Yahoo Games: 8.0
Pharaoh Chick III is almost 40 years old. That’s a pretty ripe old age in the 8th Century BC, which means he’s liable to keel over any moment. The pyramid I’m building for his tomb is 93% finished, but my overseer and his laborers are staying home today. They’re waiting for the next shipment of blocks from the limestone valley down the river because this year’s shipment was turned away when I hadn’t built enough room for all the barges bringing goods from other cities.
Welcome to Children of the Nile, the debut city builder from Tilted Mill, a company formed by the veteran developers responsible for titles like Pharaoh and Caesar. Although this is pretty much Just Another City Builder, it’s got enough personality, polish, and gameplay to stand out as the latest and greatest of the genre.
WarCry Network: 8.0
Pyramids, chariots, temples of the gods, all are just pieces to the puzzle of life in Immortal Cities: Children of the Nile. Tilted Mill Entertainment has brought us a game with stunning graphics, vast camera perspectives, and humorous, yet extremely active, AI. As ruling supreme Pharaoh, you must stake your claim in the world of Egypt, you must build great monuments that will stand the test of time, and you must rule your people with an iron fist but gentle touch. Immortal Cities is like a cross between “The Sims” and any of the Real Time Strategy (RTS) games, except you have no control over the people of your kingdom. You must plan a foundation for your great city by placing unbuilt structures like servant’s homes, farmer’s hovels, bake houses, common and luxury shops, streets, roads, and, most importantly, your palace!
Its good to be Pharaoh, and Immortal Cities: Children of the Nile provides players a chance to step into the royal sandals of a dynasty of Pharaohs, as they build their kingdom from a collection of small villages to a vast economic and political empire. In many ways the spiritual successor to Sierra/Impression Games titles like Caesar, Zeus, and Pharaoh, Children of the Nile includes innovations which take city-building sims to a new level of realism.
Although there are some minor flaws in its execution, Children of the Nile shines as a detailed, engrossing, and (most importantly) fun sim that challenges you not only to build a magnificent city, but also a magnificent society. Chris Beatrice, the designer of Pharaoh, builds his new game around people, not statistics, and the results are evolutionary for the genre.
Strategy Informer: 8.1
Children of the Nile, or CoN, is from a new game company called Tilted mill, and the core group is the old Impressions design team that created such hits as Caesar 3. Like the old series, CoN is about building a city in ancient times building by building, but unlike the previous games, keeping the citizens happy and productive is the primary focus of sucess. In a series of scenarios players will strive to complete different projects and dominate distant lands, all in the name of pharaoh.
In the final analysis, Tilted Mill games has come up with a City Building Sim that follows in the rich traditions of its predecessors, adds new depth and complexity, a superior graphical presentation, and a more realistic AI model. I’m not the biggest fan in the world of Building Sims, but there’s no question about it, pick it up!
Beneath the problems of Immortal Cities: Children of the Nile beats the heart of a good city builder. The core idea of the family was a great move forward in this genre, especially for a game like this that deals with ancient Egypt and smaller communities unlike those found in games like SimCity.
In the end, Children of the Nile is an engaging city-building strategy game, and its lighthearted and colorful approach makes it suitable for gamers of pretty much all ages. The game’s economic system makes logical sense, and there’s a very strong cause-and-effect system in place that allows you to easily gauge the effectiveness of your policies. And while it suffers from a few problems, Children of the Nile is a promising first step from a new developer.
Children of the Nile is a complex release that has a lot to offer, but packs some design complications that get in the way of pure enjoyment. It’s a good game overall, but you have to go in with an understanding that it’s not perfect. The interface problems lead the pack of difficulties but are followed closely by the fact that there’s a monstrous learning curve. The learning curve eventually translates into an almost limitless well of gaming possibilities, so if you’re willing to invest the time, you will get a lot for the money you plunk down at the register. Micromanagers and fans of Pharaoh have cause for celebration with the arrival of Children of the Nile, and should be thanking the god of their choice for the abundance that has been provided.
In short, when taken as a whole, Children of the Nile is a disappointment. It’s not that it’s a bad game. In fact, buried under the rubble of the game’s interface is the germ of a classic. Even after all is said and done, city-building fans will find a lot to like in the game. Unfortunately incomplete implementation of an essentially good idea relegates Children of the Nile to the status of merely “OK”, not the classic I thought it was going to be when I first saw it. Lets hope that as the “Immortal Cities” line moves forward, Chris Beatrice and his Tilted Mill team can ultimately bring us the awesome city building experience I know they’re capable of.