Welcome to the Fate of the Pharaoh review. I have tried several games similar to Fate of the Pharaoh, like the Farm Frenzy series and enjoyed them, so I thought I’d give it a chance. Was it worth the shot? Well...
Like I mentioned above, Fate of the Pharaoh – let’s call it FOP shall we – plays pretty much like every Farm Frenzy out there: on Farm Frenzy you collect gold from selling produce animals make, while on FOP you collect taxes from the homes you place on your city and that’s that. There is, however, one major difference between these two games – Farm Frenzy gives you a medal/rank according to how much time you take to complete a level, while FOP only has one reward available – you either complete it within the “Time of Ra” or you complete it normally. In any case, the next level becomes available. The “Time of Ra” is nothing but a timer counting down as soon as the level starts and if you complete it before it runs out, you earn a bonus of 5000 points – which don’t really do any difference – it’s not like there is a rank according to the score you make.
Well, it’s said on the description of the game there are many d-i-f-f-e-r-e-n-t achievements to win, but I only saw 5 or so of them and they are all based on completing a determined number of levels within the “Time of Ra” – now that’s variety...or not.
Back to the core of FOP – you need to place homes (you can chose between 3 types) to collect gold from them. However, to do so, you need wood, which requires a quarry to produce it and the quarry requires gold so there is this chain that links all the buildings and on each level you must plan what to do first: 1 – Should I build a lot of homes first? 2 – Should I spend all my gold on wood and then build as many homes as possible? 3 – Should I just quit this because all the levels are as boring and sometimes frustrating as hell? – nah, this one is just a joke..or not.
Boy, that is the problem with FOP. I was going to suggest it for a weekend break or something to relieve pressure and escape routine but FOP is all about pressure and routine. At some point I found my eyes spinning around and in all directions like crazy – is there a home ready to collect gold yet? I need that Gold! – why can’t I building a quarry there? Oh there’s a small thing blocking the road! – Hey I need to build a well! I need wood before the “Time of Ra” runs up or else I don't get the bonus, which gives me 5000 extra points that are good for..what, wait, for nothing! The Farm Frenzy series actually rewarded you with a medal/rank and after all that stress and pressure you would feel accomplished but FOP does nothing to raise your ego – hell, you can even disable the “Time of Ra” and get the bonus no matter how much time you take to complete the level. All the levels are pretty much the same, though with different designs – who would want to play it in sandbox/free mode?
In the end, I cannot find a type of person or a type of day to play FOP, which leads me to conclude that FOP is not a good game..not even average at all. Cateia tried to follow the line of Farm Frenzy but by removing certain key elements, like the sweet reward at the end of each level the result was this unsatisfying experience.
Needless to say that FOP can’t be considered a city building game. You can’t really choose anything : 1 – you can’t place the buildings freely – you need to place them where the game wants. 2 – there is no real economy aspect. 3 – All you can really do is place a couple of buildings and collect bounty from them. Perhaps by adding a city building line FOP could have been better..perhaps not. The whole FOP is just not there anyway, mostly because the theme of the game and its description leave you wanting more..much more.
It’s said in the description FOP is visually impressive and I quote “Enjoy the spectacular graphics and effects in high resolutions” but it seems like a game from 2005/2006. There aren’t even any settings to choose from – I could change the “effects” (no idea what this is) and supposely shadows, which for some unknown reason, this option was disabled to me. They are sort of cute but “spectacular”? Nah...
The game does feature some nice music and sound effects – I cannot deny that, but there is no story, pretty much like in any game of this genre out there.
FOP does not include some important features/twists and does not include new innovative ones so in the end the result is a bland, unsatisfying and stressful experience. I consider FOP to be...mediocre.