Civilization Revolution, DS - Review

Civilization Revolution, DS - £19 delivered

Review by LewieP

I've not actually played that much of Civilization in the past. My love affair with Sid Meier is based mostly on 'Pirates!' and the glorious 'Alpha Centuari', which I will happilly name as being the game that has probably had the biggest impact on my gaming life. It was a big factor in my path from enjoying playing video games from time to time, to being a geek with a passion for game design and an interest in the process which leads to their creation. I have piled hours into Alpha Centauri over the years, probably more than any other game, and I will sing it's praises at any given opportunity. I don't even mind that it's not even had a sequel hinted at in the 9 years (!) since it's release, because it has aged like a fine wine.

If you haven't played it (which you really should, it's a fiver here, but I got it in Gamestation a while back for £1.98 in the buy on get one free section) Alpha Centauri is a pseudo spin off of the civilization series. It takes the same basic gameplay, but switches the historical setting for a futuristic, and still highly believable, Sci-Fi setting. Instead of rushing to develop gunpowder, you'll be striving for the Technological singularity, and instead of building aqueducts, you'll be working on the human genome project. It also has some of the greatest dialogue boxes from any game ever (Commit Atrocity? Yes/No).

Enough about that though, I could go on forever, but I've not even mentioned the game I am supposed to be reviewing at the moment.

Civilization Revolution is the new entry in the civilization series, aimed at making it more 'casual friendly'. The addition of customisable 'bling' that you can 'pimp your armies' with brings the series in a great new direction, and who wouldn't love the selection of Pussycat Dolls and 50 cent tracks available on the soundtrack.


Honestly, the streamlining of the gameplay is probably not going to be for everyone. I know that when I have got hours to set aside, I love nothing more than crazy levels of micromanagement Alpha Centauri offers, and tuning every aspect of my civilization to suit me is part of what makes the game. However, on a handheld, I think the simplifications are no detriment whatsover.

In fact, I can see myself playing more of CivRev on the DS than I would a regular Civ game. Whilst it has the same "just one more" turn draw of its less casual friendly siblings, half an hour is plenty of time to accomplish something worthwhile.

It's running on a mostly functional 2D engine. I say mostly, since every now and again the framerate chugs a little, but in a turn based game like this it's far from gamebreaking. It has kinda jankey battle animations. There may actually be an option to turn them off, but if not, you can immediately skip them (which I did every time). They add little to the experience, and are the most obvious example of redundant design, pandering to the mainstream audience.

The is some occasional unintended humour. I never expected to have Ghandi hassle me for Gunpowder technology in exchange for his knowledge of free market economies, and I can't help but laugh at the blatant political correctness shown by 2K by picking 'Otto von Bismarck' as Germany's most famous leader.

Some boring stuff -
I'm sure the Touch Screen controls are great, but I never bothered. The Dpad and buttons work perfectly fine for me.

It has online multiplayer I think, but I haven't tried it, since I have played it mostly on the go (Planes, Trains and Buses)

All in all, it's Civilization, on the go, and it's not bad in any meaningful way. Recommended heartily.

Civilization Revolution, DS - £19 delivered