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Civilization

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Lorenzo has written 23 additional reviews

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Did you know Atari Legend is fully responsive and mobile ready? You want this site to behave like an app on your phone or tablet? Simply open the site in your favorite browser and look for the 'Add to homescreen' button. In Safari on IOS, first press the 'share' icon, then the "Add to home screen" pop-up appears. In Chrome on Android, you press the button at the top right, and select 'add to homescreen'. Once you have done this, the famous Atari bee fits nicely on your homescreen and you can enjoy AL with the tap of a finger.

Written by Lorenzo

July 17, 2001


Comments

Sometimes, a programmer comes out with a simple, yet brilliant idea. Take Tetris for example: in 1987 a russian guy designs a little game with falling tiles, and suddenly the "puzzle game" category is born, with hundreds of new titles like Welltris, Hatris, Klax, Puzzle Bobble... just to name a few. In 1991 a genius called Sid Meier, already famous for games like the wonderful Railroad Tycoon, released a game that rewrote the concept of "god-game", born a few years earlier with Bullfrog' s Populous; in this game you control a whole civilization, developing it from 4000 BC to 2050 AD, from the discoveries of alphabet and cerimonial burial to those of robotics and superconductors.


Graphics

Graphics have never been an important feature in strategy games, really. In a game like this, a good map and some clear icons are much more important than big sprites, smooth scrolling and stunning colours. This game features simple, yet effective graphics; you have a map, a menu bar and many icons representing your units. Nothing really impressive, of course, but very user - friendly.


Sound

Well, there is some insignificant tune and sparse fx, but they are quite horrible and anyway superfluous in a game like this. To be honest, if the same sound had been in, let' s say, a colourful platform game, I would have given it a 3/10 or worse. But I won' t be picky about it this time...


Gameplay

You start with a little tribe of settlers. Build your first town on a suitable location. Create some warriors, and send them to explore the world around you, while your people discover new technology and enlarge the town with new buildings. Eventually, your civilization will expand, you' ll found new cities and meet other peoples. You may crush them, ignore them, or maybe even sign an alliance with them. Everything in this game is really up to you...


... more than in any other strategy game, possibly. This isn' t a mission-based, real-time game like Populous or Powermonger; this is a turn-based game where you can take all the time you want to think, plan and make experiments. Also, the lack of increasingly difficult missions is really welcome, since you can develope your civilization as you wish from the very beginning of the game.


There are two ways to win the game: either crush all the other civilizations, or win the technology race and be the first to send an airship to colonize Alpha Centauri. Of course, you' ll have to take care of a lot of factors in the meanwhile; economy, civil unrest, technology, diplomatic relations with your neighbours, war, peace... you' ll have a hard time taking care of all these different factors.


But you can handle this. Every new technology you discover enables you to build an improvement that will help you to solve a problem. Let's say, for example, you' ve got a civil disorder problem in town; there are many unhappy citizens, and there' s a high risk of revolt. You should discover cerimonial burial, wich will let you build a temple in your town. A temple lowers the number of unhappy citizens by two, so you should be OK - for now. In the meanwhile, the discovery of cerimonial burial opens the path for other discoveries as well...


Oh, and there are also many other features. Wonders of the world, for example; these are one - time improvements that require a lot of time and resources, but usually have wonderful effects on your civilization. Like the great wall, that gives city walls to all of your town and also forces other nations to offer peace during negotiations, or Darwin' s voyage, that grants you two immediate civilization advances. And there's much, much more...


Conclusion

...but it' s all explained in the accurate built-in help file, the excellent "civilopedia". And besides, this is just a review, there isn' t enough space to write a full manual of a game as complex as this one. This game is a work of art, the masterpiece of a genius. Try it and you won' t be disappointed, but be warned: you' ll need a good deal of time and patience to get anywhere in this game.






Score
  • Graphics: 6
  • Sound: 2
  • Gameplay: 10
  • Overall: 9

Review Comments

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Zone Warrior

February 12, 2023 by AtariCrypt

Once again, pesky aliens are giving us Earthlings lots of grief. We previously fought them off but they managed to pinch a time machine so are using that to alter history and wreak havoc by taking crucial hostages from each period in an attempt to halt their influence. From the invention of the wheel in prehistoric times to England's King Arthur uniting Britain! And where would any of us be today without Japan and its technical wizardry? Yep, we cannot allow this - the fight is on!

Son Shu Shi

March 21, 2021 by ST Graveyard

What an accomplishment this game is. Created with such a small team, the result is really amazing. The game oozes creative passion. While the gameplay is really well balanced, it is a tough cookie, very hard from time to time with its moments of sheer frustration. As of level 3, timing becomes key. You will need to practice and learn the levels to complete this game, there are so many bad guys on screen it sometimes gets a bit hard to take.

Blood Money

April 4, 2020 by Morcar

Graphically, it's also nice on the eyes with well-defined graphics and animation. You really get the feeling that the developers put some thought and love into the game. Remember what I said about the large levels? Well these are wonderful and are very different to each other, they also scroll fairly smooth in all four directions.

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