pretty) or the rush (you are playing against the clock), but I’m not too sure about the gameplay. At the heart of the game is the basic gameplay of connect-4, you gather up 4 marbles (which are moving around a maze) of the same colour on a scarab dial (place on certain parts of the maze) and get a pearl in return. Players are supposed to gather all the pearls in a particular level before proceeding.

Unlike most connect-4 (or connect-x, x being any kind of number equal or greater than 3) games, there’s a twist, literally, as you have to tap on dials to twist them so that an open slot is ready to accept an incoming marble. Furthermore, dials are colour coded and you need to slide any non-matching marble out of their current slot in the dial so it can go on its way to another dial. Throw in trap doors and stuff that can change the colour of your marbles while they are on the move from one dial to another, and you are in for one heck of a puzzle game.

I’m not sure how frustration can be a part of the casual gaming experience and Scarabeus does a good job in making players (or at least me) realise that they are in over their heads on this one. I managed to get past the tutorial levels and Level 1, only to be stumped at the subsequent levels. Meh….I suppose puzzle fans that are tired of Bejeweled or even Luxor (and with a penchant for mind-numbing problems) would find Scarabeus right up their alley. Scarabeus is currently being sold at a special price of USD 0.99 on the App Store, you can check it out over here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id382167609?mt=8

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Speaking of Luxor, it’s like Egyptian-theme night tonight considering both games have strong Egyptian themes and I played Luxor right after my attempt on Scarabeus. I found it to be exactly like the one I played on the PSP, albeit on a smaller but touch-sensitive screen. The game was made free for a limited time earlier this week and being somewhat of cheap-ass gamer, I promptly downloaded it. I’m not sure whether is it due to the smaller screen or the lack of mental stimulation, but I actually fell asleep on the game. LOL.

There’s a fair bit of controversy regarding Luxor and its developers, Mumbo Jumbo. Check out this post to get an idea: https://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=25875

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On the subject of Egypt, have you been over to that country? For me it would be a once in a lifetime thing to visit the place, the home of the Pyramids and part of the region that is dubbed the cradle of civilization.. maybe some cheap Egypt holidays packages would do the trick.

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  1. IMCurtain.com August 12, 2010

    Nine Over Ten 9/10 » Scarabeus – Pearl of Nile: iPhone Game Review…

    This would not be the first time that I label an iPhone game difficult, but I guess there’s a certain appeal in the game Scarabeus that will have players coming back for more. Maybe it’s the graphics (it sure looks pretty) or the rush (you are playing …

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by zorocaster and zorocaster, Guinea Pigz. Guinea Pigz said: RT: @zorocaster Scarabeus – Pearl of Nile: iPhone Game Review http://bit.ly/bwJQ8H via @AddToAny #iphone #iphonenews […]

  3. daisy August 12, 2010

    Can i get this from video game stores.