Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad
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Some games, while far from perfect, are such earnest efforts that it's easy to overlook their imperfections. Then there are games like Egypt: Engineering An Empire HD - games with substantial resources at their disposal, whose imperfections are so glaring and, let's face it, arrogant, that it's hard to see past them at all. Produced in conjunction with the History Channel, Egypt: Engineering An Empire HD is an attempt at creating a rival to the Civilization-style game created by Sid Meier. It does not succeed.
If you've ever played any incarnation of Sid Meier's Civilization (but especially the earliest, and some say the best, versions of the game) you will recognize the similarities immediately: a mostly-hidden world map, a small city to develop, etc. However, unlike Civilization, it's VERY unclear how to accomplish pretty much anything in the game from the start. Yes, there is a tutorial, but it is all text-based and is actually inaccurate - how you're supposed to "left click" on an iPad's screen is a trick I haven't yet learned. It's difficult to learn the ropes of a game that has done nothing to differentiate itself from its PC predecessor. Developers know better than this, and this rushed approach taints the gameplay throughout Egypt: Engineering An Empire HD.
Once I actually got the game somewhat figured out (a challenging process), I was disappointed that it felt so shallow and so graphically bland. There's battle and a few spare ways to enhance your civilization or form alliances, but it certainly does not approach the depth of even the simplest Civilization game. The graphics resemble early PC strategy games, and the iPad is certainly capable of much more.
To its credit, the game does feature a limited multiplayer feature, but on a whole it's MUCH easier to recommend Civilization: Revolutions to anyone interested in civ building on his/her iPad. While there's a difference in price point between the two games, sometimes you do get what you pay for.