Genre: History, Politics, Culture
Price: $ 9.99
Buy From Good Old Games
Computer games like any other form of entertainment cater to a wide spectrum of interests. Racing, fighting and sports are just the tip of the iceberg.
To tell the truth, I have never really cared for them. All except one. Pharaoh stole my heart. I used to love playing it in graduate school. So when the lock down began, and my husband (AKA Papa) decided it was a great time to introduce his daughters to computer games, I suggested we start with this one, so I could join in too. Papa is a computer game veteran and catholic in his tastes, so he was game.
In retrospect, it was a great idea. Here's why...
About The Game
Set in ancient Egypt, the game begins with the task of developing a small village on the banks of the Nile. You need to provide housing, water, food and fire safety. With a limited budget, you have to set up a village that attracts a immigrants and keeps the villagers happy with sufficient food and clean water. As the levels progress, more complexities are added.
In the second level, you need to mine gold. So you need a village palace, architects and policemen. With a bigger settlement, you also need to build temples to appease gods and make health care available to the citizens.
In later levels as you handle more sophisticated settlements, that involve agriculture, mining, fishing and industry. You can make papyrus, beer, linen, bricks and pottery. You need to set up trade routes and build an army to protect your town or city. You also need to provide entertainment, sanitation and education. Eventually you need to build monuments like pyramids and mastabas, and pay regular tribute to The Pharaoh. To fund all of this, you need to collect taxes, and profit in trade.
The challenge is entertaining and stimulating. Give it a shot to find out.
As the levels progress, there is a lot to keep track of, and it becomes harder to meet the goals of the settlement. But it also gets more interesting. Optimizing resources to make the population happy on a budget, requires both planning and intelligence.
The graphics are cute and interacting with the city is fun.
Surprisingly, it is a great way for families to spend time together. Some of us are reluctant to let our kids play computer games because it disconnects them from real people. Although one person may be at the controls, there is a lot of information to internalize and process. So playing as a family is a lot of fun. Strategic decisions can be made after a discussion with all participants. Should we pay for a trade route to export beer or raise taxes? What's the best place to build a pavilion? Where should we put our industrial buildings, bazaars and storage yards? No one likes them in their backyard, but if they are too far away they don't get enough workers, and their products take too long to reach the citizens. How do we provide competing with enough temples and shrines, and still have enough money to pay wages?
The game requires loads of parallel information processing, strategic thought, and figuring out priorities. It helps hone those skills and abilities, that help in tackling life's challenges.
The toy models is good also for learning about the crops, lifestyle, religion, culture and economy of ancient Egypt. It is likely to make kids curious about life in ancient Egypt, and possibly spark an interest in the typically dry subject that is history.
While my husband and I are now playing the 6th level with the girls, they started their own dynasty separately, where they have reached level 3 on their own. They work together to plan their city and enjoy sibling time without fighting.
Life is an optimization game, and practice makes perfect.
Travel through time to MAKE history