The objective of Challenge of the Ancient Empires! is to collect the hidden treasures from caverns in 4 different regions of the world: Greece and Rome, Egypt, India and China, and the Near East. Each of these caverns consists of four chambers. The decorations and artifacts in each of these chambers correlates to the region being explored. For example, the Egyptian cavern features decorations of hieroglyphs and mummies and will contain artifacts like the sphinx or the Rosetta Stone. Additionally, each cavern has a different style of puzzle.
Screenshot from Challenge of the Ancient Empires!.
For example, the Near East section implements switches that move panels blocking the way, while the Egyptian section consists mainly of triangular reflectors that the player must orient correctly to direct a light beam to trigger a switch. Greece and Rome Caverns imply letter coded gates that open by entering the right combination. Upon successfully navigating a chamber's puzzle and collecting six pieces of the artifact, the player must then solve a puzzle by orienting and placing rectangular puzzle pieces in the proper configuration to reveal a picture of the artifact. Afterwards, he must find the exit door and solve a logic puzzle to advance to the next chamber. The four main caverns associated with the four regions of the world may be played in any order. Once the player completes all four chambers in each of the four caverns, a new cavern opens. This cavern is referred to as the "Ancient World" and is composed of four new chambers. Each chamber is in the style of one of the four cultures from the previous caverns. The Ancient World cavern is more difficult than the others and consists of a combination of all the puzzles in the main caverns.
The player has three items to help him navigate through each cavern's puzzles. The player is given a miner's hat, a pair of special shoes, called "turbo tennies", that allow the player to jump higher, and 4 force fields that will protect the player from all damage for a few seconds. The miner's hat shines a beam of light used to flip switches or temporarily stun any cave animals that can cause the player damage. The Egyptian cavern has several challenges that involve rotating prisms and mirrors to deflect the light beam to a specific sensor. The jumping boots, called "turbo tennies", allow the player to jump much higher than a normal. A force field will prevent all damage for a few seconds when used, but the player is only given four of them per level.
A display at the bottom of the screen show the player's current collected artifact pieces, chosen tool, current cavern and chamber, and remaining energy. The energy bar functions as life bar and has four segments. If the player comes into contact with a cave animal or a projectile, one segment is depleted. If all four segments are lost, the player must begin the chamber over again. Health can be restored either by picking up apples in the caverns or by correctly solving a logic puzzle at the end of a chamber on the first attempt.
The game provides two distinct difficulty levels: Explorer and Expert. The chambers of the four main caverns are similar in puzzle style, but differ in layout, number and speed of the enemies, availability of health power-ups. Additionally, at the end of each chamber, the Expert difficulty contains more difficult logic puzzles and an entirely different set of artifacts, whose pieces are not necessarily oriented the correct way at the beginning of the tile puzzle.
No posted cheats for this game yet.