App Assessment: Civilization Revolution 2 (iOS)

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Consider this, back in 2009, the App Store was merely a year old. The most new-fangled of Apple’s smartphones was looked up upon as the iPhone 3GS, and you only had so many phone models you could play the original Civilization Revolution for iOS on. Five years down the road, 2K Games finally has a sequel, but is it worth the wait?

Civilization Revolution 2
by 2K Games

Compatible with iPhone 4S, iPad 2, iPad Mini, iPod Touch Gen5 and above.
S$18.98 (App Store)

The Civilization Revolution series is a severely condensed version of what its larger PC counterpart has to offer. It holds the bare essentials of the Civilization formula, but bringing with it some issues along with it. With Civilization Revolution 2, it carries forward some of those issues with it.

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While the game gets a good serving of graphical updates, releasing it from the horrendous icon-based sprites that symbolise your units and the static animations that come along with it. Civ Rev 2 now boasts full 3D graphics once poorly supported on the now feeble iPhone 3GS. Your advisers and opposing leaders now flail about on the screen speaking a form of gibberish in place of a comprehensible language, which makes the game less serious and daunting than Civilization and easier for casual gamers to pick up their mobile devices for.

Being a condensed version of the game, players are expected to wrap up whatever it is they wish to accomplish rather hurriedly before your opponents from other nations decide that you’re wasting their time and declare war on you, which they tend to do on a whim several times during the course of your game.

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If caught unprepared, expect your unoccupied cities (that is, not occupied by a unit sitting within the city) to be picked up by enemy troops, forcing you to get it back. Plan your cities right, and fending your enemies off should pose no problem, allowing you to focus your other resources for a cultural or scientific victory by building all of the world’s wonders or the precious spaceship, respectively. The availability of physical resources doesn’t seem to matter much when you can have horsemen or naval ships “built” (these require horses and metal deposits within your borders on the PC versions).

You get to see more of the game with an improved UI in Civ Rev 2, even on a small retina screen, but the game suffers a lot of graphical lag and crashes when playing on an older piece of hardware, like an iPhone 4S. The game also offers no multiplayer options, although granted it took the developers 4 years to add that into the iOS predecessor.

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Similar to the original Civ Rev game, if you came here looking for a full-fledged Civilization game, you’re better off carrying your gaming laptop around with you. Hardcore Civilization fans will not see much to this game if they wish to stack it among the ranks of the PC counterparts.

Built for the platforms it was made for, Civilization Revolution 2 is a nice distraction for a long train ride. It is still worthy of the Civilzation brand, holding itself as a strong turned-based strategy title for mobile platforms.

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Assessed on an iPhone 4S. App originally released in July 2014. A copy of the game was given to us for review. App pricing accurate at time of print.

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