That Myers character has snared me in his net again. Did I say Myers? Sorry, M e i e r. Sid Meier. The Civilization guy.
It’s been years since I spent any significant amount of time on computer games. The other day, however, I picked up a copy of the 2005 hit Civilization IV cheaply on eBay, and now I’ve gotten sucked into it. I used to play the board game, I used to play it with house rules, I’ve even played it with house rules and a home-made alternative map, and I played the original PC game a lot too. I quit when I realised that the outcome of a game was largely determined by the size of the continent you started on and how many other Neolithic tribes you shared it with. Start alone on a sizeable continent and you win.
Myself and 9-y-o son have been finding our way around the new system, which has loads of new parameters that take some learning. I started out on the “Noble” level of difficulty, which turns out to be challenging: I’m more n00b than nobleman. The nasty Japanese just conquered one of my cities using war elephants (!), but luckily my other neighbour is Peter the Great of Russia who is proving uncharacteristically peaceful. I am of course the High Inca.
Like several games I’ve looked at in recent years, Civilization IV is loaded with graphics frills that you can barely see when you zoom out enough to get the big picture. I feel sorry for the people who designed and coded all that animation. Maybe with practice I’ll feel secure enough in the empire-building department to zoom in and savour the minute goings-on.
Dear Reader, are you or have you ever been a Civ fan? Let’s hear some stories and strategic tips and general comments!