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Sid Meier's Civilization IV

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Sid Meier's Civilization IV, the fourth installment of the series, starts the player, like in the previous games, with a single village in the Stone Age and has them advance from there by exploring, founding cities, researching, exploiting natural resources and eventually trading or making war with neighbouring civilizations. While Sid Meier's Civilization III put cultural influence in the forefront, this time it is religion that is put forward as a new factor underlying many aspects of the game.

In addition, Sid Meier's Civilization IV attempts to streamline gameplay by removing some features (corruption, pollution) which slowed down the late stages of the game and making significant changes to the combat system so that tactical thinking plays a more important role. Units now have a single combat value instead of defense and attack values, have a special ability and can be further enhanced with experience in a player-defined way.

The game also offers some aesthetic improvements such as a detailed 3D map, environmental ambiance and animated units.


Sid Meier's Civilization IV Windows A planet-view playing with Japanese civilization
Sid Meier's Civilization IV Windows Different stages of technological advancement can lead to lopsided battles.
Sid Meier's Civilization IV Windows You now use icons rather than text to navigate the Civilopedia, which is probably less than ideal
Sid Meier's Civilization IV Windows By holding the right-mouse button over enemy units, you can view a readout on your odds of winning a battle against them.

Alternate Titles

  • "文明帝國 IV" -- Chinese spelling (traditional)
  • "文明IV" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "Wenming IV" -- Chinese title
  • "시드 마이어의 문명 IV" -- Korean spelling
  • "Civ 4" -- Informal name
  • "シヴィライゼーション4" -- Japanese spelling

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User Reviews

[v3.0] Whoa, Sid...what did you do to Civilization? Windows Indra is here (19680)
Civ 4 is a huge improvement over Civ 3 in almost every way except the system requirements and stability. Windows Droog (463)
They broke Civilization! Windows PCGamer77 (3028)

The Press Says

Gamereactor (Sweden) Windows Nov 10, 2005 10 out of 10 100
Thunderbolt Games Windows Nov 15, 2005 10 out of 10 100
PGNx Media Windows Dec 07, 2005 9.3 out of 10 93
Gaming Target Windows May 04, 2006 9.3 out of 10 93
Game Revolution Windows Dec 23, 2005 A- 91
Hooked Gamers Windows Nov 12, 2005 9 out of 10 90 Windows Nov 17, 2005 9 out of 10 90
GamerDad Windows Jan 20, 2006 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
Game industry News (GiN) Windows 2005 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
Absolute Games ( Windows Nov 17, 2005 79 out of 99 80


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1001 Video Games

Civilization IV appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

German version

The discovery of Fascism is accompanied by a quote from Adolf Hitler:

"The great masses of the people… will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one."
The German version maintains the quote but attributes it to "a German dictator" rather than citing Hitler's name.


The introductory sequence of Civilization has been remastered in Civilization IV and plays whenever you start loading a new map. Live orchestra samples have been used to bring the original theme to life and Leonard Nimoy (famous for his role as Mr. Spock in "Star Trek") narrates this sequence (along with other segments of the game).


  • Just as Sid Meier's Pirates! reused some voice and music samples from Civilization III, one particular piece of instrumental music has been recycled in Civ IV. It can be heard when a Great Artist is used to create a Great Work in a city.
  • The main theme for Civilization IV is in fact a choral version of the Lord's Prayer in Swahili.


Due to a assembly error, French tech tree posters have snuck into some of the North American Civilization IV boxes. Owners of a flawed version can fill in a form online to get an English version sent by mail. 2K Games has also made available a downloadable PDF version on its website.


  • In a parody of Nimroy providing voice talent, some leaders will respond to a proclamation of peace with, "May we all live long and prosper."
  • At the end of the game, players are rated based on their performance by a comparison to one of 10 world leaders. The lowest rating compares the player to former US Vice-President Dan Quayle, who is legendary for mistaken expressions such as "If we do not succeed, then we run the risk of failure", "What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is" and "Hawaii has always been a very pivotal role in the Pacific. It is in the Pacific. It is a part of the United States that is an island that is right here."
  • When the Rock and Roll Wonder is attained, a clip of cult rock band Velvet Underground's 1970 track Rock & Roll is played. The song's lyric "then one fine morning she puts on a New York station.... You know, her life was saved by rock & roll" is also used in the game when Radio is researched.

Spanish version

The Spanish release has a translation error, the Religion Civic "Organized Religion" says "Can build missionaries without monastery" and it's translated as "No se pueden contruir misioneros sin un monasterio", which is exactly the opposite.


  • Computer Games Magazine
    • March 2006 - #1 Game of the Year 2005
  • GameSpy
    • 2005 – Game of the Year
    • 2005 – PC Game of the Year
    • 2005 – PC Turn-Based Strategy Game of the Year
    • 2005 – PC Strategy Game of the Year (Readers' Vote)
    • 2005 – #5 Online Multiplayer Game of the Year
    • 2011 – #5 Top PC Game of the 2000s
  • PC Powerplay (Germany)
    • Issue 02/2006 - #1 Strategy Game in 2005
    • Issue 04/2006 - #2 Strategy Game in 2005 (Readers' Vote)
    • Issue 02/2006 - #5 Best Game in 2005
Information also contributed by Dark Dante, Little Yoda, Martin Smith, Michael Palomino, PCGamer77, Rambutaan and Zak Green

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Contributed to by Corn Popper (69503) and Silverblade (1425)