Egyptian Themed Video Games in Modern Popular Culture

As one of the longest-surviving civilizations, Ancient Egyptian culture, and mythology have fascinated scholars and casual learners around the world and have had a huge impact on modern thought and popular culture.

One of the ways in which Ancient Egypt lives today is through video games, a medium that is designed with immersion in mind. Players can jump to a different place and a different time as they explore tombs, find treasures and encounter the gods of old.

Egyptian Themed Video Games

Here are just some of the Egyptian themed video games available today.

City Builders: Predynastic Egypt

Predynastic Egypt is a relatively new city-builder game released in 2016. Contrary to most video games that are set in Egypt, this one covers the time before the Great Pyramids were built and before the states ruled by pharaohs were born. This is a realistic simulation set on a reconstructed map and so it has plenty of educational value.

The concept of the game is relatively simple but the gameplay itself is complex and difficult. Visually, you’ll see an overview of a map, and your task will be to survive and thrive through real historical events in order to eventually unite the south and the north. As you build historically accurate dwellings, temples, and tombs, you’ll be faced with famine, plague, war, droughts, and tribe migration, as well as the evolution of religion, ceremonies, and celebrations.

For a more classical builder game, check out Age of Mythology. It was released back in 2002 but more recent updates keep it fresh, such as 2016’s Extended Edition and 2022’s Retold.

In Age of Mythology, players can choose to play from Ancient Greece, Nordic or Egyptian perspectives, building and conquering their way through the ages with help from the corresponding minor and major gods of their chosen culture.

Book of Dead

Ancient Egypt is so much a part of popular culture that it is now the theme for many online slot games. Online slots are the digital version of the traditional casino slot machine. Many have elaborate themes that include unique symbols and bonus rounds.

Book of Dead follows Rich Wilde as he explores tombs and stumbles on the treasures of the pharaohs. It is a 10 pay line, 5 reel slot with free spin features, wild and scatter symbols, and Egyptian themed bonus rounds.

The Book of Dead slot is one of many Egyptian themed titles. Others include the Eye of Horus, the Book of Ra, and Cleopatra. The latter features 20 pay lines, and all include Egyptian symbols on their reels. Book of Dead, however, remains one of the most popular slot games in the world.

Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation

Tomb Raider

The Last Revelation is the fourth title in the original PlayStation series and was released way back in 1999. The game follows Lara Croft through a variety of Ancient Egyptian sites, including the Temple of Sekhmet, Cleopatra’s Palaces, the Citadel of Saladin, and the Great Pyramids of Giza.

The gameplay is similar to all Tomb Raiders released at that time. Players control Lara Croft from a third-person perspective and explore tombs, solving puzzles and taking on enemies along the way. The Last Revelation demands patience and adaptability, some of the key components of mastering gaming.

Plot-wise, Croft accidentally unleashes Set, the god of chaos, while raiding a tomb, and is on a mission to restore order by imprisoning him once again.

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, released in 2014, also explored Ancient Egypt. This arcade-style spin-off was the first ever in the franchise to feature a four-player coop mode. Similar to The Last Revelation, the story involves Croft finding pieces of Osiris to stop Set from enslaving the whole of humanity.

Assassin’s Creed: Origins

Now we get to the top title of all time when it comes to games set in Ancient Egypt. Assassin’s Creed: Origins features an entire map of the country, and the developers consulted several Egyptologists to create a game that is thoroughly laced with historically accurate locations and references.

The game succeeds so well at integrating history that Egyptologists use it to teach students. The free Discovery Mode, which was added shortly after the release as DLC, allows players to explore the map without enemies, events, or missions, simply to take it all in and learn about Egypt.

In terms of gameplay, Origins is still considered one of the best Assassin’s Creed titles. It’s beautifully designed, the battles are satisfying, and a refocus on RPG elements brings more novelty to the franchise. It’s the perfect game set in Ancient Egypt.