Civilization is my all time favorite computer game series.
Civilization was created by Sid Meier. SId Meier was one of the founders of MicroProse in 1982 and he also helped found Firaxis Games in 1996. Sid has a degree in Computer Science from University of Michigan...Go Blue! Rumor has it that Robin Williams said to Sid and his partner of MicroProse to always put Sid’s name in the title of their games so gamers would identify with him...so they did and the rest is history.
There are now over 20 Sid Meier’s games and many of them are classics. Most are expansions or newer versions of the original CIv released in 1991. Sid’s design philosophy on Civ: new games should be ⅓ old, ⅓ improved and ⅓ new which has proven highly successful.
Interestingly, Dan Bunten of M.U.L.E. fame almost designed Civilization instead but Bunten designed Command HQ (computer version of Axis & Allies).
Civilization is awe inspiring in its scope, graphics and depth of play. A single game can be played for 100’s of hours or much less depending on how you set the victory conditions: conquer the world, first to space, technology win or diplomacy win etc. Also you can pick the time period and world conditions (desert, mountainous, rainy, cold etc). In some of the versions of Civ you can even design the world using a World Builder. You also pick how many computer AI opponents (major historical figures each with unique traits and abilities).
You start as a lonely settler on the undeveloped world. A key decision is where to build your first city so it has strong resources. Then you pick what the city will produce and what knowledge to research (Wheel, Horseback Riding, Nuclear Weapons etc). There is a gigantic technology tree to work through.
Civ has a strong cult following and contests. People offer custom designed worlds to import. Several board games have been created. Some versions of Civ allow PvP across the internet...one of the early versions had PvP on the same computer where you had to rotate who was sitting in front of the computer.
You can buy bundles now that include many of the Civ games. It is fun to see how the game has expanded over the decades! From old 2d to stunning leading edge graphics and sound.
After the first couple plays with a version I tend to turn off some of the automation to increase game play speed.
Of course you can always go old school and play Civ 1.
The Good: Civ is a must try for anyone who wants to rule the world...and who doesn’t?
The Bad: Civilization: Beyond Earth...so excited...so disappointed.
The Dastardly: 30 years of Sid games...not a bad start!