Dec 17, 2013Mildly enjoyable game, but pales in comparison to its successor Zeus: Master of Olympus. Pharaoh suffers from a number of glaring technical flaws that make the game unreasonable to play.
At the top of the list is the slow access to necessary structures. In the beginning of the game, you are forced to make do with a variety of problems that do not have a solution until you gain technology given in later levels. In the middle of the game, you are forced to contend with poor level design that makes building a city a chore rather than a challenging adventure. Towards the end of the game, apparently out of legitimate methods of upping the difficulty, the designers throw wave after wave of misfortune at you in an attempt to trip you up.
A close second on the list of glaring technical flaws is the horrendous mechanic of direct worker access. In summary, patrolling units (such as firefighters and architects) have a limited effective range, which limits the possible size of a city block; yet the game FORCES you to include direct access to your city blocks from every single building that requires workers. If you don't do this, you get "WARNING: Poor Worker Access", and your businesses sporadically lose and regain workers, rendering them almost useless. The result is that you need to make a dozen smaller city blocks (all with their own goods and services) on a tiny map that can barely fit them, just to do what should have been accomplished with one or two normal-sized city blocks.
There are a multitude of other issues that this game suffers from, and which are notably absent in Zeus: Master of Olympus. Issues such as the inability to effectively deal with crime, the lack of suitable rewards for appeasing gods and neighboring cities, and the monotonous gameplay that offers few interesting objectives these issues make the game relatively unplayable for those who have enjoyed other games of this genre. Look to Zeus: Master of Olympus, as well as other titles like Caesar 3 for an example of a Pharaoh-like done RIGHT.… Expand