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Sid Meier's Civilization II

aka: Civ2, Civilization 2000, Civilization II de Sid Meier, Cywilizacja II Sida Meiera, Wenming II
Windows 3.x Specs [ all ]
(prices updated 9/16 3:02 PM )

Description official descriptions

Starting out with just a single unit and knowledge of a small local area, your challenge is to guide your civilization into becoming the dominant force, either by conquering every other civilization or by sending a spaceship to Alpha Centauri.

As you'd imagine, a lot of challenges come into such a task. You must locate cities so as to make use of food, construction and trade resources, which can be later improved by constructing irrigation, roads, mines, railroads, and farmland. Each city can construct one item at a time - civilian and military units, buildings or Wonders of the World (there are 28 of these across the different eras of the game, and each can be possessed by only one city). The buildings and wonders have different effects - most buildings and some wonders improve defenses, scientific research, trade or food output, but most wonders offer unique advantages that can be used to great strategic effect.

There are over 100 scientific advancements in the game, and most require prerequisites before they can be researched. How quickly this happens depends on your scientific output, which must be traded off against financial and military concerns.

Combat can occur in cities or in the open terrain - things like forests and mountains give the defense an advantage. Unlike in the original Civilization, fights aren't always won outright - most times the winning unit will be damaged, reducing its movement speed and attacking prowess until it's repaired, but the losing unit always disappears from game. If multiple units are in a square that come sunder attack, the strongest unit fights - unless it is a city or Fortress, all units will be lost if the fight is lost. Once a city has no defensive units left, it can be captured. Certain units have the ability to cover all squares as fast as if they were roads, only a few can see submarines, and air units require re-fueling in a friendly city.

There are up to 6 other Civilizations in the game, and keeping good diplomatic relations with these is crucial. At times you may want to trade knowledge or pool military resources with a neighbor - at others they may want to destroy you. If you make deals and go back on them your reputation is affected.


  • II ציביליזציה - Hebrew spelling
  • 文明II - Simplified Chinese spelling
  • 文明帝國 II - Traditional Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows 3.x version)

70 People (65 developers, 5 thanks) · View all



Average score: 88% (based on 44 ratings)


Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 270 ratings with 14 reviews)

Addictive is not always good.

The Good
Civilization II is probably the most addictive PC game of all time. The gameplay is perfect -- complex and brilliantly designed so that there are always several things you're looking forward to that are coming up in just another turn if you just keep playing 30 seconds longer. Hours later...

The interface is easy, and between the in-game civilopedia and the poster (tragically missing in Civ III), every unit, improvement, and technology is thoroughly explained. Also this game is extremely friendly to being tweaked by the player.

The Bad
Civilization II is probably the most addictive PC game of all time. You'll keep playing long after you've stopped enjoying it on any level beyond cheap compulsiveness, wasting hours that could have been spent lying in the sun or playing a greater variety of games.

The graphics are unexceptional and I hate the music (but you can turn it off).

The Bottom Line
Super-addictive civilization-building strategy game.

Windows 3.x · by Ran Prieur (17) · 2004

Jumped the shark

The Good
I liked it because it was Civilization. It got a much needed and fairly well done Windoze-GUI. It had lots of add ons.

The Bad
The gameplay wasn't as good as the original. They went nuts and added all these extra types of units. They didn't know when to stop, and it ruined the balance.

The Advisors screen was gaudy. The Elvis in Civ1 was a cool little joke, but the Elvis Impersonator and Hammy Actors in Civ2 were tedious and ruined the immersion. Plus the same "films" are repeated over and over again. They add nothing. When a Toga-wearing American with a thick accent comes out to advise my Chinese emperor, well...

Stuff they could have fixed like micromanaging is still a problem.

Hobson's choice. Civ1 has better gameplay, but a DOS interface with a steep learning curve. Civ2 is easier, but not nowhere as much fun to play.

The Bottom Line
Good to have a Windows update to the original, but Sid got carried away and added too much crap, wrecking the balance.

Windows 3.x · by B Jones (14) · 2006

One of the best strategy games ever.

The Good
Just about everything. Basically, it has the addictive qualities that few games can match, and will hook you very easily. It's varied enough so that there's incentive to play, and fairly well balanced, although perhaps not as much as its pseudosequel, Alpha Centauri. It uses recognizable icons from human history, so it draws you in, as you can identify with the subject material. It's hard to describe all that's right with this game-there's just too much. The Gold edition also has scenarios from the expansion packs that are varied and rather interesting, as well as the multiplayer, which works fairly well (at least over a LAN.)

The Bad
-Lots- of micromanagement as your empire expands. The AI pathfinding is somewhat braindead, so if you're playing on a large map, it's a pain to maneuver units all the way across. You can't group units, so you have to individually move each. The automatic build orders for your cities don't always work, either, and they build stuff that you don't always need. Graphics are crisp, but not spectacular, and there's no multiplayer in the original.

The Bottom Line
Simply awesome. Civilization II may not be a huge leap over the original, but it fine tunes everything in the original to create a polished and highly addictive game.

Windows 3.x · by Vincent Valentine (23) · 1999

[ View all 14 player reviews ]


1001 Video Games

The PC version of Sid Meier's Civilization II appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


Brian Reynolds and his co-workers were initially reluctant to make many changes to the original game's design, as they didn't want to be known as "the guys who screwed up Civilization."

German version

The translation for the German version of Civilization II is almost legendary -- it's a total disaster. It was done by an US-American employee of Microprose, whose sole qualification had been that he "spent a couple of years in Germany". The outcome were ridiculous messages as "Russen einfangen Große Mauer" ("Russians catching Great Wall").


In 1998, Civilization II (Windows) won the Gold-Award from the German VUD (Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland - Entertainment Software Association Germany) for selling more then 100,000 (but less then 200,000) units in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.


  • Computer Gaming World
    • May 1997 (Issue #154) – Strategy Game of the Year
  • GameSpy
    • 2001 – #22 Top Game of All Time
  • PC Gamer
    • April 2000 - #5 in the "All-Time Top 50 Games" poll
    • October 2001 - #2 in the "Top 50 Best Games of All Time" list
    • April2005 - #3 in the" 50 Best Games of All Time" list
  • PC Player (Germany)
    • Issue 01/1997 - Best Game in 1996
  • Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland
    • 1998 - Gold Award (more information in "Sales" section)

Information also contributed by Entorphane, PCGamer77 and Xoleras

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Related Sites +

  • Apolyton
    Apolyton is the premiere fan site for all Civilization games, covering Civilization I and II, as well as Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri. Daily news, a huge archive of files and strategies, highly populated forums, and quite possibly everything else a civer could wish for!
  • Brock Wood's Civilization 2 Site
    Includes mods and more
  • Civilization II Fan Wiki (German)
    Fan Wiki containing lots of information about Civilization II. Has an overview of Civ2 versions (Civ2 main + addons, Multiplayer Gold, Ultimate Classic, and Test Of Time) and gives leads how to play them on modern PC systems.
  • Civilization II Historic Scenarios
    Has mod packs (scenarios with city flags, custom units and new rules), maps, and tips for Civilization II. Scenarios include alt_ww1 and alt_ww79 plus alt_rules.txt and europe_s.mp .
  • MatFis deutsche Civ2 Seite (German)
    Fan site that contains game info, help, downloads etc.
  • Wikipedia: Civilization II
    Information about Civilization II at Wikipedia

Identifiers +


Know about this game? Add your expertise to help preserve this entry in video game history!

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Brian Hirt.

Windows 3.x added by Martin Smith. PlayStation added by Adam Baratz. Macintosh added by Scaryfun.

Additional contributors: PCGamer77, -Chris, Rebound Boy, William Shawn McDonie, Unicorn Lynx, Jeanne, Martin Smith, David Ledgard, Crawly, DreinIX, Paulus18950, Patrick Bregger, Plok, FatherJack.

Game added March 1st, 1999. Last modified September 3rd, 2023.