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SummaryThe first game where AI had a meaning
The GoodCivilization was the first strategy game I ever played on a PC,and the third true game ,after Prehistorik and Chessmaster
Since I was creamed at chess due to the recursive backtracking procedure that computer used to prove it's faster than a human mind,I expected the same in this square-by-square game,but...there were to many for backtracking
So the rat-mind computer employed massive cheating:population boost,building things out of thin air,map knowledge,etc,instead of: "Gee,what happens if I send my lonely knight into thy army?"
But that added to the challenge (since I barely noticed that until my first spaceship got launched) which was based ,mainly ,on discovery of technologies,meeting leaders who had a different look each time they changed their government, advisers and senate who influenced your decisions and even blocked your desire for expansion in democracy and ancient republic (So you could not bomb and invade everyone in a democracy:)
Unfortunately the later sequels of this great game (who also employs a good manual,at least from historic point of view) have lost many of its advantages:
The democratic rulers became mere communists and the democracy itself became just a prosperous dictatorship ,with less wars.The other leaders faces were hidden and only the diplomatic sense remained out of the personal feeling that I loved so much.Also ,when you are talking to a republic,no longer the minister of foreign affairs appear ,with he's glasses jumping at each one of your offensive proposals,no longer you talk to many in a democracy,but just with the old Stalin:(
The advances are realistically related and the pace of discovery increases,instead of decreasing ,as with all sequels
The BadThe graphics are simply bad,even for that time,the pieces are just..that,2-D chess-like.
The settlers unit is working to hard to build roads ,essential to your commerce,and everything else that matters and unit maintenance is too high
The piece by piece movement is boring and time consuming,there are no armies
Also,it's to often when you''l find your Apache being shot down by a mounted Afghani with a Stinger missile-launcher in his hands or your Leopard tank being ravaged by slingers
There's too much cheating by the computer
The Bottom LineThat's the game I searched for 10 years ,I wanted to have it for it's the single most-important road-opener to global strategy gender
Now I'm playing it with the same sense of humor,not with the same passion and it's faults appear more disturbing to me
But,as the intelligence quantity is a constant and the size and time constraints of all strategy games are increasing,it's one of the very few smart games still available .In a very short time,you can learn a lot about balance ,focus and planning-ahead.
So go get it!