I have a confession to make.
Since the age of 15 I have been a Civilization junkie, running the popular turn based “explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate” game on a succession of platforms (Amiga, Mac OS, Windows) just to get my fix of megalomania. Not only that, I also developed an admiration of the man behind the game, Sid Meier, something that lead to groupy-esque buying of all of his other games.
Thanks to the release of successive versions that take advantage of improvements in computing technology, Civilization has been a part of my life for years, so to finally get the chance to play it wherever I happened to be was something I was hardly going to pass up. As a result, I’ve had the mobile version of the game, Civilization Revolution, on my Windows Phone since April 4th, 2012 – the day of release.
Clearly, I’m still excited by this, several months later. Am I really the best person to be giving a balanced review of this particular title?
Well, yes I am. Because if this particular version of the history-spanning quest for world domination wasn’t any good, I’d tell you and keep this review down to three words.
Civilization Revolution for Windows Phone is one of the best versions of the game to be released – and I’m going to tell you why.
What In History is Civilization Revolution?
As an explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate (4X) strategy game, the aim of Civilization Revolution is to ensure that your chosen nation rises above all others to become the most powerful force on the planet.
Like the original Windows game, this mobile version offers a variety of tools with which to achieve this, from settlers and soldiers, the ability to build cities and populate them with people and buildings and to develop technologies. Crucially, there is a good choice of civilizations to play as including the French, Indians, Russians and more. As the game progresses, the aim is to expand your civilization, utilize resources and generally ensure that your people are the most prosperous and successful of all, reaching one of the four victory conditions: domination, cultural, technological or economic.
So basically, this game – as found on Windows Phone 7 – is a console-esque adaptation of the original, with a slightly streamlined approach to some of the game concepts and the UI. It’s fun, fascinating and frankly you can learn a lot from it, not least how to manage a nation to dominate the world.
It’s also worth mentioning that this is one of the Xbox Live games for Windows Phone. This basically means that progress in the game will be reflected in your Gamerscore and achievements on your games console!
Building Your First City
The basics of Civilization Revolution are the same as the parent game – you need to build cities, consume resources and conquer the opposition in order to succeed. Building your first city is key to the game, as this will form your capital.
New cities are created by Settler units, and after you instruct the unit to build the city – in a suitable location near resources, a river and/or the sea – your next task is to defend the city. This is done with military units, typically a Warrior in the early stages.
Once your city is defended by a fortified military unit, it’s time to focus on a suitable building. Depending on the technology your chosen civilization starts with, this will either be a Temple, City Walls, Barracks or a Granary. Building depends on the number of resources within the city limits, which is why you should be using Explorer units to find out more about your surroundings and new Settler units to build more cities as soon as your first city is established. Successful and constant expansion means economic success and the chance to learn new technologies – everything in Civilization Revolution is important; everything is inter-linked.
Combat in Civilization Revolution involves a cutaway to an illustrated engagement between your units and the enemy. Success depends on landscape, unit strength and any bonuses they have received so far in previous rounds of combat.
Comparing Civilization Revolution
Sadly, there is very little on Windows Phone that is anything like Civilization Revolution. Probably the closest thing you will find is the non-Xbox Live Galactic Dominion, available from the Windows Phone Marketplace for 99c (79p in the UK).
If this doesn’t quite fit your opinion of what Civilization Revolution represents, don’t worry – there is another game by the great Sid Meier. Sid Meier’s Pirates! is an updated version of the classic 16 bit game, where you take the role of a pirate captain. You’ll find this available for $2.99 (£2.29 in the UK) on the Windows Phone Marketplace either in your browser or on your phone.
Victory Can Be Yours!
Civilization Revolution is a crucial addition to the Civilization family. It is remarkably easy to play (much more so than the PC version) yet tough to win, making it ideal fare for a mobile game and an Xbox Live title.
There are plenty of other fun games available on Windows Phone with and without Xbox Live integration, and this is one title you should definitely have in your library!