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Nightfall was billed as the first 3D real time adventure game upon its release in 1998, but despite scoring highly on reviews, its exposure and subsequent success was severely limited due to the title being released for the Mac only. The game pits the player in the role of an archaeologist exploring numerous artefacts and structures from ancient Egypt. An unexpected earthquake leaves you trapped in an ancient tomb, and you must use your wits to find a way out through a vast array of tunnels and rooms, discovering untold secrets and unravelling ancient mysteries in the process. Nightfall provides great freedom of action and exploration with a point and click interface built on top of a fully 3D environment.
The biggest difference between Nightfall and other adventure games of its time is that it uses a real time 3D engine - there are no static screens like in Myst or Riven, and no fixed cameras like in Syberia or LucasArts' adventure games. The game is played from a first person perspective with a 360 degree range of motion. You use the mouse to dictate view angle and direction, and either the mouse or keyboard to move around within environments. Nightfall also contains a number of interactive objects, such as bricks jutting out of a wall (which you can grabbed to hoist yourself up), doors, levers, and even rats, which can be picked up and put in your backpack. The inventory system is minimalistic, with just four items: a journal, a compass/map hybrid, throwing discs (which are used to flip switches you can't otherwise reach), and a backpack, in which you can store just one item at a time.