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Sid Meier's Colonization was the game that set the trend for over a decade of classic turn-based strategy games and was a truly revolutionary game for its time.
Having played Colonization many years ago, I find myself repeatedly going back to play the game time and again. The game was developed at a time when floppy discs were the limit of storage technology and as such the game will take seconds to install on a modern PC and no time to load or run it. Depending on your set up, you may need to run a DOS emulator if playing the game from its original format.
The core point of the game is in discovering & settling a new world (you may elect to play on a random map or a map of the Americas). In the process , you will build cities, take part in various types of trade, participate in international wars, fight indians and have the option of starting a Civil War against your own nation.
Moreover, the game is full of small niceties from discovering ancient ruins to boycotting trade in certain products with Europe which all really do add to the overall gaming experience.
Fans of the Civilization game series will no doubt see a lot of similarities as Colonization was the lesser known prequel to the famous series. From the types of units to the irrigation/road/railroad setter actions to the city interface, all the core ingredients are there and believe you me: every time I pick up the game, it sucks you in and does not let go despite the graphics and game engine being over two decades old!
The original and the best!
The idea is that you are an explorer, sent by one of the mother countries (England, Spain, Netherlands or France) to discover the New World. As you discover the new found land, you have to set up towns, and start bringing skilled members of your new community from the old world to the new (carpenters, fishermen, silver miners etc), all the while exploring your new lond, meeting and negociating with natives and other Europeans, and if you're lucky - finding hoards of gold! Very soon you are creating items that you can trade back in Europe (anything from wood to fur coats!), and growing your own stash of cash. The aim? To declare independence from Europe and become American!
This is a great variation from the classic Civilization series of games. Whereas in Civilization you create cities, build buildings, and conquer your neighbours, Colonization is on a much more personal level where you truly feel as if you're getting to know your individual colonists! (Maybe talking to your ore miner nicely, asking if he's happy to be a lumberjack for a little while, is taking things a bit too far...)
Ok, I'll be fair, I've given it 4 stars rather than the 5 I believe it deserves, mainly because in this day and age the graphics are very simple and blocky. But the backgroung music is atmospheric for it's time. Yes, it might get a bit annoying, but it can easily be turned off.
It's a classic example of a 'just one more turn' game (like most of the Civilization games), where you suddenly realise you've lost an entire evening!
There is a re-make of this game, which has better graphics and animation, but I feel loses some of its charm. Even though I own both games, I would still turn to this original rather than the newer version (even if my high tech PC can't cope with the old music and sound effects - boo!). I guess I'm just loyal!