Advances in Civilization

Unlike my Macworld colleague Peter Cohen, I’m not much of a gamer. In fact, the only computer game that I’ve consistently played over the years and still don’t get sick of is Sid Meier’s classic, Civilization.

For the uninitiated, Civilization is a turn-based single-player game that allows you to develop a civilization (Persians, Egyptians, Americans, Zulu, etc.) from 2000 BC to roughly 2000 AD. You begin with a limited knowledge of science and of the world and eventually can build spaceships and nuclear weapons.

I remember playing Civ back on my old Macintosh Classic II, in black and white, and passing many a Saturday afternoon dropping nuclear bombs on whatever rival civilization got in my way. (Of course, there was that one time when after I broke a peace treaty, the rest of the world started bombing on me, but that’s another story.)

Ever since I saw the hilarious trailer for Civ IV, the latest version of this game, due to come out in 2006, I’ve been anxiously waiting to find out what new features have been added.

Peter’s report on Civilization’s immediate future on the Mac describes a new multi-player online add-on for Civ III—a feature sorely lacking until now.

And for those of you who can’t wait for either version III or IV, or don’t want to pay for them? Check out of the open-source version, based on the original Civ— Freeciv. It will run on any Mac running Tiger.

When the online version comes out, I’ll be there with the handle “cfarivar,” playing as the Persians! Bring it on!

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