Couldn’t conquer the blue sky

I get dragged to many places that I wouldn’t normally go of my own accord. Car-boot sales, charity shops…the local neighbourhood swingers party. As well as picking up a load of stuff that I don’t want (like chlamydia), I occasionally stumble across a rare gem as well – which is exactly what happened last week.

In a charity shop located off the car park in Alton, whilst aimlessly flicking through a box of DVD’s, I came across a copy of Sid Meiers Civilization III – Deluxe Edition. These types of places are dangerous for retro gaming fans like me – they tend to have random titles from gamings past that nobody else wants any more. Having picked up a whole collection of shitty retro games over the years, I’ve recently told myself that I was going to put a stop to it – going as far as to sell some of it on ebay. Now it could of been the boredom, or maybe the appeal of the £1.00 price tag, but something made me decide to take a punt on this one.


A classic

Having got back home, I opened up my new purchase and was slightly dismayed to find that, despite having all the discs, there was no manual. When it comes to PC games, no manual can often mean no install code, which in-turn means no game. Luckily for me, it seems Civ 3 sticks it’s middle finger up at DRM, needing no code to validate the install. Unluckily for me, it seems Civ 3 is a complicated game and I didn’t have the first fucking clue what I was doing.

Starting up a new game, I decided to pick the Civilization based off the reasoning “that guy has a funky looking goatee” – thus dooming the Persians to failure, as I re-wrote history in the space of a few swift moves. Persia mark 2 didn’t fair much better, going to shit shorty after it was founded. Mark 3 was looking promising, until a barbarian horde taught me the importance of defending your cities.

Goatee of power

Goatee of power

With each new game, I felt like I was learning not just from the millions of google searches i’d performed, but also by my mistakes. By about Persia mark 5 things were actually going pretty well. I had a network of connected cities, an army and I’d even built the mother-fucking-Pyramids! Spurred on by what I can only assume was goatee envy, pretty much every other Civilisation then turned on me, systematically destroying me as they formed alliances against the awesome Persians of Fodderoperlis.

This is the strange thing though, the game never makes me want to throw my toys. Even though some of the restarts have occurred after five hours of playing, I’m always eager to try again – this time armed with more insight into what I should be doing, keen to avoid the pit falls of my previous failed Civilisation.


Turn based failures

My current save file, playing as the Germans, I’ve made it further than ever before. I’m now in the middle ages and have the most developed Civilisation (at a personal level) to date. Although the game suggests that I am firmly in last place, I don’t care. I’ve not been wiped out as yet, I’ve conquered multiple cities and no one will trade with me because of my ardent breaking of peace treaties. The French seem to be getting increasingly annoyed by my constant trespassing, so I am no doubt a few turns away from annihilation, but even if that happens, I’ll be back!

The addictiveness and awesomeness of Civilization games is not really news to anyone. However, for people like me that missed out on the series, I highly recommend this amazing game. You may spend a fair amount of time scratching your head, confused at why you lost, wondering why it’s dark outside and concerned that you’ve forgotten to eat, but Civ 3 is a game that every gamer should experience.