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First there was Sid Meier's Civilization and then Sid Meier's Civilization II. Since the release of part two in 1997 the series has seen the release of a couple of add-on packs and Civilization II: Multiplayer Gold Edition. The gold edition came with the add-on packs, some extra scenarios, and multi-player features. Civilization II: Test of Time includes the original Civilization II and the multi-player features found in the gold edition but only one of the scenarios — "The History of Midgard." Instead, the game expands on two past scenarios to create two stand alone games — Lalande 21185, a science fiction game, and Midgard (not the scenario), a fantasy game.
Both Lalande 21185 and Midgard play in the same way as Civilization II. Players perform such actions as manage cities, conduct diplomatic functions with other civilizations, and explore a world map. The primary differences are that the names of military units and civilization advances have been altered, the ultimate goals have changed, and the ability to settle four maps at one time has been added. In Lalande 21185 one advance leads to teleportation which in turn allows users to move between four planets. Midgard contains four worlds that can be traveled to through special terrain squares and astral portals.
Lalande 21185 takes place in a future where mankind has settled numerous planets outside of our own solar system. A ship carrying settlers to a newly founded planet comes across an artifact of alien technology. As the settlers move in for a closer look they were pulled into an unidentified system of planets. With their ship damaged an emergency landing is in order. However, it is quickly realized that the ship is already on course with the only planet that may be capable of supporting human life. Due to the ship's heavy damage it breaks apart and groups of survivors become separated. Players take control of one of the groups of survivors whose goal it is to leave the planet and return home. They can also win by conquering everyone else or by defeating the ancient, giant guardians of Nona.
Midgard takes place in a mythical realm made up of four worlds — Surface, Cloud, Undersea, and Underworld. Each of its four worlds are unique in that some of the military units from foreign tribes cannot move across all types of terrains. The seven tribes in Midgard are: Humans, Elves, Buteo, Merfolk, Infidels, Goblins, and Stygians. The ultimate goal is to either build a weapon that can defeat a mischievous god who is causing troubles throughout the realm or to conquer all of the other tribes.
Another game to play is an extended version of the original Civilization II. One way to win the original game is to launch a spaceship and be the first civilization to colonize another planet. The extended original game allows players to continue playing after they land on that new planet. At the same time that the new colonists are being controlled, the civilization back on Earth still needs to be managed. Depending on the number of civilizations chosen before the start of the game, when players reach the new planet their competition will either be the same civilizations from Earth or the same civilizations plus an alien race. In order to complete the extended game players can either conquer everyone or reach the advance of Transcendence.
Although only one scenario is included with Civilization II: Test of Time, additional scenarios can be downloaded from the game's official web site. The first available scenario is "The Time Threat Paradox" designed by Mick Uhl. This scenario takes place in the year 2001, a time when a mysterious civilization from the future settles in Siberia. Players must travel through time in an attempt to discover their motives and ultimately defeat them. ~ Jonathan Sutyak, All Game Guide