Pick your god and unite Egypt!
Developer: Pharaoh Hound Games
Publisher: Pharaoh Hound Games
Release date: 15 Apr, 2021
Sons of Ra is a strategy/tower defense game where you play as a pharaoh to seize control over the lands of the Nile. The title plays a hybrid tower defense game where you can both defend your pyramid by constructing towers and attack the enemy by deploying troops on the map. But this wouldn’t be Egypt without some help from the gods themselves: at the start of each match, you can choose the god to worship, which in return will lend you his powers. Each god has a set of vastly different abilities, which defined different playstyles: pick your favourite one and conquer Egypt!
Easy to Learn, Hard to Destroy Your Enemies
There isn’t too much to talk about when in comes to the core of Sons of Ra as, on paper, it is a very simple game: you spawn units on two or three different lanes, build towers to defend said lanes and use your powers to support your offensive or defensive strategy. That’s it. Obviously, it’s a little deeper than that: passively you gain points which you can either spend to unlock new units (1 point) or to expand your temple and get powerful boons that last until the end of the match (3 points, but you can only do it twice). Plus, sometimes maps feature some special traits, like mines that can be taken control of, resulting in a faster earning of gold.
But these are additional details, which don’t really change the nature of the game. Sons of Ra is extremely easy to pick up and somewhat hard to master: the few rules of the game make it so that everyone can start playing after a 30 seconds explanation. This is made easier by the fact that also the various gods, while changing your playstyle, don’t change the way the game is played. Easy to learn doesn’t though mean easy to win: matches are, most of the time, very balanced and defeating the opponent always requires some thought on the moves you are going to make.
The game right now offers five playable gods, each one with its own abilities, plus 4 ground units and 4 defensive turrets that are in common. The basic unit is the spearman, the backbone of the army that excels in nothing but is cheap and available from the start of the game. Then we have the shieldbearer, a strong defensive unit with lots of health, the bowman that has a useful ranged attack and the ballista which is the only unit that can attack turrets. Just after a few games it gets clear how this title heavily lacks content: units and turrets are always the same, while the different maps become rather uninteresting after a while.
The only aspect of the game that tries to push away repetitiveness is the different abilities offered by the gods which, honestly, is too little. This, added to the fact the matches are fairly quick to play (they cannot last more than 7 minutes) make it so the sense of deja vu kicks in really fast. The game also offers two game modes: skirmish and arcade. The first is a simple match online or against the AI, while the second is basically a series of skirmishes that you have to complete before losing three matches, uniquely against AI. Not really what I was hoping for, since it adds very little to the final product.
There’s not too much to say about Sons of Ra: it is a simple title with an underwhelming amount of content. Considering the game and the duration of the matches, it probably should’ve been developed as a mobile game instead of PC one. My suggestion is to buy this title only at a heavy discount, or wait for free content updates.