has the widest scope of any strategy game of its time. You are a leader of a nation. You begin in the Stone Age, and complete the game in the XXIth century (unless your civilization gets destroyed earlier). Your eventual goal is to become the dominant civilization in the world, either by wiping out everybody else, or being the first to get a space ship to Alpha Centauri.
As the nation's leader, you have many responsibilities. You have to build cities, and then micromanage them, constructing various buildings. Most of people in your cities will be working on the neighbouring lands to get food (without it, your city won't survive or grow), production (used to build military units and buildings) and trade (which can be exchanged for money, science (see below) or luxuries that make people happy. You decide how much trade you want to invest into each of these areas.) You have to make sure that your people are in a good mood; if they get too unhappy, the city will collapse into disorder, and won't produce anything until you fix the situation.
If you're ambitious, you can build Wonders of the World - epic constructions, such as the Pyramids or the Hoover Dam. Each Wonder is an unique thing, and only one of each can exist in the world. They give you a lot of benefits if you complete them, but they take a long time to build, and many of them will eventually stop working.
There are other nations in the world, and there are also barbarians, so you'll have to invest into the military to protect yourself and to attack. Sure, you can sign peace treaties with other nations, and even exchange scientific knowledge with them (although sometimes they'll demand tribute from you), but eventually you'll probably have to fight. You control each of your military units on the world map, attacking your opponents' units and cities (possibly taking over them).
Not all units are for combat though. Settlers are used to build cities, create roads (for easier travel of your units) and improve the land around cities, increasing production. Diplomats can be sent to foreign cities to negotiate with the other nations or create embassies, but they can also bribe enemy units to join you and conduct espionage and sabotage in the enemies' cities. Caravans can be sent to faraway cities to increase trade in their home city, and they can also help in building Wonders of the World.
Scientific progress is an important part of the game. The more science your cities produce, the faster you research new technologies. Initially, you'll be finding out about the wonders of Alphabet or Bronze Working, but late in the game you'll be researching Computers and Robotics. Most technologies give you some new units, buildings and other things, although some have more interesting effects - for example, after inventing the Automobile, you'll find out that your citizens started producing pollution. Pollution is a bad thing; if there's too much of it, global warming may occur.
How your cities prosper depends partially on the type of government that your nation has. Initially you're living in Despotism, but this can stunt growth of your civilization, so it's a good idea to switch to something else - Monarchy, Republic, Democracy or Communism.
- "文明" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
- "シヴィライゼーション 世界七大文明" -- Japanese spelling
- "Wenming" -- Chinese title
- "Sid Meier's Civilization: Build An Empire To Stand The Test Of Time" -- Tag-lined title
- "Civilization I" -- Informal title
- "Civ" -- Informal name
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The game was partially inspired by the Avalon Hill boardgame Civilization
and later Advanced Civilization
. When Sid Meier
's version became so popular, Avalon Hill actually came out with Advanced Civilization
for the PC. Avalon Hill then sued Hasbro/MicroProse for copyright infringement. Activision got involved as they want to license the Avalon Hill version for their Civilization: Call to Power
. MicroProse then went on, with Hasbro's help, to buy out the original inventors of the Avalon Hill's version, thus negating the suit. Finally they settled out of court. Activision gets the license to make Call to Power
, MicroProse keeps the computer game name Civilization
, and Avalon Hill gets nothing.
Coming full circle from its apocryphal roots in the 1980 Hartland Trefoil / Avalon Hill boardgame Civilization
, 2002 saw the release of Sid Meier's Civilization: the Boardgame
, creator of the M.U.L.E.
, wanted to follow this game up with a computer port of the Avalon Hill board game Civilization
. Unable to drum up enough support from his Ozark colleagues, he instead went on to create Seven Cities of Gold
. After leaving Electronic Arts in 1988, Bunten signs a deal with Microprose and has a choice between the Civilization port and a conversion of Milton Bradley's Axis and Allies
. Fellow Microprosian Sid Meier convinces him to tackle the latter, which becomes Bunten's Command H.Q.
. Meier, of course, goes on to make Civ.
Although clearly inspired in part by Avalon Hill's Civilization
boardgame, Sid Meier's Civilization
also draws very heavily upon the original conquer-the-world computer strategy game Empire: Wargame of the Century
The lines of text shown in the intro cinematic/animation are read from a plain text file in the game's directory, and thus can be easily modified.
References to the game
Strangely enough, but in Sliver
, a thriller movie with Sharon Stone
, William Baldwin
and Tom Berenger
, you can spot a poster on the wall to secret room of the bad guy in the movie, a close up of the front cover of Sid Meier's Civilization
game. It is hardly noticeable as it appears for a split second.
An orchestral version of the game soundtrack was released on the CD-ROM (as audio tracks) of Sid Meier's CivNet in 1995.
Sid Meier's Civilization
was one of the first games to have a paperback strategy guide released for it: Alan Emrich
and Johnny Wilson
's Rome on 640K a Day
Information also contributed by
- Computer Gaming World
- November 1992 (Issue #100) – Overall Game of the Year
- August 1993 (Issue #109) - Introduced into the Hall of Fame
- November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) - #1 overall in the “150 Best Games of All Time” list
- March 2001 (Issue #200) - #1 in the "Top Ten Games of All Time" list (Editors' vote)
- March 2001 (Issue #200) - #7 in the "Top Ten Games of All Time" list (Readers' vote)
- Game Informer
- August 2001 (Issue 100) - #62 in the "Top 100 Games of All Time" poll
- GameStar (Germany)
- Issue 12/1999 - #1 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking
- PC Gamer
- April 2000 - #11 overall in the "All-Time Top 50 Games" poll (the oldest game to make the list)