Sid Meier's Civilization
Written by Shigamoto   
Tuesday, 08 March 2005

Civlization is perhaps one of the best-known games ever made. Is it still as fun playing as it was ten years ago?


When Civilization was released in 1991 it revolutionized the way we play strategy games and shaped pc gaming development for years to come.

The graphics in the game are simple and haven’t survived very well. You can select to play in EGA, CGA or VGA, options that are pretty useless today. Playing in EGA and CGA will give you flashbacks and maybe give you an allergic reaction because of the hideous colors.

If you don’t already know what Civilization is about please let me give you a brief overview. The game is generally about conquering the planet with a civilization, you can do that by winning the space race or by conquering the rest of the civilizations.

There are a number of Civilizations you can choose to play as. What sets them apart is the starting technology and the name of their capital.

You can make Civilization render a customized map or you can choose to play on our beloved planet. When customizing the map you choose the temperature, land mass and land age. After a while the computer will present you with a playable map.

The maps are scattered with different symbols marking natural resources. These resources can symbolize anything from good hunting grounds to gold or coal. You should really try to get as many resources as possible by building cities close to them. The resources give the cities more production shields or food.

To get your cities to grow they need food, production and population. Developing irrigation and farming around the cities give them more food, building mines gives more production. Population will come as you construct important buildings in the cities.

There are a number of buildings in the game, everything from granaries to universities. Wonders also play an important role in the game. The wonders are buildings that have a cultural, military or financial value. Examples are the Great Wall, the Pyramids or the United Nations.

As your civilization advances you will eventually one way or another clash with other parties on the planet. Some are friendly but many are hostile. Actually I believe that the diplomacy in Civilization is mostly hostile negotiations doing anything to prevent wars, or start wars.

Other diplomacy negotiations are usually around different pacts and peace treaties. There is not much trade or cultural exchanges.

Wars and military play an important role in the game. There are a vast number of units with everything from spearmen to battle tanks and aircraft carriers. The battle system has some flaws and isn't very advanced. Sometimes a phalanx can take out a battle tank, something that isn’t suppose to happen, or can happen for that matter.

Naturally when it comes to some features Civilization is a dinosaur. For example the menu system is really irritating. If you click on the wrong button you can’t go back, so if you accidentally choose to start a new game you have to go through with it and then exit the game to go back to the game again. The sound effects haven’t made it at all and there is no music whatsoever.

Civilization has such a cult status that if you are playing PC games you should definitley have tried the game. If you haven't now is the time to do so. Sure the game has some flaws compared with today's PC games, but it also has a lot of class and depth that we don't see too often in the industry today.

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Developer: Sid Meier
Related Websites:
Publisher: Microprose
O/S: Amiga/DOS/OS X/ Win 3.1/XP
Cost of Full Game: N/A
Year of Release: 1991

Pentium II 450 MHz, 128 MB RAM, 16 MB VRAM
Tested on:
Pentium 4 2.4 GHz, 512 MB RAM, ATI Radeon Graphics Card


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