Pharaoh Review: Is It Worth Playing?

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Pharaoh: A New Era
Pharaoh A New Era Poster

Pharaoh: A New Era is a classic city builder that was originally developed by Sierra Entertainment twenty years ago. Triskell Interactive returns this title to us now with high-quality graphics, a vastly improved build menu, and an equally enhanced version of the original game expansion, Cleopatra: Queen of the Nile.

Pharaoh: A New Era is one of the classic gems from the golden age of Sierra entertainment. Pharaoh immersed you into the lands of Ancient Egypt as you wound your way through thousands of years of history.

The original was a classic for a myriad of reasons; firstly, the core city-building mechanics were great, with so many subtle nuances to building a smooth-running city; secondly, the campaign was excellently executed with a powerful sense of history permeating throughout the game.

Pharaoh A New Era Gameplay
Pharaoh: A New Era (credits: DotEmu)
Pharaoh: A New Era is gorgeous in its detail – from the grass to the floodplains to the lovingly designed monuments, and temples, the visual design in this city builder is up to par with the biggest games in this genre.

Similarly, the music is exactly what you would expect from a title based in Ancient Egypt with the twist of modernization. The music never becomes annoying or overbearing, as can sometimes happen when you play lengthy titles such as this one.

  • Release Date: 15 February 2023
  • Creator/Developer: Triskell Interactive, Triskell Interactive S.A.R.L.
  • Platform: Microsoft Windows
  • Ratings:  6/10 (Steam)
  • Genre: City-building game, Strategy game, Strategy Video Game

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Pharaoh: A New Era Review

The game boasts over 100 gameplay hours, with 50 missions that take you through 4000 years of Ancient Egyptian history and six different time periods.

If the story-based missions, with narrated descriptions before each, isn’t to your liking, you can always jump into standalone missions and see how long you can keep your city going. The game feels nice to look at and keeps you into it even after playing for more than 8–10 hours straight.  

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Like many city builders out there, Pharaoh is a game about production chains and workers and creating the least amount of goods and services that will benefit the most amount of people. Pharaoh has to begin with no population either, so everything is up to you to figure out.

It definitely helps if you like good old city-builder logic. However, start out with some nice roads placed on housing for incoming citizens and make sure that your population has access to water and food.

Build houses, roads, farms, work camps, temples, city palaces, and more, with each building serving a particular function to keep the cogs of society going. You shouldn’t forget religion – your people need temples and shrines, which encourages them to invest in and upgrade their homes, among other things.

Pharaoh A New Era city
Pharaoh A New Era city (credits: DotEmu)

Those temples and shrines aren’t just for show, though, as you’ll need them to appease the gods, who can rain blessings upon you – literally, though bigger Nile floods for greater crop yields.

In the old game, you could have enemies appear from anywhere on the map, and they could sometimes wreak havoc. For example, the Nubian Warriors could get into your city and just destroy half of it, which was very annoying from a gameplay perspective. The new game lets the battles resolve themselves automatically by allowing your troops to fight off the enemy.

Conclusion And Should You Buy It

The devs of the new game had made many changes to improve players’ experience regarding this game. For instance, you can also now place buildings within two tiles of houses and immediately get workforce access, which previously required sending a recruiter out first.
Docks can now be set to allow individual goods to be traded. While the players can see from which tiles workers spawn and return to when placing a building down, players can quickly copy and paste buildings without going through the build menu, and there are options upon options for adjusting your game experience, which all sums up to the very justifiable price point of  $19 on Steam.

If you’ve always wanted to try a city builder but felt overwhelmed by the minutia of other games in the genre, we recommend giving a try to Pharaoh: A New Era as the new, improved version of the old game wins in our book.

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The gameplay is stellar, the graphics and UI are great, and the aesthetic and setting are unique, which is capable enough to bring in new players as well as old fans of the classic game. The overall rating from our point of view is a solid 4/5, and we believe you will have the same impression too. 

Our Rating: ⭐ (4/5).

By Arnab Ray

Arnab is a Computer Engineering student from the city of joy, India, fond of gaming and movies. He is an intern as a Content Writer at @OtakuKart and writes on game and entertainment news. You can reach him at or any of his socials.

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