Links - Reviews

Since release, Pharaoh has been reviewed by the following online publications:

GameSpot UK Review - 9.7 out of 10
"Fascinating, challenging, and gorgeous to look at, Pharaoh is a sweet treat for strategy gamers looking for a bit of romance with their obsessive city management. Its wide range of skill settings and accessible interface make it ideal for both hardcore strategists and novices alike. And finally, it's so pumped up with real, honest-to-goodness history that you can confidently explain your sleepless nights away as "studying a little Egyptology" (which is bound to go down better with parents, spouses, and colleagues than "I've been playing this cool game"). All in all, Pharaoh more than stands up to the test of time."
DailyRadar.com Review - Direct Hit
"What makes the experience so amazing, beyond the incredible intricacies of getting these resources together, is the fact that each brick, each walkway, and every worker is represented on screen. The entire project takes years to complete and, unlike most strategy games, is not represented by a few different building stage animations. Instead there is around-the-clock work, and the project is shown in every conceivable stage of creation. There is nothing more horrifying than to reach the last stages of building a tomb, thousands in debt, only to see a nearby tribe on the horizon, armed and hungry. This is what immersion is all about."
Hotgames.com Review - 4/5
"City-management games can sometimes run into the problem of becoming stale after a while, though thankfully Pharaoh avoids this by issuing objectives for you to meet. Crops must be grown, towers need to be constructed - all of these tasks and more are waiting for your leadership and skill to overcome. The look and feel of the era is carried across exceptionally well, with bronze and gold lining on pretty much everything - yes, it's mostly brown but still manages to look good anyway thanks to the high amount of style on show. Anyone who says they don't like this game is in de Nile (ho, ho)."
PC Game Review: Pharaoh - reader reviews
Another site where you can post your own reviews of Pharaoh. 5 good reviews puts the game in their hall of fame.
GameProWorld: Pharaoh - 4/5
"Sure, it's a retread; but it's a fun retread of a fine real-time strategy game, with just enough changes to make things feel refreshing."
Exophasia.com: Pharaoh - 7.5/10
"This is something that most of the Caesar enthusiasts would enjoy most. Pharaoh can be an interesting way to review the evolution of Egyptian life and how the massive monuments fit into the economy and everyday life of the citizens. Not only is it a manner by which to kill some time, but you might also learn a thing or two while you’re at it. If you’d like to build or destroy ancient Egypt, depending on your gaming abilities, Pharaoh will give you this opportunity. And, as always, it’s a nice boost to your ego when you read the news flashes saying "People love you," or even better, "People idolize you as a God."
IGN: Pharaoh - 9/10
"In case you haven't figured it out by now, I loved this game. Pharaoh's blend of addictive gameplay and excellent mission design kept me at my computer straight through many nights, a rare occasion after ten years of writing game reviews. Furthermore, the game's ability to be very historically accurate while at the same time remaining entertaining was a constant source of wonder to me. I highly recommend that every fan of the SimCity or Caesar game line, or anyone interested in day to day life in early Egyptian culture rush right out and pick up a copy of this title. A fantastic example of the genre."
Future Gamer: Pharaoh - 81%
"For those willing to persevere, Pharaoh offers huge rewards. A megalomaniac's dream, or a nightmare of urban balancing - either way, there are no cheap thrills to be had here."
GameSpot: Pharaoh - 8.2/10
"Pharaoh is only subtly different from Impressions' previous effort, but its new elements make it much deeper and more satisfying. Like Caesar III, Pharaoh takes ideas from other games and combines them in a way that is different and entertaining. Unlike Caesar III, the frustrations that accompany some of the game's mechanics are easily dealt with. Pharaoh is slow-paced but addictive and is immensely complex but incredibly easy to play."
Pharaoh review at CNet Gamecenter - 7/10
"The good: Beautiful and highly detailed graphics really draw you into the game world; addictive gameplay; challenging scenarios.
The bad: Building monuments takes a long, long, long time; gameplay becomes tedious at times; needs more micromanagement options.
The bottom line: Though Pharaoh doesn't deviate much from Caesar's well-worn path, it still delivers some great strategy gaming.
Multiplayer: N/A
Single player: Above average"
GameTropics Pharaoh Review - 5/5
"The bottom line is that you can not go wrong with Pharaoh. If you are a parent I think you should buy this game for your children. I do not see anything wrong with it, there is no violence for one thing. Another thing is that it helps you learn about the time when great civilizations such as the Egyptians ruled."
GameSpot France Review - 9.5/10
"Pharaon est riche et passionnant, et on serait d'autant plus enclin à parler de chef-d'œuvre que les auteurs ont eu la bonne idée de prévoir plusieurs niveaux de difficulté, de "très facile" à "très difficile". Contrairement à CaesarIII, le jeu est par conséquent accessible aux débutants. Concluons avec l'aide en ligne, remarquable, qui permettra d'apprendre d'innombrables détails sur la vie quotidienne égyptienne. Quand on parvient à un tel point d'équilibre entre culture et intérêt ludique, oui, on peut assurément parler de chef-d'œuvre. Les autres SimCity-like, mais aussi les ludoculturels à la Cryo, viennent de prendre un coup de vieux…"
GamesDomain review
"On the positive side, the landscape and artifacts are as authentic and realistic as you might hope for. Hippos, crocodiles and wild animals will provide short distractions that add character to the setting. Several missions take place in desert conditions that effectively convey the difficulty of even subsistence living in such a harsh environment. Even with the obvious flaws I mentioned, I have thoroughly enjoyed the hours and hours of play. I was quite surprised to realize I had spent an entire day at my computer and had barely scratched the surface of this game. For this reason, I strongly recommend this game. You will find days and weeks of pleasure from this wonderful and polished title."
Quantum9.com review - 86.25%
"But all this is not to say that you shouldn't buy this game. In fact, I'll still play Pharaoh all the way through, and enjoy it, and if you enjoyed Caesar III, and want some more action in a different setting, then I recommend this game whole-heartedly, however be aware that it's not all that much different from Caesar III. If you're looking for a totally new game, or hated Caesar III, then don't bother with this one."
Gone Gold review - Golden Nugget
"If you are familiar with the series, I recommend it to those who want more of the same fun they found in CAESAR III. PHARAOH doesn't break any new ground. But, there are new components to deal with, such as the Nile flooding and building the monuments. Besides, there are a lot of scenarios to keep you busy for a very long time.
This is, in summary, a really fine game, worthy of a "Golden Nugget" for gameplay and the manual."
GameOver - Pharaoh (90%)
"Ratings:
[ 18/20 ] Graphics
[ 17/20 ] Sound
[ 28/30 ] Gameplay
[ 18/20 ] Fun Factor
[ 09/10 ] Overall Impression"
Incitegames Pharaoh review - 4/5
"If you want to bum-rush your pals with an army of spear-throwing troops, Pharaoh is most definitely not your game -- it doesn't even offer multiplayer. However, if you're interested in a single-player cerebral challenge, Pharaoh is among the best strategy games you can slap on your hard drive."
Eurogamer.net review - 7/10
"If you can overlook these problems, then go out and buy this game now. But if like me you like the computer to show some vague signs of intelligence, then avoid it at all costs!
Pharaoh will take over your life, and then leave you foaming at the mouth and pulling your hair out in frustration whenever something goes wrong..."
GamersCentral - Pharaoh review - 4/5
"By now it should be easy for you to tell wether or not I liked Pharaoh. I did and although I already thought I would before I even started the game, I enjoyed it more than I had expected. What Pharaoh shines in most is in that it is complete. Every single aspect of the game is well worked out and everything displays great attention to detail. Seeing Pharaoh as a souped up version of Ceasar III simply does not do the game any justice. Eventhough both games share similar gameplay and I suspect much of Caesar III's engine has been used for Pharaoh. The message here is that if you liked Caesar, you'll definitely like Pharaoh. More, you will probably love it because of all the additional features the game is rich. If you have never played Caesar but loved other empire builders such as Sim City 3000, I definitely recommend you to buy this game. Pharaoh is by far the best empire builder anyone has come up with since Sim City 3000."
Wargamer - Pharaoh review - 5/5
"I give Pharaoh The Wargamer Award for Excellence - that's one of the highest accolades I can pay it and that means five stars. In addition to the free pre-release game CD I got for reviewing this game, I went on-line and bought more than one copy of it. I can't recommend this game enthusiastically enough, particularly if you find this type of game intriguing or are particularly fond of the ancient Egyptian period. Pharaoh wraps up so many diverse aspects of that society and time period, and does it in a very gorgeous, lush, and fun manner. Moreover, unlike many sci-fi, strategy, or destruction games, you get to nurture and build, with an emphasis on enhancing security and quality of life for those who look up to you (leadership). The game also bestows quite a bit of education on archaeology, anthropology, sociology, business, art, religion, medicine, and economics - kind of a junior college syllabus! All in all, I sincerely believe that Pharaoh is one of the best simulation values available this holiday season and it makes a great gift, for just about anyone but especially for yourself! May Osiris always bless you with a rich, fertile inundation! Now, Cleopatra, Empress of the Sacred Nile, where were we, your majesty?"
Gaming-Age review - B+
"City building sims scare me. Most of the time I have enough trouble organizing my day, how could I possibly manage a city? For this reason most of the games in this genre send a shiver down my spine. It can be a daunting task, not only do the citizens depend on you for security and comfort, but you depend on them to make all your plans happen, and sometimes they aren't too cooperative because they didn't get whatever it was they wanted. Pharaoh, however, is an exception to this. Even with the attention to detail Impressions Games had put in this title, it still manages to be user friendly."
MPOG: Pharaoh
"Pharaoh is a great game for the city building fan or those looking to give the genre a try. An excellent manual, online help system, and interface make the game both fun and easy to play. While there is no multiplayer support, the sheer time length of gameplay should be more than enough for all but the most hardcore city builder. For them, Pharaoh has multiple difficulty levels and a scoring system so they can replay and try to beat their old records. It has its share of problems (like all games), but these problems are fairly minor. A game doesn't have to have action or RTS to be fun. Pharaoh is proof of that."
Gamesfirst Pharaoh review - 4 stars
"Overall, Pharaoh is a great game that provides an in-depth look at life in ancient Egypt while providing many hours of engrossing gameplay. Players who enjoy building and managing cities, strategy gamers, and anyone who would like to learn more about Egyptian culture, as well as anyone who enjoyed the Caesar games, should give Pharaoh a try. They won’t be disappointed."
GamesWeekly - 7.36/10
"Overall, Pharaoh is control freak heaven. If you like telling people what to do and controlling almost every little aspect of your life and others’, then you should seek professional help (hint, hint, Scribbler). :~)
Oh, and you should also get this game. Unfortunately, I guess my attention span is too short - I really can’t understand how some people can sacrifice months of their life on this sort of thing. My apologies to the die-hard “Sim” fans out there, but I felt it was long and frustrating."
Playtesters review - 86%
"All in all, I'd say Impressions has managed as complete a simulator of ancient Egypt as one might have hoped for. Though this isn't conventional strategy, it is an interesting exercise in resource management. Though it lacks the spark of greatness, it kept me awake more then a few nights pondering how to defeat one dilemma or another, and I even learned a few things about living conditions in ancient Egypt along the way."
Strategy Gaming Online - 9/10
"Sierra has created a wonderful addition to any strategy gamer’s library, and a game that does justice to the subject matter. Fans of the Caesar series should not miss out, and anyone interested in a complex and challenging test of strategy will be utterly addicted. The pyramids have been around for thousands of years, roughly the same amount of time Pharaoh will be on my hard drive"
ESCMAG - 8/10
"At any rate, here’s the prequel, and it’s pretty damn fun, if not as monumental as the pyramids. Before Caesars spread Rome across Europe and Africa, Egypt made itself the crossroads of the world. In the process, its rulers constructed some of the wonders of the world. But even those triumphs are in the future as the game opens."
GamePower - 3.5/4
"What's the final verdict? If you're a fan of city-building games, especially Sierra's now-classic Caesar trilogy, you simply owe it to yourself to run out and pick up a copy of the newest installment. If, on the other hand, you've been hesitant about the entire city-building concept, now may be a good time to see if you have what it takes to build a monument that will stand for all eternity."
Electric Games - 8/10
"This is a very nice game for people who liked Caesar 3 and don’t mind playing it again, with a new culture slapped onto the engine. It has nice graphics and beautiful animation sequences. Modifications have been made to model Egyptian rather than Roman cities, which makes for very different gameplay in some areas. Overall, Pharaoh is a worthwhile experience, but it isn’t perfect -- especially if you don’t have the patience for its long missions."
PC Gamer UK - 83%
"And it's not half bad. But, and let's get this clear, this is not Age Of Empires. It's essentially a management game rather than anything to do with real-time strategy; more akin to SimCity than C&C. However, after playing Pharaoh for twelve hours or so, and you realise you still haven't been introduced to half the resources and technologies, you'll begin to wonder what you ever saw in SimCity and its ilk."
Gamers Alliance Strategy - 92%
"Anyone will enjoy this game. It is easy to grasp for the younger audiences, but has enough features and such to keep even veteran city-builders up at odd hours of the night trying to finish the Sphinx."
PC GameWorld - 84%
"Overall Pharaoh is a fairly enjoyable experience, especially if you have an interest in history (of course I don't think playing the game would help you on your final exam in Ancient Egypt 101 if you've never taken a look at your textbook) that is dampened by the general repetitiveness of building cities. At the same time it is slightly disappointing because it doesn't quite feel like a brand new game when compared with Caesar III. SimCity fans may not find it their cup of tea, yet when it comes to city building it's a lot more fun dealing with angry gods, the clash of steel, and rabid hyenas than laying out power lines and working out deals for importing garbage in my opinion."
3DRage - 9/10
"Pharaoh is one of the best city-building strategy games that I've ever had the pleasure of playing. I had trouble pulling myself away from the game just to write this review. It is probably one of the most addicting game that I've played in quite some time. You feel a sense of accomplishment when you coplete a level victoriously, and that's something that most games can't offer you. Impressions Games also did their homework in Egyptian history, as almost everything from the crops they grew, the flooding of the Nile, and the monuments they constructed are accurately implemented into Pharaoh. The only faults that I see with the game are that it closely resembles some of the gameplay from the Caesar Trilogy, but when can that be portrayed as a bad thing. With its addictive and innovative gameplay, brilliant graphics, and wonderful sound, Pharaoh is a game that should be on every gamer's hard drive."

If you know of any more, then drop me a line and I'll add them.