User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 25 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 25
  2. Negative: 1 out of 25

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  1. May 24, 2012
    This is one of the best city building games on the market. It is made great because of the original setting, the lack of an arbitrary currency and the very simple economic model: farms provide food, food goes to brick-makers and bricks go to your buildings. There are several other classes that allow your society to be better governed and there are many buildings which ensure the smooth operation of your city. You must use these to make sure your inhabitants are happy and fulfil all their needs, as your city grows so grow the needs of your subjects. Ensuring that all these needs are met can be frustrating, especially concerning religion, and there are about a dozen deities. A shrine to each is needed within walking distance! This means you will need to build temples like hotcakes and that doesn't leave a lot of room for your other buildings. There are many resources and most of these are automatically gathered but a few can be micromanaged. These are very valuable and allow you to make monuments, keep your citizens happy or trade with other cities. There are many off-map sites that provide several resources and usually cost food, so even if a resource exists on your map it could be cheaper and easier to just build more farmers rather than constructing a resource collection infrastructure. Combat is non-existent and its substitute consists of sending your soldiers to an area off map, they will win or lose depending on how much your have invested in their training and equipment. Occasionally small raiding parties will raid your city but they do no damage to your buildings, simply stealing goods and food. This makes your citizens angry but you can completely ignore invading armies so long as you have a decent city defence. You are given objectives and there are about 15 main campaign missions, as well as 3 from the expansion and 5 user-made and bonus maps. This can give you 50-75 hours of game time but about half-way through each mission the gameplay gets repetitive. Regardless, over 30 hours gives you a lot of fun and variety, but it also ignites a healthy interest in Egyptian history. I would advise you to do a bit of research after each mission, it puts the scenario into a historical perspective and allows you to impress your significant with your uncanny knowledge the next time you visit a museum! Expand
  2. 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. Expand
  3. 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.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. Everything from basic commerce to trade has been significantly revamped. [Jan 2005, p.105]
  2. 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.
  3. 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.