09 May, 2016

Children of the Nile Review

Originally posted on 17 November, 2014.
Author: Xenus Icelon

Children of the Nile is the more modern version of the old citybuilders like Pharaoh And Zeus, allowing you to build a city in ancient Egypt. Some of the more modern things are, aside from the obvious graphics being different, that you no longer need to worry about intersections sending your supply and maintenance people entirely the wrong direction. You can now actually focus on building a city, rather than having to puzzle out the most efficient way to place buildings without them collapsing, catching fire, and starving because the food vendor doesn't show up there.

Citizens in your city are in a class society. From top to bottom, they are the pharaoh. That is you, and your family. You have a palace, and your family goes out to collect any sort of material, be it luxury goods or a humble pot to store things in. You are the state. All food belonging to the city also belongs to you, but you will always have a nice supply of food stored away in your palace. Pharaoh gets first pick, and a percentage of all food farmed in taxes.
Just below you are the nobles, who live in large houses and get their income from the farmers under them, and in order to support a large farming population, you will need nobles to guide them.
Under the nobles are the educated elite. Priests, scribes, overseers, and commanders of the military. They have similar demands as nobles in terms of luxuries, but they are paid by the government for their services. Only the sons of nobles and luxury shopkeepers qualify for education. These are the doctors, the administration, and the tax collectors. Because nobles will try to dodge paying taxes, a scribe can catalogue how many fields have been sown so that you know exactly how much belongs to Pharaoh.

Under them still, the middle class. Entertainers and shopkeepers. These earn their bread through their services and the goods they sell. Simple, but neccesary for society to function.
Below them, the peasantry. Farmers and servants. The farmers work the land and earn enough food to last until next harvest in doing so, and the servants do the shopping for nobles and collect resources for luxury shopkeepers - So they don't have to mingle with the common folk.
Separate from them all are government workers. They fit somewhere between the middle class and peasantry, and are paid generously by Pharaoh's bread. They are the brickmakers, the construction workers for bigger buildings(Small buildings like a servant's shack are made by the servants themselves), and anything else government wants from a papyrus maker up to the military.

If at any time your system fails and the people are without food, they will leave their jobs to scavenge for it. Dates, pomegranades, fish and so on are plentiful, so you need not fear you'll ruin your city and have a ghost town.

The game starts slow every map, as you have 10 bricks(Enough for one baker, brickmakers huts don't need bricks), and only one educated person in your city at the start. So you will want to build a school and several brickmakers more to ensure you can keep growing. Before you know it, you've spend several hours building. There is no immigration either, from what I can find. You start the map with 200-300 citizens living in huts, scavenging off the land. After that, children will be your main population growth. This becomes an issue when you want a big military, as military men don't get married - They live in their barracks-tent with two other men.

Some things that are bad, there are a lot of shrines out there that will take a bit to figure out which goes where and which are popular - If you even have room for them. Sometimes your citizens or a merchant may get stuck on a corner, and sometimes you may find your labourers can't figure out which limestone block they want to pull, and manage to fail to move any of them.

In the end, it's still a pretty and somewhat relaxing game where you can spend hours getting your city just right, and then decide to change it up again because you have a new idea. Cosmetic things like gardens, plazas and trees are free to place too, so you can make it look good without having to worry about your workers spending ages watering the plants and not farming.

Worth grabbing it if you like citybuilding, it's good at what it does and it has aged fairly well

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