Explore the Mysteries of Giza in this Adventure Game
Starting in at least version 2.1.4, if the game recognizes a pirated registration code, it lets loose with a four-dialog-box rant. Click 'OK' to one message and the next immediately replaces it. The successive dialogs, and the progression from threatening to shaming to pleading, are very similar to the anti-piracy feature in Snood v3.52.
After purchasing Giza: The Great Pyramid from Mayfair Games at Gen Con 2016 for $7 (yes you read that right), we finally got it to the table and really were surprised about how meaty and good the game was. Here are our thoughts after our first play with 3 players. The new guy is our brother in law Gary who was visiting from Arizona.
Assassin's Creed Origins is an action-adventure RPG video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. It is the tenth major installment in the Assassin's Creed series and the successor to 2015's Assassin's Creed Syndicate.
Giza Solitaire was invented by Michael Keller, who first published it in 1998. Michael wanted to develop an open solitaire variation of Pyramid Solitaire, and after some experiments came up with Giza Solitaire. Open solitaires usually require more skill compared to closed or half-open games. Another example of an open solitaire game is FreeCell. The name of Giza Solitaire refers to the famous Egyptian pyramid.
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In a quest to understand how video games themselves are implemented, you'll explore the design of such childhood games as: Super Mario Bros., Pong, Flappy Bird, Breakout, Match 3, Legend of Zelda, Angry Birds, Pokémon, 3D Helicopter Game, Dreadhalls, and Portal.
Beauty: The game board is very attractively produced with Egyptian-looking artwork and symbols. I also think the pyramid is a stand-out piece for attractiveness. My only real complaint with the beauty of the game is that all the cardboard chits are produced single-sided, which means that you have stark and unattractive white on the back. However, that's a minor element in a generally good-looking game. 5 out of 5.
Usability: Unfortunately, the usability of the game is a bit more mixed. To start with, I found the rulebook intimidating on a first read, then confusing as I tried to use it for reference in my two games. That's primarily due to the way rules are laid out for moving stones, reassigning workers, starving, and scoring; it's somewhat hard to figure out the ordering of those actions from their organization (unless you look at the examples instead of the rules text). Nonetheless, there are lots of illustrations and examples, which make the game easier to learn.
The game board itself uses some symbols to help remind you of what happens in which spaces. Many but not all of these symbols are helpful (e.g., a "+" and arrow symbol look almost identical from afar, while the purpose of an eye symbol and an ankh symbol aren't intuitively obvious). Still, the board is generally helpful; these issues are relatively minor nuisances.
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However, my real problem with the usability of Giza comes from its complex system of victory point scoring. Points are earned differently when you push stones, when you lift stones, when you decorate stones, and when you finish tiers. Scoring values are also different for the last stone (for lifting and for decoration, but *not* for completing its tier). Some of this is a development issue with the game, but the result comes off as very intimidating and the only player aid, printed on the back of the rulebook, just makes it look more intimidating. Unlike the issues with the rulebook and icons on the board, the lack of a really helpful aid for all these sorts of victory points is an issue that players will have to overcome. 3 out of 5.
Overall, Giza is a well-produced game whose only real misstep is not providing enough help to make it easy to understand the somewhat complex scoring variations built into the game. As such I've given it a "4" out of "5" for Style.
Ending the Game: The game ends either when the pyramid is completed or after ten turns have gone by. If you do get to the capstone, lifting it and decorating it are worth a few more points than usual.
Giza is at heart a worker placement game (with some majority control elements). The worker placement mechanics include some unique elements in the way that workers stay in place from turn to turn and in the way that lots of workers working together help you to collect more resources (though Stone Age and Belfort have both used similar combinations of worker placement and resource management).
Egypt has been a very popular time period for game designers. I'm reminded the most of Cleopatra and the Society of Architects since it put a similar emphasis on building things (though mechanically the games are entirely different). Meanwhile, Tutankhamen is another Egyptian game with a cool plastic pyramid.
It took me a full game to really figure out Giza. But after that (and especially as I played it a second time) I came to realize that the core gameplay of Giza is in those bids to move stones across the quarry. And, those bids are quite clever. There's a lot of brinksmanship as players try and push the responsibility of feeding the workers off on each other. There's also some opportunity for some very clever tactics (such as forcing the leading player to pay all of the food, because he doesn't want his sled stranded without enough workers far down the line; or forcing a player with just one worker to pay more than his share so that he's not bumped off of the sled).
The rest of the game all works well though it's not quite as visionary. You never have enough workers to do everything you want, and thus there's a constant pressure to move workers from one area to another. You have to work really hard to maximize efficiency of food and art production, while never quite knowing how much you'll need to play out the game.
On the downside, I thought the game could have used a little bit more development. I found the numerous different ways to score confusing, where I think it could have been polished better. I also have some concerns with the endgame where you can occasionally end up with not enough things to do with your actions, depending on how your workers are arranged.
Giza: The Great Pyramid is an interesting strategy game that mixes worker placement, role selection, and auctions -- all in quantity. It's got a few very clever systems, and a few that could use more polish, but overall it's a strong game that should appeal to europlayers, especially those who like games with heavier and more thoughtful mechanics.PDF Store: Buy This Item from DriveThruRPGHelp support RPGnet by purchasing this item through DriveThruRPG.
Style: 4 (Classy & Well Done)Substance: 4 (Meaty)A meaty pyramid-building game of auctions and worker placement.Shannon Appelcline has written 750 reviews, with average style of 4.03 and average substance of 3.85 The reviewer's previous review was of Catan Scenarios: Oil Springs.The reviewer's next review is of Catacombs.
Still, you can visit the secret chamber, or its digital likeness at least, in Ubisoft's latest Assassin's Creed game, Origins. That game's open world is perhaps the most realistic recreation of classical Egypt ever made. It's huge, detailed and, surprisingly, includes the very chamber scientists discovered last week.
All of this makes me even more excited about one of the game's planned free DLC releases, an educational mode that allows players to explore and learn about Egypt without all the killing and violence. There's nothing wrong with killing and violence in video games, but it's still very cool to give players the chance to learn more about the setting and its history.
Fun Trivia: The game takes place a little over 2,000 years ago, during the time of Cleopatra and Julius Caesar, but the pyramids were already ancient by then, having been built closer to 5,000 years ago. In other words, the pyramids were even more ancient during Cleopatra's time, than Cleopatra is during our own.
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28 cards are dealt to the pyramid across seven rows. The remaining 24 cards are dealt in 8 columns of three at the bottom of the screen. Levels are times & all cards must be used to complete the game.
Miniature figurine statue of the Sphinx from Giza. Small scale paperweight or educational teaching aid illustrates the Giza Sphinx seated and guarding the precious funerary pyramids at Giza Cairo Egypt. Handcrafted in the USA from compound stone, it has a rough sand like finish.Made from crushed stone and resin with a stone blasted sandstone finish. Add it to you miniature panorama displays recreating Giza and Egyptian temples. Or play with it in a role playing game about ancient lands.