Curse of the Pharaoh 2:
Napoleon's Secret


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Curse of the Pharaoh 2: Napoleon's Secret

MarcusWhen Anna decided to follow her step-brother William on his quest to solve the ancient riddle of Queen Nefertiti, it nearly got her killed. Now, with William lost under a pile of stone and rubble, Anna has more questions than answers. She decides to start asking those questions of Professor Cullen, who is currently supervising a dig in Egypt. But as helpful as the professor seems, it soon becomes clear that he is intent on stopping Anna from finding any real answers to her questions. Undeterred, you continue your quest, finding yourself in Venice and Egypt, in libraries and museums, all the way meeting a variety of characters who seem to be out to keep you from finding out the truth. You soon stumble onto the real secret: the French general Napoleon was also on the trail of Nefertiti hundreds of years earlier, also trying to solve the mystery of her disappearance. What was Napoleon after? Why would he have taken on this decidedly non-military journey? Those answers, and many more, will soon become clear.

curseofthepharaoh2b.jpgCurse of the Pharaoh 2: Napoleon's Secret, like its predecessor Curse of the Pharaoh: Quest for Nefertiti, is a hidden-object title with added puzzle elements, such as spot-the-difference games. The first presents you with a scene on one side of the screen, and an almost-identical copy on the other side of the screen. A number of differences have been scattered about the scenes, from objects missing from one of the scenes, to objects being different colors or orientations. The other hidden-object scenes involve locating a laundry list of random items scattered about the picture. These usually involved a number of single items and at least two or three groups of items, be they forks or cups or hats.

In each scene, there are a number of common objects to be located, as well. There are three Egyptian coins in each of the levels that you must locate. Collecting these coins will allow you to purchase different helps to get you through the game. The other objects to be located in each scene are pieces of a pharaoh's mask. Only by completing the pharaoh's mask can you complete the area and move on to the next location.

The various helps that can be purchased with the coins you find can be invaluable in your quest. The first item to purchase is the double-pointer. This will provide a pointer that mirrors your location on each side of the spot-the-difference scenes, making it much easier to locate differences. You can also purchase hints, something that will turn mirrored spot-the-difference scenes into standard spot-the-difference scenes, and items that will help you with fire and water scenes. These scenes are locations that will either slowly start to burn or fill up with water as you are locating the items you need to find. The fire extinguisher will allow you to fight the flames and the oxygen tank will allow you to turn back the water filing the level, each allowing you more time to locate objects.

There are also items specific to your quest that must be located in each of the scenes. These are denoted by the silhouettes in the four spots at the bottom of the screen. These items will either help you to complete one of the scenes at a particular location, or will figure into the puzzle at the end of each location. Once you get further into the game, these objects will have to be taken from scene to scene to complete each scene. A statue found in the first scene may actually be needed to complete the fifth scene, while a piece of stone needed to complete scene 2 may not be found until you play the sixth scene.

curseofthepharaoh2a.jpgOnce you complete all six scenes in a location, you will be faced with a puzzle that you must solve to progress to the next location. The puzzles are all logic-based puzzles, getting progressively harder as you progress through the game. Once you complete the puzzle, you are then granted access to the six scenes in the next location.

Analysis: Curse of the Pharaoh 2 is quite a lot of fun. The story is interesting and fun to follow, even if the locations don't always entirely make sense. Like most hidden-object games, the items that you are forced to locate in each scene have little to nothing to do with the game, and are quite often completely random (staplers and tape dispensers in the hall of an altar?). For what it's worth, it is an accepted convention of the genre, but I always appreciate it when developers try to break out of those conventions. The locating of the different specific objects for each scene and the puzzle at the end of each round helps to alleviate the randomness of the other objects, but it will always seem odd locating writing pens along the canals of Venice.

As interesting and varied as the scenes are, they are really quite easy when compared to other games of the genre. While this makes Curse of the Pharaoh 2 an excellent game for players new to hidden-object games, veterans will make quick work of the game. The story is interesting enough to keep most gamers involved in the game for the duration, though.

The voice acting, though, is enough to make you turn the sound down. It is truly dreadful, like every bad accent that you have ever heard or done yourself thrown into the game with a bunch of recycled phrases that get repeated at you ad-nauseam. Luckily, this only happens during the first scene in any location, but even that is really too much. I think the story would have been better served by a text interchange between characters before each round; certainly our ears would have. The music, I fear, isn't much better. It seemed fine at first, but once you find out just how short each musical selection is, you will soon realize just how many times the music will repeat as you attempt to locate objects in the scene. Luckily, both of these minor annoyances can be dealt with in the same manner: turn the volumes down.

Do you have what it takes to follow the trail and learn Napoleon's Secret? If so, then take Curse of the Pharaoh 2 for a spin and settle in for some hidden-object fun. While it may be a bit on the easy side, the story will keep you going until the end of the game. Gather your pens and staplers and get to work!

WindowsWindows:
Download the demo
Get the full version

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Download the demo
Get the full version

3 Comments

weirdguy Author Profile Page March 22, 2009 6:30 PM

The Handbook to Solving Curses Inexplicably Linked To Napoleon

General Find-em Tips

Since each game has a random misplacement of objects, I can't tell you where to look, but I can sure tell ya HOW to look.

Common Differences:

- Missing things
- Item has been moved out of place
- Different colors
- Detail on object has been changed/added
- Item facing the wrong direction
- Item is larger/smaller than the other

Be on the lookout for these. The double cursor, which should be bought as early as possible, will help a lot.

SUPER SECRET "MAGIC EYE" TECHNIQUE

This can be used in pretty much almost any spot the difference type games, except when they're arranged top and bottom, or mirrored. Remember those 'magic eye' pictures from the nineties that made you see stuff when you crossed your eyes in the right way? You can do the same thing with two near identical images side to side. When your eyes see the two separate images as one whole image, the differences will pop out at you as strange or glowy compared to the rest of the picture, and then you can easily click them away. However, overuse can strain your eyes, so it's not recommended that you do this too often, or at all, if it poses a health risk.

Hidden Objects In Unusual Places:

- Areas that are the same color and shape as the object
- Item will be partially transparent
- Areas that have so many details that it obscures shapes
- Part of object is off the edge of the screen
- Object is hard to identify
- Object has been darkened to match background

In general, sets of items could reuse the same picture, so be on the lookout for identical objects. Also, if it sort of looks like what you're looking for, click it! It might actually be correct.

Finding Coins/Pharaoh Mask Parts:

Three coins are in each level. In the difference areas, they'll only appear on one of the sides, so it'll be easier to find them compared to the object finding areas, in which they won't give themselves away as much. They can come in any size or color, but remain the same shape and design.

On the other hand, mask pieces will appear in both pictures in difference areas. However, since the game will tell you when your mouse is over one of them, you can just wildly swing your cursor around until you happen to glance over its surface. Check to see if there's one in the area first, though. (It's indicated by a whited out section in the mask part of your inventory.)

Both coins and masks will use the same kinds of trickery seen in item finding levels, and the mask parts are usually harder to see normally, if you're trying to find them without waving your mouse around to grab them.

Other tips:

- Always check the edges since they tend to slip under the radar.
- When you've got a few differences/items left to find, what you're looking for could be possibly tiny and ridiculously hard to spot, so feel free to use the hints at that point.
- Rest between levels to keep your brain refreshed. If you're feeling burnt out, stop playing that level (click the map to go back) and take a break. It'll be there when you come back to it.
- The first stage of the area usually has a person in it, who has spoken dialogue. If you don't care about time, feel free to wait a while to hear what they have to say, since it's usually done in a funny bad accent, and/or with too much drama. There are too few moments in life with humor; try to savor them.
- Objects that have to be replaced in a stage will start appearing in other stages they don't belong in after the first world area, so once you're done finding everything you can, move on and come back later once you've found it.
- You'll get a 3, 2, or 1 scarab congratulation when you complete an area. This rating depends on how much time you spent in that stage, and more scarabs means a faster finish. As there is no real score counting system, it's up to you how much of a challenge it is, but it's still a handy informal indicator of your skill.
- A bought powerup will never run out of uses, aside from hints. And you can get free hints anyway.
- If you're feeling particularly stingy (or masochistic), you don't HAVE to buy the powerups. Stages that are on fire or being submerged will reset their status but not their progress when you leave, so you can continue playing when you come back in. However, you'll be kicked out of the level once the screen fills with fire or water, so be sure to do whatever it is you were doing fast.

Puzzle Help:

World 1:

Take the three rings and place them in their sockets. Then pour the water in the top. Finally, spin the rings so that a black line flows straight from the top to the center. The center ring will also move the outermost ring, but since the outermost ring can move without the center ring, this should be a snap.

World 2:

Place the animals where they belong. So easy an apostle could do it.

World 3:

Adjust column 2, then 4, then 3, then 1. Then place busts on them. There's no way to get that wrong since the game will only let you place them in the right spots. Just play along.

After that, you'll have to move the books on the shelf all the way over to the one on the right, but only a book that has a lower number than the one on the shelf can be placed on that area. It's just like that tower of rings game!

Solution with added help to make sure you remember which step you're on:

1. Blink three times. Move 1 to the right shelf.
2. Clap your hands. Move 2 to the center shelf.
3. Take a picture. Move 1 to the center shelf.
4. Flip a coin. Move 3 to the right shelf.
5. Look out of the nearest door or window. Move 1 to the right shelf.
6. Whistle (or hum for non-whistlers). Move 2 to the left shelf.
7. Try to remember what you had for breakfast. Move 1 to the left shelf.
8. Check the time. Move 3 to the center shelf.
9. Tell the nearest person that you're only doing this stuff because you read it on the internet. Move 1 to the right shelf.
10. Do a little dance. Move 2 to the center shelf.
11. Check your email. Move 1 to the center shelf.
12. Get a drink of water, unless you're playing this in class or at a public terminal, in which case plan to get one later. Move 4 to the right shelf.
13. Rickroll somebody. Move 1 to the right shelf.
14. Seize the intruder! Move 2 to the left shelf.
15. Find an itch and scratch it a bit. Move 1 to the left shelf.
16. Make an imaginary sandwich with extra mayo for me. Move 3 to the right shelf.
17. Do your best Elvis impression. Move 1 to the center shelf.
18. Bookmark this website if you haven't already. Move 2 to the right shelf.
19. Move 1 to the right shelf. DONE!

World 4

Place the ship parts in the bottle as displayed. You can move the mouse through the bottle when you're not holding a piece, but once you have one on hand it'll only fit through the mouth of the bottle. Not too hard except for one oar that won't quite reach since it goes on the back of the bottle, but if you click the grey part of the handle of the oar with where your mouse is pointing, it'll fall into place. If not, you're going to have to pick it up again and put it back. After that, just click the reel of string and go through the mouth of the bottle again to attach it to the sail.

World 5

You'll be diving for Davey Jones' locker now, me hearty. Use the circles on the top and left sides of the screen to pull/push the wooden bars out of the way, but only the loose ones will be able to slide free. Hold down the arrow buttons instead of clicking them repeatedly, to make it easier on your clicker finger.

Once you've gotten past all of the walls, pry that sucker open and take Napoleon's diary.

World 6

Another ring puzzle, inexplicably buried in a journal. Place the rings and ink as usual, and I think the only ring you have to move is the one second to the center ring. If I'm wrong and the puzzle has been randomized, it shouldn't take too long to find out how it works.

World 7

Pop the keystone in the door, pry a stone on the left with your trusty crowbar, put the key in the hole, and pull that switch. BAM. Stone.

World 8

Put the rocks in their appropriate places (as if the game would let you do otherwise) and "simon says" your way to victory. You can write the pattern down if you're bad at remembering.

World 9

Put the glyph in the square hole, the flame on the torch, the alligator in the odd empty spot in the water, and the ankh on the one spot on the sun that doesn't have an ankh. If the guy with the bow shoots all the people and buildings to dust before you finish, you'll have to redo the puzzle. However, opening your bag pauses the animation.

I hope I've helped you!

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Hm. Looks as though this is not actually available for a Mac, yet the review says it is. Hm. ;D

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Anonymous May 10, 2009 2:03 AM

I got the Mac version from Big Fish.

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