Sid Meier must be a very rich man. Since the mid-1980s he’s been knocking out quality titles like Pirates, Civilization and Colonisation. Now Sid has decided to merge the awesome Civilization IV (released in 2005) with a new version of Colonisation (which hasn’t been updated since 1995).
Civilization and Colonisation are both turn-based strategy games, but with a marked difference in gameplay style. Civilization is all about forging a nation from nothing with a starting point of 4000 BC, whereas Colonisation requires you to manage the Atlantic expansion of the European military powers of the 16th century. As your colony becomes more self-sufficient you must eventually declare independence and defeat the motherland in war.
Graphics-wise this game is a polished version of the Civilization IV engine, which still looks good compared to most games today. Gameplay is extremely addictive and, unlike the 1995 version, you can play as either the English, Spanish, French or Dutch, which really improves the replay value. The control interface is flawless, so even if you’re new to the series everything will feel intuitive. My only real complaint is that its addiction factor isn’t matched by the same level of enjoyment. It’s hard to explain, but at some stages it felt like I was cramming for an exam. There was no enjoyment at all; it was just a battle to get the task done and be free of it. So why did I keep on playing? I don’t know… I guess I just wanted to see if I could gain independence for my people. I’d spent so much time setting things up that by the time it became a chore, I had committed too effort much to just give up. It makes the game sound awful, but it’s actually highly satisfying. If you’re a fan of this strategy genre or have always wanted to give these games a whirl, it’s a great deal for only $50.