A short review of Civilization Revolution

You know, I’ve been playing Civilization since the first one. I remember being in college and spending 7 pm to 7 am in the computer lab just playing Civ. It really is the gaming world’s version of crack.

Civ II came out, and I was just as addicted. That one was modifiable, and I remember trying futilely to create games based on my own worlds. Somewhere on my old Pentium, there’s an incomplete Lord of the Rings mod on the hard drive. Civ III was fine, but the game was so skewed against world domination strategies (the most fun part of Civ!) that I never warmed up to it the same way I did the previous versions. Civ IV, I skipped. I was older, and there was not enough time in the day.

What brought me back? The iPod/iTouch version of Civilization Revolution. I was looking for games to play, and, like the old fogey that I was, I went for games that I was highly familiar with. Tetris. Doom. And, of course, my long lost love, Civilization.

I have a few complaints. I wish the map was larger, and that you could play against more than four opponents.

But other than that, it was Civ magic all over again. The game is simpler than I remember from Civ III, but that’s a good thing! It’s a back to basics approach. Civilization Revolution plays like the the original Civ, the one that have my obsessive-compulsive brain hard-wired to finish until all enemies on the board were crushed under the heel of my mighty armies.

I’ve played a few Civs, with Russia perhaps matching my style the best. (Also, Catherine the Great is very easy on the eyes.) Biggest change from the original, by the way: each civilization has their own specific attributes. Choose the Mongols, for example, and every conquered barbarian city comes under your control.

In the end, it’s a great way to waste your time. Just be prepared for your iPod’s battery to run out: no way you’re finishing a game in less than three hours.

Addendum: I hear Civ V is incorporating several elements from Civ Revolution, and I can’t be happier. Anything that brings back the joy of seeing your enemies driven before you!

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