2K Games released Civilization Revolution on the app store. It came as quite a pleasant surprise to the iPhone gaming community, and people have been on a rampage talking about how great Civilization Revolution is. Civilization Revolution is a full fledged turn-based-strategy game. Although we have seen many of these game on the app store such as a Uniwar and Mecho Wars, we have yet to see a turn-based-strategy game with this level of depth. The game seems to be a port for the DS version, but 2K Games says that the port works very well since the processing and graphics are handled separately. This helps the port run equally well on a number of different platforms. Of course, the iPhone has been notorious for mediocre ports like Sonic the Hedgehog and Golden Axe. We decided to take a closer look at this title quickly for your benefit (i.e. before the price jumps to $9.99).
Dozens of Units: Civilization Revolution comes packed with many different units that improve as time moves on. Although I’m not exactly sure how many units there are, it seems to be plenty for an iPhone strategy game. Each unit has their own power and skill, and each one has their own stats and power. Of course, the older units will be less powerful than the more modern ones.
Research: The number of skills and items to research almost seems endless. Just when you think you researched everything available, you find yourself with 6 more things to research like democracy and law. There isn’t a shortage of things to do in this game. The depth that this adds is fantastic for an app store game!
Depth: We have called a couple of game “console quality”, but when doing so, we have been referring to the graphics and feel of a game rather than the depth. It is no surprise to iPhone gamers that most games on the app store do not contain as much depth as console games. This is one of the few games I have played that may actually have enough depth to be called console-quality. Of course, some people complain that there isn’t currently any multiplayer, I don’t find that to be a negative at this point. I have more than enough games to play online, but most of those have very meager single-player campaigns. Civilization Revolution is a fantastic game to play when you are offline. I think it is good to have a mix of both types of games. Of course, if 2K Games adds multiplayer, I won’t complain!
Polish: Of course, polish is something that’s expected from users because the game is made from 2K Games. The polish in this game is very obvious, and menu designs were designed quite nicely. User interface is also pretty well done, and I applaud the game’s clean look. Sure, there is a lot happening, but the screen doesn’t feel too cluttered at all.
Response: One huge problem I found with Civilization Revolution was the response. Tapping a soldier would sometime not work or take a long while to respond. I also noticed that the buttons were not very responsive at times which is odd for the iDevice platform. This is something that needs to be worked on above all else, and the response feels like Worms all over again. The game runs pretty smoothly on the 3GS and iPod Touch 2G, so if you have these devices, the game should run pretty well. However, you may have more issues if you play with a first generation device.
Unit Design: I can’t help but complain about the unit design. The designs are very bland, and I found each unit to have little or no detail at all. Sure, you can tell them apart, but the little details like facial features and little shading here and there is not present at all. I know the DS version of the game looks very similar, but from what I know, soldiers have faces.
User Interface: The user interface is not bad, but it is confusing at first and a little cramped. That being said, I cannot really figure out a way to include the amount of items to control in a better fashion. It just feels a little cramped as you play. However, after playing for a while, you get the hang of it and forget about the controls.
Civilization Revolution is a solid strategy game, but users have reported some problems when playing on first generation devices. It may just be a device specific problem, but I cannot stress enough how developers should keep the 1st generation devices in mind when developing. If you’re a fan of this game at all, it’s a pretty good game that seems to deliver almost everything the DS version did. One thing that 2K Games did do well was not letting out a watered down version of the game. I would highly recommend that you buy the game now as $4.99 is a very good price for what you get, but I would still say that Civilization Revolution is a buy at $9.99. To be honest, I found this game to be somewhere between a “Must Have” and a “Buy.” I think if a couple of the dislikes are resolved, we may be upping the rating.
Civilization Revolution was made my 2K Games, and I played through version 1.0 on my 2nd Generation iPod Touch. The price is $4.99 for 48 hours, then the price will increase to $9.99. There is also a lite version to try before you buy.