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Caesar III's historical civilisation-building simulation gives you the opportunity to progressively develop a settlement in a different atmosphere from the plethora of modern sim games. Caesar III is strikingly similar to Pharaoh, with the gameplay and controls being basically the same.
With a useful tutorial, it doesn't take long to master the controls of Caesar III. As your settlement grows and you complete the tasks set by Rome, more options become available to you, such as building a colosseum and other Roman treasures. The little historical quirks are what make this game so addictive--you never really know what is going to happen next.
Fiscal management and town planning are crucial to success in the strategy sim; you must plan your water supplies and protect your houses from fire risks and structural failure. Once seated in your senate, and consulting your advisors, you control all aspects of life in your growing population, whilst winning the favour of Rome.
Caesar III only requires minimal processing power, which offers a distinct advantage to those of us running older machines. The downside of this is that it cannot compete with more modern sim games, but the game is still highly playable and strangely addictive. Caesar III is an interesting twist on the sim market--the simple controls and the theme will be especially suitable to younger gamers.
Pharaoh, on the other hand, offers us the chance to build an Ancient Egyptian civilisation and use your diplomatic prowess to develop a expanding metropolis. Pharaoh is basically the Egyptian version of Caesar III, but Pharaoh does seem to have the advantage over its Roman contemporary, offering slightly improved gameplay and graphics.
The tutorial proves an ideal way to familiarize yourself with the controls before beginning your domination in earnest. The aim is to develop a civilisation in the Egyptian deserts by fulfilling all the tasks required to run a successful community. You are responsible for all aspects to your civilisation's developments, from their housing to their entertainment and general well-being.
The game allows you to build everything you would expect from an Egypt sim--pyramids and the sphinx being a few of the possible options. The real novelty in this sim is being able to see individual characters going about their daily chores and watching the hustle and bustle grow with the development of your city.
The extensive gaming manual serves partially as a history of Ancient Egypt and a useful chart guides you around the different building possibilities and introduces you to the characters who will inhabit the paradise you build for them. Pharaoh is an amusing and entertaining sim, providing an attractive manipulation of the usual building sim game. The historical aspect provides originality and will certainly be of interest to younger gamers. --Chris Hall
Pharaoh is a strategic city-building game set in Egypt, from roughly 2900 to 700 BC. Grow Egyptian villages into thriving metropolises and watch the economy and inhabitants of this exotic land come to life. Interact with the citizens. Observe their culture and habits. Raise their hopes or raze their homes. Manage your city poorly and watch it burn, be pillaged or collapse in economic ruin. Manage it well and ultimately the greatest Egyptian structures will be built in your honour. Your rule will span generations until your dynasty, your royal bloodline, produces a Pharaoh! Pharaoh includes many features never before seen in a city-building series game, including a farming model based on the flooding of the Nile, naval warfare, giant monuments assembled over time, a unique dynastic progression and levels varying in difficulty. It uses 16-bit colour graphics, large maps for seamless gameplay, and a proven interface.
Players of Caesar III are immersed in a city set in the age of the ancient Roman Empire. Players place buildings on previously empty terrain and construct a city. These buildings come to life, and the city begins to evolve. As the city grows, it encounters various problems that must be overcome. Players have specific objectives to achieve, although many players will choose not to use these and will be content to design their idea of the perfect city.
The game is structured as a career, beginning with a training mission, then progresses through a series of ever-tougher real assignments. Each mission/assignment consists of a province and set objectives. Achieving these objectives will result in promotion and an offer of a tougher assignment, which can be turned down if the player is having too much fun to accept at that time.
The career progression introduces elements of the game step by step, thereby teaching players how to play without forcing them to play through a tutorial.
There is also an option where players ignore the career progression and simply play the full game with no promotion involved.
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