Pharaoh: i want to play this again

The muddy visual mess means I’ll never go back to Children of the Nile even though its systems are things I want to play with way more than revisiting the Impressions style games.

Shame about Tilted Mill, it feels like they were just a few years ahead of their time and would have really excelled when things got friendlier for indies.

What a legend, I bet this line gets you alot of chicks (tom or otherwise).

A good number of the people I work with now weren’t even born when it released. 😅

While the later games may have iteratively improved on the model, Pharaoh is still my absolute favorite of its kind. There is something so satisfying on building increasingly grandiose pyramids throughout the campaign that no others ever could quite capture.

And since I wasn’t playing super efficient at all back then, I know I spent many many more hours that was necessary building them too. I remember when videos finally became a thing and I saw how to play correctly – woah boy. A miracle I ever finished. But then, maybe that was part of the excellence.

I don’t think I ever really understood the walker system at the time, and I played all the Caesars, Zeus and Pharaoh.

Looks like DotEmu released a several minute long video to wet everyone’s appetites for some Egyptian city-building ahead of Feb 15.


Man, 2023 is shaping up to be a bumper gaming year.

All the gameplay described directly in there seems identical to the original. They glossed over one thing I thought they might change, which was the entertainment venues like jugglers booths and bandstands, which were intentionally designed in Pharaoh to complicate your road systems. But looking at some of the more developed city scenes in the video, it appears those buildings are in there and identical to the original.

Which means the biggest change that’s evident is battle:

It appears that battles will take place in abstracted battle grounds, not in the city maps themselves. I’m curious to know how losing a battle will affect your city, if it works like it appears to, but overall I think finding a new approach to battles is a good call.

There were no details on farming the Nile or building major constructions. But my guess is those have been left as is, since I think they were generally successful in Pharaoh.

I’d like to see configurable roadblocks, like what was introduced in Emperor. Seems like they’re probably sticking with basic ones though.

Really looking forward to this! I hope it catches on and doesn’t just appeal to a few of us old fogeys who remember Impressions games fondly.

I’m a little skeptical about the battles taking place offscreen. I get that it’s a city builder and battles aren’t (and shouldn’t be) the focus, so it’s appropriate in that sense. OTOH it’s a city builder, and putting walls in your city is definitely a Choice that impacts the rest of your city building, so…

Yeah, that’s my question too, but on the flip side, does anyone ever play the Pharaoh military mission branches (except maybe for variety once they’ve played the building branches)? Maybe it’s just me, but those missions are almost wasted because combat just isn’t fun to manage. I don’t know if dislocated battles is the right solution–I’m also just making an educated guess about what that screen from the video is really showing–but it seems worth trying for a different solution.

Also… I don’t think there were defensive walls in Pharaoh, were there? Maybe in Cleopatra?

I’m 99% certain I remember building defensive walls in Pharaoh, but I only ever played with Pharaoh + Cleopatra. So it’s very possible my memory is confused and I’m thinking of the Cleopatra missions.

OTOH I did choose the military missions about half the time.

There were definitely defensive walls in Pharaoh from the very beginning. Unsure what the point of defensive walls would if battles could not also occur on the cityscape map though. Towers, which still exist in the Remake, and the like are only going to achieve so much against a determined invasion…

So, I am interested to see how the remake handles combat after seeing that small snippet in the gameplay trailer. The fact that they changed the size and appearance of the Military Forts, compared to the original game, is another curious point. Changing the military gameplay systems would require modifying a number of the military scenarios though, especially for Cleopatra, in my opinion.

This is one of those games that I have fond memories of playing as a kid, but seem to have forgot about over the (many) years since. I got a real kick out of seeing this was coming and remembering those times.

Might just give it a couple of hours to see if early reviews hold up, but I’m looking forward to picking this up assuming it sticks the landing.

I certainly recall many happy hours playing Pharaoh when it was first out, but when a game is re-released with minor updates to the mechanics there’s always a nagging thought in the back of my head asking me if it will still be an enjoyable experience. You know, gaming evolves, and lord knows there have been a lot of city builders since Pharaoh’s heyday.

So I’m not in on day one but I will be watching with interest.

I find more old games are still enjoyable today than aren’t, but it’s totally a matter of… not taste exactly, but a certain kind of tolerance. I’ve replayed Pharaoh and Zeus and Emperor without any of the updates (whatever they are) of this new version and find them not just enjoyable, but truly great experiences. Some part of that is due to the deep mental grooves they cut in my game-brain when I first played them. But also the fact that what’s fun about them hasn’t really changed or diminished at all.

What’s the best walker management guide out there? For normal humans, I mean, so not the massive treatise linked upthread.

To keep the damned crocodiles out of your streets, obviously. :)

Well I took the dive, so I guess I will let everyone know how it is. Just in the process of downloading and installing it as we speak.

So, out now on both GOG and Steam with a 15% launch discount! Which makes the launch price just under 20 USD ($19.54), or $28.55 dollary-doos if you are Australian, heh.

Edit #1:
Here’s the Gameplay options menu for anyone interested in knowing what settings\toggles there are to adjust the gameplay. Most notable, you can have the classic worker recruitment system (Caesar 3\Pharaoh) or a global labour pool (Zeus\Emperor). Have the classic population demographic system where people age over time (workforce size can fluctuate due to age demographics) or have it set to a fixed ratio (of 40%) of the population size (ala Zeus\Emperor). Even have the ability to enable or disable predators, such as Crocodiles, on the maps too. And if you hate having to give road access to Towers and Waters lifts, there are options for that too.