If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Learn more.

Have You Played... Pharaoh?

Pyramid scheme

One of the first games I picked for a Have You Played? was Zeus: Master Of Olympus. Well, Pharaoh is basically that, but Ancient Egypt. Or, if you prefer, Caesar III but Ancient Egypt.

My absolute favourite thing about Pharaoh (sold from both GOG and Steam with the Cleopatra: Queen Of The Nile expansion as Pharaoh + Cleopatra) is the farming. The agriculture is Nile based, so you have to build all your farms on the banks and your fields in the flood plain, and wait for the waters to dump a load of life-giving silt. But you also have to get the harvest finished before the flood, or your food will be washed away.

Watching that cycle every year is very meditative. I mean, you can get on with building pyramids and lighthouses if you want, but that won't change the rise and fall of the waters. The Nile cares not for your monuments. It also cares not for the general day-to-day of your city building, so you end up having to structure plans for municipal change around the harvest. Plus, fields can get lower fertility from the flood than you were expecting, leading to a leaner harvest next time. The Nile is actually a remarkably efficient way to remove player hubris.

Be careful, though, that you're not so busy watching the Nile that vast areas of your city burn down. Fire is a big hazard in Pharaoh.

About the Author

Alice Bell avatar

Alice Bell

Deputy Editor

RPS's dep ed. Small person powered by tea and enthusiasm for video game romances. Send me interesting etymological facts and cool horror games.

Join the Rock Paper Shotgun supporter program

Sign up today and get access to more articles like these, an ad-free reading experience, free gifts, and help us create more great writing about PC games.

See more information

Comments

We love having a friendly, positive and constructive community - you lot are great - and we want to keep it like that. Our main commenting rule is "be excellent to each other". Please see our code of conduct, where you can find out what "be excellent" means. TL;DR? Respect others, think before you post, and be prepared for puns.

More Features

Latest Articles

We've been talking, and we think that you should wear clothes

Total coincidence, but we sell some clothes

Rock Paper Shotgun Merch