Sid Meier's Civilisation Revolution

Preview: Everybody wants to rule the world

When it comes to PC games, we're usually of the opinion that you can shove 'em up your hard drive.

There are too many wallet-pounding upgrades required, too much bench-testing of your graphics card, and as for those mysterious keyboard and mouse controls... give us a console any day.

However, this isn't the case when it comes to Sid Meier's quite wonderful Civilization series. It's so simple that it'll run on almost any PC but so beautifully complex and involving that you'll fry your noodle tackling its multi-layered strategic conumdrums.


And now the only PC game we've ever truly loved arrives on DS, and it does so with a fanfare of trumpets, troupes of dancing girls and a firework display of Millennium-esque proportions.

Y'see, just as Age Of Empires made the most successful of transistions from PC to DS, so too does Mr Meier's masterpiece.

In similar fashion to Empires, Revolutions takes the core components of the game, strips away the sundry elements and luxury items, and then bolts on an interface that's perfectly suited to the DS. It's quite superb.

For the uninitated, the aim of the game is to take control of a civilisation at the start of history and expand its borders, knowledge, culture and military might through the ages by researching technologies, founding new cities and constructing buildings and fighting units.

Everything is interlinked - new technologies allow you to build new stuff, for example - and the ultimate aim is to beat your rivals either through forceful subjugation or cultural superiority.

On DS, much of the micro-management is taken out of your control. For example, citizens automatically exploit the resources at your disposal without being prompted, be it farming, mining or fishing.

Likewise, your cities require less looking after, with the main tasks being to sort out the city's production focus (cash, food, materials etc) and what buildings or units it constructs.

Sid and fancy

Civ hasn't suffered despite this simplification, although games are shorter. You still need your wits about you to succeed, and there's plenty of brain-taxing strategic thought required.

The stylus controls are nicely implemented too, with the point-and-drag mechanic making you feel every bit the armchair despot.