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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.


Sid Meier's Civilization II Windows 3.x The civilopedia - Monotheism, what a concept!
Sid Meier's Civilization II Windows 3.x A look from above - tourists please notice Sun Tzu's War Academy and the other Wonders of the World
Sid Meier's Civilization II Windows 3.x Best cities to live.
Sid Meier's Civilization II Windows 3.x Main hall.


Promo Images

Sid Meier's Civilization II Magazine Advertisement
Sid Meier's Civilization II Screenshot
Sid Meier's Civilization II Magazine Advertisement
Sid Meier's Civilization II Screenshot


Alternate Titles

  • "文明帝國 II" -- Traditional Chinese spelling
  • "文明II" -- Simplified Chinese spelling
  • "Wenming II" -- Simplified Chinese title
  • "II ציביליזציה" -- Hebrew spelling
  • "Cywilizacja II Sida Meiera" -- Polish title
  • "Civilization II de Sid Meier" -- Spanish title
  • "Civilization 2000" -- Working title
  • "Civ2" -- Informal name

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

The best Pc Game ever made. Hands down William Shawn McDonie (1180) 4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars
Caution: May Be Habit-Forming!!! Aaron of Minneapolis (4) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
A Good Strategy Game AstroNerdBoy (40) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
Beyond any doubt or question the best video game ever created, for any platform. Rick Jones (111) unrated
Probably, the most addictive game in the world. Craig Tanswell (13) 3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars
Better than the first one Yeah Right (57) 3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars
One of the best strategy games ever. Vincent Valentine (28) 4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars
Addictive is not always good. Ran Prieur (19) 3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars
Its was good, but RTS beats it hands down Peter Clark (10) 3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars
Jumped the shark B Jones (14) unrated

Critic Reviews

Computer Gaming World (CGW) Jun, 1996 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
High Score May, 1996 5 out of 5 100
Entertainment Weekly May 17, 1996 A 100
Gamezilla 1996 94 out of 100 94
Adrenaline Vault, The (AVault) 1996 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90 1996 90 out of 100 90
Online Gaming Review (OGR) Apr 03, 1996 9 out of 10 90
Power Play Apr, 1996 88 out of 100 88
PC Action (Germany) Mar, 1996 87 out of 100 87 Jun 30, 2006 15 out of 20 75


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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

Related Web 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 .)
  • MatFis deutsche Civ2 Seite (German) (Fan site that contains game info, help, downloads etc.)
  • Wikipedia: Civilization II (Information about Civilization II at Wikipedia)
Martin Smith (76170) added Sid Meier's Civilization II (Windows 3.x) on Dec 06, 2006
Other platforms contributed by Adam Baratz (1484) and Scaryfun (17984)