No you don't have to play the part of a mummy. Actually, you are a high ranking Pharaoh. The game is set sometime between 2300bc and 250bc and it's the governor's task to rule his province and win favour in the eyes of the gods. DOTP starts with a suitably digitised Egyptian still, sampled music and a choice of Pharaoh. Before you enter the eye of Horus your Pharaoh needs a province to rule over. Choose from a variety of locations whose names sound like diseases you wouldn't tell the vicar you had. Select your ship and you're on the way to true Pharaohdom.
On the main action screen you get a number of different options. The top section of the screen concentrates on trade and equipment building. Increase your fleet of ships, or your number of war chariots. Go boating up the Nile, check your supplies and trade. All of this is essential. By using the options on the lower half of the screen you can have fun playing the tyrant. First off you have the war command. You can send one of your horse drawn war chariots to brutalise a neighbouring tribe. This takes place in an arcade sequence with you controlling the speed of the chariot and the archer. Pressing the fire button releases an arrow which, hopefully, should leave a nasty hole in someone's head. While they're firing, you have to speed up or slow down to avoid the enemies' shots. A direct hit results in your chariot driver being hurled to the ground with what looks like a rather nasty chest wound. On the other hand if you survive to the end of the section you become top dog over that tribe - until trouble starts up again.
Choose a god which appeals to you. In my case it was Hather, God of Music and Happiness. You can build a temple to a god, or sacrifice the odd peasant or two. If you think it's necessary you can also build a temple for yourself (with the aid of a few thousand slaves). As the game progresses your prestige increases as does your power and influence over your people and neighbouring tribesmen. Boost your powers until, finally, you're accepted by the god's themselves. A tall order indeed. DOTP is one of those games that requires at least several hours per sitting. It's deep, absorbing and fun to play. The graphics are excellent, the sound is sparse but what's there is sampled and adds nicely to the atmosphere. A good game in the increasingly popular field of interactive strategy. A must for fans of this style of game.
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