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Pharaoh (PC cover
Game Box forPharaoh (PC)

Pharaoh PC

A cult economic strategy game created by Impressions Games and published by Sierra Entertainment. Pharaoh takes place in the Nile valley, several hundred years B.C., and spans from the era of the great pyramids to the New Kingdom period.

Strategy | Economic | RTS | Isometric view | Ancient history | 2D | Egyptian mythology | city builder

Pharaoh Release Date PC


developer: Impressions Games publisher: Sierra Official website

English language game language: English

Pharaoh is a city-builder economic strategy developed by Impressions Games, the veterans of the genre. The game was published by Sierra.


The player's job in Pharaoh is to manage a small settlement and carry out tasks assigned by the titular Egyptian ruler. Completing the tasks lets us ascend the national hierarchy, up to eventually taking the throne ourselves.

The game takes place in 3500-1279 BC, that is, over five periods of ancient Egypt's functioning: Genesis, Archaic, Old, Middle and New Kingdom. The game's campaign is partly non-linear and sometimes lets us choose which city to take over. Both options are always quite extreme - one focuses on expanding a safe, prospering settlement, with the other being more military in nature.


Pharaoh is a typical isometric city builder. The player's job is to expand the city while keeping the citizens happy, keeping their finances stable, defending themselves against enemies and fulfill requests from other cities or the Pharaoh himself.

Each city revolves around roads. Without them, settlers and traders can't reach the city, thus preventing it from functioning.

Some settlements heavily depend on the Nile overflowing. Farms constructed on floodplains provide the city with food. If the river floods poorly, the fields will be dry and the people may starve.

In addition to housing, the player must develop infrastructure and industry. The game features dozens of different buildings, often tied together or having additional requirements (as an example, papyrus makers need reed gatherers to function). The game also features a religion system. Each city has several gods attributed to it, who must be kept happy by building temples and holding festivals.

The city's layout is extremely important. A citizen must be able to reach a workplace from their house to employ themselves there. Industrial buildings detract from the area's aesthetics, slowing down the growth of neighboring farms. This means the player must compromise between aesthetics and functionality.

The city also needs money to function. Constructing new buildings costs money and workers expect to be paid for their work. There are two ways to earn money - trading with other cities and collecting taxes.

Last updated on 18 February 2015

Game mode: single player  

Media type: 1 CD

User score: 8.7 / 10 based on 1877 votes.

PEGI rating Pharaoh

Age rating. The PEGI rating considers the age suitability of a game, not the level of difficulty. Game contains depictions of violence.

Pharaoh System requirements

PC / Windows

PC / Windows

  • Recommended:
  • Pentium II 266 Mhz
  • 32 MB RAM
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