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I'm serious. I have looked up far too often after just one more turn to find that dawn has risen and I have not slept. I have friends who, unable to manage their Civ addiction, have had to delete this game from their computers as it is just too engrossing, too addictive and just such an amazing game that they have to choose between writing The Novel or Just One More Game of Civ - and Civ tends to win.
It is, after all, the point of the game.
You start with one settler unit to form your first city. This enables you to build improvements, military units to defend it and later on attack other competiting civilisations, grow new settlers to grow your empire and workers to improve the land and build roads. You start off knowing nothing and have to learn it yourself or through trade and or exploration of a world you don't know.
This all sounds a bit dry but you are not alone in your new world. There are competing civilisations out there and you will meet them. You will trade technologies, demand tribute, trade and most fun of all - reduce them city by city until they are left begging to survive and then you can choose to wipe them out - or not.
Wiping them out can be profoundly satisfying.
This may not sound like a great game for pacifists and it is true that you are very unlikely to go through a game without some wars and some of those on a global basis. But you don't only win cities from competing civilisations by sending in archers, knights or tanks depending on the stage of the game you are in. You can win over cities from other rulers - real or AI driven - by being the civilisation the others wish they were with cities full of temples, cathedrals, education, entertainment and Wonders.
Oh, you get to build the Great Pyramid, Library of Alexandria, SETI and co - and see them in your city view.
The Wonders don't just give you envy from other civs and help entice their cities to throw over their rulers and become part of your civ, they give you huge game advantages, such as free granaries in each city so your city grows faster and produce more, so you can build faster if you can keep your citizens happy or at least not in revolt as the city grows. Each Wonder gives an individual advantage and the other civs will try to build them too so you have to choose and potentially leave some to grab when you send the knights in to conquer.
Each civ has its own advantages and disadvantages so choosing the right option for you and how you want to play the game is important. But every choice is important and so well balanced that it produces a game which even when you have taken Babylon from one settler to a world wide empire which settles space you still need to play just once more time.
After all, Greece is just asking for a stomping and if Abraham Lincoln (yes, each civ is run by a country appropriate character) smugly demands tribute one more time America is going to get crushed. The appeal of completely crushing a civ which has annoyed you cannot be underestimated.
Or can how addictively good this game is.
Or, as this is an old pc game, how cheaply this addiction can be yours. It costs a massive £3.97 new at Amazon but can be found used even cheaper at Amazon marketplace.
This edition of the game includes the expansion packs which give you even more game to explore. It will also run on older computers and those with less memory or processor speed. The graphics are dated but it is the game that will grab you and not let you go rather than the graphics.
Gameplay is turn based so the game will allow you to eat between conquering and city nurturing.
Go. Stomp Lincoln. Be Elizabeth and send in the archers. Discover the wheel.
As this is the game which moved gameplay to a whole new level.
And which will eat your life.
If you are new to the world of strategy games, then let me start by saying that this game is not for you. Pick up a Command and Conquer or Total Annihilation (remember that?) and learn the basics. Quite simply, Civilization is absolutely savage for newcomers, not only to the genre, but also to the series itself.
In a nutshell, you choose your nation from the many available, each with their own benefits, and then try to win first. Win conditions vary from obliterating all of your opponents with sheer firepower and force to building all Seven Wonders of the World and dazzling them into submission. I think so anyway, having had the game for over a week, I am still not quite sure as I have not got there yet.
Unlike just about every other game of this style I have played (except possibly Football/Champ Manager), there is no in-game tutorial mode. There is no easy start off where the computer holds your hand and tells you where to go and what to do. The game simply assumes you have been playing this game since the first instalment many moons ago. I admire its arrogance, but in a game this deep, this assumption is brutal.
You build cities, recruit armies, mine for raw materials and develop new technologies. Each new technology unlocks another, and if you have all the appropriate branches of the tree, you can build anything from hospitals to nuclear technologies. You are also able to change your form of government, such as Fascism and Communism, each with their own benefits and drawbacks.
The game world is relatively easy to navigate, with your mouse moving your view, and the cursors controlling your troops. It was quite frustrating that it took about three days before I realised that you could move units diagonally by dragging the mouse, meaning you could access those hard to reach gem deposits!
You can control your cities manually or leave governors in charge. Similarly you can put your men on autopilot with mixed results. Troops will generally wander off exploring quite happily and effectively. The problem comes when you want to manually take control as the game does not always pause between rounds to let you. There is probably a shortcut key I haven't found yet which does it mind.
As your nation progresses, you can interact with other players, trading technology or spying on their nation. There are a variety of difficulty sliders to adjust, which makes the game a bit more bearable for us n00bs. Interaction with these nations is a curious experience. Your advisors will tell you how well you measure up to your rivals in terms of culture, technology and warfare, and the interaction screen will tell you if they are cordial or rude towards you. Frequently, you are told they address you politely only to find an insulting phrase on the screen, which is confusing.
Similarly, if you enter another player's boundaries, they will warn you off. If you continue, you will eventually be attacked. When they wander through your territory, you can warn them off, to which they will sometimes give an apology, and then just carry on roaming! I found this extremely frustrating to say the least, especially if any further comment from you can result in all out warfare.
The game is incredibly immersive, with hours flying by as you promise yourself 'just one more turn... Oh no I will wait until my cathedral is built'. It is extremely addictive, I have to warn you.
The games take a huge amount of time to play through, and provide an excellent challenge. The sheer size and possibilities presented by the technology tree are a joy to behold. I am about eight hours into my current game with no sign of anyone budging just yet (although those pesky Incans do keep tapping me up for money due to my puny army!)
There is a huge modding community for the Civilization games, allowing you to download new maps, new units and set piece battles. You can find a mod for just about every major battle, from World War 1 to Star Wars.
Due to the newer sequel, Civilisation 3 Complete can be picked up at a budget price. It is definitely worth investing in if you want a strategy game with some serious depth to it.
Civilization III is a great follow on from the previous Civilizaton II.
It has advanced far since its previous version. The first thing you will notice is the graphics have been completely revamped and without swamping the playing screen. The units and land detail have been increased as well as other lighting effects and 3D effects.
The game plays similar to the second but not completely the same. There are many more things to take into consideration when building your empire.
There are many more technologies to research and advancements to make. You will notice some units that have been brought from the second version but there are also many new units for you to test and use.
The game includes new civilizations, new ways to build and earn money and one hell of a thick instruction manual which I suggest you read before you start the game. Although if you can't be bothered you can always start with the tutorials that will guide you through the basics.
Civilization III is a turn based strategy game in the Civilization game series and made by Firaxis games and released in 2001 some expansions packs have since be released, one adding multiplayer to the game.
The game style is very similar to the previous games and you have to take control of a nation and build an empire whilst trying to destroy the opposition. The game adds improved graphics and a lot more options than its predecessor's.
As before you start at the beginning or recorded history and have to survive through to the future, the game centres around your cities as in previous games and you have to locate them and improve them to increase your resources.
There is sixteen nations to choose from to begin with and each nation has its own special units and its own historical leader as like in previous games, you also have a bonus for each nation like faster unit building, faster expansion each one designed so it will change the way you play the game.
As in the other games you have to research new technology as well as build you military and control your cities so you have to decide on a balance on what to produce and research in order to win, to win the game can be decided by you things like domination, conquest, winning the space race.
The diplomacy has been greatly improved and is a lot better than in the previous game and the trade routes are a lot easier to set up than previously.
A new feature to the game is culture, each city has a cultural rating and influences areas around it and it helps to conquer other cities as if you have a high rating they might come over to you a lot easier than conquering it by military force. To increase your culture you have to build buildings like temples and wonders.
Another addition to the game is research you can not just invent down one tech tree and not invent basic things like you could before in each age you have to research certain areas before you can advance to the next levels like in the age of empire games.
As in previous games you have advisors to help you along the way who can be set to auto build in cities or just advise you as you want.
The graphics are a lot better than the previous games and are more detailed, the controls are easy to learn and similar to the previous game.
The AI is very good and even on the early levels it can be quite hard to win although the tutorial is good and helps you a lot.
Value for Money
As with the previous games there is a lot of game play in this game, you can replay the game again and again, as it is fairly hard to get bored off and each time you play it is if different and with 16 nations to choose from to play each one through will take a long time. Also the game comes with a map editor so if you want you can create your own maps to increase the game play.
Civilization III, the 3rd game in Sid Meier's series of turn-based strategy games that builds upon an already deep and addicting game. Hailed as "the best strategy game ever" by experts, this game starts out in the ancient times of man and progresses to the present time and well beyond. Along the way you will research new technologies and build your empire with almost endless possibilities. Compete against other civilizations in an attempt to conquer the map, or become the most cultured civilization and inspire awe amongst your competitors, or even become the most technologically advanced civilization and build a spaceship to expand your civilization to Alpha Centauri, it's up to you as to what your goals are and how to reach them. Beautiful landscape and intuitive interface are just a couple of the outstanding features of this masterpiece of a game. With so much to do its almost impossible to get tired of playing this game, i have owned it since it first came out, as well as all the other games in this series, and i still never tire of the joy i feel when i have the rest of the world bowing before my military might, or astounded by my cultural prowess, even building the spaceship is without a doubt a pleasure. If you are just a passing strategy game player this game probably isn't for you as it is extremely in depth and takes a long time to complete, if you are lucky enough to complete it at all, but if you are a true strategy game player such as myself then you would b hard pressed to find a better game for you. Research to learn how to build new buildings and units, build those buildings to enhance your civilization and the units to protect it. Send your scouts out to explore the unknown and meet the rival civilizations to either trade with or try to conquer. Allot your funds to best suit your goals and set citizens to work within your town to optimize your output. Every game is different and every civilization has their own advantages and disadvantages. Some parts of the game have been simplified from previous versions to alleviate some of the monotony of building roads, mines, and irrigation by automating the workers to do these tasks without having to give the orders repeatedly, this makes for a smoother, more pleasant gaming experience. All-in-all a definite must have for any experienced strategy (especially turn-based) gamer who loves detailed gameplay and intelligent AI.
Now gaming fans can enjoy what Time Magazines calls the Greatest Computer Strategy Game of All-Time with Sid Meiers Civilization III: Complete. Complete includes Civilization III plus the Play the World Multiplayer and Conquests expansion packs. Civilization III: Complete provides more ways to win, pathways to explore, strategies to employ as well as exciting online modes of play.