Following our recent editorial about the lack of innovation in the massively multiplayer role-playing genre, we were bombarded with e-mails (well, two of them to be precise) recommending that we take a look at A Tale In The Desert. Sure enough, it proved to be a major departure from the usual hack 'n' slash treadmills. Set in ancient Egypt, it focuses on co-operation and construction rather than slaughtering innocent monsters and looting their still warm corpses. While we would be the first to admit that this might not be everyone's cup of tea, it is nice to see somebody at least trying to do something radically different. Now the developers are giving you a chance to try the game out, with a 56 hour beta test due to kick off at noon Eastern Standard Time (5pm GMT) on Friday 25th January. Once the game gets underway your task will be to build the biggest monument you can in the alloted time. This isn't as straightforward as it may sound though, as you will need to pass a number of tests first, and then assemble a group of disciples of lower levels to aid you in the construction. At the end of the test though, the leader with the biggest monument will win a season pass to the game, while his disciples will each get a solid chocolate pyramid. Mmm... Time to guzzle Giza. There's also going to be a fireworks competition, an award for the best role-player, and a "mentorship award" for the player who has the most shrines built in their honour. The prize for the latter will be your immortalisation as an in-game character. You can already download the client software to get yourself set up in advance of the beta test, and more details are available on the game's official website. Related Feature - Mostly Pointless
From the archive: Rich Stanton goes in pursuit of the game's crowning achievement.
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UPDATE: Filing updated, reveal looks set for this week.
And it's on Kickstarter.
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