Short-Review: Pharaoh New Era

PCTriskell InteractiveFebruary

I spend dozens of hours back in 1999 on the original Pharaoh. Being always a fan of city-builder like SimCity 2000, Pharaoh was still my favorite as the setting in ancient Egypt was more appealing to me than the modern-day scenarios. I remembered it quite a tough game, as really managing to build large monuments keeping your citizens happy and manage all the different resource was tough. Pharaoh New Era reliefs this tedious management a bit, as now there is the option to manage workforce globally rather than tediously managing each workshop and site separately by ensuring building housings are built closely next to it. This is a good change for modernizing the game and I activated it in the options right after the first missions. The rest of the mechanics is a fair takeover from the original game. You build farms on the banks of the Nil River, construct workshops and sites along multiple supply chains (for example food, bricks, papyrus), manage the needs of your citizens and further extent your city with shrines and monuments to get and stay in the favor of the gods. Once these basic and advanced buildings are setup the building of dedicated monument can start, requiring good planning of resources and time and pose a real challenge already in early missions.

The graphics were slightly adapted to a more comic-like look, but the charm of the original was reserved. The music is fitting the scenario and helps to build up atmosphere. However, there is a lack of sound effect inside your village and town. Somehow it feels too silent from time to time which is one of the points that lead to the fact that the game could never bring back the vibes of the original. The campaign tries to tell the rise of your Egyptian dynasty, connecting the individual missions using some introduction monolog at the beginning of each new mission. In 2023 this feels outdated comparing to games that have more interesting and interactive/event driven design of their campaign with characters involved (like for example in Anno 1800). Therefore, my motivation for playing the missions dropped quite quickly and I switched a bit more to the sandbox game. Pharaoh New Era surely did its job bringing the original into the 21st century but the genre developed further in campaign design and presentation. Still for fans of the original its definitively worth to have a look and for some relaxed hours in sandbox mode its surely worth a try.


Sample Title 65%


“A satisfactory remake that not fully manages to recreate the atmosphere of the original”

Screenshots and Video: own screen captures