Legendary game designer Sid Meier’s Civilization World has landed on the shores of Facebook and begins its full-frontal assault on your precious time.
While this version is scaled down from the sweeping, epic nature of the Civ series, in the realm of casual Facebook-based games it is a monumental achievement. Starting with a few building, players must build up their cities by increasing population counts through farming, mining nearby resources for production points, amass an army, foster a blossoming culture, and all the usual Civ-type things.
Where the game breaks out is, naturally for a Facebook game, in the social aspect. Here players can join others online to form civilizations, pool resources, wage wars, and more. Providing incentive to spend time in the game are positions in the government to aspire to, granting special abilities and just general bragging rights.
There is always something for you to be doing, ranging from setting up your long-term strategy to chasing around your little denizens real-time to collect production bonuses that appear occasionally over their heads. It’s a bit frustrating to figure out how to do things at first, and what needs to be tackled next, but a tutorial system guides you through the major aspects of the game as you play.
Some might scoff at the thriving casual game market, but even in its current beta form, CivWorld joins the two hemispheres of casual drop-in drop-out gaming with more hardcore strategy play with typical Meier aplomb.
Where I flip through my image archive and ruminate on what pops up.
This time we land on Lady Deirdre Skye, leader of Gaia’s Stepdaughters. She is one of the faction leaders of Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, the stunning turn-based strategy game that also served as the first product from Firaxis, the development house that was formed by game legend Sid Meier, along with Brian Reynolds and Jeff Briggs. Meier and company had created gaming history (literally and figuratively) with the towering Civilization TBS games for Microprose; when that company changed management, Meier and his crew vacated to greener pastures.
|The Lovely Lady Skye
One of the victory conditions of Civ was the colonization of Alpha Centauri by the players’ civilization, so it was a natural fit that Firaxis follow up on how mankind was fairing in its new home. It’s been awhile since I’ve played SMAC, so I can’t talk much about the game, beside the fact that it had a truly massive tech tree. Also, that it was a tonne of fun to play. I don’t think I ever played as Lady Skye, but Gaia’s Stepdaughters were tree-hugging environmentalists whose weapons usually consisted of marshalling the semi-sentient planet’s wildlife against the enemy.
In the tradition of the excellent research Firaxis puts into its games, Gaia was the ancient Greek personification of Mother Nature.
On review aggregate Metacritic’s list of top game developers of 2010, Take Two Interactive has nabbed the top spot. The site provides all game reviews worth mentioning all under one roof, assigning its own average score for a game based on these scores, as well as providing an average of its user submitted scores. Their list ranks devs on how well their games have scored on the site.
Not surprising that Take Two came out ahead, with it releasing both Red Dead Redemption and Civilization V last year. RDR was a massive hit that turned the open-world genre on its head with a strong story and amazing production values. Civ V takes the vaunted Civilization series, dumps what isn’t needed, adds its own twists, and rounds out the whole package with impressive graphics.
Take two bows, Take Two.
Metacritic Best Developers List