Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. Twisted Mill games has come up with a City Building Sim that follows in the rich traditions of its predecessors, adds new depth and complexity, a superior graphical presentation, and a more realistic AI model.
  2. If you’re into all things Egypt then this one if for you, even if your not there’s still a few hours of your life to be lost to (in our opinion) one of the better city building games currently available.
  3. A nice game but not a great one. It’s slow-paced and thoughtful, it looks nice and it’s polished, and while it has some problems here and there, none of them are major. It’s just that nothing about the game made me say "wow!"
  4. Carefully balanced and well-rounded, Children of the Nile will be great fun for armchair history fans or anyone who digs smart RTS simulations. [Jan 2005, p.78]
  5. A great ancient city build strategy game. Despite some design flaws, it's a winner!
  6. Moving at a more restful pace than your average game, some may find Children of the Nile a little slow and unchallenging. But when you've put in the work, seeing your population grow and prosper is certainly rewarding, engrossing and even a little educational. [PC Gamer UK]
  7. An incredibly enjoyable and complex city-builder. [Jan 2005, p.143]
  8. 80
    Fun to play, engrossing and challenging. You can't beat that in a game.
  9. If you come to Children of the Nile with a spirit of investigation and if you're willing to learn the nuances of this complex model of ancient life, you'll be richly rewarded with one of the most serene and gratifying city builders since the genre began.
  10. 80
    Children of the Nile isn’t an excellent game merely because it’s innovative. It’s an excellent game because those innovations make for a more compelling, and generally less frustrating experience for the player.
  11. Once you break yourself of the mindset that trade is about money and that taxes are for a treasury, you find this new way of playing much more satisfying. [Feb 2005, p.68]
  12. The construction sites are nicely animated, and newly ordered buildings pop up quickly.
  13. 79
    The core idea of the family was a great move forward in this genre, especially for a game like this that deals with ancient Egypt and smaller communities unlike those found in games like SimCity.
  14. Most fans of city-building simulations will be well-pleased. The interface could use some improvements, and for my part, I would like to see more focus on planning well-laid out cities, but this game is enjoyable to play and will please most.
  15. If you're in the mood for some easy-to-learn but hard-to-master city-building gameplay, Children Of The Nile is as good a game as you're likely to find. Hardly as unique as is claimed, but good all the same.
  16. Sometimes it’s too complex and sometimes it leaves you feeling hopelessly powerless over certain situations, but these facts are more of an inconvenience and don’t significantly affect your chances of success.
  17. Has a lot of personality and some interesting city-building gameplay, but is weighed down by a few problems not found in some of the previous games of this type.
  18. Despite these odd moments, the game is playable and lots of fun, especially if tinkering with Sphinxes and ancient temples sounds exciting to you.
  19. The challenge of maintaining your reputation in the face of a weak Nile, defending the city from attack and completing the scenarios is gratifying, but there's not really enough here to justify long-term play. [March 2005, p.99]
  20. Despite some minor flaws and an occasional frustrating bug (that will hopefully be resolved in a patch), Immortal Cities: Children of the Nile keeps many of the classic elements of city-building strategy that made its predecessors so much fun to play, and innovates in ways which make the game much more interesting and involving.
  21. 73
    I still enjoyed playing Immortal Cities a good deal, yet I was content to help the Pharaohs out for a far shorter period of time than I would have given them in the past.
  22. If you're the sort who, when presented with a river, like to crouch and examine the eddies, this may be for you. If you just want to know what's downstream... well, less so.
  23. The city-building genre has been crying out for a boost, which is what Children Of The Nile delivers. Unlike many games of this ilk, it caters for both micro- and macro-management, allowing for as series of small challenges to take place within a much bigger story arc. [March 2005, p.120]
  24. Micromanagers and fans of "Pharaoh" have cause for celebration with the arrival of Children of the Nile, and should be thanking the god of their choice for the abundance that has been provided.
  25. The basic problem is they were too ambitious with this game and put too much into it. If they had trimmed it down and focused and made a few things really well they would have had a better game.
  26. 60
    When taken as a whole, Children of the Nile is a disappointment. It's not that it's a bad game. In fact, buried under the rubble of the game's interface is the germ of a classic.
  27. 60
    If you're a patient gamer who can ignore the tedious aspects, you'll find COTN a good city building game with several original ideas. For the rest of us, the good background music and pleasing graphics make it feel like a very good interactive screensaver.
  28. Everything from basic commerce to trade has been significantly revamped. [Jan 2005, p.105]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 25 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Dec 2, 2013
    An absolute gem. I pride myself in digging up golden PC titles that receive little fanfare, and this game is surely one of those. As an ancient Egyptian simulation, this game is a unique city-simulation concept with excellent execution and historical accuracy. The mechanics are distinct, with the three "Seasons" revolving entirely upon the flooding of the Nile. The only currency is the only one that truly mattered in the ancient world; food.

    Like Ancient Egypt, religion plays a key role in the game, with a rich and diverse pantheon of true-to-life Egyptian Gods and Goddesses to be honoured by Temples and Shrines. Every person in your settlement is represented in the game and has unique needs, most notably religious needs. Soldiers, shop-keepers, peasants and elites all demand an opportunity to pray to the Gods and Goddesses which best represent their needs, while everyone will want to worship Amun, Osiris and Hathor; the Universal deities whose festivals were paramount to most Egyptian cultures.

    Of course, you will be building an awful lot of pyramids, obelisks and steles to immortalize yourself, mighty Pharaoh, and cement the legacy of your lineage. Throw in a flavourful soundtrack and a diverse array of scenarios and missions and you have the best $2 I have ever spent on steam. I must buy for any city-building lover, Egyptophile or classic game collector.

    This game gets a 9 for the few bugs this game contains, which are irritating but not world-ending. (Notably, the brick-maker bug where all your bricklayers seem to get stuck fighting over bricks at a single brick makers, and the random crashes that would take place that seem to have been hardware related, as they have no recurred since I bought a heavy duty video card.) That being said, it still blows my mind that few people have heard of this game.
    Full Review »
  2. Jul 29, 2013
    Nice game but doesn't deserve 10, i dont know if the people giving 10 are payed to give these kind of reviews but whatever, the game is nice and remind me of old pharaoh, but is nothing revolutionary, same old stuff and the graphics are very bad compared to grand age rome for exemple Full Review »
  3. egn
    Mar 12, 2013
    One must remember that this game is 10 years old; at the time it was incredibly pretty. Nowadays it still is pretty, but people spoiled by today's poly counts might find the simpler 3d models a bit dated. This game is, simply, brilliant. It's really a simulation in the truest sense. As an administrator there are certain things you can do, but for the most part people do what they will do with or without your intervention. Build a city, or don't; they'll get along without you either way. But of course, the fun is in the design and administration of your Nile kingdom. COTN requires you to learn; you can't just jump into this game and start plopping buildings without knowing just what they do, and what happens when you place the order. You have to understand who might want a temple or shrine to a certain god, and so where that temple would be best located. There is no money in this game. All trade is done via barter; usually food is exchanged for goods; and this is where the economic simulation really, REALLY shines...every individual manages their own wealth in going about their lives. Nobles own a farming 'estate', which means they have control over a certain number of farmers, who work the floodplain fields during the growing season. The farmers keep a (small) portion, the nobles keep a large portion, and you as Pharaoh get a sizable portion as a tax; it is through these taxes that you fund your government. Workers are paid in food. Shopkeepers get their food through bartering. They make goods to sell, and then people actually go to the shops, and barter for the goods that they have made (out of raw materials that the shopkeepers have gathered, or obtained from a government-run exchange). This makes for a rich and complex economic simulation, where each person is autonomously and goes about their lives. One of the strengths of this game is voyeurism. Basically, every day the people of your nome (egyptian word for an administrative territory) will go about their lives- working, shopping, or just chit-chatting with the neighbors. you can follow them around, watch them work, and this helps you see how your kingdom functions. if you wonder why your potters never have enough pottery made, you could watch them go dig clay, and realize they have to cross the whole map in order to reach the nearest clay deposit. Entire family histories are kept, too. You can learn who is descended from who, and family trees start to form. You may come to keep pet dynasties, especially the nobles, tracking their whereabouts and seeing how they're doing from time to time over the generations. The only game that simulates individuals in more detail that I know of is Dwarf Fortress. The aspect of monument building can be fun, if you know how to optimize it, or it can be an excruciatingly slow exercise in waiting if you planned things poorly. The only negative of this game is that the aesthetics: roads, plazas, and most of non-monumental decorations are not only free, but they have no real gameplay effect whatsoever. They are entirely an aesthetic choice for the player. This isn't too bad, but you sort of wish your citizens cared a little bit about the effort you went to give them such a pretty city to live in. This is a very minor complaint, naturally. It still runs fine on most modern systems; though it may take a little fiddling or compatibility settings to get just right. Even with modern CPUs, however, the complexity of this simulation makes it a bit of a processor hog. Large cities can tax even current PCs if they have a lot going on. This is the only real solid negative for the game, and is almost certainly workable. Even the events on the world map are very interesting, opening up lots of options and opportunities to add a bit of interest and variety to gameplay (like trade caravans that bring in exotic building materials and luxuries to sell to your noblewomen). Beyond that, this game is endless fun, endless discovery, and really brings ancient Egypt to life like no game ever has before or since. If you are fascinated with ancient Egypt, or if you are a city building sim fan, this game really is a gem and I heartily endorse it. Full Review »