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Genre: Action :: Players: 1 :: Released: 09/4/05

Ancient Ruins 1 Review

Developer: HandyGames


Game Features


Good story line linking the series together
Character import function


Controls take a while to get use to

Save Option
See Compatible Handsets












Review Details
Handset Motorola V525

Costas Stephanides ’s Review

Review Date: 17/4/05

The first in the Ancient Ruins series.

Ancient Ruins 1 is the first part in a six part series of isometric 3D adventure games from Handy Games.

The graphics are ok. I think that they have tried slightly to hard to create a perfect isometric world. At the moment some handsets dont seem quite up to it. Fair play to them for trying to push the barriers. The backgrounds are detailed and the sprite movement is good. The elusive graphically bit of magic was missing but nonetheless there are plenty of games that are far worse.

The sound is good. Sound effects are saved only when you collect a power up or defeat an enemy. There is no background music, but I prefer it that way.

On to the controls. Being an isometric game, the controls are a bit weird and may test your spatial awareness (which is a good thing). Up and down move your character forwards/backwards in the direction you are facing. Left/Right actually rotate your character through 90 degrees (either clockwise or counter clockwise). If you want to go round a corner you have to move forwards, turn and then move forwards again. To make things easier, depending on your evolutionary advancement, 7 and 9 are sidesteps. Unfortunately I've only just discovered the use of my opposable thumbs and my litle brain can struggle in selecting the correct button to sidestep towards my aim. This is not a fast paced game so you can afford to make a few mistakes while trying to walk to the exits. To attack, press 5 or the central button. Pressing 0 brings up your stats. This details your strength and defence along with your experience points. Overall the controls and the game are similar to the classic CITV programme, Knightmare.

There's is a fairly intricate plotline about rescuing various artefacts. When you first start, there are plenty of helpful scrolls to read which introduce to the game, mission and the fundamentals of the game. To read the scrolls just walk up and press 5 when near one. Various chests can be opened in a similar manner. Try and kill as many enemies as you can - even if they can be avoided. For every kill you make, you will be awarded with experience points which are important later in the series.

The basics of the game are very simple. Walk around, kill a few spiders/skeletons, open chests and solve a few puzzles. However, to actually complete the game is not so simple. During the early parts of the game, various doors are locked and areas are inaccessible. As you progress, these open up. The problem lies in remembering where to go and what to do once you get there. See the hints section for our tips and cheats! It is a very engrossing game and games can be saved so you don't need to play it all the way through in one sitting (press one of the soft keys to exit and this should auto-save). All in all the game should take about 30 minutes to complete.

On its own merits Ancient Ruins 1 is a good game. What makes the game great is the option to carry your hard-earned experience points to any of the games in the series. Overall a credible game for its genre.