If you’ve never played civilization before I must warn you that this game does take a bit of time to learn and I ask you to persevere with it as you’ll be glad you did when you finally get the game play. I’ll cover the installation, gameplay and also a few problems that I’ve had with the game, which would help new players to know.
Installation was not a big problem, the game came comes on 3 CDRoms so be prepared for a bit of a long install, but once you’re done you’ll get a desktop icon for the game. You can play civ 3 complete which is the game with all its expansions or if you search though the programs files you can find shortcuts to the original civ and with one expansion. But the expansions don’t make the game too complicated (unlike civilization 4) and I started playing the complete game as it’s presented.
Civilization 3 complete:
You begin the game by selecting a nation and building an empire. It’s basically a turn based game (like a board game) where you make your moves and then all the other players, human or computer, take their turns. You move military units around a black space at first to discover the world. You then build your first city (your capital city) and workers begin adapting the land to make it more productive to your empire such as increasing food production which makes your population grow faster.
You then build up your civilization by adding more cities, fortifying them with military units while exploring the undiscovered world. The whole world starts off as a black space and as you discover it, you are able to see land, rivers, sea and other civilizations. You can trade or invade other civilizations as you meet them. The goal is to take your civilization from the dawn of time through to the modern world and win by becoming the greatest military power, the biggest nation, the most cultural nation, be the first to build a space ship to fly to alpha centauri; there are many ways to win. This game will actually take you many days to play so if you like something you can finish in a couple of hours I would not get this game.
There is the option to create a new random game or follow a scenario game. There are scenarios created by the original game makers and other scenarios that were clearly created by people but a selection have been included with this game. There is also chance to create your own maps for use in the game although I have yet to explore this feature.
This game is actually so detailed that it really would be impossible for me to explain everything in this review. But I will say that if you like strategy games or city building games then I’m sure you’ll enjoy this.
1) Keep the on disc manual handy as this game does NOT have a decent tutorial mode. It does have the option in the options screen (called preferences) of selecting tutorial mode but this never works with a new game and you have to start a game, and then find the preferences screen (top left in a drop down menu) and then select tutorial mode. But if you’ve never played it can be very confusing.
2)When you’ve played this game for a long time and the whole map is revealed it really does slow down while the other CPU players are having their turns. So much so that I have to go into options and turn off my automatic moves and friendly moves of other players (basically turn off as many animated moves as possible). Not doing this will cause you to watch for 2-3 minutes while all your workers walk around the map. And if any war is happening in the game you are forced to watch every single move of every unit which can lead to you sitting, getting bored. Unfortunately even turning off the visual fight doesn’t stop the lag of waiting for other CPU players to decide their moves.
I would say that when I first installed this I really didn’t know what I was doing and I nearly gave up on the game, but please persevere especially if you are new as this game really does become so fun you will find yourself losing hours to it…It just has that snag of having to learn how it works. But once you do you really will not regret buying it.
I’d also like to addd that for a simpler game civilization 3 is better than 4. The gameplay is always from the same point of view and although the game lags far more than civ 4 (especially in the later years) it still for me is a more fun experience than civ 4 due to the simpler gameplay, there’s not so much to manage making it easier to deal with.
I’d recommend it to anyone of any age and it works on windows vista too.
EDIT: Some newer windows aren’t compatible with this version of Civilization III Complete. I’d recommend trying this version I have also reviewed, it no longer requires a disc in the drive and has Civ 4 and Colonization too! Please click here for the review on Civilization III & IV Complete Edition