A Tale in the Desert PC

A Tale in the Desert Image
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 8 Ratings

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  • Summary: The ancient Egyptians wrote about Seven Disciplines of Man: Leadership, Thought, The Human Body, Architecture, Worship, Conflict, and Art. They believed that if a man could achieve perfection in all seven, he'd live forever. A Tale in the Desert centers around the tests, which measure yourThe ancient Egyptians wrote about Seven Disciplines of Man: Leadership, Thought, The Human Body, Architecture, Worship, Conflict, and Art. They believed that if a man could achieve perfection in all seven, he'd live forever. A Tale in the Desert centers around the tests, which measure your skill in the seven disciplines. They don't measure your character's abilities --- they measure your abilities. That's a big difference. For example, to advance in leadership, you'll actually need to be able to convince people to do things. To advance in conflict, you'll need real tactical and strategic ability. To advance in art, you'll need artistic talent. All of the tests share one thing in common: your goal is to affect your fellow players. In conflict, you must defeat them. In architecture, you must outbuild them. In worship, you must coordinate them. No matter the discipline, passing a test revolves around other players. [eGenesis] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. You can’t begin to experience the complexities of this game or reap its full benefit during a review period. If I had more free time right now, I would embrace A Tale with all of my gaming heart and dive deep into Egypt.
  2. 89
    Incredibly ambitious and delivers more than I expected. There are so many different things to do and so many different ways to play the game that I can't imagine anyone getting bored.
  3. The whole time I played this game I enjoyed myself thoroughly... The world is gigantic and the people are so friendly that it just begs to be played.
  4. The designers themselves have stated that A Tale in the Desert is about creating a society, and watching the experiment in action is almost as enjoyable as taking part.
  5. Computer Games Magazine
    70
    It's a beautiful, creative tale told in the desert of originality, a startling flower in a wasteland of murder-and-loot online games. [July 2003, p.71]
  6. Computer Gaming World
    60
    While I found the game a refreshing diversion from the usual slash-and-loot online fare I've become a little worn out on after years of play, I did find the heavy focus on interaction with other players to be too much of a good thing. [July 2003, p.82]
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 5
  2. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. AndrewA.
    Apr 28, 2003
    9
    Incredibly deep and well-thought out gameplay.... it is like a long-term first-person game of civilization. There is no combat, but there is Incredibly deep and well-thought out gameplay.... it is like a long-term first-person game of civilization. There is no combat, but there is a lot of conflict and competition. Expand
  2. Dec 1, 2015
    8
    A Tale in the Desert is a rare breed of MMO for which the "end game" is the game ending and beginning anew. This review is for Tale 7, whichA Tale in the Desert is a rare breed of MMO for which the "end game" is the game ending and beginning anew. This review is for Tale 7, which is under new management from Pluribus Games, who are doing a great job of updating some of the legacy systems and tuning the speed of advancement and updating decade-old settings.

    ATitD takes place in ancient Egypt where after a short tutorial, you are a freshly-minted Citizen of Egypt. There is very little direction to point you on your way, but there is a rich and necessary wiki to help you understand the world you find yourself in. You will gather resources, and learn skills, and grind crafting, and gain levels, and pass tests, and help raise pyramids and complete monuments for the 7 disciplines found in Egypt.

    You can choose to focus on a narrow thread of skill, or you can choose to try to do it all. It's entirely up to you and how dedicated you can be to the advancement of Egypt. There is no combat, but there is definitely conflict, as people vie for limited resources, and compete for limited test passes. You can attempt to play the game solo, but to really prosper, you have to make friends, forge alliances, take advantage of public resources provided by other players, and become an active member of the community. Also, you will probably need to make substantial use of the wiki and a plethora of player-created helper pages. Macroing is also perfectly legitimate (and a must for those who suffer RSI-related issues), provided you are at the keys at all times.

    The graphics aren't stunning, but they're effective. The audio is vital to several tests and skills, and headphones are recommended. There is situational music that is beautiful but repetitive. The interface takes quite some getting used to, but after a while you'll realize why it is designed the way that it is. Travel is initially very tedious, but gets marginally less so as you advance and more options become available, both to individual players and to Egypt as a whole.

    There are guilds. There are personal guilds and public guilds and guilds in multiple parts because there are more members than a guild can hold. You can belong to as many guilds as will have you and as you can handle being a part of, each with it's own individual chat tab. Guilds can be for resource sharing, or for socializing, or for managing advancement of research, or four resource management, or for focusing on a particular discipline, or for even an individual test or skill. Once you have paid the tuition to learn the skill, you can create your own guilds simply by building a guild house and giving it a name.

    The client is lightweight and the vast majority of patches are done on the fly without requiring that the game go offline. The developer is invested and approachable and cares about making it a worthwhile experience.

    Pros: An amazing community. Varied and robust crafting systems. More to do than you could ever manage on your own.

    Cons: Advancement can be tedious and/or grindy. The wiki is essentially required reading. There is more to do than you could ever manage on your own. The game requires significant time investment to do more than dabble. The interface can be arcane and inscrutable.

    I highly recommend that people try this game. The game has a 24-hour of play time as a trial, about 25-50% of which will be taken up with going through the tutorial and figuring out how the interface works. Once you're a citizen, you can find a mentor to help you get settled in Egypt proper and start your new life. It's not for everyone, however, particularly those that like dynamic battles and epic encounters over exploration and creation and conflict without combat.
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  3. Dustin
    Jan 2, 2007
    6
    Interface! I honestly believe there is an interesting game somewhere in here, but holy-awful interface Batman! I had to click through about 7 Interface! I honestly believe there is an interesting game somewhere in here, but holy-awful interface Batman! I had to click through about 7 drop down menu's just to change the color of my characters outfit. The concept is compelling and well done, but the interface is a huge impediment. The game was built by a very small team, so I can accept a certain lack of polish, but I don't appreciate wading through and endless serious of drop down menu's to do anything. There are also a number of settings whose default values are bafflingly stupid. The default behavior is for a pop up window to force its way to the front every time your character hits something it can't walk over. This can be incredibly frustrating if you get stuck on a hill. Oddly enough you character STARTS on a hill, on which it is easy to get stuck. You can alter this setting, which I imagine nearly everyone does, but to do so you must of course navigate several levels of drop down menu. According the the creator, 80% of the people who try the game out don't make it through the tutorial section. I suspect this is primarily do to the terrible interface. If they put a little time into fixing that, they might have a real hit on their hands. Expand
  4. AG
    Jan 10, 2005
    3
    Poor Quality, looks good at first, but requires a lot of time to suceed in or skills in the limited selection of mini games/tasks. An example Poor Quality, looks good at first, but requires a lot of time to suceed in or skills in the limited selection of mini games/tasks. An example being, those who get very good at blacksmithing and gemcutting which require skills in Colour and shape will tend to get rich selling their products and using that wealth buy all the stuff they need and then have pleanty of time for the tests. Those who aren't as good at the select skills will either have to join a rich guild and work as essentially a slave doing work for it or slave around on their own. The game would work better if it truely met the idea of cooperation, but it falls in between all the camps. In that as a solo player on your own you have very little chance of getting far due to all the competition, cooperation outside of guilds is little and due to some of the very competitive parts even within guilds it falls apart. This is all rather long winded, all I can say is it looks good, but what is already apparant in tale 2 is that it fails in the long run. Already the population is down from 2000 players to 1500. The game is a failure and I hope Mr tepper goes out of business. Expand

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