There are fast, mindless games aplenty for the iPhone, so much so that when I finally do get a new game that requires a little more thought, takes a little more time, I get frustrated. Sad, really, as when it comes to other non-iPhone games I like one that makes me use my brain a bit.
So my first few minutes with Mummy Panic, designed by Christopher Sisk, I tapped my foot impatiently when the actual concept didn’t make itself immediately clear. An hour an a half later, I hadn’t moved. This was after three cups of coffee, too, so my refusal to get up and abandon the game is a significant testimony to its addictiveness.
I recommend watching the short video tutorial in the app before playing, as you might find yourself staring dumbly at the screen once game play starts otherwise. This is a maze game; you have several mummies, anywhere from three to dozens, scattered on different parts of the screen and facing different directions. In the top right corner, you’re given one or more arrows pointing in a specific direction. Tap any spot on the grid to place the arrow and control the direction the mummies move.
The mummies automatically begin moving whichever direction they’re facing, and when they hit a wall or an obstacle they turn right. Your goal in Mummy Panic is to get the mummies into a crate; not the easiest of tasks when you’ve got one measly down arrow to work with. Impatient gamers be warned; much of this game requires staring at the screen, plotting, then you get one tap before you sit back and see if the mummies all make it in.
The waiting was annoying until I realized that tilting the iPhone away from me sped up their speed – a thoughtful feature I loved. The graphics are quite good, and don’t let the first two levels fool you…it gets complicated, and there’s over fifty of them. Things get more interesting when explorers come into play – they move like the mummies and respond to your arrows, and running into one will do your mummies in.
My only small complaint with Mummy Panic is that sometimes, with new graphics and objects on each level, it’s difficult to guess what the mummies with pass through, what will make them change direction, and what will kill them (or whatever the version of “kill” is for a mummy). Other than that, I enjoyed this game and plan on getting back to it as soon as I finish this review. That last level was really getting to me.
Mummy Panic requires iPhone OS 4.0 or later and is compatible with the iPhone and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.