The latest version of one of if not the finest game series ever, Civilization IV, is on sale for the next 2 days at gogamer.com. I held off on buying it at first because early reviews were super positive but also mentioned a lot of bugs, and from the looks of things they simply rushed it out to get it out in time for Christmas. The developer has a decent track record of patching things post-release, so I figured I would hold out for a deal like this and pounce on it. Which I’ve done.
If you’re not familiar with the series, Civ IV has been around for a long time, roughly since ’92, and versions of it have run on a number of operating systems over the years. It’s even run on some consoles. It’s a turn-based strategy game where you try and shepard your civilization from the dawn of time up through the near future, managing your citizen’s military strategy, economic, political, and philosophical development whilst competing with the other civilizations. I’ve had a version of it running on each of the computers I’ve owned basically continuously since my first copy for my Mac IIsi way back when. My favorite remains Civilization II – III added lots of eye candy and some helpful automation for your settlers and not a lot else. This time around they’ve again gone nuts with eye candy (civ moves to 3d) and completely refashioned the combat model – no longer will a horde of spearman sink your fleet of battleship, nor will your tanks fall to the cavalry of your opponent. It’s also completely extensible this time around – xml data files, all the art binaries exposed, and python for introducing new program logic. I can guarantee there will be some completely awesome mods for this engine in a year’s time – the folks over at Apolyton and elsewhere are already tearing the engine apart. Imagining that perfect lord of the rings strategy game you’ve always wished someone would make? I bet they’re already working on it.
Meanwhile as I mentioned the critics have basically loved the game and the new changes despite some reservations about bugs, and the first patch is due within a week or so. Gogamer has it for $37 shipped, which compares pretty nicely to the list price of $50. Here’s a box shot/link to amazon.com for more info if you’re interested:
If anyone else picks it up and would care to play some multiplayer, I’m game. I call dibs on the Romans, we’ll see if starting with written language is as useful as it was in previous versions.