Egyptians is a part-roll-and-move, part-trivia board game that is designed to teach you and your family about Ancient Egypt in a fun and engaging manner. The aim of the game is to collect a complete set of Pharaoh cards and place them safely inside your pyramid.
- Four Wooden Camel Pieces
- One Wooden Die
- Four Cardboard Pyramids
- 84 Pharaoh Cards
- 84 Question/Action Cards
- Rule Book
How Do You Play Egyptians?
To play Egyptians, each player or team places a camel token on the start space; they then take a cardboard pyramid and place it in their play area. If this is the first time the game has been played, the pyramids will need assembling first—I used a small amount of double-sided sticky tape to build ours.
The Question/Action and Pharaoh card decks are shuffled and placed in their respective places on the board, and each player/team takes three Pharaoh cards and put them in their play area.
Players travel around the Egyptians board attempting to collect all six Pharaoh cards and entomb one on each inside their pyramid. They take it in turns to roll the die and move their camel the indicated number of spaces around the board. There are eight different actions to perform depending on which space you land on.
- Question/Action Card – Another player takes a card from the Question/Action card deck and reads the action or one of the three questions out loud to the active player. The action cards are similar to Chance cards in Monopoly and contain instructions such as:
“You have been asked to dance for Tutankhamun. Roll the die again and have another go,”
“Keep this card for your next battle. You can add one point to the number you threw on the die.”
Each question card contains three questions, all of which are multiple choice so you don’t need to be an expert Egyptologist to play. The first question is aimed at younger children and is usually a yes or no type question. The second and third questions have three answers to choose from. All the questions are about Ancient Egypt and cover topics including daily life, geography, religion, and language. It is up to the player reading the card to the active player to decide which of the three questions to ask.
- Pharaoh Card – Take a Pharaoh card from the deck. There are six different Pharaoh cards in the deck: Artisan, Musician, Priest, Blessing of Ra, Soldier, and Supplies. You will need to collect one of each to win the game.
- Pyramid – You may put one Pharaoh card into your pyramid. Cards entombed inside the pyramid cannot be used in bartering or battles.
- Barter – Exchange any number of face-down Pharaoh cards from your hand with any other player if you wish; the other player must barter the same number of cards. The rules do not indicate if the other player has a choice to accept the barter or not.
- Battle – Similar to bartering. If you wish, you can select any number of face-down Pharaoh cards to send into battle and pick another player to battle against who must match the same number of cards. Both players roll the die and whoever rolls the highest number wins all the cards sent into battle; in the event of a tie, the die is simply rolled again by both players. As with bartering, the rules do not indicate if the player selected to battle has a choice over participating.
- Start – Every time you pass over the start square, pick up a Pharaoh card.
- Oasis – Your camel rests, no action performed.
- Roll Again – Roll the dice again and take another turn.
Once a player has collected one of each of the six Pharaoh cards and entombed them safely inside their pyramid, they must race around the board to return to the start square. When they have arrived there (this does not need to be by exact count) they must roll an even number to move to the Ra symbol in the middle of the board where they will receive Ra’s blessing and win the game.
Why Should You Play Egyptians?
Egyptians is a very simple to learn game aimed at kids age seven and up, making it perfect to play during elementary school when most kids will do topic work on the subject of Ancient Egypt. The game does a great job of teaching kids history without them realizing that they’re learning—my son is currently studying Ancient Egypt at school and has asked to play this game multiple times despite protesting any and all “official” homework sent by his teacher.
The multiple choice questions mean that everyone can play regardless of their knowledge of Ancient Egypt—if you were playing with an Egyptologist, you could even leave the answers out entirely to level the playing field a little! The center of the rulebook also includes guides to both hieroglyphic symbols and some Egyptian deities, so if you were playing with younger children this could be left open on the table as a reference. The rear of the rulebook contains a “did you know” section filled with interesting facts, many of which will provide clues to the questions in the game.
Egyptians is not a complex, strategic game that will keep die-hard gamers engaged for hours, but it is not intended to be so. Instead, this is a game that can be played quickly and easily to help boost at-home learning. I would highly recommend it for homeschoolers and teachers as well as parents who want to help engage their children with their current school topic at home. It is far from the greatest board game I have ever played, but it excels at what it is designed to do, and even my husband and I have found ourselves learning more about Ancient Egypt than we did before, thanks to Egyptians.
GeekMom received this item for review purposes.