Sid Meier's Colonization (Windows)

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Written by  :  James Hofmann (13)
Written on  :  Apr 03, 2004
Platform  :  Windows
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An excellent presentation of American colonization that gets bogged down in the later stages

The Good

There are many paths to victory, and plenty of opportunity to invent unique strategies. Initially, you are dependent on your mother country, and so make money by shuffling goods back and forth between your colonies, the natives, and Europe. Or you can ignore that, outfit some guys with guns and go treasure-hunting and wiping out Indians. Gradually, through the addition of taxes, you are forced out of your mother countries' market, at which point you end your game by declaring independence and (hopefully) winning the war. You can win "big" by developing into an industrial behemoth, or win "small" by quickly building up an army and trying to defend only one or two colonies.

The Bad

The price for the depth allowed is that in the later stages heavy micromanagement(more than Civ) of your trade and specialists becomes necessary for success. Since specialists are individual units and are attached to colonies, you often find that early on you don't have a use for some specialists, and then later when you do it's in a different location from where they went originally, so that you either shuffle them around constantly or sort of ignore it and miss out on their production bonuses. This is alleviated slightly since you can choose when to finish your game, but that only covers up the problem.

The Bottom Line

Fun historical strategy, loosely related to Civ but with a character all its own. You can learn a lot by playing this game, though it quietly steps around the issue of slavery. It moves relatively quickly - you might be able to finish a game in one evening.