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Three Ways to Victory: Civilization Wars

Civilization Wars game has the honor of being to be the most simplified and addictive real time strategy game we have played in a web browser. This little flash game places you in control of a race (tribal, legionnaires, or oriental warriors) in a bid to gain full control of a fictional dominion that is populated by giant creatures, yet is and other bizarre things. The combat system is super-simplified and the replay value is extremely high. Thanks to the customizable variables that you can set in a stage when you play it again, there are plenty of creative ways to enjoy this beautiful game.

Of course, the concept of sending off troops to take charge of structures is not all that impressive -for many RTS games, it is only one factor of combat. But in Civilization Wars, building takeovers are everything. Troops will never engage in combat in an open area. They will either defend or attack a structure -nothing more. Sure, the player (and the computer opponents) has the ability to thrown in a few spells and abilities here and there, but for the most part, it is all about getting your troops in the right place at the right time.

How the Combat Works

The game's main objective is for you to take over all of your opponent's buildings. There may be well over a dozen structures in a single map, but if the enemy only has three and you take over all of those, then you have won the stage. This is the driving concept behind this game and while it may seem like a reasonable idea to charge in early, it is more likely that you would have to gather a large enough force (by seizing the other structures) before beginning your attack.

The structures all have a certain amount of life, and of every unit you send into a structure, that life meter goes down by one. Once the meter reaches zero, the structure becomes yours and any troops you add will increase the life meter. Aside from being attacked by troops, a structure may lose life if it is hit by laser weapons, attacked by golems and other creatures, or is hit by an offensive spell.

There are three types of structures: houses, attack towers and stables. Houses, once occupied by any army, will begin increasing the life meter (or basically, troops) on its own. Attack towers do not generate troops, but are able to fire projectiles that will kill any troop it hits. Troops that emerge from attack towers will be armed with better weapons. Lastly, there are stables. These structures will not generate troops nor will it attack enemies. Instead, any unit coming from a stable will be equipped with a horse that allows the unit to charge faster.

In between all this, the player generates "energy" -which is basically mana for use in spells. Spells can range from simple fireballs to massive earthquakes; choosing one that works best for your style of game is simply a matter of trial and error. The use of spell in the middle of combat can prove to be a very effective tool as a single well placed spell can repel a whole group of attacking enemies. Also, the game has a bonus for completing a stage using only spells (we recommend sticking to the first stage and using a fully upgraded reinforcement spell that summons new troops).

The Game Itself

Now that we have covered how to wage war in this game, it is time we looked at how the game itself goes. The Civilization Wars is divided into several stages -one for each major icon on the world map. Stages vary in the number of structures and enemies found, but the overall size remains the same -one screen-full; no scrolling, no zooming, no panning. This makes planning out a strategy quite easy, as long as you can take in all the details as fast as you can. In the early stages, players can take their time figuring out which structures to target first. Once you get halfway through the game, you need to move a lot faster than that -getting you troops out and conquering additional buildings the moment you take control.

Getting used to these controls is a simple matter of time. Average level gamers should expect to get an excellent grasp of the controls and spell shortcuts by the fourth or fifth stages. The maps are easy to figure out once you know what to look for. Neutral buildings are colored gray, and the other structures change color and style depending on the occupant. A small number on top tells you how much a structure currently has (giant monsters also have a little number indicator as well -which means that you should treat them as buildings).

The graphics are simple, but quite effective. Seeing your troops charge out of your buildings and converge on an enemy base is downright satisfying to watch. The massiveness of the boss monsters (which often occupy more than half a screen) gives the game an undeniably epic feel. In terms of delivery, Civilization Wars is truly a great game.

Strange Objects

As you get closer to the end of civilization wars game, a new race joins the battle: aliens. Now, this may seem like a bit of a spoiler, but given that the game has not storyline whatsoever, there really is nothing to spoil here. The addition of a very superior race with high speed troop production and projectile weapons will make you want to polish and hone your skills as well as earning plenty of experience points before tackling the ending stages of the game. Fortunately, the game allows you to move experience point allocations around according to your needs, so you can easily remove spells you do not need in favor of increasing the stats of your troops.

The Verdict

Civilization Wars is plenty of fun: it has easy controls, a good challenge to offer and a long gaming lifespan thanks to its high replay value. If you have already finished a stage, you can set limiters on visibility, spell availability, increase enemy stats and other factors. There is even a mummy mode available where the undead will start invading all structures as fast as they can from all directions. If you are looking for a game that ends quickly in a couple of hours, then you will want to pass this up. But if you have been aching for a really good game to play -particularly one that you can keep coming back to, then Civilization Wars is the one for you. We give this game a giant turtle's 90/100.

Civilization Wars 2: Ice Legends is the follow up game and although not a complete new game is a good expansion to the first game.