Super Solvers: Ancient Empires (a.k.a. Challenge of the Ancient Empires) Download (1990 Educational Game)

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As a Super Solver, your job is to recover the hidden treasures of the ancient world in 4 caverns (Greece & Rome, Egypt, India & China and Near East) to reach the fifth and final cavern where the ultimate challenge awaits you.

Challenge of the Ancient Empires is a platform game, divided into 5 levels (called "caverns"), each of which includes 4 sub-levels ("chambers"). In each chamber you have to collect 6 pieces of an ancient artifact and assemble them like a jigsaw puzzle.

The chambers are full of dangerous animals which you have to avoid. There's some food you can collect to regain lost health though. The chambers are also full of puzzles, usually involving manipulation of switches.

You have 3 tools with you - a helmet with a headlight, jumping shoes and shields. The helmet emits a beam of light when activated; it is used to solve puzzles that rely on rotating prisms to direct a light beam to a switch. The jumping shoes allow you to, well, jump higher. The shield protects you from enemies for a short time when activated, but you have a limited number of shields and they need to be used wisely.

Centuries ago, a band of pirates hid treasures of the ancient world in caverns beneath a desert. Your job is to find your way through an intricate maze rigged with booby traps, moving platforms, and deep chasms. Using sharp thinking and special tools, you will overcome obstacles and solve puzzles and logic problems in order to find the ancient artifacts.

Your goal is to work your way through four caverns to the ultimate challenge. You must overcome many problems in order to collect pieces of an ancient artifact in the four chambers of each cavern. After gathering all of the artifact pieces, you must put them together like a puzzle, the completion of which will prompt a door leading to the next cavern to appear. This process is repeated for each cavern. After you master four caverns, the entrance to the fifth is revealed. Overcome the ultimate challenge at the end of this, and you win the game!

There are four kinds of obstacles in the caverns: conveyor belts, coded panels, sliding panels, and reflecting triangles. Three types of switches control the obstacles: head switches and gongs which you jump and bump your head against to activate, floor switches which you walk on to activate, and light switches which you shine the light from your mining helmet onto. Some switches are also operated by cave creatures. You lose energy when you are touched by cave creatures or the things they throw, so avoid them.

Walk over the artifact pieces to pick them up. After finding six artifact pieces in a chamber, you must put them together like a jigsaw puzzle. Move the pieces to their correct positions on the right side of the screen. (At the Expert level, press F to flip a piece before placing it.) When a puzzle is correctly assembled, you will be able to read some information about the artifact. Then you will be returned to the chamber to look for the special door to the logic passageway. In logic passageways, you solve logic problems to get energy and go on to the next chamber. Study the rows and columns of symbols in a logic problem, and then move in front of the door which you think is the correct answer to the problem and press the "Up" key to go through. You have two tries to solve the problem and you get a hint after your first miss. After your second miss, you have to restart that chamber.

The controls are very simple: to move, use the cursor keys; to change a tool, use Enter; and to use a selected tool, press Space. There are three different tools available: a light beam that comes out of the miner's hat, turbo sneakers to jump higher and farther (don't use turbo sneakers when the ceiling isn't high enough, or you will bump into it, reducing your jump distance), and the force field that serves as protection against cave creatures (lasts five seconds).

I like this game just the way it is! I wouldn't change anything (except its length). The graphics are pleasing to the eye and help make the game look very mysterious. I also liked the music and sounds in this game (OK, maybe the music in the ending wasn't that good, but the rest...). I played this game when I was a kid, so it stuck in my mind, and in a bout of nostalgia, I couldn't resist giving this game a 4!

How to run this game on modern Windows PC?

This game has been set up to work on modern Windows (10/8/7/Vista/XP 64/32-bit) computers without problems. Please choose Download - Easy Setup (1.92 MB).


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