An ancient evil has been set loose, and Jonathan cursed in the process. Jonathan must now collect seven holy grails from around all of Egypt to cleanse himself of the curse of Sehur the first. Be delighted by the quirky humor, charming characters, and the beautifully designed world, in Pharaoh Rebirth+!
User reviews:
Overall:
Very Positive (61 reviews) - 96% of the 61 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Mar 17, 2016

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About This Game



Dr. Jonathan Banfield, renowned treasure hunter and rabbit has finally discovered the legendary oasis of Egypt: Amshear. Brimming with archaeological artifacts, Jonathan sets out to uncover all that he can amongst the fabled ruins. However, his expedition is cut short when his ex-companion Andre Betancourt shows up to pillage the sacred site.

Armed with only his wits and his ears, Jonathan puts an end to Andre's illegal digging, and continues on his way to discovering the secrets of Amshear. With the aid of his friend, Jack, hacker extraordinaire, Jonathan finds an ancient sarcophagus in the depths of the ruins. But before he can decipher whose sarcophagus it is, Andre shows up and hastily opens it, unleashing an ancient evil, and cursing both himself and Jonathan to die in 7 days.

Jonathan must now collect seven holy grails from around all of Egypt to cleanse himself of the curse of Sehur the first.

Be delighted by the quirky humor, charming characters, and the beautifully designed world, in Pharaoh Rebirth+!

Features
  • Over 80 collectible treasures scattered throughout the game.
  • Over 10 sub-weapons to use in your adventures.
  • Stat boosting and ability increasing treasures that will make you the greatest treasure hunter in the world.
  • Choice between English or the original Japanese.
  • Easy, Normal, and Hard modes to customize your experience.
  • Never before seen extra stage, featuring new enemies and a new boss.
  • Boss rush mode.
  • A quirky sense of humor, brimming with character.
  • A charming cast of characters.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP or Higher
    • Processor: Intel core 2 duo
    • Memory: 256 MB RAM
    • DirectX: Version 5.2
    • Storage: 250 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7 or Higher
    • Processor: Intel core 2 duo
    • Memory: 500 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Direct 3D 9 supported
    • DirectX: Version 5.2
    • Storage: 250 MB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Overall:
Very Positive (61 reviews)
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47 reviews match the filters above ( Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
44 of 48 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
6.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 30
Honestly, it's taken me more than a few days to write something significant about Pharaoh Rebirth+. It's not enough for me to say that this is a really good game, and that it's a hidden gem well-deserving of your time. I have to write something that goes above and beyond, so that you come away thinking "Wow! This is serious! I must play this game immediately!" This is the difficulty I've run into when writing about games that are really impressive. Aside from having a mediocre vocabulary, I'm too used to discussing what's wrong with games, to really explain what's right with them.

For example, let's start with the controls. When the controls are thoroughly solid, then there's actually nothing to discuss. In this game, moving the anthropomorphic rabbit around is as natural and easy as turning one's palm. The controls are so good, that you won't notice them. They're like an extension of yourself. As the game progresses, Jonathan (the rabbit) acquires new moves and abilities, and the experience continues to be perfectly seamless. Another aspect that goes un-noticed when it's handled properly is the mechanics. The hit-boxes are great, the game doesn't try your patience with cheap hits, and nothing stands out... poorly.

Oft-times with Metroidvanias, there's only so much of an incentive to explore. Pharaoh Rebirth+ strikes a good middle-ground with its plethora of collectible treasures. What makes exploration interesting is that not all of the items are helpful. Some exist solely to fill slots in your collection screen, while others can boost stats or award hidden skills. This adds another layer of mystery to the adventure. Every time you discover a hidden artifact, you gain a sense of anticipation. Whereas in most other similarly-designed games, all you have to look forward to is another heart container, or a slightly larger box to hold more daffodils. When you fight enemies in that other game, are you even using the daffodils? It's a completely meaningless collectible.

The sub-weapons in this game are not only fun to use, but they're also very helpful. While Jonathan's ears are just as deadly as any whip, the sub-weapons allow you to approach situations and bosses in different ways. Some of them can have other uses as well. There's a certain point very late in the game where you're faced with a spike pit. Over this pit is a floor, but most of the sections are false, and you'll fall to your death if you attempt to cross. The first weapon you obtain is a machine-gun... that fires tennis balls. As they bounce across the ground, they'll helpfully point out which sections of the floor are false, so you can safely pass. It reminds me of Megaman 2.

These days, it seems like every indie title references classic games from the distant past. Thankfully, Pharaoh Rebirth+ sets itself apart by implementing its references in a clever manner. As far as I can tell, the least subtle reference is one of the characters having the name Belmondo. Just from playing through the game, the Konami influences are pretty clear, but you're not going to get hit over the head with them. It also helps that the character-designs are charming and have their own unique look. The soundtrack is thoroughly fantastic as well.

For the most part, the level-design is superb. Since every stage is self-contained, there isn't a need to make sure that each location connects to the others. The stages are well-designed, so that the first play-through is sufficiently enthralling. Also, you're welcome to repeat stages to find all of the hidden treasures. In many cases this is required, since the double-jump isn't available until towards the end. When repeating a previously-cleared stage, the pacing is speedy, and you can even take advantage of a few shortcuts.

But you're probably wondering what I meant when I wrote "For the most part". Well, this game has a vehicle-section. In stage 4, you have to drive a jeep. Actually, you don't drive it so much as time jumps to avoid plummeting to your death. To start things off with a positive I can say this much: It could've been a lot worse. There are visual and audio warnings when a jump is coming, and there are four checkpoints, which is pretty generous for a section that should take less than four minutes.

Still, "driving the jeep" in Pharaoh Rebirth+ is a textbook example of everything that's wrong with vehicle-sections. Several years ago, I actually wrote an opinion-piece on the subject. Looking back at it now, "driving the jeep" covers all of the bases. I played through this game on the normal level of difficulty, and I died more times on the jeep than anywhere else in the game. A sizable number of these deaths can also be attributed to the annoyingly-placed treasures throughout the stage. Also, If I want to 100% complete the game and get all of the achievements, I have to perfect my driving skills. To that I say: No thanks. All that said, the vehicle-section in this game isn't terrible, and it probably won't grind everything to a screeching halt, but I would have gladly traded this section away for a fully-featured stage.

The only other complaint I have is that you can only have one save-game at a time. I suppose this could be worked around by moving the old save-file to a different folder. I'll have to give it a shot sometime, because I'm really curious about the hard difficulty-setting.

Aside from an unfortunate vehicle-section, Pharaoh Rebirth+ is a superb game. It's a reminder that yes, even today there are great 16-bit/32-bit inspired action-platformers getting released. It's a shame I couldn't come up with anything significant to say though. What can I say? Even when I recognize quality, it's tough to put together the words that do it justice.

Disclaimer: For the purpose of this review, a key was provided by the publisher.

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13 of 16 people (81%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 18
Pharaoh Rebirth takes the idea of metroidvania style of maps and item acquisition and mashes it up with more high action platformers such as Dust, or Cave Story.

To break the game down simply, you go from stage to stage, searching through the map for new items and skills in order to advance through, until you reach the end boss. Along your journey you have a variety of ways to defend yourself against the game's varied amount of enemies and traps. You have a basic forward attack, an upward swing, and the ever useful, aerial somersault. Each attack will have it's own advantages and disadvantages, for example, the normal attack does a ton of damage but have limited reach and utility. While the aerial somersault is incredibly useful for comboing, protecting yourself from oncoming projectiles, and for control of a given combat scenario, however, it's weaker than your basic attack. You also have a quick dodge / dash that you can use for both maneuverability, as well as bypassing incoming projectiles. Along your travels you'll also come across items of varying degree. Some items will give you passive buffs, while others are active, and can be used to heal, buff, and some are even usable weapons. As you continue through the game you'll find many more skills, items, and weapons. This is essentially the core of what makes up Pharaoh Rebirth.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40NrVqes0s8
Pharaoh Rebirth's visuals are well illustrated and animated. The frames are smooth, and the pixel art professional looking. The overall design is rather cutesy, but not so overbearingly so, that you'll be ashamed to play it in public. It's overall aesthetic quality is great, but it is mired by technical limitations. There is no native resolution, no 1080p, or even simply a wide screen mode. If you set the game to "full screen" on the pre-launch menu, you'll be greeted with stretched pixels, and distorted images. Even when set to Windowed mode, the game will launch as a tiny 640 X 640 square, where you'll have to manually stretch the game, doing your best not to stretch the pixels out side of it's originally designed resolution. To say the least, this is not optimal.

The game itself is a very enjoyable romp, that offers a fair challenge to the player, while maintaining a very accessible set of mechanics that most could quickly understand within just a few minutes of play. Though it's simple at first, you'll find yourself dying more than once as you progress. Enemies take off large chunks of life, and there is no health regen except very specifically located check points. Trial and error will be your best teacher. As you would expect from a metroidvania style of game you'll be fighting bad guys, and exploring the map which seems like a fine endeavor, however, there doesn't seem to be any real map makers, compass, minimap, or even... a map at all. The player will be forced to rely on memory, or in my case, pure attrition to make it out of any given stage.

Overall Pharaoh Rebirth is a satisfying, and enjoyable action platformer with some metroidvania style mechanics for good measure. The combat and map design are enjoyable, creative, and just deep enough to keep players entertained, however, what is an otherwise very enjoyable game is mired by technical limitations with it's resolution, and player conveniences such as a map.

Pros:
- Enjoyable combat and boss fights
- Just deep and challenging enough to satisfy
- Simple enough for casual play
- Excellent animation and pixel art

Cons:
- No map (That I could find)
- Terrible resolution options

► Pharaoh Rebirth hours played: 3.5
► Completion Status on Pharaoh Rebirth: Incomplete
► This copy of Pharaoh Rebirth was provided by the developer / publisher
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19 of 28 people (68%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 17
No Commentary Quicklook:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adg_hl7I1e8

First Impressions:
Great soundtrack, well written dialog, tight remappable controls and plenty of reasons to backtrack through levels. Difficulty scaling seems well thought out and I felt no reason to smash my gamepad (yet). Few minor issues with screen tearing, 640x480 res max and no widescreen support. If you can live with that, so far it's a nostalgic trip down platformer lane. 2 paws up.

Source/Price:
Copy was provided by Degica (publisher)
Current Price: 8.99 | Worth: 5-10

More Gameplay: (not stretched!)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVVuc5q5Xd8
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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
19.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 20
What's this?

Pharaoh Rebirth+ takes the classic Japanese action/platform games from the 16/32-bit era and adds a "metroidvania" flair to it.

The player takes control of Jonathan Banfield, an archaeologist that was cursed and turned into a silly rabbit.

I stumbled upon this game just a few weeks before release and I was baffled by the overall lack of publicity and awareness of its existence. It's really a shame because there's so much care put into this work that might get overshadowed by tons of pointless "retro" platformers which come out every day.

Gameplay

Mechanics-wise, the game is pretty solid. There are various moves that can be executed from the start and others to be unlocked. Overall, combat works as intended and every enemy or boss has a dinstinct pattern that often intersects nicely with the level layouts.

Player progression is not based on elements borrowed from RPG's like experience points or equipment, but instead rewards exploring and collecting the different, unique treasures scattered through the ruins and temples of Egypt.

Instead of presenting itself with one, massive area that blocks your progress whenever you don't possess the right ability to get through, the game has a standard, stage-based structure. This helps in limiting both the backtracking factor and the typical "fake sense of freedom" of the genre.

I found the level design to be quite clever, as it encourages exploration by showing the player unaccessible routes right from the start, but never requires to backtrack to a previous stage to get to the next. This means freedom of choosing to get on with the story OR to go back and replay a chapter to get all the extra stuff which could come in handy, without being forced to revisit some old areas to get a mandatory powerup.

The classic stage-based structure also makes it easier to carry out more action-oriented set pieces, like a helicopter pursuit or a mine car ride.

Art Direction

Technically speaking, Pharaoh Rebirth+ looks and sounds great. The high-res (640x480) nicely crafted and animated pixel art is matched by an upbeat, memorable soundrack which features an obvious Egyptian vibe. However, digitally painted character portraits that show up during radio chatter fall a bit short, as they look detached from the overall style and don't really match its quality.

I recommend playing the game using its original 4:3 ratio, as stretching 2D art is a crime, especially when it's done so well.

Technical Issues

As of today, screen resolution selection and VSync have been fixed, so I don't have anything else to report at this time.

So, should I play it?

YES, you should. If you love action platformers, the metroidvania genre or just appreciate tightly designed games.
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
46.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 14
Edit: http://steamcommunity.com/app/441280/discussions/0/36854258586204257 I have encountered an as of now rare glitch that effectively froze my save file for good. I still stand by everything I said in my review about the game itself, but this REALLY needs to be fixed. I recommend backing up your saves in case something bad happens (especially do this at the start of the Cairo level), nonetheless, a; big problem to take note of. I suspect it happens specifically for that specific boss because it's not a battle that you can spawn out later; it may also happen to other non-"Guardian" bosses that don't re-spawn. So just to be safe, occasionally back-up your saves and/or try to beat bosses instantly once you come across them. I'm conflicted because this is a fantastic game everyone should experience but something really awkward happened while I was playing it. Just... keep your save file safe, and if something similar DOES happen to you too please report it ASAP.

===Original unedited review===

Krobon, a depressingly little-known Japanese indie developer, along with composer Pepo and illustrator Doromizu, made one of the finest indie games I've ever played: treasure-hunting, exploratory platform game with the showmanship and over-the-top, inventive craziness of the best arcade games. Before I continue praising this game though, I'll have to make a little side-note: those expecting the interconnected worlds of traditional "Metroidvanias" might be disappointed: this game features a more streamlined, stage-based layout. Don't mistake "streamlining" for "hand-holding", though; all the hidden passages and invisible walls are for you to discover; the enemies and platforming for you to defeat, as they can and will kill you if you're not paying attention or using your skills effectively (on that note I recommend playing on Hard mode for the best experience). Krobon offers us some absolutely out-there scenarios presented in a suitably exaggerated way, including (I'll try to make this as non-spoilerish as possible by not giving away the context, though feel free to skip the paragraph if you're bothered by even the most minor of spoilers) **********dodging lasers from outer-space while using a Jojo's Bizarre Adventure-like Stand to beat up crazed Egyptian hotel employees. And you can also get drunk off your ♥♥♥ while doing so.***********. Yes, that is a thing that happens.

The gameplay is pretty much as good as this type of game gets; the controls are spotless, the difficulty curve is near-perfect (maybe the first Guardian boss is a LITTLE too hard given what came before, but that's a massive nitpick), the levels are well-designed and nicely varied... and perhaps best of all, the game doesn't let you ruin its challenge by allowing you to mindlessly grind. The ONLY way to build your stats in this game is by exploring the levels and finding hidden items, which is perfect for the tone of the game. The unlocking of skills and thus areas that were inaccessible in the past is gradual, yet just fast enough to make you feel like you're constantly making progress and getting stronger as you go along on your epic adventure. To avoid any hassle, though, I recommend screencapping the mini-map whenever you uncover a dead end that requires a later skill; or, if you're THAT type of player, drawing your own map using pencil and paper. Some might take issue with the car-driving stage and the somewhat trial-and-error way of collecting all the treasure by making blind jumps. Another minor gripe is the lack of a fast-travel system, which I personally would have liked; but, much like this game's other flaws, it is just that: a minor gripe that shouldn't keep you from playing this game (after all, the stage-based setup is kind of like a fast travel system of its own and the levels become easier to navigate as you unlock more skills). Another such minor gripe includes the lack of specific sliders for music and sound; there's just a simple sound volume slider and that's it.

Narratively, Rebirth does a great job for what it is; the dialogue never felt like it was wasting my time, and if YOU feel like it's wasting yours, you can always skip pretty much every cutscene, even if you haven't gone through it before. I don't recommend it, though; the presentation as a whole actually makes you feel like you're really an archeologist, exploring every nook and cranny of a strange yet often surprisingly serious cartoon world. In fact, the juxtaposition of comedic shenanigans with dramatic moments and even little nuggets of brief yet oddly-fitting sociopolitical commentary make the writing a huge treat, somewhat comparable to an Osamu Tezuka story. The translators also did a great job at making the dialogue have a natural flow to it, which is great because the character interaction is charming and often genuinely funny. The Egyptian atmosphere is nicely complemented by Pepo's tunes, which succeed at giving the game a dynamic action-adventure feeling.

Graphically, Pharaoh Rebirth would have been impressive even if it came from a team of hard-working sprite artists. However, if Krobon's own Twitter account is any indication, he's responsible for absolutely every bit of pixel art and animation in the game, with Doromizu only having the job of drawing the non-pixelated character art and portraits. As someone who's obsessively into animation, this is particularly impressive to me because this is one of *THOSE* 2D sprite-based games; the kind that, instead of simply doing its job to serve the gameplay, genuinely takes into account the principles of animation to make controlling your character and fighting enemies feel particularly lively. It's not quite on the level of games like Metal Slug 3 or Super Tempo in terms of feeling like you're playing a wonderfully made cartoon (the use of color could use some work, for example), but it's still pretty up there and Krobon is a very high-level sprite artist. The animation and believable physics (shooting tennis balls underwater makes them float to the top!) makes navigating the levels and fighting enemies feel fluid and fun.

The fact that this game has been out for so long while not being covered at all by the gaming press shows just how little hard work and clever, well-executed ideas matter in the anglosphere's indie gaming scene. Along with Krobon's inability to make connections with indie-clique darlings and journos comes the dreary number of only TWO Metacritic reviews of this game. This unfairness is why I only now decided to point out that there is a shareware, untranslated version of the game out there. Beyond the English script, it lacks the extra stage of the Steam version along with the difficulty settings (and likely other stuff; I only played a tiny bit of the shareware version), but I chose to buy this primarily to support an extremely talented underdog developer who put loads of love, care and effort into creating a charming little adventure that should not be forgotten.

Also, a little hint: there's an item you can ONLY get from right after the first boss battle by doing a specific thing over and over again. Otherwise, say goodbye to 100% completion.

===Edit upon completion===

If you spend a lot of time exploring, you might end up too powerful and the end bosses will be too easy. In order to avoid this, I recommend completing the game and THEN going out of your way to treasure-hunt.
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15 of 24 people (63%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 17
This key was obtained from the publisher for the purposes of review.

Target Audience: Classic NES Castlevania fans who want a nice theme to mix in with their nostalgic gameplay

Video Review: https://youtu.be/vvMgDTtfkoU

Summary:
Get ready to whip your ears back and forth. And yes, bad opening joke for this review. But Pharaoh Rebirth+ is a solid but not spectular game in the metroidvania genre, specifically harking back to the days of the NES with it's specific yet purposeful enemy placement and level designs. There's a good mixture of combat, platforming, and exploration with not too much backtracking, and a good set of systems that complement each other overall. Good variations of level backgrounds, good change of pace gameplay, there's a lot of good, not great here. There's a bunch of fun to be had here, I just wish that the game was better implemented, with the 360 controller not working for me at all, and resolutions options that aren't really up to par with modern day systems (and not even any options for the full screen entirely. There are also some inconsistencies in the design, as some of the levels have areas that you're just on the cusp on making the jump, only to realize that you just don't have the ability to actually make it. It's no where near a big problem, but it's more of an annoyance that keeps on showing up over and over again, getting a tiny bit more annoying each time. But regardless, it's a good game that's appropriate for it's price point, and is worth your time if you like the genre.

Lists:
Positives:
  • Nostalgia takes hold with classic Castlevania (NES) gameplay. Rushing through areas will get your ♥♥♥ kick, as enemy placement and damage is purposeful and has a certain rhythm to it.
  • Controls work well in giving the preciseness you need to snipe enemies with your whip-ears while not being too loose for the platforming.
  • Good difficulty ramp as the game isn't brutal, but again, punishes impatience and expects precision. Some good difficult platforming portions that require skill and challenge.
  • Great visual designs complemented with great animation quality. Watching Jonathan eat food in particular was always fun.
  • Secondary weapons provide specific purposes and are very useful when busted out in that right situation. Not over powered, but good complements to the whip.
  • Great Level Design and enemy placement as a whole. Developers understood their game and it's engine's strengths rather well.

Negatives:
  • 720p resolution in windowed mode, and not even a resolution option for full screen mode.
  • Recording wise, was a nightmare. FRAPS gave performance issues, OBS was like “Nope”, and shadowplay while working, recorded at 640x480.
  • Missing basic options expected on a PC port, such as music/sound sliders (just one slider for audio in a pre-launcher)
  • Some enemies blend too much in the background, not giving enough of a clue of where they are on screen in order to deal with them.
  • Some parts have trial and error learning mechanics that don't do a very good job of teaching the player that they can't do the specific event right now.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
6.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 5
Pharaoh Rebirth+ is a really cute Castlevania-lite game that's big on setpieces and dialogue rather than exploration. The lead character has great animation, can attack in multiple directions, and moves pretty fast. I found the amount of chatting between the characters was a bit much for me, but I did appreciate how distinct each character felt in the end. I'm not sure a game like this needs lots of banter but it made me laugh a few times and can be skipped if you don't want to bother.
When I call Pharaoh Rebirth+ a "Castlevania-lite" I mean it's more like Order of Ecclesia than Symphony of the Night. The game occurs over a series of stages rather than one large level. You can replay stages as much as you like, re-fight bosses if you choose, and once you find an item it's yours forever. A lot of collectibles don't do much though, and many stages have dead-end hallways that make exploration less fun than it should be. There's also a "driving" stage which is basically a minecart level and a complete waste of time.
However, the lead character is charming and fun to control. The boss battles are exciting. The story never pays off in interesting ways, but the characters have more personality than they normally do in games like this. Pharaoh Rebirth+ is worth playing, though I can't say I enjoyed it enough to bother replaying it to find every collectible.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
What a great little game! I just beat it in Normal mode and it was a blast. the gameplay is super-intuitive and levels are well designed. Plus, every character is charming. It's not really a Metroidvania since it's built more like a Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia, but you'll still have many secrets to get with your abilities. And the music is marvelous!
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
7.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 18
Simply awesome, period. This game is fun to play, makes me laugh out loud, and has amazing music!

I love how once you are able to see the dungeon maps you don't have to switch to a subscreen. The map is literally superimposed over the game screen and it doesn't distract you. Just hit up twice and the map appears (once you have the tools to create maps). After a few seconds the map will fade from the screen.

The characters and humor are great and I really want to help Jonathan lift the curse and regain his human form. There's a ton of items and subweapons to collect and fun abilities to gain that will help you get to those hard to reach areas. The bosses are cool and the dungeons aren't overwhelming, this is Metroidvania done right!

I searched for somewhere to buy a soundtrack but couldn't find it anywhere. Thankfully the music is available in .OGG format in the game's folders.

Highly recommended for everything it has to offer. 10/10
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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 17
With tight controls, a pretty chill soundtrack, and some really lovely graphics, Pharaoh is definitely something worth picking up. Especially if you're a fan of the GBA Castlevania series. If anything, my only problem is that some of the jokes fall a bit flat but the writing for the most part is fine and the story is enjoyable and keeps things flowing.
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Recently Posted
dr_ill
10.1 hrs
Posted: September 8
Fantastic platformer. Controls are very smooth and the variety of subweapons is pretty cool. Only negative I have is that it ended too soon and I want to keep playing more content! If you like games like those in the Shantae series or similar action platformers, you will almost certainly like this game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
cromignon
10.4 hrs
Posted: September 8
A decent little platformer. It would be a lot more enjoyable if you weren't stopped every two screens to read a small novel's worth of dialogue.

You ever play a game that has a lot of dialogue in it, and you get the sense that the only reason the dialogue is there is because the developer didn't know that you can make a game -without- dialogue?
Like, take the bit near the end of Sonic & Knuckles, where you have to fight Knuckles (if you're playing Sonic), and then when you beat him Robotnik comes in and swipes the Master Emerald. And then Knuckles opens the secret back entrance for you.

That last sentence alone inspires whole novels of fanfic BUT THE POINT IS! that Sega told a whole little story using just sprite animations. No need for talky boxes. Especially not talky boxes that presented dialogue one sentence at a time, so that by the end of a sequence your thumb has more blisters just from pressing the "Advance dialogue" button than from playing the game itself.

Speaking of, the controls are mostly tight, the level design could use some tweaking (there's a couple of screen transitions where you'll walk right into an enemy if you're not already in the middle of a jump), the music isn't too repetitive, and there are enough save points scattered around to keep things from feeling unfair.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Mikail Yazzy
0.7 hrs
Posted: September 8
excellent classic feeling platformer with all the japanese trimmings :)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Atlas1205
4.6 hrs
Posted: August 11
A refreshing experience, feels like back to 90s!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
NotEntirelyThere
7.2 hrs
Posted: July 25
Quick and dirty: YOU can play this game; it's not nearly as hard as it seems. If you want a Metroidvania in an Order of Ecclesia style (focusing on shorter levels with tigther design over progression systems and exploration), this is it. It feels great to play. There's a lotta room for player expression with subweapon use. Weirdly engaging plot. But it's a bit of a hesitant recommendation. It's definitely worth the normal asking price, though. If you want it, get it whenever.

Its controls are tight, but not corset-tight (particularly, 1) playing with a joystick causes some awkward hiccups; diagonals are interpreted as 2 keyboard keys; this causes issues with reading signs mid-jump or misalligning shots with a certain weapon, 2) the edges of platforms are almost TOO accurate to the architecture, yet your character's "feet" for determining collision with the ground are smaller than the sprite's).

The Metroidvania progression feels reeeeally forced and hoakey. These aren't gimmicks that get you to look at levels in new lights; there are obvious barriers to progress to single, empty rooms with singular power up items. If you try to go back each time you get a progress power-up, you'll be disappointed. Only breaking boxes and double jumping give you new, fun challenges.

The looser Metroidvania structure also hurts it as an action-platformer. It feels as if checkpoint placement wasn't considered in a non-linear fashion; this is most obvious in Stage 4, where the placement of enemies along slow, elevator-like grapple chains assumes a vertical or downward ascent based on an optimal level route that isn't clear until completion.

The game can be suddenly punishing (mine cart level, ahoy!), especially with its long GAME OVER screen, but the lack of difficulty makes a game bursting with personality play like a vanilla wafer. There are many mechanics which are interesting but never required or dramatically helpful. You get a massive iinvincibility-frame dash, an aerial attack that pushes you back up slightly in the air, etc.--but there are no segments that force you to use the dash or platforming using this unique mechanic. If anything, their use trivializes much of the stage and boss design. You CAN finesse boss fights, but brute-forcing them is just as effective.

A lot of the bosses have amazing, well thought-out, varied patterns that interact in surprising ways with your arsenal of subweapons... but you can easily just eat 1 carrot per bossfight (makes you invincible for 10+ seconds and ups your attack power), use your i-frame dash to cheese through their attacks that punish you for staying at close range once it wears off, and rush them down. The reward for succesfully figuring out good sub-weapons to use is often not the difference between survival and defeat, but seeing much less of a great boss than it feels you should.

It's a game that's less than the sum of its parts. But, it's still neat as hell.

The aesthetics are on point. The music has an emotional breadth while never failing to raise intrigue in cutscenes or keep you pumped up during levels. The sprites are GORGEOUS--please, play this in windowed mode if you can't get this to scale by whole numbers in fullscreen. Some of the use of paralax bakgrounds and varying visual styles among enemies and bakgrounds--it's this wonderful mash of strict depiction and heavy abstraction at once (just see the main character set up against beautiful, lineless backdrops of palm-trees and the ocean's horizon line).

And there are some real feats of creative game design--particularly, check out how the machine gun interacts with chokepoints in the environment or how much enemy interaction changes once you consider the claymore in stage 4... but much of it is just an unchallenging, decompressed action platformer that saves its flair for boss fights and laaate game optional rooms, leaving a lot of unimpressive downtime.

Oh, and the story?? Is excellent?? Reminds me of when movies took queues from movies but didn't try to be them--it has punchy little asides between action segments to progress the plot with laugh-out-loud dialogue. Unintrusive and compelling.
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Parkreiner
5.5 hrs
Posted: July 22
Frustrating level design. Not worth the asking price.
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Chadwick
11.6 hrs
Posted: July 12
Pharaoh Rebirth is fun to play, it controls well, the art and music are wonderful, the characters are charming, there's a lot of content for the price, especially for completionists... and almost nobody bought it. If you're a fan of Castlevania or similar games, this is a hidden gem worth checking out.
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Whissu~
24.2 hrs
Posted: July 2
This game is absolutely fantastic. The pictures do not do it justice. I absolutely love the characters, the soundtrack, the level replayability, it's all wonderful
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PrincessZappi
8.0 hrs
Posted: June 29
great little hidden gem hasto be the 2nd best game i've played all year a deffenate must buy
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