Pharaoh + Cleopatra
From the Golden Age of RTS and the early age of our culture, here comes something truly nostalgic. But, in front of military Warcraft, Age of Empires or Civilization, this one is a city-building strategy, containing few military elements if any at all.
Unlike redesigned Age of Empires, Pharaoh+Cleopatra is available in its original edition. So the graphical part may seem very poor for today (not because of designers’ lack of skills, but rather because of lack of HD monitors in 1999). Though it’s possible to run the game on modern monitors, it looks too pixeled up or fits into a little 640*480 portion of the screen.
Though, if you look closer, you’ll certainly admire those Egyptian buildings, from poor huts p to grand pyramids. They create the feel of that ancient Nile civilization of priests and builders, slaves and pharaohs, wizards and artists. Try to make it full screen, and then you may
If you feel something romantic about the name, let us disappoint you. No pharaoh has ever lived to see Cleopatra, as members of The Ptolemaic dynasty she was from called themselves “kings” and “queens”. In fact, Pharaoh is the original game, and Cleopatra (that covers later times) is an expansion pack that enriches and enlarges the world and its complexity.
Like many real-time strategies of that time, P+C lets you control all units and send them to missions you think the most important. You may play premade missions or a regular game. Your aim is to build Egyptian cities and lead them ahead to prosperity. Make sure they have food, water, homes, and roads, luxuries and entertainments.
As this strategic game is rather economic than military, your mission is to build the city to live in and to admire. Homes require roads, roads upgrade to streets. Hunters should live where the game is, and the food should be stored in special places. Farms should be located where Nile flood can reach them. And pyramids or Sphinx… They just should be.
Like in all strategic games of that time, you can control absolutely everything going on with just a mouse. Keyboard shortcuts are also present, but not necessary at all. And RTS has never been the type of game to play with a controller.
But as the gameplay is slow and more concentrated on process than on result, there’s no need to hurry. Just select the right menu option and click it to the right place.
Replay Value: 3.5
Procedural generation makes strategies replay value high because each time the game generates a new map. Alas, the campaigns within the game are only interesting for the first time. So it was in 1999.
But it all doesn’t matter in 2018. For sure, many players will blow the dust off P+C once they see in available in Steam. And they will play not for any results, but to feel young again. So the process will be over the result.
Thank Steam for making this great nostalgic game available again. That’s where modern city-building simulators come from. At least we can’t deny the influence of city building series by Impressions Games.
- Graphics 3
- Gameplay 4
- Controls 4
- Replay Value 3.5
Living classics is still playable
Low system requirements
For advanced city building players, this game may seem too basic