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Well now. Time for a smidgen more reminiscence. Once upon a time — around the time I got my very first PC, in fact — I managed to wrap my feeble brain around the original Colonization. Splendid fun. I don’t think I persisted long enough to win, but it remains one of those early memories that drew me to the PC. Not that I even remotely sought out games like it again, however. FreeCiv and FreeCol are, y’know, nice and all, but I don’t remember Colonization looking mostly like a brown spreadsheet.

Fast forward. I, through relentless badgering, convince a certain journo-turned-PR to send me some lovely games. I’ll cover the others in due course, but suffice to say they had a bit more appeal that Civ Rev. So much so that it remained sealed in its protective plastic wrapper for a few months. You can blame TNA Impact for driving me towards it; I needed to relax.

And man, there’s nothing like a turn based game to induce that catatonic glaze. Happily I churned through a full three hour game, barely noticing the time.

It’s a bit like Civ. I think. Having never really played Civ I’m not sure I’m qualified to comment, but — and I think I have a point here — I don’t think it’s necessarily meant for Civ fans. This is quick fire, it’s quick. It’s like Civ meets Advance Wars, sort of; I don’t know. Like I say, I have actively avoided this genre, having thankfully been surrounded in my brief time in games journalism by people who were willing to put themselves through it so I didn’t have to. But from an outsider’s perspective? I think this is meant for me. It’s very easy to get to grips with, there’s no need whatsoever for a degree in micromanagement, and I can smash any puny infidels who oppose me with my massive army of planes.

My first game, as the Romans, actually went somewhat awry. I was gunning for a military victory, having surrounded the Chinese capital within a few turns, denying them the ability to expand. I hulked up my armies, built military technologies, expanded cities with the relevant buildings to upgrade my already awesome might, and proceeded to kill all that stood in my way. Except for bloody impenetrable Beijing. Every band of troops I threw at it perished awfully. But I’m showing my military skills, right?

Er, no. Apparently, according to the occasional ‘who’s winning’ screen, I’m dominating the rest of the world, but not in military might — in culture. CULTURE? Fuck. I’d be happy if my citizens all dropped their trousers and span their genitalia as long as they keep building the damn cannons.

Once I discovered the fighter plane, I built about 16 squadrons and sent the lot to Dover, a city in the middle of English, German and Russian territory, which had handily seceeded to me due to my apparently awesome amounts of culture. A sheik sent me some jugglers and a band of dancing bears, which was interesting. And then I set myself a challenge — the United Nations was available. So I set about building it, which ends the game with a cultural victory, since I’m apparently so cultured they won’t mind wang spinning during an important speech from Kofi Anan. But symbolically I decided that, rather than let the thing get built, I would unite the nations another way.

Didn’t take long, seeing as I’d denied knowledge of flight to every other nation for around five centuries. I only just let Germany have literacy. Every subsequent city I conquered (or attracted) pumped out more and more planes, and I won by subtly blasting every capital city to tiny component parts. Yay.

And that’s pretty much it for me and Civ Rev. It’s a bit involved; I’m not prepared to let myself get into it. If you think you’re getting a proper review, please deposit the twenty or so hours required in the slot right there. Cheers.


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