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ATPM 4.01
January 1998

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Review: Civilization II

by Daniel Chvatik, dchvatik@atpm.com

excellent


Product Information
Box Shot
Published by: MacSoft
Phone: (800) 229-2714
Fax: (612) 577-0631
Web:
<http://www.wizworks.com/macsoft>
Street Price: $55

System Requirements

Macintosh with 68030 or higher (PowerPC recommended)
8 MB RAM (16 MB recommended)
Color Monitor
CD-ROM drive


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.


Map

Carthaginian Civilization with Settlers and Triremes at 490 AD


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).


Zulu Dialog
Talking to the Zulu


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.


Map 2
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, <daniel@callypso.com>Blue Apple

Reader Comments (6)

anonymous · April 7, 2002 - 14:29 EST #1
This is certainly one of my favorite games to play. I'm still deciding which I like better--this or its decendant, Civ III.
Scott Kaye · April 19, 2002 - 06:41 EST #2
This is my all-time favorite game. It is one of those games you can spend hours on and not realize it.
anonymous · February 26, 2003 - 14:08 EST #3
This is a terrific game. I can't stop playing it. You can have various games going, from a minor skirmish to an absolute World War. You can also have a civil war going, if you want (if you mistreat your citizens enough).
Misha · November 21, 2003 - 17:37 EST #4
This is the best strategy game available. Even Civilization III doesn't compare to this.
Max Pschorr · December 5, 2004 - 00:13 EST #5
I love this game. I play it so much i find myself getting on the computer, opening up the game and playing for hours, forgetting compleatly about what I was planning on doing. I dissagree with Misha though Civ III is a really awsome game aswell.
Skipper Davies · December 10, 2004 - 09:13 EST #6
I am involved in national and state politics and have attended international conferences, and I must say that this game is really awesome. It alows you to create historical scenarios and go to any period in time and do what you want to do. It even alows you to fight the war on terror if you want to.

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