Strange things can happen when you start looking through tombs, and that includes finding masks that let you walk on the ceiling. Tomb of the Mask is a new endless arcade game that gives you a mask, and lets you go up. You swipe in any direction to move your character, and your goal is to maneuver through the sprawling tomb maze to get away from the rising death below. There are all kinds of obstacles as you make your way upwards including spikes, bats, arrow shooters, snakes, coconut dropping monkeys, and more.
Tomb of the Mask takes cues from a few arcade games, and yet still presents its own unique challenge. There are dots to collect scattered through the passageways, and all of the action is presented with a monochromatic 8-bit art style. The fresh challenge arises from the swipe controls, and the four directional player movement. You can move along the path in any direction, but usually the tomb walls lend themselves towards a particular path to rise through. The tomb rises vertically endlessly, but there are breaks every so often that allow you to launch up into tougher sequences. There are a ton of obstacles as you elevate with many requiring proper timing to get past them, but you always need to stay ahead of the energy rising below you.
With any high score endless challenge, it comes down to how appealing the core gameplay is. Tomb of the Mask nails the “one more time” attitude so that you feel compelled to restart the second you lose. One mistake ends your run, but it always feels like you could have avoided the problem, and can do better next time. The game moves at high speeds, and mistakes usually arise from not seeing something before you swipe. Part of the fun is swiping, and having a split second to realize you’re sending your character right into a bunch of spikes, but it’s too late to do anything about it. The game also features a leveling up system that amplifies your score multiplier to let you increase your score simply by playing over and over. There are a few instances that the game doesn’t recognize your swipe properly, and it’s still the same endless beginning each time you restart.
Tomb of the Mask (Free, Universal) delivers an intense arcade challenge that incorporates classic elements with current flourishes making it well worth picking up.