Updated: Civilization Revolution for iPad Review

Civilization Revolution just received its biggest update yet, adding a new multiplayer mode that must be unlocked for an additional $2.99. You can also download new units, buildings, and wonders for each of the game’s civilizations.

Multiplayer is turn-based, using Game Center, with each player taking a turn and then waiting for the other to move. You can choose to be notified when it’s your turn to move your units, or stay in-game and wait.

Civilization Revolution is a thoughtful, deliberately-paced strategy game, which makes it an unusual choice for turn-based multiplayer. If you play it over the course of several days or weeks, like Words With Friends or other asynchronous multiplayer games, you could slowly evolve your civilization’s army from barbarians to marines.

But compared to the much faster multiplayer of games like Outwitters, we have trouble recommending Civilization Revolution’s new mode, if you’re looking for a quick gameplay fix. If you’ve got a real-life friend who will stick with a lengthy game, give it a try, but otherwise, you’ll find the single-player campaign to still be more than enough.

When we last reviewed Civilization Revolution, we thought it was a streamlined yet slightly glitchy world-conquering sim game that felt pretty good on Apple’s handheld iDevice. Now a new, plus-sized version has been released for the iPad, and it’s big enough to give the original version a Napoleon complex.

What was really impressive about the iPhone version of Civilization Revolution was the way it streamlined the Civilization gameplay mechanics, which have become increasingly complex over the years, and made it into a more tightly focused series of gameplay decisions. Instead of agonizing over raising taxes or placing peasants on the right plots of land, you can focus on the big-picture decisions– namely, who to war with, and whether to emphasize your civilization’s culture, military, economy, or technology.

Stay away from Pompeii.

The maps are still tiny, especially when viewed on the iPad’s nice big screen, and this can lead to some run-ins with the neighboring civilizations early on. You still can’t customize the type of map you play on, which was a complaint we had with the last game as well. Fortunately, the glitches that plagued us in the last game, like slowdown and sudden crashes, seem to be gone.

Civilization Revolution for iPad sports huge, gorgeous graphics that really show off the iPad’s screen. Characters like the barbarians you conquer and leaders from other civilizations look incredibly vibrant and detailed. However, battle animations are fought in a tiny, postage-stamp sized square in the middle, which is obviously a holdover from the iPhone version and looks distractingly out of place.

Montezuma’s revenge.

Another problem with the game is the difficulty level, but this is adjustable so that you can find the level of competition that suits your ability. While the main Civ series starts out tough even on the lowest levels, try dialing it up a few notches if you’ve ever played a Civ game before. Otherwise, you’ll flatten those other civilizations without much of a challenge.

Few games let you grow from the Stone Age to the Atomic Age, and it’s a real pleasure to rewrite history as you see fit. Civilization Revolution is a great launch title for the iPad, and it’s worth owning even if you already have the iPhone version.

Editor’s Note: This review covers the content exclusive to the iPad version of this game. For the full game review, click here.

5 thoughts on “Civilization Revolution for iPad Review

  1. Too bad the images they used for this “update” article are the old images. The update is cool – here’s to hoping they keep updating it to fix those battle animations – then this game would be a top-tier iPad app.

    • This is our original review from April 2010, so the screenshots shown are from version 1.0. But I agree, the new animations are great, we’re glad this game is still being improved on three years later. Definitely a Must Have app.

  2. Way too easy now that the computer does not try to obtain the bounty from barbarian villages. Game is also slower. Update may be prettier to look at, but it significantly takes away from the difficulty. Needs to be updated again before I’ll be able to play it.

  3. WHY is truce forever scenario so ridiculous?
    The AI can land in your territory without war, can block you from your resources
    and can build, earn and research at a pace impossible for you to do, I am no rookie either as all other levels at deity are beaten with ease for me…
    anybody else run into this. it is as though the AI gets speed bonuses and I do not.

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