Few games have captured the hearts and minds of strategy aficionados like the Civilization series.  For those who may not have heard of it the basic premise finds you as the leader of a civilization, whose job it is to guide your people through several thousand years of history.  Time progresses from ancient times up through present day.  Meanwhile, you’ll be competing with a handful of other civilizations for essentially world domination.  The flow of the game is turn-based, rather than the frantic pacing often found in Real-Time Strategies, as you carefully manage everything from exploration to city development, unit production, diplomacy, research and (of course) combat.  In the traditional series there are three possible victory conditions: Subdue your opponents through raw power, foster world peace through diplomacy, or be the first civilization to build and launch a colony space ship.  Depending on the size of the world map and number of players games can range anywhere from an hour to possibly even days – best broken down into smaller play sessions.

C-evo is among a handful of freeware ‘Civ-like’ games and it’s the one I happen to like the most.  This is due to its emphasis on single player games with good AI (Artificial Intelligence) opponents and streamlined gameplay.  The graphics most closely resemble Civilization II (1996), though it’s worth noting that C-evo doesn’t endeavor to be a precise Civilization clone.  Overall you’ll find there’s greater emphasis on unit production and combat, with less placed on culture and diplomacy.  Although the latter haven’t been removed entirely and still factor into a successful campaign.  And it’s still possible to win a victory through space colonization rather than world domination.  Newcomers to the series in general should realize that micromanagement is a big part of this type of strategy game.  Some aspects can be automated of course but this is often part of the appeal for fans of the genre, and reason for the longer learning curve.  Fortunately C-evo has you well covered in that department with a superb in-game manual that lets you look up game concepts using an intuitive drill-down menu or a handy search tool.  After reading through the Quickstart section you could conceivable learn to play as you go…just don’t expect a victory the first (or second) time out.  In addition to its addictive turn-based flow, this is the sort of game that grows more enjoyable the more you play.

One unique feature of C-evo that caught my attention is the ability to custom design military units, focusing on either mobility, defense or attack power.  Encounter one type of challenging enemy unit and you can try to research a good counter for it.  Fans of customization needn’t stop there as the game supports what the developers call ‘Modular AI.’  What this means is simply that you can download additional AI modules, with slightly differing strengths and play styles.  Newcomers with questions will find an active and helpful community centered around the game – and continuously improving it.  What I find most amazing about C-evo is that the entire game is only 2.4 MB; that’s less than half the size of most MP3s.  How they’ve managed to pack so much game into so small a package I’ll never know, but it’s impressive.  One small word of advice though, don’t start a game the night before school or work.  And if you do, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Designer: Steffen Gerlach and company
Type: Retro Remake
Genre: Turn-Based Strategy
Format: Installer
File Size: 2.4 MB
Control Scheme: Keyboard & Mouse
Portable: I’m not sure
Version Played: 1.1.1

Visit the Official Homepage

Published in: on May 11, 2009 at 11:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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