I Would Buy Civ II Again… If I Could Find It…

One of the things stopping me from writing up what I think about Civilization V is that I cannot find my 1996 Civilization II disc.

Best Civ Ever... Maybe

Civ II is still my gold standard for Civ games.  I played the original Civilization back in the day, but once I picked up Civ II, I never went back.  Civ II was clearly superior in every way over its predecessor.

Not so the games that followed however.  Alpha Centauri was very good.  I played a lot of that.  But I never liked the fact it wanted to be played full screen rather than in a window and I was never big on the alien landscape.  So eventually I went back to playing Civ II.

Civilization III had merit, but it never really clicked with me.  There were features I liked about the game certainly, but I never found it as satisfying.  I went back to playing Civ II.

Likewise, Civilization IV.  Civ IV is probably the version I have played the least.  I went almost straight back to playing Civ II.

And then last year came Civilization V.  Civ V felt to me, after all these years, like it got back to some essence of what made Civ II such a good game.  But to really put my finger on what it is, I want to go back and play Civ II.

Only I cannot find my disc, which is where I started this post.

I did find my copy of the Mac version of the game.  But that doesn’t do me any good, as I would need to drag my old PowerMac 8500 (with the G3 processor upgrade card) out of the closet to play, and I am not that interested in playing.  (Plus I am not sure where the ADB keyboard and mouse have gotten to.  That keyboard turned 25 years old this year!)

Somewhere around the house there is at least one, possibly two, Windows copies of the game.  I can dig around in my office some more I suppose.

But ideally though, Civ II would just be available on Gog.com for $9.99.  That is where I got my current copy of Alpha Centauri. (Which is what reminded me of the whole “must run full screen” thing.)

My second choice would be to find it available on Steam.  As much as I still resent having to have internet access in order to play a single player game (so Steam has taken the sting out of that Diablo III reality), it is mighty damn convenient.  But while they have Civ III, IV, and V available, Civ II is nowhere to be seen.

This leaves me with physical means, finding another disc for sale somewhere.  Not an impossible task, but it means I cannot have it RIGHT NOW!

I guess this is a sign that I have accepted digital distribution.

And while I am thrashing around on this, maybe I should take a look at FreeCiv, which looks very Civ II-like.  And I can download it.

20 thoughts on “I Would Buy Civ II Again… If I Could Find It…

  1. Emerald Tablet

    Civilization IV is amazing. I like to think it sits in the Goldilocks “Just Right” for graphics, gameplay, and computer requirements. It also has a very powerful and well established modding community — you can do so much with the game as to offer endless possibilities.

    Civilization IV’s graphics are pleasing enough to still be played today without grimacing but not so complex as to bring basic computers to their knees.

    I suggest you give Civilization IV another go. Try looking at some of the mods on http://forums.civfanatics.com/downloads.php?do=cat&id=1 for some great mods and tutorials in writing your own.


  2. HarbingerZero

    Civ II was clearly superior in every way over its predecessor.

    Huh. I was not a fan of Civ II. I eventually uninstalled it and went back to playing the original. I thought the “improvments” were either poorly thought out or poorly implemented, and sometimes both.

    Never played III. IV I enjoyed, and so far its come the closest to evoking the glory days for me.


  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    Thanks Snafzg! But that isn’t really necessary. If I get off my butt and drive five minutes over to Micro Center, I would be willing to bet I could find a copy in their giant display of “old games in jewel cases” over by the returns window.

    But what I really want is not just the game on GoG.com or Steam, but a nice, up-to-date, full package with all patches version, like they did with Total Annihilation and Alpha Centauri. Because I know the moment I find my old disc (or get a new one) and install, the next thing I am going to have to do is start looking for patches. There is one out there that you have to have that fixes some of the most egregious AI pathing issues.

    @Emerald Tablet – I put down Civ IV pretty quickly I will admit. It is sitting on the bookshelf in my office still. The only lasting impression I have of the game is that it somehow managed to simultaneously be both too complicated and too simple at the same time.

    Well, that and it was another typical Civ launch, with the app being a total resource hog. There should be a warning sticker on Civ games to the effect that they will only be fully playable when the next generation of CPUs become available.

    @HZ – Now I saw Civ II fixing a lot of the weaknesses of the original as well as adding depth, diversity, and some better graphics. I am still fine with the Civ II graphics today.


  4. UFTimmy

    I first played Civ I in middle school on a friend’s computer. I didn’t own one then. And I fell in love. It was amazing. Maybe 10 years later I bought Civ I online, on disc, and played it for the first time on my computer. It was as glorious as I remember.

    I never played Civ II, but I felt similarly about Civ III and IV. I didn’t enjoy them as much as I. V I liked quite a bit.

    And even though it’s a really dumbed down version of the game, I thoroughly enjoy playing CivRev on the iPad. It’s a great time killer in the airport or on the flight.


  5. Andenthal

    I played the Original Civ for litterally hundreds of hours on my SNES. I still consider it one of the best games I have ever played on any platform. (The SNES port had a bit better graphics than the original DOS version.)
    I skipped everything else until Civ5, which I got about 6 months ago. Going from Civ1 straight to Civ5 took some getting used to. It’s a fun game for sure, but IMO, seems more complicated for the sake of being complicated.

    i remember i spent all of the money I got from my 14th birthday to get Civ 1 – somewhere in the neighborhood of $54 – which was a lot of money to a 14 year old.

    Also, you can play Steam games in offline mode if you so desire. It’s kind of a pain if you’re needing to constantly connect to update, or buy new games. But if you buy them infrequently, it might be worth it for you.


  6. GaelicVigil

    Civ II was, by far, my favorite in the series. It hit the sweet spot between complexity and simplicity. The modding was also insanely easy – all you needed was MS paint and Notepad to change nearly every aspect of the game.

    Another game I recommend is Space Empires 4. It’s basically Civ 2 in space – with tons of moddability options.

    All of these newfangled remakes that require a super fast PC to run hold no interest for me. These days games are about presentation and graphics, not really about game-play fundamentals.


  7. GaelicVigil

    Oh, by the way, FreeCiv doesn’t hold a candle to Civ 2. It tries hard to get it right, but falls far short.


  8. TheRemedy

    This is only partially related to your post, but the gog version of Alpha Centauri isn’t technically the complete version as for some reason they decided to not include the expansion which added a ton of content. Was definitely a poor decision there on someone’s part.


  9. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @GaelicVigil – I actually still have my directory of Civ II mods. I will have that handy when I install the game again. Everything in Civ II was in text files or bitmaps. I spruced up some of the graphics, but I also edited the civilizations.

    That started because I hated when the game would repeat city names, so first I added in a bunch of additional cities.

    Then I started creating Civs. I had the Poles, the Texans, the Californians, the Hi-Techs (cities all named after 80s tech companies), and the Gerunds (whose cities all ended in -ing).

    Fun stuff.


  10. wizardling

    Yeah – Civ II was always the best Civ IMO and the one I always return to :-)

    See if you can locate the Civilization Chronicles bundle – it has Civ I (still retro fun, but Civ II was better in many ways), Civ II in all it’s glory, Civ III Complete, and Civ IV (no expansion as it was released when Civ IV was new). Oh, and the Civ Card Game if that interests you :-)


  11. Maarkean

    Civ II was awesome. I did like Civ IV. And I really like Civ V. It’s been so long since I’ve played Civ II, I can’t even really be sure what it was I liked about it in particular. I don’t have any particular memories of Civ III that stand out but I remember liking Civ II better. I know one of them had airbases that you could build as well as forts that I thought was cool. But with my luck, that’s Civ III.


  12. pkudude99

    I still have my Civ2 disk and even know where it is, but I’ve not played it in probably 10 years or longer. I play Civ5 every so often, but it always sucks me into the “just 1 more turn. . . . crap! it’s 4 am and I have to go to work soon!” thing, so I have to limit myself to a time or 2 a month at most.


  13. ScytheNoire

    I gotta agree. Civ 2 was the one I spent the most time with. It seemed like Civ 2 came out quickly after I had discovered the first one, but it was much better. I remember getting excited about the other ones, still have them somewhere, i think, but none of the Civ games held me like Civ 2. Although there weren’t as many game options and MMORPG’s back then to be addicted to.


  14. sleepysam

    Agree on Civ II. Hated Civ IV. Also enjoyed Alien Crossfire/Alpha Centauri.

    Supposedly Civ 5 is being ported to Iphone/Ipad. I always ask in these threads if anyone has a good TBS they would recommend for Iphone/Ipad. My gaming PC is retired.


  15. D Dusk

    It’s the year 2012, and it’s the first time I’ve played Civilization 2. Alas, it’s the PSX version, but still, as far as I can remember, this is the only game I stayed up late at night playing, even if I have work the next day. I’ve only beaten one beginner game where I continued past year 2020 just to exact some revenge on the treacherous Celts(I got their capital, win!) and now I upped the difficulty a tinny bit by having a normal map, four civilizations competing, and slight chance of barbarian invasions. All in all, this proves that Civ II has stood the test of time. Graphics be damned, this is a truly a classic game.


Comments are closed.