Sid Meier's Civilization is a turn-based strategy computer game released by MicroProse in 1991. The game's objective is to build an empire that would stand the test of time. It uses 256-color VGA graphics and supports major sound cards.
The game begins in 4000 BC, and we have to expand and develop our empires through the ages until modern and near-future times. We will take on the role of the ruler of a civilization starting with only one or two Settler units. We will then compete with between two and six other civilizations.
Along with the larger tasks of exploration, war and diplomacy, we have to make decisions about where to build new cities, which improvements or units to build in each city, which advances in knowledge should be sought, and how to transform the land surrounding the cities for maximum benefit.
From time to time our towns may be harassed by barbarians, units with no specific nationality and no named leader. These threats only come from unclaimed land or sea, so that over time there are fewer and fewer places barbarians will emanate from.
The scope of the game is huge. The game begins in 4000 BC, before the Bronze Age, and can last through to 2100 AD with Space Age and future technologies. At the start of the game there are no cities anywhere in the world, we control one or two Settler units, which can be used to found new cities in appropriate sites. Settlers can also alter terrain, build improvements such as mines and irrigation, build roads to connect cities, and later in the game they can construct railroads which offer unlimited movement.
As time advances, new technologies are developed. These technologies are the primary way in which the game changes and grows. At the start, we choose from advances such as Pottery, the Wheel, and the Alphabet to, near the end of the game, Nuclear fission and Spaceflight. We can gain a large advantage if our civilization is the first to learn a particular technology and put it to use in a military or other context.
Most advances give access to new units, city improvements or derivative technologies. The whole system of advancements from beginning to end is called the Technology tree. This concept has been adopted in many other strategy games. Since only one tech may be "researched" at any given time, the order in which technologies are chosen makes a considerable difference in the outcome of the game and generally reflects our preferred style of gameplay.
To end the game, we need to destroy all other civilizations, reaching the end of the modern era with the highest score or by winning the space race by reaching the star system of Alpha Centauri.
You can download Civilization here.