Ramses II is a great twist on memory games that’s fun for the whole family
When it comes to trivial matters, I’m a real forgetful Freddy. Car keys, grocery items, laundry – you name it, I’m going to forget about it. You might think this makes me a bad person, but as it turns out, I’m in good company. You see, Pharaoh Ramses II is forgetful too. He’s forgotten which pyramids he’s hidden which treasures in, and he’s going to need your help to get it all sorted out.
Originally available as a real world board game by Ravensburger, Ramses II offers up memory-gruelling fun for the whole family. Players will be shown a card that has a treasure on it, and they’ll need to slide around different pyramids until they discover the location of the treasure in question. If they come across another treasure first, their turn ends and the next player gets to continue the hunt. Play continues in this fashion until the deck is out of cards, at which time the player with the most points (awarded by a number on each treasure card) is the winner.
Because players will encounter the wrong treasures over and over again on their hunt for the right one, the challenge in Ramses II comes from remembering where the treasures you didn’t need are once you flip a new card and they become the treasures you do. In essence, it’s all about memorizing where every treasure on the board is so that you can find what you’re looking for when each card comes up.
It sounds fairly easy, but remember – the playing field is strewn with different treasures, so even if you know where the thing you’re looking for is, you’ll also need to know where everything else is so you can get to your target without tripping on another treasure and missing your turn.
In addition to these basics, Ramses II offers up a few cards that can really turn the tables on you – in some cases, quite literally. “Sandstorm,” for example, spins the playing field 180 degrees. When up is down and down is up, it can be a real dickens to try and figure out where everything is again. Other cards, like the “Duel” that pits two players against each other, or the “Superpower” that lets you push around up to seven pyramids at once, really help shake things up and keep the game entertaining throughout.
Ramses II features great production values and, like Ravensburger’s last iOS release Puerto Rico, terrific AI. Supporting up to five players, and you can mix both real and AI to your heart’s content, the digital version of Ramses II ends up being just as flexible as it’s real world counterpart. You can even opt to play with a reduced deck of cards for quicker games – an absolute must when you’re playing against 4 AI opponents in my opinion. Heck – Ramses II even offers up a solo player variant. They really have put together the total package for fans of the game.
The development was handled by Exozet Games – the same folks who adapted Catan and the Android version of Carcassonne. With Ramses II now under their belts, it seems they’re batting three for three on board game adaptations. We’re just going to go ahead and say it: if you’re a fan of board games on mobile platforms, Exozet is a company you need to keep your eye on.
As fun as Ramses II is though, there’s no denying that this is a game that’s aimed primarily at the younger market. It’s staggeringly more fun than your standard crappy match-two Memory game (which, coincidentally, was also introduced to the world by Ravensburger way back in 1959), but at the end of the day we’re talking about a game that’s all about memory. It may be a great game about memory, but even still, a great game about memory isn’t going to be for everyone.
If memory games are up your alley though, you’ll have a hard time finding one as enjoyable as Ramses II. It’s well polished, easy to learn, and a real treat to play with kids. And maybe – just maybe – you’ll get a little better at finding your car keys in the process.