Philip José Farmer's Riverworld

Moby ID: 20433

Description official descriptions

Riverworld is a 3D real-time strategy game based on Philip José Farmer's universe of books, where on an earthlike planet, with just one river flowing from pole to pole and back, all of mankind (a figure around 36 billions) is resurrected, from the first homo sapiens to the early 21st century population, as humanity was wiped out shorty after.

Playing as Richard Francis Burton, a British explorer from the 18th century (who has an uncanny resemblance to Welsh actor Timothy Dalton), the player decides to evolve the people from the prehistoric ages to the future. For that, he needs to build new houses to increase the population, conquer new territories (which will allow the player to both expand territory and progress into more advanced ages), meet other notable people from the human history and defend against other characters with the same goal in mind.


  • River World - Alternate spelling

Groups +



Credits (Windows version)

31 People · View all



Average score: 60% (based on 11 ratings)


Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 6 ratings with 1 reviews)

Could have been a great turn-based game...

The Good
The concept of the game is great. The map is split between different areas that give access to better technologies, which in turn improves the chance of conquering enemy territory. The idea of speaking to other characters is excellent (and one of Cryo's main creative ideas) and adds a little more depth to the game. While it was one of the first RTS games to use a 3D world, the character and building models are quite good (but read more about them later), and after a while it's interesting to see how the world comes to life.

Music... well, just to say it's composed by Stephane Picq should be enough.

The Bad
Even at the lower speed, the pace is simply too fast when there are more than an handful of workers and buildings. Even worse, the way the camera is stuck with the characters just complicates things even further, as it's hard to get a panoramic view, and even when that happens, the drawing distance is too limited. The interface doesn't help, with larger than life buttons with limited descriptions and a mini map that looks too confusing.

The Bottom Line
The game has a cool concept, great music and acceptable graphics, but fails as an entertaining game. While Cryo liked to pull the envelope in both gameplay and graphics, the attempts to do this on both failed. While the graphics are acceptable (forgetting the camera angles and drawing distance), the gameplay suffers too much from the pace imposed. Had the game been a TBS or a slow paced RTS (not as much as Europa Universalis, 'to), or even a difficulty level slider or the option to play alone or just against one opponent could have made Riverworld one of the greatest all-time.

Remake please?

Windows · by Luis Silva (13443) · 2006


MobyPro Early Access

Upgrade to MobyPro to view research rankings!

Related Games

Rowan McPaddles
Released 2018 on Android, iPad, iPhone
River Raid
Released 1982 on Atari 2600, 1984 on Commodore 64, 1985 on PC Booter...
Released 1990 on DOS, 1991 on Amiga, 1992 on TurboGrafx-16...
Farmer's Dynasty
Released 2017 on Windows, Xbox One, 2019 on PlayStation 4
Farmer's Life
Released 2021 on Windows
Bomber Raid
Released 1989 on SEGA Master System
Wild Water Adrenaline featuring Salomon
Released 2005 on PlayStation 2
Hegemony: Philip of Macedon
Released 2010 on Windows
Philip Muwanga Presents: Hexy Trench
Released 2009 on Xbox 360

Related Sites +

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 20433
  • [ Please login / register to view all identifiers ]


Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Luis Silva.

Additional contributors: Sciere.

Game added December 26, 2005. Last modified February 22, 2023.