Total Eclipse

Publisher: Incentive
Machine: Amiga 500

Published in Zzap #51

Total Eclipse

The latest setting for the Freescape technique is also the most imaginative, namely Egypt in the 1930s. In ancient times a curse was put on a massive pyramid dedicated to the Sun God - if ever a total eclipse happened over Egypt the Moon would explode, devastating the Earth with its debris.

On October 26 1930, said eclipse is about to happen and you've a mere two hours to penetrate the pyramid and destroy the pyramid shrine to prevent destruction. The game starts with you having just left your bi-plane parked outside the pyramid you're about to enter. Besides dying of dehydration, if you don't keep your water bottle topped up, you can also die of a heart attack caused by falling off ledges, getting crushed by falling stones and taking too many hits from poison dart traps. If the damage isn't immediately lethal, you can calm your heartbeat by resting (there's an accelerate time feature) but remember the time limit!

As with Dark Side, there's plenty of 3-D puzzles to be solved, with the addition of plenty of treasure to be looted as well.


Total Eclipse

Once again, little is added to the admittedly superb 8-bit puzzles, but just like Dark Side, moody music and a good instrument panel make it easy to forget that. This is an alluring and challenging game which I certainly enjoyed playing. Being a Sci-Fi fan, I marginally preferred playing Dark Side, especially with that superb music and enhanced arcade sequences, but Total Eclipse offers an even more substantial challenge. Pity about the price though.


Dark Side comes close in terms of realism but to my mind Total Eclipse has a lot better atmosphere - the feeling of being in claustrophobic surroundings with a rhythmic heartbeat can make for a really tense game.

Better use of colours and slightly faster gameplay (I think) than in Dark Side are blessings, although the tune is nowhere near as moody.


Total Eclipse

Presentation 89%
Save/Load option, animated loading screen, detailed border and a helpful instruction book.

Graphics 80%
Fast moving solid 3-D with convincing use of colour.

Sound 80%
Tension-inducing heart beat, sampled gun shot effect and a moderately authentic but limited Egyptian soundtrack.

Total Eclipse

Hookability 78%
Easier to get into than Dark Side and progress is very rewarding.

Lastability 79%
No improvement in the number of rooms but the atmosphere of the game makes you want to explore just that little bit further constantly.

Overall 82%
One of Robin's all-time favourite games.