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The uniquely abstract game that defined an epoque
There are innovative games, there are games that take disparate but already invented elements and blend them into new synthetic genres, there are games that maybe stumble onto a new mechanic, more or less by accident, mechanic which is then used a new standard (see Ant Attack for a game that defined isometry as a novel way to portray video games). In an interview, the developer almost was sorry that she didn't call that perspective something else, so she could later patent it an, well, monetize it!), etc. There are lots of ways for games to add new things to the industry, but few actually can claim actual originality and genius. I would argue that Civilization is one such game, and I'll show you why: wargaming was quite big before Civ. hit the market. And these games did indeed court with synthetic analysis and distillation of gameplay elements to symbolize the clashing of adverse forces on a map. However, Civ. took a different approach, distilling the ideas of both world building, clashes (armed or technological) and managed to put out a game that was both extremely expansive and also so contained its own little, manageable universe af annotated elements. And that is its legacy, basically, the ability to take a huge strategy, worl creating, civilization building idea and to forge it within manageable playable elements, while also being an abstraction that was appealing, with lots of substance that rendered it as approachable. Any Civ. game is worth playing, but this first one surely needs a look at, for the historic value it holds, for its still very straightforward interface and to see just how little the game has changed in future iterations. Civ. was a feature full game from its very first iteration.
The first in a long series of strategy games
What started as a simple turn based strategy game turned into an empire of 5 Civilization games that virtually redesigned the strategy franchise in general(Civilization V being the latest). Beside the Civilization series, Sid Meier is also responsible for the games Railroad Tycoon and the historical Sid Meier's Gettysburg!. You start the game in 4000 BC and the objective of the game is to become victorious while the game advances in history to the modern era either by ways of warfare or by cultural and technological expansion (i.e. space race). The extreme detail, the fact that it is extremely user friendly, the great gameplay and sheer entertainment made this game revolutionary in the world of strategy gaming. The graphics are not much, but after a few minutes you will totally forget about this, since you will be so immersed in the game that it won't matter. The music is great, though. If you like strategies, look no further. This game, and the rest of the Civilization games, is the ultimate perfection.