Review: Civilization II
Published by: MacSoft
Phone: (800) 229-2714
Fax: (612) 577-0631
Street Price: $55
Macintosh with 68030 or higher (PowerPC recommended)
8 MB RAM (16 MB recommended)
Those readers who liked Civilization will love its sequel, Civilization II. If you don't know Civilization but are interested in complex strategy games, this game is definitely worth a try.
Have you ever wondered what could have been done differently in the course of human history? Could we have coexisted without war? Civilization gives you a chance to do everything differently.
The game begins with you playing the leader of a small, primitive civilization. You choose your nation, or tribe, from among 21 different cultures which range from contemporary to ancient. The play is turn-based and requires you to perform a multitude of tasks.
You can build various units and buildings. Each has its own specific function. For example, your settlers can build roads, found new cities, irrigate your fields to grow more food, or dig mines to increase production. Cities use surrounding resources to increase their population, trade, and produce goods. Trade revenues can be converted to luxuries, taxes, and science. Luxuries are needed to keep the people happy. Cities, armies, and science to produce new inventions are financed by taxes. Whenever a new invention is produced, you get added benefits. For example, the ability to construct new buildings, units, bridges, etc. There are so many kinds of inventions, units, buildings, and landscapes that a flow-chart is included with the manual, which graphically illustrates how they are interrelated (e.g., inventing the wheel must come before building chariots).
Units include many military types, from ancient to high-tech. Although it is possible to play without war, it is a good idea to defend your cities. Your government can assume many forms, from despotism to democracy. Each has unique advantages and disadvantages. Embassies established in your enemies' countries help you to stay current on their progress and foreign policies. Diplomacy is an important part of the game.
You can win the game in different ways: (1) kill all other civilizations (the brutal way) or (2) develop a high-tech society and launch a spaceship to colonize a new planet (the scientific and preferred way). You can also play "scenarios," which have different goals and are expandable with new graphics.
The game is very well done. Graphics and sound effects are good -- remember, the focus of the game is strategy, not action. You won't see and blood and gore. Several spectacular video clips show you "Wonders of the World" after you build them.
Modern American Civilization with Pollution
Civilization II features an integrated help function which answers all imaginable questions about units or buildings. The CD also comes with a really nice background music.
Those familiar with the original Civilization will be a little disappointed. Civilization II is very similar to the previous release. Graphics were updated, video clips added, and many new units, inventions and buildings introduced. The new release features more tribes, the diplomacy is much better, and the spaceship is terrific. It is an improvement over the old game - and highly addictive. A must-have for strategy gamers -- unfortunately it is not a multi-player game.
Civilization II is not for everyone. In this review, I didn't describe all its nuances. It is quite complicated and its manual is a tome. Learning the game takes some time, but once you master it, you can't let go. This is not always positive: an average game can last from 5 hours to a week! Don't have an important project due when you start playing! Overall, it is one of the best and most entertaining games I've played - and it is definitely educating.
Copyright © 1998 Daniel Chvatik, <firstname.lastname@example.org>.