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Be Queen for a day! (Updated)
Member Name: crispy
Date: 01/08/01, updated on 24/09/01 (117 review reads)
Advantages: sorts out monument building, new industries, 'completes' Pharoah
Disadvantages: still very time-consuming - kiss your social life goodbye!
Cleopatra is a very good addition to Sierra's Pharaoh. It continues the history of Egypt where Pharoah left off, and eventually pits your wits against the might of the Roman army.
But what is it? The original Pharaoh is a city-building game published by Sierra, in the same series as Caesar III and Zeus: Masters Of Olympus. You start out as the headman of a tiny settlement at the dawn of the Egyptian civilisation, and 'you', or at least your descendants, work your/their way up further into Pharaoh's favour, and are given more and more prestigeous projects to carry out.
Each level of the game therefore represents a generation of your family and also a new city to create. The difference between this game and something like SimCity is that in Pharaoh (and the others of the series) you have specific goals to accomplish before you can move on to the next city. For instance, you will need to reach a certain population level, a certain culture rating, a certain prosperity rating and a certain kingdom rating (which is essentially your reputation within the Kingdom), plus build a pyramid or something, to complete the level.
Shan't talk much more about Pharaoh, as this is a review of the add-on, Cleopatra...
So what is new? There are several new buildings, including lamp makers, paint makers and artisans, and new monuments such as tombs, which are built into cliff faces. There are also, if you make your gods angry enough, new disasters like plagues of locusts and tides of blood. By far the biggest improvement in my opinion though, is that the gods can now also reward your faithful devotion by adding on to your current building project. This speeds construction of monuments like pyramids hugely - which was something I didn't like about the original Pharoah: you could have every requirement for your city met, but would have to sit around for literally hours watching your pyramid slowly take shape. With Cleopatra - prob
lem solved. Nice one.
Basically, I think Cleopatra completes what Sierra were aiming for with Pharoah, and makes the whole thing much more playable. It is definitely worth buying if you like the concept of city-building but want something a little more goal-oriented than SimCity.