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What's it about?
In TOMB OF THE MASK, players have to explore a dangerous dungeon, picking up dots and stars as they go. The trick to the gameplay is that, due to circumstances beyond your control, you can only move in one direction at a time, and continue in that direction until you can't go any further. Move to the left, for instance, and you'll keep walking until you hit a wall ... which may or may not be adorned with spikes. Combined with the game's old-school graphics, this arcade game is like a cross between Pac-Man and Indiana Jones, without the complicated 40-year backstory.
Is it any good?
While this relatively simple arcade game is clever and puzzling, it's also overly greedy to the point of being annoying. In Tomb of the Mask, you play an explorer of dungeons who must grab as many of the dots and stars as you can, while avoiding such pitfalls as spiked walls and rising waters. What gives this a bit of a challenge is that your character can move in only one horizontal or vertical direction at a time, and do so until it isn't possible to go any further. Which makes this like if Pac-Man went on an Indiana Jones-style adventure, but he forgot how to stop and had to wait until he bumped into a wall before changing direction.
But while this is engaging and clever, it's also somewhat undermined by an oppressive amount of greed. Not only are there on-screen ads and occasional ads between levels, but you can also watch ads to keep going when you die or to have a shield to protect you. And sure, there are a couple of ad-free versions available, but one of them -- which also comes with in-game currency and other fun stuff -- costs $7.99 each week. Still, if you can look past this greedy behavior, or if you have money to burn, you'll find Tomb of the Mask to be a fun test of both your intellect and your fingers' response time.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Do you feel differently about the fate of your character in Tomb of the Mask given that the character's death isn't shown in graphic detail? Does the violence even matter since the visuals aren't realistic?
Tomb of the Mask has a lot of ads, and paying to play the ad-free version is rather expensive, so does this make you feel any differently about this game? What if it was less greedy for cash?
While Tomb of the Mask could've had more advanced visuals, it works with simple pixel art, so what does this say about simplicity and fun?
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