Sid Meier’s Civilization II

snap206Except perhaps for Doom, Sid Meier’s Civilization claimed more hours of gamers’ time than any PC game in history. It was elegantly designed, easy to learn yet tough to win, and fascinating in its versatility. The fundamentals of the original game remain the same in Civilization II – you start on a blank map with the goal of exploring and developing the world before your adversaries beat you to it. Your settler can build cities, irrigate farmland, mine, and build roads. The cities can then build more settlers, military units, or buildings to improve happiness, health, or income.

You spend that income on building new units for defense and conquest; supporting units and buildings; adding “luxuries” to keep your people happy; and researching new technologies. These new technologies in turn allow more advanced units and buildings, as well as Wonders of the World, which add special benefits to a civilization.

The original game was a huge web of interdependent elements, a careful balance of outward expansion and inward growth. Civilization 2 (or Civ2) takes this all a step further; new technologies have been added which lead to new units (Amphibious Warfare gives you Marines, for example) and new wonders. Technology now grows more logically, and the progression of new units is more realistic. Archers lead to Pikemen, Knights, Dragoons, Cavalry, Alpine Troops, and finally Marines.

Diplomacy is far more sophisticated in Civ2. Rather than simply being at peace or at war, you can now be make cease-fire agreements or strategic alliances. In cease-fire, you can’t attack the enemy, but there are no movement restrictions, either. In an alliance, you and another civilization join forces against a third party, and you’re able to move through the other civ’s territory and even have your units repaired inside their cities. But don’t think you can brake alliances in a Machiavellic manner and not have fallout – other civilizations will hear of your past misdeeds, and may be wary of forming future alliances with you.

snap224Once diplomacy fails to yield results, players will find a new, more complex combat system that makes warfare more realistic. Each unit has a number of hit points (how much damage they can take) based on their tech level and strength, as well as a firepower factor (how much damage they can do). Combat consists of a number of instant rounds, and each unit may take some damage before one is killed. Huge, complex and heavily refined from its original DOS version (but still retaining that same addictive quality), Civilization 2 is every bit as challenging and classy as the original.

System Requirements: 486/33 CPU, 8 MB RAM, 20 MB HDD, Win 3.1/95

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