A bidding game with a visually strong Egyptian theme. Other than that it could be set in any time period or setting.

Be the player with the most fame at the end of the third round or Epoch. This is done by erecting monuments, increasing the level of civilization (art, religion, writing etc.), collecting gods, gold, pharaohs, sun tokens and having a good growing season (represented by the Nile river and whether or not floods).

High quality boardstock with beautiful artwork done in the ancient Egyptian style.

Game components
Tiles are of the same high quality boardstock with very nice, detailed artwork on everything but the monuments. For some reason they all look like they’re out of focus and hold almost no detail. The point tablets are cute but a pencil and paper is faster and easier to use. The wooden sun pieces are nice. Clear, easy to read and functional as is the wooden figure of Ra. All in all, a well put together game.

How to play
Flip all of the tiles over and mix them up, group the various sun tokens according to the chart provided and randomly choose which group you want, these are placed face up in front of the player. Place the sun with the number 1 on it in the center of the board and place the Ra token next to the board.

The player with the highest numbered sun begins and play continues in the standard clockwise order. On each players turn, if he has at least one face up sun, he may do one of the following;

  1. Turn over one tile and place it on the board in either the auction track or the Ra track
  2. Play god tiles (god tiles may be exchanged for any tile on the board, more than one god tile may be played per turn, the god tile is then discarded)
  3. Invoke Ra and place the Ra figure in your area. This starts an auction for the tiles on the board. An auction may also take place if a Ra tile is turned over in step 1.

The auction is the main way to gain tiles and the only way to gain sun tokens. The player that initiates the auction (either by invoking Ra, filling up the auction rack or by drawing a Ra tile) becomes the Ra player and bidding begins, for the tiles and sun token on the board, with the player on his left. Bidding is done by placing one of your face up suns next to the board, all bids must be higher than the last one, or you may pass, excluding you from the auction. All players may pass if the auction was initiated by the auction track being full. If this happens, all of the tiles on the board are discarded from the game. If the auction is invoked by a Ra tile being turned over the players may bid or pass.If all players passthe tiles on the Auction track remain and gameplay continues. If a player invokes Ra all players may pass with the exception of the player that invoked Ra. He must bid. The highest bidder takes all of the tiles on the auction track and the sun token. If there are no tiles in the auction track the player just gets the sun token. The winning bidder places the tiles in his area, the sun tile is placed face down in front of him and the sun token used to win the auction is placed in the center of the board. Play resumes with with the player to the left of the Ra player, regardless of how the auction turned out.

The round or Epoch is over when the last player with a face up sun uses his sun and completes his turn or the Ra track gets filled. Once any player runs out of face up suns he may no longer take any turns until the end of the Epoch, the remaining players continue. Once the Epoch ends the scoring begins. Sun tokens and monuments are only scored at the end of the game (the third Epoch) All suns are then turned face up and the next Epoch starts with the player who has the highest number sun token. The player with the highest score at the end of the third epoch wins.

My opinion
A really fun game that can be finished in about an hour. I like the bidding mechanics but the scoring can be a bit confusing at first. I recommend this for anyone who enjoys bidding type games. It has a nice luck factor with a really good strategic element thrown in. Definitely a thinking mans game. Do I go for the auction now, use up my last god tile or chance another tile?

Complexity: 2         Strategy: 3         Luck: 3         Overall: 3


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