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on 7 September 2016
Park of Sid Meier's Game Collection I built up
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 24 September 2008
To all of us who had loved the original 1994 game, this release was an early Christmas season....or at least it promised to be.

Based on the well known Civ4 engine, Civ4-COLONIZATION is a standalone expansion (the original Civ4 does not have to be pre-installed) that offers the flavor of the classic COLONIZATION in a sparkling new packaging.

The graphics are superb, the units well designed and their animated repertoire expected. If new to the series, the disproportional sizes of units and cities will look funny at first but one quickly appreciates the clarity this adds to the game.
After playing this for two days (and everyone who ever played a CIVILIZATION game knows that these include many early morning hours as well...), I did not encounter but minor glitches: naval units making their animated turns on land, units going invisible once automated; nothing a small patch cannot handle.

Both the production of units and their effective use require some getting used to before one can really enjoy the game - and (judging by my experience) I suspect that gamers who are new to the series will have less trouble in catching up with the learning curve than veteran fans adapting to it. Those endless hours in front of our screens, apparently, have engraved the familiar gameplay in our brains - and the grooves have set pretty deep by now...

So, whether familiar with the Civ4 gameplay or not, prepare to adapt or forever remain loyal subjects. Because this is the point for both the original and this remake: become strong enough colonists to shed the shackles of the country of origin.
This characteristic gives a two faceted gameplay: whereas the first half of every game is all about cooperation and trade and keeping the peace, once independence is declared the game turns into a fierce war theater - for which you better be prepared!

The maps can be randomized but the small number of pre-made ones are exclusively on the American continent and the colonies of English, Dutch, French and Spanish (no, still no Portuguese! I guess Brazil founded itself). Be it in the form of a further expansion or a patch, leaving out the Asian and Oceanic colonies (from India and China to New Zealand and Australia) is an omission that needs to be corrected.

Speaking of historic inaccuracies, although the New World colonies thrived on the labor of slaves, slavery never comes into play with this game and is not even mentioned. I do realize the developers' position and frantic attempt to avoid controversy, but I remember the CALL TO POWER series handling this shameful issue with class an racial consideration.

Bottom line: Civ4-COLONIZATION is small standalone expansion of the Civ4 franchise that has the depth of a mod and adds little to the series besides better graphics and animated units. Innovation has always been a risky business...

On an encouraging note, the hard lesson of the BIOSHOCK fiasco was not lost on the 2K GAMES people: Civ4-COLONIZATION harbors SecuROM DRM but not one of the latest nastier...combinations - the game requires no online activation and it does not limit the number of installations.
These days, this alone deserved rounding up its rating from 3½ to 4 stars.
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on 12 November 2010
I loved the original Colonization, so I bought this with great anticpation only to find that it was not as good as the original game. The premise of the game is much the same as the original Colonization. You play as English, Dutch, French or Spanish colonists discovering and settling the New World, trying to survive and make a living, and finally declaring independence from you hated king back in Europe and successfully defeating him in an epic war that will see the birth of America. The tech tree is replaced by Founding Fathers and various colonist types which you must utilise to turn a profit. One of the early complaints about the game is that the creators did not take the opportunity, when updating and remaking this game, to add a Portuguese faction, which also had a significant influence in colonising the New World. There have been some notable changes to the interface, including swapping the traditional sidebar for the horizontal bar, however various advisor screens remain in the menu bar at the top. Movement is no longer directed through left click, but has been moved to right click, which initially feels awkward and takes some getting used to. There are also a lot of buttons and new features to explore and get the hang of.

The graphics are really top notch. As aforementioned, this new version uses the same engine as Civ IV, meaning some of the latest computer game graphics around. Just to pick out one feature, I was stunned with the rendering of the sea in the game - it moves in lots of different tiny points, it ripples, it reflects your ships sailing on it, and it is illuminated and shadowed adding increased depth and realism. On the other side of the media, C4C is complemented by new music as well. It sounds all fine and authentic, but the problem is that it fails to capture the gamer's imagination, unlike the musical score of the original Colonisation with its catchy military tunes, town jives, and soothing native harmonies. Also, whilst the colours used are now very realistic, I think Firaxis and 2K have missed the point that in the original game the brightly coloured landscape and units were part of its fun and appeal.

I must make special mention of the European king, who is surely one of the greatest villainous characters of all time in the history of computer games thus far. Whilst some computer game antagonists horrify you with their deeds of pure evil, and others frustrate you and elude you with their dastardly genius... no other villain will succeed in hacking you off quite like the underdeveloped, two-dimensional character of the European king in this game. He's the guy who makes your life unbearable. You're trying to scrape out a living on a few shekels here in the New World, build a whole new civilisation from scratch, and you can forget about creature comforts, and then good ol' Kingy comes along and demands lump sum donations and extortionate taxes. He's fat, he's lazy, and he's unstoppable. If you say no to him, he simply refuses to trade in one of your New World products, leaving you without cash and potentially ruining your New World enterprise. The most you can do is grind and toil away in preparation for the day when you can declare independence and free yourself from his shackles forever.

The coding in the way the king interacts with you and how liberty bells and REF additions work has been radically revamped. Firstly, the frequency and amounts which the king demands payment from you has been ramped up. Whilst this does increase your drive to throw him off, it can be totally crippling for your economy, meaning you never have enough cash to fund your war of independence. Secondly, the triggers for the king increasing the Royal Expeditionary Force have been completely reworked. Now, the king adds to the REF not whenever you refuse his requests, but depending on how high your liberty bell production is - liberty bell production, of course, is needed to declare independence and gain Founding Fathers. As a result, in your efforts to gain Founding Fathers to make life in the New World a bit easier, and gain enough rebel sentiment to declare independence from your hated king, you're actually at the same time increasing the size of the king's own army that he's going to send against you, to the point where he builds up an impossibly large force. The only method to get around this so far is to not produce liberty bells, thus giving up all hope of the bonuses the Founding Fathers bring, and focus completely on building up guns, horses and as many colonists as possible, and then only start liberty bell production when you are absolutely ready for the revolution, going on a sprint to be able to declare independence before the king has enough time to build up the REF to ridiculous levels. This feels like a very clumsy way of doing things. Finally, as if being insanely outnumbered by the REF wasn't enough, it turns out that all those years of building up ten military units in each of your settlements were completely pointless anyways, because the king's artillery receives a massive bonus when attacking settlements! Even if you've built the city's defences up to fortress level! It's crazy but you're actually better off leaving your cities undefended and moving your troops to open terrain, and then counterattacking when the king marches into town!

A personal irritation of mine - the maps are insanely small. Even when you set the map on Huge size, the biggest you can get, it's tiny! I can't see any reason for this - the original game allowed you to play on truly large maps. As a result the map feels cramped, with not enough room to build more than three or four settlements, hardly the foundations of a New World nation. My own feelings about the game were that whilst it had been very thoroughly updated for the modern gamer, with all the bells and whistles and snazzy latest graphics, this new remake of Colonisation just isn't as good as the original. Playing this game made me want to go back and play the original again instead of getting frustrated with the impossible problems in the way this game actually functions.
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on 21 January 2009
I bought this game with a lot of doubt and uncertainty as I had read so many reviews telling me it was only half done, how the King's forces were too powerful, and how it was impossible to win (even on the easy level) without some sort of cheating strategy. All in all those who like me loved the original game were in for a massive disappointment!

Well it isn't true. This is a GREAT game!

So why the all the criticism? Why are so many people dumping on this game? Well let me give you my humble analysis.

First this isn't like any other Civilization game. In fact it's very close the the original Colonization and requires a whole different strategy to win. In many ways it's far superior to Civilzation because of the way the game has a solid and unambiguous ending. Your declare independence, the King's forces attack ... and you win or loose the battle that follows.

But it does mean you can't just grow your civilzation willy-nilly without worrying about how the king is reacting to what you do. If you get too much Rebel sentiment too early the King will build up his forces and come down on you with a massive army. You have to play this game like it was meant to be played in the original ... with an eye on the King and how he's reacting to what you do.

But secondly to those people who (like me) played and loved the original game, although there are many changes (especially in the combat format) they do NOT in fact detract from the game, if anything they in make it far deeper and more interesting.

Yes the King's forces outnumber you when you declare Independence. Yes his Artillery and his Men-of-War are stronger than anything you can make. But the game is designed to be played like the actual Battle for Indepedence was fought. The King is a rich European ruler with a huge army and lots of experienced Generals. Your meager force cannot expect to beat such troops in a head-to-head battle. If you hold up in cities and stack your Soldiers and Cannons behind the walls and hope he's gonna smash himself to bits then you're asking for trouble. In fact he's gonna run through you like a dose of salts!

But if you look closely you'll see all the defence bonuses you can get for fighting in the woods and hills. If you spread your cities out (with some inland) and you ambush his forces as they march overland the picture sudenly reverses. Your raw Dragons and Soldiers suddenly find they can tear the King's troops apart. Hit and run, retreat your men when you're loosing a city and fight in open country, and before you know it this massive 'unstoppable' army is suddenly dwindling to nothing!

There are other strategies too you can employ (like divding his troops by allowing them to capture some of your coastal cities which he then has to defend) but I'll leave you to discover them for yoursef.

The only other point I want to make is how the new combat system and the advent of 'Leaders' allows you to make armies, and how as a result you really do start to feel like you're running a revolutionary force.

As I said there are many significant changes to the way the original Colonization worked (one important one is how guns and tools are no longer 'used up' by performing actions), but if you approach this game with an open mind and be patient enough to learn how it works, you might find that 'Civ: Colonization' is actually more like the orginal 'Colonization' (in spirit anyway) than you ever dared imagine.

Either way this is a complex and absorbing game which I heartily recommend!
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on 9 October 2008
I, like many others enjoyed the original Colonization a lot. The hours I spent attempting to declare independence are uncountable.

I recently revisited the original, in attempt to see if my gaming ability had improved since the old days. I had to use a DOS emulator and bare the pixels graphics but it was still fun.

Then I heard about this; and pre-ordered without much doubt.

For me, I found that it was a very good replication of the original, and where things where different I felt they where improved. I do agree that later on in the game some time scales for immigration and education seem totally unrealistic based on the limit of 300 turns per game. The kings army also seems to grow fast, often one or more units per turn when your close to about 50% liberation on each town.

Maybe it would pay off to keep liberation low for longer, or maybe it was the difficulty level I was playing at.

I've not managed to complete it yet, mainly due to limited time, and a few "practice" runs of course.

All in all; I am very happy with this. Civ4 gives it the graphics it deserves and it holds true to the original.

I even found the "this is different to Civ" comments in the manual to be amusing!
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on 7 October 2008
Being a huge fan of both the original Colonization game and the Civilization IV game, I was excited to see that 2K Games had done a remake of Colonization based on the Civ format. I ordered the game and have had no trouble installing or playing it on either my laptop or my husband's.

The game itself is similar in feel to the original game although with hugely improved graphics (naturally!) and is easy to pick up especially if you are familiar with Civ. There are handy tutorial hints throughout the game which you can choose to turn on or off.

Small hint! When it comes to declaring independence you may find that the king does seem to have an unfair advantage with the amount of troops he has at his disposal. You can enter the 'world builder' menu which is exactly the same as the one in Civ and add as many extra troops/ships etc as you wish... of course it does make the game less of a challenge though!
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on 28 July 2009
Overall a good strong strategic game that takes a bit of time to get to grips with but can be very enjoyable.

Civilization fans watch out as this is quite a different experience but you could still find this an enjoyable one. The aim is to create support for independance and fend off the homelands when you declare it. During this you will be negotiating with native americans and other European settlers, manufacturing and trading goods and preparing for the big independance fight near the end.

I find that I need a fair bit of spare time to enjoy this game as when I start I find it very addictive. It took me a few trys on standard mode to win independence against the homeland by trying out different strategies each time. Initially I was a bit disappointed with the game comparing it to the original which seemed more playful but over time I have grown to really enjoy it.

So why not 5 stars?:
The micromanagement of all your towns building buildings, manufacturing and shipping goods on each turn can get a bit monotonous when you have a lot of them. There is an automated town option but upon trying this my towns didn't meet my goals and in order to succeed so I think you have to micro manage yourself.

It also takes a bit of time to understand what does what if starting from scratch so requires a bit of initial patience. (Although helpful tips menus come up so if you are a beginners you can get straight into the game)
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on 10 May 2009
It may be a shortfalling in my game play ability but I have real trouble with this new release of the game.
It seems to me that you have to play the game the exact way the makers want you to. Any deviation to this "master plan" and either the king gets way too powerful, or you find yourself just reaching enough rebel sentiment with 5 turns left to play.
Then once you manage to work out how to play the pre-revolution game just like they want, you have to:
1) watch as your forces either get battered within their large fortress or
2)get to kill one of the kings units outside gorilla style only to be hunted down and destroyed by the 50 remaining dragoons sent to hunt you down.

In short if you can work out exactly how the game makers intended you to play you can win but get bored quick. If not you will cry into the late hours of the morning as yet again your hopes of founding a superpower is smashed to pieces
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on 1 July 2009
the negative reviews nearly put me off buying this game, but as a civ 4 lover i bought it, and how happy i am now i own it. it took me two games to beat the king of england on the easy setting, and im sure im experianced enough to move up a difficulty level or two. i love the trading part of the game, and the choice to attack the natives and european settlers or not. but best of all is the custom game options, where you can play a score game ( win by having the highest score after 300 turns ) or an independance game ( take longer than 300 turns to declare independance and get 100 turns to finish the kings ground forces ). lastly i just want to say a massive thank you to sid meiers for making me very happy again with yet another supreme strategy game.
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on 30 August 2009
Many of us who liked the original colonization surely have waited for Colonization sequels that have not been forthcoming despite the increasing number of sequels for Civilization. Unfortunately, this is not Colonization II. This is Civ IV with Colonization like features. The game can be easily enough won at the lowest difficulty levels if only you create enough indepence bells. However, many of the original features of Colonization have been destroyed by the slow movement of troops, the rather tight time limit, and the way the troops receive veteranship. You have what, about 200 turns to use, and it may take 50 turns just to have your troops to move into positions to conquer towns of rival European civilizations. In the original Colonization you had time to create prosperous cities with large numbers of buildings and strong production. In this game, you can only have a handful of strong cities. This is partly because, perhaps due to political correctness, the loot from raiding the Inca and Aztec cities is no longer worth the trouble, a load of pretty much any goods even in the early part of the game will get you as much money as raiding an Inca town. Despite the now poor graphics, the original Colonization is still a far better play.
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