CivWorld: Competitively Expensive
By Jerrico Tan (JetSet), OnRPG Journalist
CivWorld is an online multiplayer game made by Firaxis and conceived by the Civilization series creator, Sid Meier himself. But in contrast to the Civilization series, CivWorld invades popular social network Facebook to provide players with an all-new town-building experience.
At first, most fans of the series may have unsettling impressions about CivWorld. Civilization is well known for having its well executed 4X elements (exploitation, exploration, expansion, extermination) while CivWorld is just all about exploiting resources in your little piece of land to win eras and battles. Secondly, players need to cooperate with others as a civilization group instead of being the king of all nations. But prejudice aside, the brand new systems and features of this unique Civilization game could still convince players to visit the game on a daily basis.
CivWorld is a game that can be won and completed, unlike many popular Facebook games today. The game ends after completing all eras, which begins from the Stone Age and ends in the Galactic Age. Each era ends when one of the four winning conditions is met namely: cultural, economic, science and domination. The civilization that wins the current era receives fame points and once the game comes to an end, the player with the most points will be declared the overall winner.
Players start off with an independent town where they build houses for their workers who would eventually harvest all the resources in their land. Great town planning is important for their house’s efficiency in gathering resources. For example, a cornfield’s harvest rating depends on how many cornfields are adjacent to its place.
Independent players could also join one of eight established civilization groups. By joining a civ group, all of the members’ current technologies and wonders are shared with the other members. Technologies are policies that give certain bonuses to the whole group and could even unlock historic wonders that passively generate gold. There is also a chatbox in the game where players could interact and coordinate their strategies (something more Facebook games could really use)
Resource gathering is highly crucial in winning an era. Each resource type helps your civ group discover technologies and wonders that could help them win one of the era’s winning conditions. Obtaining them comes in many ways. The fastest way to gather them is to play the game’s resource mini-games which consist of a maze game for gathering science, a portrait puzzle game for gathering culture; and a caravan road game that rewards the best puzzle solver a fair amount of gold. The game also has a market where you can use gold to buy all sorts of resource types and army units.
Another way to win an era is to dominate other civ groups. You can use gold to buy military units in the market and use them to invade other civs. Battles take hours to start so that defending civ members could prep up their defenses. Successful invasions are definitely rewarding while winning an invasion battle steals all of the loser’s wonders and all its learned technologies.
There is also a special currency in the game called CivBucks that you can buy with real money. This exclusive form of cash offers players with privileges and purchases. You can use Civbucks to buy Gold that can be used in buying soldiers, resources in the market and even extra puzzle moves for the minigames.
With all these features mentioned, CivWorld builds up a browser game like no other. Its complex and persistent environment would undoubtedly have you visit the game often. However, the greatest frustration that I have experienced in the game is the great gap that they have produced between cash players and non-paying ones. Paying real money for resource items and military units to invade civ groups would definitely speed you up in winning eras. And through that, CivWorld turned out to be a place where only the big spenders could last.
To sum it all up, CivWorld is a very simple yet entertaining game that’s still able to give players that sense of fulfillment after playing it. It might not work as much for non-paying players but if you’re willing to pay up real money for petty rewards, then this game might just be for you.