A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The development team for this game consulted with professional Egyptologists to create an accurate playing experience in every way. From structure design to artifacts and landmarks, kids and adults are very likely to walk away from this game having learned more about Egypt's rise to power and fame.
Players must strategize and think carefully when crafting their town. Creativity and planning ahead are emphasized. A core message is that hard work and organization will lead to success for yourself and others. Players also need perseverance and an understanding of how citizens can work together in their villages to be successful.
Positive Role Models
Although there are no main characters to connect to, the premise of this game is to create something from scratch while keeping the good of the whole in mind. Players will observe the town's citizens working together to keep their city alive and thriving. Watching these figures work together could teach the benefits of teamwork and collaboration.
This game consulted with historians to accurately portray ancient Egypt and its citizens. Egyptians of various ages, genders, and wealth classes are constantly portrayed.
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Ease of Play
Players will need to have some experience with city-builder games in order to jump into this one with ease. It's certainly possible to enjoy this game without city-builder experience, but it does make it easier to engage in from the beginning. Past that, it's easy to navigate the different controls and customization options – especially because these controls were upgraded from the original game.
Violence & Scariness
Villagers must hunt various animals to feed the town. The player will see a villager shoot an animal with an arrow and the villager will carry the animal's body back to town. Your village can catch on fire or be damaged by invaders. The need to be constantly aware of potential attacks (and village issues in general) may be stressful and anxiety-inducing for younger players.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Pharaoh: A New Era is a city building simulation for Windows PCs. This is a complete remake of its original 1999 version. It is, as much as it can be, a historically accurate depiction of ancient Egypt – the developers consulted with Egyptian historians to produce a game that players could learn from. Players begin in the Predynastic Period in 3500 BC. If your child is not familiar with city-builder games, this one could be difficult to get attached to quickly. This isn't to say that the player won't eventually fall in love with the game, but it could take a few hours to get hooked. Most likely, parents will love the educational nature of this game more than anything else. Pharaoh: A New Era could easily be used in schools to encourage kids to have fun while learning about Egypt's vast historical rise. Kids will learn the basics of what made villages successful (with necessities like irrigation and sturdy architecture) while also exploring famous monuments that they've likely read about in history books already.
Is It Any Good?
With over 100 hours of gameplay, this game will certainly keep fans of simulation and building games busy. For this demographic, Pharaoh: A New Era, is a blast. It's a faithful recreation of the original game, with updated graphics and logistics, while keeping the same 2D animation style. There are a seemingly infinite amount of customizations you can play around with, like speeding up time in different increments and adjusting how enemies or predators interact with your town.
For players who are not savvy with the genre, this game may be a difficult play-through at first. Instructions come quickly, without much time to process. This makes the need to absorb new rules, while also learning what a city-builder is in the first place, overwhelming – particularly for younger kids. Despite this, a few hours of gameplay, combined with the lengthy 50 mission campaign, will most likely adjust the player to the ins and outs of a city builder. Pharaoh: A New Era, is as educational as it is graphically stunning. Between navigating road construction, putting out fires, warding off enemies, and bringing your historic city to life, there's always something going on. Even if you haven't been a fan of city-builders in the past, this game is compelling enough to draw you in and keep you there, teaching you plenty about Egyptian history along the way.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.