Giveaway of the Day - The Great Pharaoh

The Great Pharaoh
November 18, 2012

From generation to generation, each new Pharaoh wanted to be more powerful than the previous one. One got his wealth by seizing the lands of others, another – in the fertile lands of the Nile. But there was another way to gain overwhelming richness…

Legend says that in the abandoned temples of the City of the Dead, the treasury of Egypt ancient rulers was kept. Priests put the gold into magical blocks, guarded by those who were gone for eternity. Only the Great Pharaoh could take back the gold, gathering together the blocks and presenting seals. The seals were lost with time. There were no Pharaohs who wished to return ancient treasures, as the price for a mistake was great – eternal wandering in the dark world of the dead. Would you like to try your luck? Returning the treasures of the ancestors, you will build the City, the glory of which will live for centuries…

In this fast-paced Match 3 game, the goal is to restore the temples of the City of the Dead, getting hidden gold. You can get the gold by matching 3 ancient blocks. At the same time you should keep an eye on mummies who can put a curse, stealing gold and freezing the blocks. You have limited time to meet your goal on gold and become the Great Pharaoh!

User Rating: Rate It!
  • 242 (66%) 
  • 127 (34%)
System Requirements: Windows XP/ Vista/ 7
Publisher: Stars Ashes
File Size: 50.1 MB
Price: 9.95$

This software was available as a giveaway on November 18, 2012, this giveaway is not available any more. You can download the trial version of this software at

Terms and conditions

Please note that the software you download and install during the Giveaway period comes with the following important limitations: 1) No free technical support; 2) No free upgrades to future versions; 3) Strictly personal usage.


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  1. The Great Pharaoh:


    The Great Pharaoh downloads to a 50.1 MB zip file that unpacks to a wrapped setup and activation module plus a setup.gcd security file, a read me that contains details of the installation and the terms and conditions. Once installed the game uses 81.8Mb of disc space.

    I’ve tested the game on all my installations and it works on XP Pro 32 bit, Vista Home Basic 32 bit, Vista Home Premium 64 bit, Win 7 Pro 64 bit and Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit installations. There’s no shortcut installed so make a note of where the game is installed to so that you can manually create a desktop shortcut. By default it installs to the following path:



    Registration is automatically done when you install the game. You will require an active internet connection to complete activation. If you have any problems see the section above the review.


    The game has been given away three times before; earlier this year May2012 where it received 68% positive votes out of 294 votes last year, back in March 2011 and September 2011 where it received positive votes of 62% and 75% respectively. You can read the previous comments HERE (May 2012), HERE (March 2011) and HERE (September 2011).

    Developers Introduction

    From generation to generation, each new Pharaoh wanted to be more powerful than the previous one. One got his wealth by seizing the lands of others, another – in the fertile lands of the Nile. But there was another way to gain overwhelming richness… Legend says that in the abandoned temples of the City of the Dead, the treasury of Egypt ancient rulers was kept. Priests put the gold into magical blocks, guarded by those who were gone for eternity. Only the Great Pharaoh could take back the gold, gathering together the blocks and presenting seals. The seals were lost with time. There were no Pharaohs who wished to return ancient treasures, as the price for a mistake was great – eternal wandering in the dark world of the dead. Would you like to try your luck? Returning the treasures of the ancestors, you will build the City, the glory of which will live for centuries… In this fast-paced Match 3 game, the goal is to restore the temples of the City of the Dead, getting hidden gold. You can get the gold by matching 3 ancient blocks. At the same time you should keep an eye on mummies who can put a curse, stealing gold and freezing the blocks. You have limited time to meet your goal on gold and become the Great Pharaoh!

    Reference accessed HERE 5th March 2011

    The Game

    This is a reasonable match three game with decent graphics and additional elements that add to the overall game experience. Game play is as you’d expect from a match three; that is you have to swap adjacent blocks so that three or more blocks of identical color, including those that are frozen line up in columns or rows. This destroys the blocks and releases the gold that is hidden within the block.

    There are some original features that make it worth downloading such as the building of a town and the addition of mummies that steal gold from you as well as add a curse which freezes several blocks for a specific length of time. This occurs when there is a line of three similar blocks next to the mummies. If you can line up three of these mummies in a row or column you will get extra gold and destroys the mummies. You can see various symbols within each colored block, these have various values for example collecting 3 ankh’s is worth 120 gold pieces whereas collecting three squiggly lines are worth 250 gold pieces; collecting additional blocks such as a line of 4 or five gives you more gold. You’ll find 7 different values within the blocks ranging from 100 gold pieces to 250 gold pieces. (100, 120, 140, 160, 180, 200 and 250). Destroying three mummies is worth 500 gold pieces. There are 40 levels broken up into eight different stages. Each stage ends in the completion of a specific Egyptian building or object such as an Obelisk, the Temple of Anubis, a city gates or the Pyramids. After each level you are awarded a part of a key. Collecting all the parts will unlock the next stage in the building of the town.

    As you would expect levels start off easy with grids of 8×8 which increase in size as you get further into the game. Progression is mapped out via the levels map, which shows you the various buildings and monuments that you will build throughout the game. There doesn’t appear to be any power-ups added to this game (I didn’t encounter any while playing the demo, which included the first five levels).

    The options menu enables you to change several parameters such as screen resolution , windowed mode and an advanced lighting mode that adds shadows to the game (not very obvious) as well a sound and music sliders to adjust the volume and a difficulty slider that has three choices, easy, medium and hard difficulty.


    • Collect gold from ancient tombs in this entertaining Match 3 challenge.

    • Restore the Temple of Anubis, the Great Pyramids, the giant Obelisk and more.

    • Watch out for mummies and their curse as they steal gold and freeze blocks.

    • Rush to clear 40 levels before time is up.

    • See the megalithic structures take shape before your eyes.

    Images & Video:

    You can see a slideshow of around 50 images showing the first area to be unlocked HERE. You’ll see help screens, several levels, statistic screens and the level map. Unfortunately the images were uploaded backwards, so you see the later images first

    You can view all the images in full screen or as a grid with adjustable slider to view in various sizes. Just click on one of the two buttons to the bottom right of the screen, just above the film strip; (you need to hover your mouse over the bottom of the screen to see the filmstrip)

    You can see a couple of videos of game play HERE and HERE


    This is a match three game of medium quality. It’s not the best in my opinion, but still playable. It’s got similarities to games like Atlantis Quest which was given away some time ago, but the quality of the game does not match Atlantis Quest by a long shot. The graphics are uninspiring and drab with no power ups to add sparkle and excitement. That said, it’s a basic match three; and if you like match three’s you’ll probably play this one, but too be honest I’ve added links to far superior match three’s below in the ‘Similar Games for Free section’

    I’d give it an average score of around 6.5 out of 10. This is broken down into a 7 out of 10 for game play (I’m being generous) and 6 out of 10 for graphics and sound. I like Match Three’s as they are mindless and sometimes I need a mindless game that’s easy to play. The main problem with this game is that this genre has moved on from the original Jewel Quest type game play and now we get match three’s that are combined with RPG elements for example Puzzle Quest 1 & 2 or card playing games like Gyromancer, or more traditional match three’s like Treasures of Montezuma that have upgradeable power ups and spectacular graphics or give you screensavers at the end of the game like Atlantis Quest; (or several if you play Around the World in 80 Days). The amazing thing is the last three games I mentioned above can now be downloaded completely free for the full version – (follow the link to MyPlayCity).
    Apart from the addition of a quest to build various landmarks and buildings in between levels this match three game is very basic. The attempt to spice the game up with this building quest really didn’t work in my opinion because there is no actual contribution from the player apart from completing a match three level because the building stages are automatic and occur when you’ve completed a level. You’ll be whisked off to the site and magically see a new building or a city gate appear, and then the next level will start.


    Check out THESE reviews from Big Fish, they are all basically negative with respect to uninspiring game play


    More Games

    If today’s game doesn’t take your fancy then check out the game discussion forums and the free games synopsis. We’ve posted a couple of thousand free games over the last four years, many of which are excellent alternatives to their commercial cousins.

    Steam has several games on sale at the moment including the 24 hr Steam deal which today Dogfight 1942 a game similar to todays game giveaway, but with far better graphics and game play. You’ll find DogFight HERE. It has 50% off it’s a steal at £5.99 (approx $9). There’s also two dlc’s available with 50% off.

    This weekends big deals over o Steam are the excellent sim game called Tropico 4 which you’ll find details of HERE. with 75% off the game and most of the DLC’s and 25% off the recently released DLC’s its a great bargain. There’s also a free weekend plus 50% off with another game called Awesomenauts an action strategy platformer. rel=”nofollow”>Snapshot an indie platformer also has 50% off and there are at least another 20+ games with varying percentages off, ranging from 10% to 30%, including unreleased games like Hitman Absolution which is due for release any day (competing with the likes of Call of Duty which was released a few days ago and as always is one of the most expensive games on sale – it’ll cost you almost £90/$135 for the deluxe edition plus a season pass for future DLC) Another game to watch is the complete Saints Row the Third pack, with all DLC content plus the main game for only £29.99$45 that’s a saving of £50/$75 compared to what it costs at the moment. That is available from the 17th November HERE. Oh yeah, nearly forgot, you can get Bioshock for free from Gamefly at the moment; check it out via the game giveaway forums HERE (I’m not sure whether the offer is only available to those that installed the Beta client. If you owned any Direct 2 Drive games you’re likely to have installed the beta; then again it may be open to all.

    Check out Gamersgates offers. There’s loads of 50% to 75% off offers (for example Crusader Kings II, Janes Advance Strike Fighters, Crysis: Maximum Edition, Storm over the Pacific, Cities in Motion, Need for Speed: The Run, plus more. Some of which come with Steam keys. Gamefly and Desura also have a sale on as well. (Dungeon Defenders, Torchlight, Nuclear Dwn, Gratuitous Space Battles, Osmos, Space Pirates & Zombies, Bulletstorm, Medal of Honor: Airborne ( a great game that was released and unjustly overshadowed by the release of Call of Duty Modern Warfare – COD4) plus more.

    I’ve also posted several links to sites where you’ll find loads of decent game deals. Just look in the Game Discussion sticky section for the thread.

    This months Alawar game is still The Curse of Montezuma (despite being on for six weeks – hopefully they will change it for another soon). for those that are new to the game giveaway project you will need Alawar’s free game box to be able to download their free monthly game. this months is an excellent match three. You can download the game box HERE.

    Oh yeah, nearly forgot, you can see all of the live indie bundles that are available HERE . They don’t update it every day (Indie Gala X is showing as still live, but that ended a few days ago), still it’ll give you an idea as to whats still available. alternatively you can visit the giveawayoftheday Game discussion forums as all bundles are detailed there as well.

    Also check out the latest game available on IndieGame stand HERE. You can pay as much as you want but no less than $1. The present game has just changed to Syder Arcade, which is a free scrolling, multi directional shoot ’em up, an uncompromised old-school experience. There are several $5 bundles available from the Indie bundle site HERE, each bundle has three games. There’s quite a few decent deals over on Desura HERE also the latest Indie Royale: Harvest Bundle is in full swing with just over a day to run (ends on Sunday afternoon 2pm GMT) You get Mutant Mudd (Desura), Pineapple Smash Crew (Steam & Desura), Spirits (Steam & Desura), Avernum: The Great Trials Trilogy (Steam & Desura), Basket Belle (Desura) for a minimum of £3.47.

    . Virtually all of the bundles mentioned above include a combination of Steam and Desura keys as well as DRM free copies or a combination of 1, 2 or all three. Sometimes you also get a choice of operating system (Windows, Mac, Linux, Android) .Another Humble bundle called the Humble Bundle 4 Android was released last week. It still has five days to run and you can get nine excellent games (Splice, Eufloria, Waking Mars, Machinarium, Crayon Physics Deluxe, Superbrothers: Sword & Sorcery, Avadon: The Black fortress Trilogy, Canabalt, Cogs, Sword & soldiers, and Zen bound 2. I paid around 4180 for the above games when they were initially released, now you can get all of them for just over $6. Definitely one to get. You can have PC and Android versions (as well as Mac and Linux versions). Also most l of the games have Steam keys as well as a downloadable DRM copy plus at least one comes with a Desura key.

    For a minimum of less than $6 you can get all of the games in the build a Bundle 4 pack. These include Stellar Impact (Steam), Robin Hood: The Legend of sherwood (Steam), Vitrium (Desura), Qasir Al-Wasal: A night in-between (Desura), Men of War (Steam), Fantasy War (Steam), Zombies (Desura), Velvet Assassin (Steam), Orczz (Desura). I paid $45 for Velvet Assassin when it was first released a few years ago. Now you can get 9 great games for less than $6. The Groupees group also do the Be Mine bundles. Number six is in the pipeline for release any day now The main difference between these two bundles is that you can choose what games you want in the build a bundle. The fewer you choose the less you pay.

    You’ll find details of all the bundles still available over in the first two pages of the game discussion forums as well as several of the main game distributors that seem to have permanent sales HERE

    You can get several excellent match three games or similar from Gametop. Gametop isn’t as aggressive with respect to toolbars and home page changes as MyPlayCity is at the moment. You can get over 50 math threes from MyPlayCity, but you will need to uncheck boxes for toolbar and home page changes every time you start the game up. plus during installation you may get adverts.



    If you have any problems with the game, either installation issues or getting the game to work check out the FAQ’s section over in the Game discussion forums. you can find it HERE

    If you are posting requests for help late in the day I would suggest posting in the main giveaway forums in the game Game Discussion . If you’ve installed the game but it won’t work for some reason, it should still be registered, so someone may be able to help at another time. Unfortunately if your problem is actually installing it then once the giveaway period is over there’s nothing that can be done until the game is given away again (though that isn’t guaranteed). It’s always worth checking out the free games sites as sometimes the games we get here are also available for free from them as well.

    Request for Help:

    Developers rely on good feedback to improve their games. If you download this game please take some time once you’ve played it a while to leave some constructive feedback either positive or negative. The more constructive feedback we get, the more likely developers are going to give more games away. The giveaway site already has a very good standing with the search engines. Developers want their products out there on the WWW, this site has the potential to do that. The game giveaway project gives away on average between 9 to 17 thousand downloads for each game depending upon what genre and how obscure the game is. That’s a lot of homes these games are being downloaded into and a lot of ‘potential’ cash that’s being lost by the developers. If we get better games because of better feedback, the community are likely to continue to benefit from the generosity of the developers. Satisfied community members are then more likely to visit the home sites of those developers and purchase games that they may not have bothered with before they discovered the developer via the game giveaway site, thus giving the developers more incentives to give away even more decent games.

    Please leave some feedback once you’ve checked the game out. It can be positive or negative, but please explain what your reasons were for the feedback you post. You could also leave suggestions for improving the game, for example, this game could do with more block types for the levels editor, add more power-ups, describing the ones you think would be suitable, add some mini games (which seem all the rage in some arcade games now) or enable the user to be able to change the in game music easily.

    Thank you in advance to all those who take the time to post a constructive comment.


    Whiterabbit aka Stephen

    Comment by Whiterabbit-uk — November 18th, 2012 at 3:01 am
  2. Hello everyone,

    FYI – This month’s Alawar free game is NOT “The Curse of Montezuma” but “Sprill”. Just thought I’d let you know cause it’s been that game since the last week of October or even before that.

    As for this game, it installed fine on Win7 x64. It’s very basic match 3, nothing fancy. In fact, it’s pretty much repetitive game play. However, it does get harder as you advance in the game, but it’s nothing as fun as (IMHO) “Around the World in 80 days or 4 Elements”(always free at Gametop).

    There’s construction of an Obelix on level 1 (other construction on every level) but you have nothing to do in regards to that. You play a level with success = construction is being done. Might be nice if the player actually had a say in this. Inventory of items that the player could choose from to embellish/improve the construction.

    They could spice it up with mini quests at the end of a level. Also, you need to accumulate a certain amount of gold in a certain amount of time and once that’s done, the level is over. Why not let the play go on until time runs out and with the extra gold one can purchase items to improve construction or whatever else.

    BTW, is the maniacal laughter when you touch a pharaoh really necessary? Or the red evil eyes when you miss a level? Personally, I don’t think it adds anything to the game-play.

    All in all, it’s probably a good match 3 for lovers of that type of game but nothing that stands out for those who like plenty of challenges and hands on play in games. Nonetheless, thank you Star Ashes and GGOTD for this free giveaway.

    Have a great day and God Bless You All :-)

    P.S. Stephen, I asked you your opinion last week in regards to downloading to the Users folder instead of Program Files x86. A tech told me we should always download to that folder and I just wanted your input if you have the time. Thanks! (Y)

    …………………..Moderator comment……………….

    Hi weezie,

    Thank you for your feedback on the game. As for installing to the Program folder. I’m no tech expert but i’ve always installed my games to a separate folder in fact to a different hard drive and applications I’ll install to a utilites folder and have never had any problems. There may be something in rhat the expet says with respect to 32 bit and 64 bit programs, but i’ve not really been interested enought to research the issue.

    Spill was the previous free game. it’s quite possible the cookie in your internet cache is causing you to see the old game rather than the latest game, which has been available for six weeks now andd is overdue for another change.

    I’d clear out your internet cache. The Curse of Montezuma first became available the first week of October.

    I’ve just opened up Alawars game box and taken a screen capture of the free game:

    Comment by Weezie — November 18th, 2012 at 5:10 am
  3. Is it just my imagination or does this site only give away match-3 games?

    ………………………..Moderator Comment………………..

    In answer to your question:

    Sat Nov 17th Helic (Helicopter sim) – 6408 downloads
    Sun Nov 11th – Arctic quest 2 (pattern puzzle) – 9406 downloads
    Sun Nov 4th – World’s Greatest Places Mahjong (Mahjong patience) – 13062 downloads
    Sat Nov 3rd – Amy’s Murder (HOG) – 11751 downloads
    Sun Oct 28th – The Adventures of Sinbad (HOG) – 12755 downloads
    Sat Oct 27th – Chinese Chess soul (board game) – 5663 downloads
    Sun Oct 21st – Lost Kingdom Prophecy (Match 3 with HOG elements) – 12341 downloads
    Sat Oct 20th – Incinerate (Vertical Shooter) – 5455 downloads
    Sun Oct 14th – Dancing Craze (Time Management) – 3731 downloads
    Sun Oct 7th – Lost Inca Prophecy – (Match 3 with HOG elements) – 13041 downloads
    Sat Oct 6th – Indie Cannon (Physics based flash puzzle) – 3289 downloads
    Sun Sept 30th – Enchanted Cavern (Match 3) – 12370 downloads
    Sat Sept 29th – Oh My Candy (physics based flash puzzle) – 3177 downloads
    Sat Sept 23rd – Basketbird (physics based flash puzzle) – 3573 downloads
    Sat Sept 22nd – Fairy Island (Match 3) – 11964 downloads
    Sun Sept 16th – Bilbo: The Four Corners of the World (Time Management) – 5896 downloads
    Sat Sept 15th – Putrid Putters (Physics based flash puzzle) – 3500 downloads
    Sun Sept 9th Catch the tune (Music based puzzle game) – 3903 downloads
    Sat Sept 8th – Facebookeria (Physics based shooter) – 2383 downloads
    Sun Sept 2nd – Amelia’s Cafe (Time Management) – 5417 downloads
    Sat Sept 1st – Between worlds (HOG) – 12870 downloads
    Sun Aug 26th – Fishdom: Sooky Spalsh (Match 3 with sim) – 10636 downloads
    Sat Aug 25th – Hit the Troll (physics based flash puzzle) – 2764 downloads
    Sun Aug 19th – Alex Gordon (Platformer) – 10667 downloads
    Sat Aug 18th – Cyclops Physics (physics based flash puzzle) – 3301 downloads
    Sun Aug 12th – Action Ball 2 (Breakout/arkanoid) – 10817 downloads
    Sun Aug 5th – Around the world in 80 Days (Match 3 with Screen savers) – 10930 downloads
    Sat July 28th – Football Live – (Soccer/football management sim) – 2372 downloads
    Sun Jul 22nd – The Rise of Atlantis (Match 3) – 11083 downloads
    Sat July 21st – Morbid Mansion (Pacman clone) – 3934 downloads
    Sun July 8th – Fishdom Premium (Match 3) – 9888 downloads
    Sat July 7th – Arcanorum (physics based flash puzzle) – 4494 downloads
    Sun July 1st – Turtle Lu (Platformer) – 8272 downloads
    Sat Jun 30th – Unreal World (RPG) – 7127 downloads
    Sun Jun 24th – Fanged Fun (physics based flash puzzle) – 3141 downloads
    Sat June 23rd – Egyptoid 2 (breakout/arkanoid) – 7826 downloads
    Sun Jun 17th – Last Galaxy Hero (3D Space Invaders) – 4956 downloads
    Sat June 16th – CryptoPics (Nonograms/griddlers) – 7154 downloads
    Sun June 10th – Egyptoid (Breakout/arkanoid) – 13902 downloads
    Sat Jun 9th – Gardenball (physics based flash puzzle) – 4256 downloads

    Between March 18th to Jun 3rd we had four Match 3’s out of 23 games. that’s approximately 17% Over the period I’ve detailed above we had 8 match 3’s out of 40 games of various genres (in all 17 different genres), that’s 20% or a fifth of the games were Match 3 based. All in all, when you look at the download numbers for these games its quite obvious that Match 3 games are amongst the most popular genre, which is why we probably see more of those than the other genres. Over the period covered above, 19% of the games were Match 3, yet if you calculate the percentage of total downloads for all games over the period covered above, you’ll find that 44.5% of downloads over the whole period were Match 3 (Match 3 downloads – 92253 other games – 207222 downloads).

    Hidden Object and Time Management games are still cash cows for the developers so are less likely to be given away, so we don’t see as many of those yet. Match 3’s were all the rage around five or six years ago. There’s over a hundred free ones available over on MyPlayCity.

    Anyway, to your post, I think the above disproves your ‘theory’ that all we get are match 3’s. They are the most popular so we are bound to see a higher percentage. We’ve actually had some fabulous non Match 3 games, yet the community appear not to like them (when looking at the number of downloads for those games compared to the number of downloads for Match 3)

    Comment by BlackKnight_UK — November 18th, 2012 at 5:51 am

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