Video Games: Return to Ancient Egypt

Cleopatra, Ramses II, Ptolemy… so many names to spark the imagination. And what about the gods Isis, Osiris or Ra? What if we travel back in time to discover the mysteries of the pyramids and this civilization?

First of all, you have to get in the mood. And the atmosphere of the Egypt of the Pharaohs can be found by playing Senet. “De kossé?” you will ask. Know that it is the oldest board game in the world, that it was discovered in Tutankhamun’s tomb and that the sovereign loved to play it. The Egyptian Senet resembles a cross between chess and backgammon, and the player must manage to move all of his pieces in order to remove them from the board in an allegory of the souls’ journey to the realm of the dead. And if the Senet takes a while to understand, it’s not easy to stop once the rules are mastered.

Now that you’re playing like an Egyptian (yes, that vague hint of a Bangles song is aimed at Gen Xers), why not live like them? Welcome to “Pharaoh” and “Cleopatra”, simulation games released by Activision in the late 1990s. The goal is to make your city shine by plowing the fields according to the tides of the Nile, building monuments and establishing trade routes with Mediterranean metropolises. These two games are simple and effective, allowing you to get acquainted with the habits and customs of those distant times.

Released in 2004, The Egyptian Prophecy: The Fate of Ramses is an adventure title in which Maya, a sorceress, has been commissioned by the pharaoh to investigate strange happenings in the kingdom. The “gameplay”, the sets and the music are typical of the early 2000s: all the actions are “point and click” and the visual aspect is that of a quality drawing, which increases the impression of the mysterious.

More modern…

In Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, the intrepid archaeologist – and up to four players – face off against the god Seth. Lara Croft teams up with her rival Carter Bell and the gods Isis and Horus to battle otherworldly creatures in the desert sands. And as always, she has to solve puzzles and fight.

Of course, the most complete immersion into ancient Egypt comes from Ubisoft Studios in Montreal and Assassin’s Creed Origins. The title takes place between 49 and 43 BC. AD and we follow a nomad named Bayek who seeks revenge for his son’s murder. In addition to the origins of the Brotherhood of Assassins, we learn a lot of history and discover two expansions with open mouths, as well as the famous “Discovery Tour” – a kind of guided tour of ancient Egypt, rich in lessons of all kinds.

For “gamers” who want a little more action – that is, combat – “Strange Brigade” is set in the 1930s, when the Witch Queen Seteki has awakened from her 4000-year sleep and threatens humanity. Playable with four players, the title includes elements of exploration and of course combat against mummies, assassins and monsters. What luck.

“Egyptian Senet”: https://store.steampowered.com/app/391580/Egyptian_Senet/ for Windows

“Egyptian Senet”: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.EgyptianSenetFree for Android

Pharaoh and Cleopatra: https://store.steampowered.com/app/564530/Pharaoh__Cleopatra/ for Windows

“The Egyptian Prophecy: The Fate of Ramses”: https://store.steampowered.com/app/302160/The_Egyptian_Prophecy_The_Fate_of_Ramses/ for Windows

“Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris”: https://store.steampowered.com/app/289690/LARA_CROFT_AND_THE_TEMPLE_OF_OSIRIS/ for Windows

Assassin’s Creed Origins https://www.ubisoft.com/en-us/game/assassins-creed/origins for Windows, PlayStation and Xbox

Strange Brigade: https://rebellion.com/games/strange-brigade/ for Windows, PlayStation, Xbox and Switch

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