News, Reviews

Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution 2 arrives on Android!

It’s here! It’s finally here!

The classic turn-based strategy game has made the leap from PC to iOS to Android! Sid Meier’s Civilization series has undergone many transformations since its premier appearance in 1991 and it has now finally made the leap to Android. I loved playing the original series on PC and when I found out it was on iOS my first reaction was to serarch Google Play – but alas it wasnt there. A short info-hunt later turned up a tasty little teaser that it was “in-development for Android: Release Date – Unknown, Price – Unknown”.

But by this point I was already on the hype train and leaving the station and its finally pulled in

All Aboard!

Developed by 2K games, Revolution 2 stays true to the series by allowing a player to take a fledgling civilization from the dawn of man to the modern world with a offering of 16 various historical leaders to take control of and each leader offers different perks to help you on your way to total domination, some perks help you from the off – others come more into effect near the end game making it an influential choice on how you play the game. As with previous versions there are multiple ways to win – build up an invincible army and crush your opponents, build 20 wonders of the world or win the space race.  When you’re not plotting the demise of your foes there are a large number of technologies to research, gold to be traded, cities to be fortified and the far corners of the map to be explored.

The game itself is fairly intuitive but there is a short tutorial to help you find your feet, once complete you then have a nice selection of game modes to entertain yourself with including a historic scenario mode which puts you in the midst of some of history’s greatest events and battles. There is unfortunately no online multiplayer mode so you are limited to solo play against the computer AI which in this game, whist not the sharpest of tools in the shed can certainly keep you on your toes at the higher difficulty levels

Graphical the game is beautiful – creating a colourful if slightly cartoon-y 3D world to traverse and conquer. Whilst life-long fans of the series may be a little disappointed in the graphics on offer it was a necessity in order to harness the power on offer from the android system. The interface allows you to glide across the touchscreen with relative ease and makes nice use of the pinching and opening motions to zoom in on specific cities to view what your citizens are up to. In the few hours I’ve played so far I’ve also suffered from no running issues, no crashes, no glitches, no dropped frame rate, which given the state some AAA games are now launched in is actually pretty impressive.

The mobile version has gone on a bit of a diet compared to its PC cousin – there’s no religion, farming, pollution amongst other things to worry about, making this the CivLite of the series – again this might be an off point for veterans of the series but, once again, its a necessity. It also keeps the game play much more focused allowing for short bursts of play on a daily commute or lunch break – increasing the appeal on mobile  devices.

Revolution 2 is also taking part of something of a revolution itself – bucking a growing trend across games there are NO IN-APP PURCHASES! Sid Meier, the games creator, explains, “[Freemium games] are about designing unhappiness. You have to design a game so not fun that people will pay to make it fun. That kind of goes against the grain of game design.” Following on from my micro-transactions rant (found -> here <- ) such news was music to my ears.

Weighing in at a hefty £11.26 on Google Play (UK) its by no means cheap, its almost encroaching on some low end PC and Console games – but given the volume of content, re-playabilty of the game and no ads or in-app purchases its probably a justified cost. 2K are one of only a few developers, Square Enix are also in the same boat here, who are pushing the £10+ barrier for mobile games (XCOM: Enemy Within is weighing in at £9.89 and the Square Enix titles Final Fantasy III and Dragon Quest VIII costing £10.99 and £13.99 respectively) but they are delivering on them, they are complete games with huge amounts of content and replayability making them value for money in the long run.

So to recap, its a pretty successful jump across for Civilization to Android, yes it might be a “lite” version of the game but it certainly brings back nostalgia and stirs up memories of taking on tanks with cavalry and winning (a.k.a “Ewoking”). Yes its a little on the pricey side, but for the game you get its pretty good value – it looks good, sounds good and plays good.


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