Total Eclipse logo


In Incentive's latest Freescape venture you can walk like an Egyptian, well an archaeologist anyway. The setting has moved from a futuristic outer space to a 1930s Earth, the good old Indiana Jones era.

Earth is in danger of destruction (yet again), thanks to the curse of a pharaoh. The pharaoh was a bit cross with his people in the dim and distant past and so he put a curse upon the pyramid, viz: if the suns rays are blocked from the pyramid during the hours of daylight then the moon will explode and cover the earth in meteorites, not to mention the tidal effects of the destruction (I said not to mention the tidal effects - Ed).

The action takes place in the said pyramid and you have to reach the shrine of the sun god at the top before 10am, which is when a total eclipse of the sun is due. If you do not, then watch out for falling debris.

Total Eclipse is more problem-orientated than the previous two Freescape games, Driller and Darkside, and many of the problems can be solved in more than one way. Your most dangerous adversary is time, the inhabitants in the pyramid are less hostile than you find in the outer space adventures. That does not mean you are alone, though, because no Egyptian game would be complete without a mummy or two. Your only danger is falling from a great height.

Another feature that has been added to the game is darkness. Some rooms are pitch black and so you have to turn on your trusty torch, there is not an infinite supply of battery power however, so take care when you use your torch and never forget to switch it off when you do not need it. The while room is not illuminated by the torch beam, so you have to look around more to spot doors, ankhs and other important details. Ankhs are Egyptian keys used to open locked doors and allow access to other parts of the pyramid.

One thing that you have to keep your eye on is your water bottle. Being in the middle of the desert you do tend to get a little overheated and so you have to keep cool with a drink of water. If you run out of water your heart beat speeds and if it gets too fast you will die. Water can be replenished from troughs littered throughout the pyramid.


Graphically, Total Eclipse is very similar to the previous Freescape games, with the same simplistic, but easily recognisable 3D shapes. Sound in the Freescape has been getting much better and Total Eclipse has the best yet. The sound effects are very good and the tune is excellent. The music really conveys the atmosphere of the game, which is a very important factor in any game.


Although the Freescape games all look very good and now sound even better they are becoming too predictable. You know that you are getting an excellent game, but you do eventually get tired of playing the same sort of game again and again. Incentive are working on another at the moment, but few details are available yet. Hopefully there will be some significant changes. Do not misunderstand me, though, Total Eclipse is the best of Freescape games, but the originality has gone.

Total Eclipse logo

Microstatus, Amiga £24.99

The latest setting for the Freescape technique is also the most imaginative, namely Egypt in the 1930's. 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 biplane parked outside the pyramid you are about to enter. Besides dying of dehydration, if you do not 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 is plenty of 3-D puzzles to be solved, with the addition of plenty of treasure to looted as well.

Robin Hogg 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.
Stuart Wynne 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 SF 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.