The original version of the game was a 16-bit executable and simply would not run on Windows 7 64-bit. No way, no how.
So I started to look around for a newer version of the game. Eventually, over at Amazon.com, I came across a vendor in the Amazon Marketplace that was selling a copy of the later Civilization II Muliplayer Gold Edition for just $15. It seemed like a deal to me, and when it showed up a couple of days later, it appeared to be the full package.
That box is actually considerably bigger than what games ship in today. And I haven’t seen a game manual that comprehensive in a decade at least.
Anway, that was the version I needed, as I had read over at Civilization Fanatics that somebody had created a patch for that version that would allow the game to run on 64-bit. There is actually a thread in their forum with the patch.
At first I was not even sure I would need the patch.
The game installed, launched, and ran for a bit. It wasn’t until I started my first city that the game terminated. So I went and grabbed the patch, applied it, and gave it another go.
And, hey presto, I had a running game!
Now to play a few games to decide where Civ II really belongs on my top Civilization games list. The poll taken in the last post on the subject seemed to indicate that Civ II was pretty well regarded. With 136 votes in, this was the list:
My own first impressions, having been away from the game for a couple of years, is how light and easy and uncluttered it is. Relative to the later versions of the game, there is a simplicity to it. That and how much I like that it was designed to run in a window, a popular design choice back in the mid 90s, so that it sized correctly to my monitor, which has about 4x the area that my monitor did back when the game first shipped.
I pretty much fell right back into playing the game. I started at the Warlord level for my warm up, which meant that I pretty much dominated from the start, even with the barbarians set to “raging hordes.”
So now I have another retro gaming option on my system.
Meanwhile, if you are interested in a little Civilization retrospective about the original game, Tim and Jon at Van Console Time Murdering Hemlocks have a show up about the original Civilization. Step back 20 years and hear how Civilization grabbed so many of us.