Immortal Cities: Children of the Nile

Immortal Cities: Children of the Nile

Jennie Sue

The keys to Egypt’s success were organization and the religious zeal with which the people obeyed almighty Pharaoh. A stinging whip and occasional sandal to the ass helped, too. Immortal Cities: Children of the Nile plays to that format as the first-ever society sim-builder—which means you, as Pharaoh, get to command your eerily real digital minions.

Pyramid scheme

Plucking elements from both The Sims and Sim City, Children of the Nile focuses not only on physically building up Egypt, but also the plight of its people. Happy people spell success! These folks go about their daily routines without direct control, and unlike Sim City 4’s “play with your Sims” feature, Children of the Nile allows you to get an in-depth view of your people’s daily lives and gauge their contentment. You can literally follow an Egyptian around through the first-person-perspective option, watching his daily routine.

Quick lesson on in-game social structures: there are three social classes that allow for both lateral and vertical mobility. At the bottom are lower-class peasants. Craftsmen, including merchants and brickmakers, comprise the middle level, and finally, the upper-class elite is made up of nobles who own private farms and priests who act as teachers and operate the temples.

Religion plays a fundamental role in the game, as citizens go to temple during crisis situations to alleviate their depression. Temples also provide health care, mortuary services, and education. Yet ultimate success in the game comes from leaving a lasting legacy through obelisks, sphinxes, and grand pyramids.

What Sphinx?

Unfortunately, we’re not expecting too much from Children of the Nile in the visuals. The graphics and level of detail, while decent, aren’t quite at the level of other current simulation games, though hopefully, the detail within the gameplay will more than compensate.

The Word: RAA!

WPUBLISHER: Myelin Media DEVELOPER: Tilted Mill GENRE: Strategy RELEASE DATE: November 2004

Copyright © 2004 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in Computer Gaming World.