Written by  :  Adrian Pascaso (5)
Written on  :  Oct 07, 2004
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars
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Great variation on the Civ theme, more trade oriented, like Merchant Prince

The Good

A nicely woven trade context, you can harvest many different goods, process them to varying levels of refinement, ship intermediates between towns (like RRT) then trade them either back in Europe, with other Civs, or with the indians, to reap huge profits. It allows rapid expansion if that's your style. It allows temporary cities (build, then later dismantle) if that's your style again. You can fight others, or grow peacefully, relatively unhindered.

The Bad

It can get a little too peaceful, if you're not attacking anybody. You can go for 200 turns without a war, which is fine, if you like merchant/trade simulations. The military units never advance in technology, which is historically realistic, but a paradigm shift for seasoned CIV style gamers. The graphics are of course 1994 state-of-the-art, but that was amply sufficient for me, since the spreadsheet engine underlying the graphics is no worse than that of Civ 3. At least the AI doesnt cheat so much in Colonization.

The Bottom Line

DOS and Windows versions virtually identical, I play both (I find the interface more smooth in DOS. You settle and build cities like other Civ games. You can engage in trade and make money, or attack and rob the Indians and make money. You can get $100 for a good or $1000, depending who you go to trade with and what they need at that time. You can conduct shallow trade, with inexperienced workers right from the start and make a little money. Or you can go deep, develop the land, train workers to be specialists, and built industrial infrastructures, to make 5 to 10 times more money from trade. If you want to be peaceful, the AI pretty much can leave you alone to develop and grow peacefully, and build an economic powerhouse.

But there is ultimately a war you need to prepare for. The war of Independence, which you have to spend 200-300 turns preparing for, and to win it, you will need every cannon, every cavalry, and every fortification (and every dollar) you could possibly have built during those peace years.