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Summary...and they say drugs and smoking are addictive...there should be a government warning for this fine game!
The Good2nd Update. Last updated: June 8, 2004.
Before I start, I'd like to point out that in my many years of gaming experience, I've never found a game quite addictive at this. Even the word "addictive" doesn't do justice to this game...I was practically GLUED to the computer for a whole dang month. Good thing it was during a school break cause I didn't go out of my room besides to get food and going to the toilet...and I also didn't turn off my computer for that whole dang month...which is quite amazing really (probably the longest was 2 weeks, but who's counting?) This game totally gave me insomnia....hahaha couldn't get my eyes off the monitor. The only time I HAD to stop playing is because my eyes were so tired, I got dizzy and faint and had to sleep. Sometimes, I wake up too early (due to anticipation to play again) and find out that my eyes haven't recovered...this is the first time in my life, I had to force myself to actually STOP playing a game...due to health reasons. Wow.
Well if addiction was the theme of this game, the developers did it with flying colors. It's a very well planned game, basically a better upgrade from Caesar III. (I made the mistake of playing this game prior to Caesar III, and believe me you can tell the difference!)
If you like governing and controlling the lives of your citizens and be a GOD! This is definitely the game for you! And guaranteed you'll never get bored (like those SimCity games...ahem).
So what's so good about this game? Hmm...well it's an upgrade of Caesar III for one. If your not familiar with that, just think city management, really micro city management where you have total control of what's happening. SimCity games is macro city management compared to this game, as there are many elements in SimCity that you cannot control, e.g. growth, etc.
In Pharaoh, your more than just a mayor of a city. You practically ARE the city and a little bit more. The game has several roles that you must juggle in a balance in order for you to succeed:
- The Mayor: City Administrator and Architect - This is the role where you plan and plan ahead. Make sure all building have the correct radius of influence and effect, that your citizens get all the services your city has to offer and enough space and entertainment for it grow into a massive metropolis! Failing to plan carefully will mean disgruntled citizens, inefficiency which in the long run might effect your carrier or even your life.
- Traffic Control - Building blocks is one thing, but another is making sure your citizens need to go where they should. Pharaoh introduced a major upgrade from Caesar III where you can help traffic your citizens from one area to another. Of course they still have their own minds when they walk, but you can put some useful road blocks that help direct them for maximum effect of service and influence your fellow citizens can offer.
- Economist and Merchant - One of the best aspects of the game is making money. Resources are to be consumed and consumed they must be! Create local industry while helping lower the unemployment rate. Create goods for your citizens so they can increase their lifestyle while surplus goods are sold at the market for a high profit. Nothing feels better than hearing the sound of gold coins flowing in your treasury!
- The General - There are a lot of envious neighbors that are quite uncivilized compared to the mighty Egyptions (too bad they degraded big time now), and sooner or later they'll send an army or two thinking they actually have a chance against Egyption chariots. Well, if your a good militarist, you'll keep them at bay. Create a legion of soldiers that will help protect your city as well as help your nation when your Pharaoh calls for aid!
The BadOther than not getting much sleep? Hmmm....
Well, I was expecting a little more action in the battles, 3 unit types don't just quite cut it. I wish they'd put more strategy in the combat, formations and even more units. You can have a maximum of 6 legions with 3 different unit types, which is kinda boring after one too many battles. Heroes, more units, anything to keep it more alive would be nice!
There's also that matter about that that dang irritating "bug" when loading and unloading your troops from ships...the bug usually prevents your troops from disembarking and loading. Sometimes you get lucky, often times your not.Thus, it can take forever to command those soldiers to enter and exit your warships...
Other than that, pretty much fine...not that I'm complaining or anything but those pyramids really do take a long time to build, even for a game...hahaha