Pharaoh/Cleopatra Synopsis

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Pharaoh is a city-builder game set in Ancient Egypt. It was written by the same software house as the Caesar series, but it has much less emphasis on the military aspects of life. The player founds a family line who are hopefully destined to rule Egypt. As the campaign progresses through the generations of the player's family, the history of Ancient Egypt is enacted. The standard campaign sometimes allows a choice of scenario for a particular time in history. In these cases one scenario will be highly military and the other will have little or no military activity. This makes it possible for a player who has little or no interest in the warfare aspect of the game to continue the campaign. There is plenty of challenge in accomplishing the nonmilitary goals which are set in the scenarios because the natural landscape is frequently hostile enough without the addition of armed foes. The game allows the player to replay any scenario which has already been either played or by-passed in the progression of the player's family through Egypt's history. If the new score is better than the old, or if the scenario was not previously played, the new score will be added to the family's personal history. The original game came with a few stand-alone missions, some of which are called "sandboxes". These sandboxes are building-only scenarios which are limited in the options available. However, a free mission editor has also been released by Pharaoh's programming house and there are now many stand-alone, building-only, missions available with the full set of options available.

Cleopatra is a recently released add-on package for Pharaoh which adds scenarios from the time of Cleopatra. This is the time during which Ancient Rome and Ancient Egypt met. Since this confrontation was between two strong world powers, the times were tumultuous and thus the scenarios are much more military in nature, and some of them have time limits. However, Cleopatra adds to the game the ability to play any scenario in the entire set of campaigns, whether or not the player has completed all of the scenarios required to reach that one. This means that the player can bypass a step which does not appeal at the time, and come back later to fill in the gap in the family's history. Cleopatra also adds some additional buildings, enemies, and bugs. Hopefully the bugs will be corrected soon.