26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Sid Meier's Civilization: Revolution (Nintendo DS) (Video Game)
The venerable Civilization franchise should, by rights, be a perfect fit for the DS. The turn-based pace is ideal for a hand-held game where a combination of dexterity and tiny controls can often frustrate. The interface, designed for a mouse-and-pointer should be comfortably replicated with the DS's touch screen and the fact that graphics and sounds are the least important aspects of the game is just a bonus.
The resulting game is a mixed blessing. Coming as part of a rash of console versions, it arrives as a trimmed down version, with a number of expected features and controls automated or absent. Trading is barely there, micro-management of the land surrounding your cities happens automatically, as does taking a hand in the more social-engineering aspects of the original versions. Additionally, the game has been designed with the console-player in mind, assuming a shorter attention span, necessitating smaller, more crowded maps where confrontations are inevitable.
Smaller omissions irritate too, there doesn't seem to be a way to set up production queues, for example.
But the magic is still there somewhere, and it doesn't take long before the familiar addiction takes hold. Before you know it, hours will have passed as you punch the `next turn' button one-last-time-no-honestly. The trick to it is that this isn't Civilization, it's Civilization Revolutions, it works differently and should be treated as a new game. In its own terms, it is very successful, but you should be wary about comparing it with that other Civilization game you've probably played before, as its considerably different.
It's a shame, too, that the developers didn't make more of the DS's interface advantages. Its true that around 90% of the game can be played with the stylus alone, but some of the functionality seems bolted on as an afterthought - scrolling around the map with the stylus is clunky and the pop-up widget to control the units references what amount to keyboard shortcuts. Based on the console version, this is clearly designed foremost with the D-pad in mind and this is a shame given how intuitive an interface might have been possible (Anno 1702 should be an object lesson here).
Despite all of this, the gameplay wins through and is occasionally very funny (Caesar has just offered me peace because he likes my Great Wall. What can I say? The guy must really like walls.) The multiply options are extensive, if you can find anyone patient enough to play through a full game. It's good, very good and if they can tweak the interface issues, CivRev II might even be perfect.