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Civilisation is the turn based civilisation strategy game from the creator of Sim City: Creator DS and most recently Spore PC. It takes a step back from micro-managing an individual city and tasks the player with conquering the whole world. This formula appealed to a wide range of players and became one of the most successful and well loved strategy games.
Turn based strategy games are the video gaming equivalent of chess, risk and other board games. The player is presented with a tile based environment and a number of pieces which they can position and move. These games usually revolve around some military conflict.
When the player directs an encounter to take place the comparative stats of vehicles, characters and current landscape are used to calculate the winner. Forest usually makes you harder to hit, whilst tanks do more damage than infantry.
Civilisation offers players a wide variety of ways to win the games. Whereas other world domination games focus on the 'kill everybody else' tactic, Civilisation also enables players to win by the persuasive power of their culture, the might of their economic or the advancement of their technological.
This, along with the game's in depth strategies for advancement makes for an open and creative play experience. Gamers can choose their own path to victory, which will be different each time they play.
Although not as detailed as Civilisation: Revolution 360, the DS game is still impressively kited out with the majority of the Civilisation features. Most missed will be the Civilopedia that provided detailed stats on each unit and city. The game still sports a multiplayer game provided you have another DS for the second player. In fact this is a real success on the DS where the streamlined gameplay and interface make for excellent head-to-head human battles.
Players are drawn to Civilisation for its proper board game roots and grown up gaming aesthetic. Just as Viva Pinata: Pocket Creatures DS provides a full Real Time Strategy experience for a younger audience, so Civilisation: Revolution delivers a full scale strategy game that fits in your pocket. The attention to detail and sheer open-ness of play provides an experience strategy and war game players lap up.
As we have said, the game proceed on a turn by turn basis. This can make progress feel a little stilted at first and cause sessions to last a little longer than the Real Time Strategy equivalent. Once players have set aside a good chunk of time to play they will find a rewarding experience that more than justifies the time invested.
The various historic missions can be completed in some twenty hours or so. Even then there are still many hours of enjoyment in the free and multi player modes.
Young players will find this game a little pedestrian and puzzling. Its reliance on strategy and a connection to history makes it one for older gamers. Youngsters are probably better suited by the faster action focused strategy Viva Pinata: Pocket Creatures DS.
Intermediate players will appreciate being able to take things at their own pace, and should quickly warm to the real world setting - and references to great historical people, places and events.Experts will miss the accessible Civilopedia to look up and compare stats. Although this information is available online it would have been nice to have at your fingertips. Apart from this though, there is plenty of proper Civilisation strategy fun to be had.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: