Sid Meier’s Civilization series has always been about customizing your own historical footprint in something of a simulation experience. As the purveyor of all decisions ranging from technological research to waging wars against other civilizations, players have had absolute autonomy in either creating an influential, powerful civilization with a history of successful reign, or driving their civilization into the proverbial ground.
The complexity of the strategy game series seems unfit for a Facebook game. However, Sid Meier himself insisted on visiting this territory of gaming for his renowned franchise. Thus, Civilization World is in the process of being born into our gaming universe. But, how does it hold up as both a relatively casual iteration of the series and as a Facebook game?
is characterized by simple elements of command over your civilization. You begin with the basic constructions of buildings and workers who labor to produce harvests for you. These range from the basic human needs of food production to the more advanced ones of research of science and mathematics. Depending on your determined priorities for your civilization, your strengths and weaknesses will vary and you will have to strive for the best balance.
There are many variables to consider within Civ World. If you’re economically savvy, you can peruse the marketplace and take advantage of commodities undergoing price fluctuations much in the same way of selling stocks. You can even buy and sell Great People - influential scientists, artists, etc. - and military units for your own civilization depending on your needs. Even constructing more convenient and scenic work routes for your workers will make them more efficient at their jobs. Placement of your buildings can have a drastic impact on productivity within your civilization. Researching science within the vicinity of a university, for instance, will produce more effective results in the same way that planting your orchard near water will produce more harvests.
While you build your capitol city and accumulate resources to work with, mini-games in Civ World will help bolster your stocks. You can harvest culture from your artists, or play the puzzle swap mini-game to get bonuses to your stockpile. When you enter mini-games, you will see that many of the roughly 200 estimated people playing within your social network (including friends of friends) are already beginning to work on the solution. If you wanted to make advances in science on your tech tree (a staple of the Civilization series), you could partake in a maze game to gain the relevant bonus.
As you advance your society, the main goal in Civ World is to achieve the most points in your civilization to beat the other 9 in existence. There are many avenues of manipulation that players can take advantage of to achieve this. Earning higher ranks within your civilization - from Nobles all the way up to Kingship - will give you a greater scale of points should your civilization be in the lead. Getting those promotions - of which you are always only three ranks away from achieving - requires earning medals for your civilization. By contributing to group tasks such as discovering “Great People” or the technological “Wonders” of the world, you can earn your way towards these medals.
Transitioning through eras - another staple of the Civilization series - impacts the conditions you need to have met in your civilization. In one game that we were shown, for instance, the Russians had just won an economic advantage during the late Industrial era. As they move into the Depression era, however, circumstances will change and force them to adapt. In Civ World, it is paramount that you work with the people in your civilization to push over milestones. Although it will cost you to contribute to discovering the Wonders in the game, everyone within the civilization will benefit from it. We’re told that Sid Meier and the developers at Firaxis Games wanted to create a game that was conducive to proper collaboration within the civilizations.
Fortunately (for both players and this game demo), the game begins near the early Medieval period, which makes satisfying victory conditions much easier. As the eras progress, however, these conditions will be more demanding. You will quickly learn that teamwork is required to meet certain accomplishments. Waging battles, for instance, is much more successful when you have allies by your side. As a civilization, players will vote which civilizations to invade. If you can make a solid argument that the Russians should be invaded to take their Wonders and any technology you don’t already have, for instance, your teammates will be inclined to support you.
An aspect to Civ World that is new to the franchise is the implementation of Civ Bucks. As a Facebook game, I’m not surprise this method of monetization is being put to use. You can trade in real money for almost anything: in-game gold, maze moves, locking people out of puzzles for a short time, production and even purchases to pimp out your throne room.Of course, there is a daily limit to how many purchases you can make so as to not overpower your playing abilities. We are assured that Civ World is still very much about your capability as a player and decision maker.
The build is currently in closed alpha, and is expected to release sometime this year.