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What is CivWorld?
Firaxis’ CivWorld is a social MMORTS on Facebook where players are entrusted with the difficult task of establishing a flourishing nation. Players construct buildings, harvest crops, assign citizens jobs, research various technologies, chat, and play an assortment of mini-games. Although similar to Evony or Sid Meier games likr Civilization IV, this game introduces a unique mix of strategy with distinct features that sets it apart. CivWorld is a condensed version of a traditional 4x game. Players control their own individual nation but do not have the ability to explore or exterminate others. The in-depth social aspects allow players to join a group of separate nations to form a civilization. Once affiliated, users must strategize together to strengthen military forces, increase resources, and expand as a whole.
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Establishing Your Nation, the Gameplay
In order to establish a strong nation, players have to increase their resources in the area of food, production, science, gold, and culture. Most of the initial gameplay involves tackling quests specifically designed to assist in these categories. Players have to construct homes, libraries, museums, start gardens, and research an assortment of sciences to improve their nation’s technology. Each cottage has a certain number of citizens that all perform the same occupation. Players must assign these dwellers a job in farming, general labor, the performing arts, or at the local laboratory. Similar to other strategy games players have to constantly increase their resources’ production. There’s a lot of grinding necessary in order to advance. Every player starts out as an independent, but as they progress they can join a civilization.
There are over 15 different civilizations in CivWorld. Become part of the Egyptian Dynasty, Roman Empire, Spanish Confederation, American Territories, or French Alliance. The social aspect of the game comes into play once a user is affiliated with a civilization. Civilizations function as a team combining its members’ sciences, military units, and resources to compete against other empires. Friends can join the same civilization and plot world domination together. It's actually loads of fun. The only downside is that players have to be committed to their nation and the civilization's growth as a whole. Neglecting to log in regularly is not an option in CivWorld. Inactive users are expelled after 48 hours forcing them to start over when they return. In this game, users have to implement strategy to accomplish individual and group missions. The gameplay is surprisingly challenging. Players have to complete quests, like improving farmer’s efficiency to 20 or expanding a city to size 24. Successfully completing these tasks accumulates fame points and various achievements that can help players earn coveted spots in their civilization’s government. Become king or part of his mighty hierarchy. There’s also a nicely integrated voting feature. Players can anonymously vote on pending laws or send suggestions to their ruler. Battles are civilization based only. The Russian Federation can choose to attack the Grecian States and so on. Once a battle has been initiated each team’s military strengths and weaknesses are compared. The team with the highest stats wins the opposing civilization’s wonders and technologies.
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User Interface/ Controls
CivWorld is relatively large game. As a result, the interface can be confusing as players try to navigate through the numerous tabs. Clicking to enter the chat window and then clicking out to check on production is tedious process. Each screen has multiple pages with dozens of tabs that feels somewhat cluttered. Players also have a handful of mini-games that feature their own set of controls. In the Research Maze game, a round controller resembling the directional buttons on a console is displayed on the left side of the screen. Players have to click on the designated arrows to move their ball through the labyrinth.
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Build a Throne & Graphics
Comparable to City of Wonder in terms of graphics, each nation has its own layout. Players can position paved pathways around lush orchids or place animal pastures next to corn fields. Play involves constructing homes, farms, marketplaces, museums, libraries, towers, and cool wonders like the Hanging Gardens or Stonehenge. All the buildings are wonderfully animated. Colorful miniature townsfolk perform their assigned jobs and routinely take trips to the center of the city to deposit their share of daily resources. As players advance, they can upgrade structures creating a beautiful nation that they’re proud of.
CivWorld is very reminiscent of old school PC games that gamers familiar with the Sid Meier franchise will appreciate. There’s also a sim feature that allows players to build a throne room. Customize an empty castle with themed flooring, wall patterns, and a throne fit for a king or queen. Add decorations like columns, statues, fencing weapons, scrolls, vases, tables, torches, and window treatments. Hang famous portraits like the Mona Lisa or Van Gogh’s Starry Night. Themes range from Arabian to Japanese. Players can’t really use this feature without buying gems. Gems cost FB credits which require spending real money to attain.
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Although there’s no musical score continuously playing in the background, the game features a variety of different sound effects which chime in unison when certain actions are performed. For example, changing a citizen’s job position to an artist will prompt a snippet from an opera track. Farmers wale a banjo tune and merchants make cha-ching noises while ringing up the register. It’s an immense amount of detail embedded in each distinct sound. Players will often hear townspeople with collective chatter, manly yups, and hammering from labor workers operating at a nearby masonry. Ocean waves crushing on the shoreline and birds chirping also add a natural calming atmosphere to the game.
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CivWorld is a hybrid interweaving social gaming aspects with PC strategy classics. There’s no exploring or direct PvP conquering. Players must join forces to create a strong civilization worthy of dominating others. It’s a group effort that’s as challenging as it is rare. The brain teasers are also a unique feature. They help break up the monotony of daily production tasks. Despite the fact that it’s practically impossible to build a throne room without spending real cash the game is fun. Fans of popular Sid Meier Games such as Civilization, Railroads Tycoon, Pirates, Gettysburg, and Colonization will enjoy this title if they don’t hold it to the same standards of typical 4x games.
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Source: Author’s own experience.
All Images by Ange P.