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SummaryMakes the excellent board game it is based on redundant.
The GoodBeing a computer game instead of a board game, you don't need to worry about finding other players or knocking the map and spilling the counters. Additionally, this game mimics the board game which was a masterpiece of strategy gaming.
The artificial intelligence give you quite a challenge by playing well and following the rules.
The gamplay is great. It is scaled in difficulty as you start off with a single token and eventually command large spanses of land with cities, ships, trade goods, and dozens of tokens.
The graphics/sound/presentation is colorful, crisp, and attractive. The interface is clean.
The BadA minor quibble which applies to the both computer and board versions. It is frustrating having one's empire be maimed by a random calamity card. It is possible to have your empire split in half and given to one of your opponents or a plague destroy many of your cities. Of course, the same thing could happen to your opponents and you could be the beneficiary, but it is feels so contrived.
The Bottom LineAdvanced Civilization is based around the Mediterranean Sea, during the dawn of history. Each player starts with a single population token and grows and expands his empire over the course of the game and tries to build the greatest civilization. The game is turn-based and each turn is further divided into phases.
As each empire grows, players can build cities in regions they control. Each city grants a trade card to the owner, which allows trade with other players for any of eleven commodities, such as iron, grain and bronze. Along with trade come eight calamities such as volcanoes, famine and civil war, which destroy population and cities. Trade cards are combined in sets to purchase civilization cards, which grant special abilities and give bonuses toward future civilization card purchases. Randomness is through the use of cards as dice are not used at all.
The goal of Civilization is to be first to advance to the final age on the Archaeological Succession Table (AST) - essentially a race across time. At several points, certain conditions must be met (such as, the civilization must have a certain number of cities) in order to advance. Since most civilizations do not meet the advancement criteria at all stages on the AST, games usually last more than fifteen turns.
Advanced Civilization is refreshing as it encourages trade and cooperation in order to advance. War and combat are inevitable but a drain on your resources. The game is masterfully balanced. I give this game a 27 out of 30.