Few settings are as evocative, mysterious, or captivating as ancient Egypt. As such, it’s no wonder that it remains a popular travel destination. Likewise, it’s easy to see why Hollywood has long maintained a love affair with it.
Following this, the game industry – which is accustomed to taking its thematic cues from its silver screen forebears, has similarly employed its forgotten temples and arid dunes to great effect.
Here are just a few shining examples of games that, in their craft and attention to detail, have brought the time of the pharaohs roaring back to life.
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John Hunter and the Tomb of the Scarab Queen
One of the great things about the games industry in 2023 is its incredible diversity of offerings. While action-packed triple-A titles often come across as if they’re the main attractions, in truth much of the gaming sector is focused on experiences outside of their purview.
Today, over half of all self-professed gamers use their smartphones as their sole, or primary gaming device. What’s more, while there are a host of console-style games to explore on both Android and iOS, many of these gamers prefer differently paced game types.
Easily the most popular of these is slot gaming, with fans around the world enjoying its real money gameplay, innovative design and fun themes. As such, it should come as no surprise that some of the best loved Egyptian-themed games belong to this genre, where tales of hidden treasure abound.
While there are a few popular games in this niche, by far the best available in 2023 is John Hunter and the Tomb of the Scarab Queen.
This 5 reel, 25 payline slot incorporates Egyptian mystical symbols and iconography throughout and places you in the role of the Indiana Jones-inspired John Hunter as he sets off on a quest to reveal the Tomb of the Scarab Queen. What’s more, with an RTP of 95.50% it’s also close to the top end of the scale of titles available in the segment today.
Assassin’s Creed: Origins
No survey of the best games set in the ancient nile basin would be complete without Assassin’s Creed Origins. The Assassin’s Creed series is one of the most successful third person action-adventure franchises of the 21st century. To date, fans from around the world have purchased over 200 million copies of its 12 headline games and its many spin-offs.
The formula for Assassin’s Creed was with its the original’s release in 2007 – strong storytelling, dynamic action and ‘go anywhere’ exploration. Throughout the first few games, this format was steadily refined, though 2017’s Assassin’s Creed: Origins marked one of the biggest departures for the franchise to date.
Origins was the first game in the series to eschew semi-open world map design for true, vast open worlds akin to those seen in Far Cry, Skyrim and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
The combination of easily the most exotic location to date to feature in an Assassin’s Creed game, and the massively expanded world – replete, of course, with pyramids, temples and everything you’d hope for – marked it out as one of the high points of the franchise.
This pivot was so well received that every Assassin’s Creed game since has continued to prioritise open world exploration over tighter, more structured level design.
Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation
The Tomb Raider games, alongside their iconic protagonist Lara Croft, were among the biggest titles of the early-3D era thanks to their innovative combat and exploration.
The fourth in the series, and the swansong for its 32-bit run, was 1999’s Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation. Set in Egypt, you accompany Croft in her most perilous quest yet – to imprison the evil god Set who was mistakenly set loose upon the world.