Civ World is a gaming that I really wanted to like. Certainly Civilization has been one of my favourite series throughout the years, and even the latest version, Civ V, was brilliant. The main weakness of Civilization, in my opinion, has been the difficulty of multi-player. It still mostly relies on the players to organize themselves. By taking the game to Facebook, Civ World commited to fully embracing multi-player. Unfortunately, a lot of the original series’ appeal was lost in the process.
Moving Civ to Facebook required it to convert from turn-based to real time. After all, you can’t tell everyone on Facebook to wait for an hour so you can take your turn. The strategy they took, of giving every player a number of “harvests” (basically turns) to spend whenever they want, that refill every couple hours is a great solution. It allows everyone to more or less play at their own pace, and so long as you can play once every couple of days you won’t fall behind. This is much more preferable to me than Empires & Allies’ Energy system that requires you to play every 4 hours or else you’re wasting Energy, and helps the game really feel like Civilization.
The game’s city-building takes much more precedence than in the regular civ games. Now you have to place place each of your buildings (houses, libraries, fields, etc), and where you place them actually affects things. This is something that Lord of Ultima does very well and I’ve been waiting for more games to adopt. In Empires & Allies, I can place a million-dollar mansion next to a smoke stack, neither of which are connected to roads, and no one cares. In Civ World, you get bonuses for placing Corn Fields next to each other, for placing Orchards next to water, or for connecting everything by roads. This adds a pinch of “Sim City” to the game that the series hasn’t seen before.
Unfortunately, this is at the expense of Civilizations usual empire-building gameplay. In Civilization, you are supposed to build a civilization. Found multiple cities, explore the world, research technology, wage war, and yes, stand the test of time. This really isn’t the case in Civ World, and that is a major disappointment.
Civ World places many different players into Civs. Now, this is a good strategy and it works very well in Clash of Kingdoms. But Civ World handles it very poorly. Maybe this is just poor UI, but it is very difficult to interact with your parent Civ. Are we at war with anyone? Did we finish any research while I was gone? What are we trying to do? I don’t know.
The pace is also poorly balanced. It took me a couple days before I earned an additional population. Days. As in 50-60 turns. And that’s with full farmers. No workers, no scientists, etc. Civlization is famous for its “one more turn” gameplay, where you’re always wanted to take another turn because something is going to happen. Maybe you’ll finish a building, pop a new unit, a new research, something. In Civ World I can spend all my day’s turns with very little result.
Civ world places a lot of emphasis on mini-games you can play for bonuses. You can do a maze to earn extra science. You can do a puzzle, images of famous paintings or landmarks with a liberal Photoshop “Paint Daubs” filter, to earn extra culture. These take up 4 / 14 spots in the main UI, but if I wanted to play those games there are many more polished options on Facebook. And these come instead of a world map? Instead of resources to control? Instead of strategic warfare?
So far the Beta has been a disappointment. However, I’m not the only one with this opinion. Hopefully Mr. Meier will be able to take all this feedback and make some major changes to the game before the full release.