Pharaoh (video game)

Pharaoh (video game), 1999 video game.

Pharaoh (video game) image

1999 video game

Pharaoh is an isometric city-building game that was released on October 31, 1999, created by Impressions Games and published by Sierra Studios, for Microsoft Windows. Using the same game engine and principles of Caesar III (also by Sierra Entertainment), it is the first such game in Sierra's City Building series to focus on another civilization of ancient times. Players oversee the construction and management of cities and settlements in Ancient Egypt, micro-managing every aspect of the city to ensure citizens are fed, employed, healthy and protected from diseases, disasters and wars. An expansion pack, Cleopatra: Queen of the Nile, was released in 2000, developed by BreakAway Games. In 2001, both the game and expansion pack were bundled together as Pharaoh Gold. In August 2020, a remake titled Pharaoh: A New Era was announced by Triskell Interactive and Dotemu to be released in 2021.



Pharaoh is played from a two-dimensional isometric perspective; the magnification level is fixed, but the viewing angle can be changed at 90-degree angles, either counter-clockwise or clockwise. Much of the control is managed through the mouse and keyboard shortcuts, in an interface system similar to that of Caesar III. Many buttons exist for different types of construction like housing and roads, viewing messages, undoing mistakes, cycling through trouble spots, a map of Ancient Egypt and the surrounding regions, a group of advisors (called Overseers) who provide information on the city's development and any problems encountered, and in-game overlays that detail issues and the fulfillment of housing's demands. All aspects of city life, such as housing, religion, warfare and trade, are designed carefully to closely reflect that of actual Ancient Egyptian cities of the time, including the goods and services available. Names of various pharaohs are used with the appearance of historical characters from Egypt's ancient history, and limited encyclopedic information about ancient Egyptian practices is provided in the game's help menu and instruction booklet. While the game uses the deben as its currency, no standardized metal currency is known to have been used in Ancient Egypt. Although the puzzle-like aspect of Pharaoh keeps the simulation far from realistic, the game stays true to the chronological order and timing of major events in the history of Egypt, in... more

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