Civilization IV addicted many people. I warn you already that CivCity: Rome is from the same makers and although I wasn’t immune to Civ IV, I dared starting up this title. Did Firaxis succeed in making CivCity: Rome equally great?
Next to the seperate missions, there’s also some sort of campaign with a small storyline. Here you start as engineer to one rise up to one of the highest ranks in ancient Rome. That also works a bit as a tutorial as the missions start off small and get progressively harder.
For each mission you can get some tips as well as additional info on the buildings that are important for that part. After reaching your goals you can of course continue to build or take on a new assignment. There are also levels without fixed goals where you can have do what you want.
The focus of this citybuilder is mainly on the houses which take care of your taxes and as such the funds for your personal government. As they get bigger and evolve from simple tents to true palaces you’ll start earning more on them. Houses tend to grow as more specific means are available like water to get tents to grow to huts. That way more means will become available and for the ultimate house, a palace, the inhabitants will need to have access to everything in the game.
As the houses grow, they take up more space, but the inhabitants are also willing to walk further to get what they need. Indeed, mansions have a certain reach in which the necessary means need to be. To help you with this, there’s always the possibility to move them without having to break them down.
Planning is important and space as well but unfortunately the latter isn’t given. Often it will happen that most of the terrain is unusable due to hills or mountains. To help you a bit there’s an advisor that informs you with spoken messages of certain happenings. Sometimes this comes in handy, but from time to time also tends to annoy as they guy can bore you pretty quickly. Luckily you can disable this function.
In a later stadium you still need to watch out. Due to the tons of items you need to keep an eye on it’s easy to loose oversight. And now that we’re talking about downpoints: the AI, and especially that of the soldiers, isn’t so smart.
The graphics as such aren’t astonishing but everything is represented well although the framerate can drop once it gets busier on the screen. The sound is ok. Nothing special but not bad either.
In CivCity: Rome you can find a link with Civilization IV but it didn’t quite make it to the top. There’s some fun to be had but I would only suggest it to fans of the genre. Others may find it too hard/frustrating.