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Sid Meier's Civilization is nothing less than a human history simulator. Starting with a tribe barely out of the Stone Age, players must guide their fledgling civilization through history into the modern age. Players must choose which technologies to research, how their civilizations should expand and develop and what forms of government to adopt. All this must be accomplished while contending with several other civilizations also trying to develop. Eventually, civilizations will come to war over territory and preparation is key to this confrontation.
The game is played from a top down perspective and uses turns to indicate the passage of time. Players can choose from a variety of civilizations, each with their own set of starting technologies and have an option to play on a randomly generated map or a real map of Earth. There are two ways for civilizations to win: annihilate all other civilizations by taking over or destroying all their cities, or, alternatively, civilizations can go the space exploration route. The first one to successfully launch a spaceship towards Alpha Centauri is considered the winner in this case.
While managing their civilization, players will have to decide on appropriate forms of government and manage tax and luxury rates. They must also choose technologies to research as well as decide on what buildings each city should erect. The game features a complex technology tree with most technologies requiring one or more prerequisites before availability to research is granted. With researched technologies, the civilization can grow with more advanced buildings or military units. ~ Kyle Knight, All Game Guide