previews\ Jun 26, 2008 at 8:00 pm

Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution - NDS - Preview

For PC simulation fans, Sid Meier’s Civilization series has long been the hallmark of the genre, offering deep and engaging sim experiences for decades now. Now, the series is making the big jump to consoles, including the Nintendo DS, with the upcoming launch of Civilization Revolution. Built with a distinct console focus in mind (there is no PC version planned) Revolution utilizes the strengths of the format and creating a wholly unique experience. The DS version is no different, taking full advantage of the system’s touch screen and stylus controls, as well its the dual-screen capabilities for an interesting simulation experience.

The look and feel of Civilization Revolution on the DS does a fine job of mimicking the PC versions, retaining the 2D grid-based world view system of the latter. Like other titles in the series, you basically must create and build up your cities, taking care of myriad domestic responsibilities as well as foreign relations, like building up your military and waging war. As the game is geared more towards a console base as opposed to the hardcore PC audience, there is an ample tutorial system that guides you through the beginning sections of the game.

The game does a fine job of utilizing the system’s touch screen abilities, allowing you to navigate around the grid, move your units, and select menu options with the stylus. This feels quite intuitive, effectively emulating the PC’s mouse-and-keyboard controls quite well. Additionally, there are selection options that you can access with the D-Pad, and the control scheme is easy to grasp and feels quite comfortable overall.

Graphically, Revolution has a nice look that emulates the PC versions. The 2D maps are quite simple and don’t really tax the DS’s graphical capabilities, but fans of the series will appreciate the traditional appearance. The sound is also quite good, with some appropriate musical effects.

As opposed to the full-fledged console versions, Revolution on the Nintendo DS is shaping up to be more in tune with the PC versions. The game is not perfect, as it can feel a bit cramped on the DS’s screens when compared to the PC experience and the scope of the world is noticeably scaled down. However, as it stands, Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution for the DS is shaping up to be a capable entry to the franchise and a solid way to play it on the go. Look for a full review soon.

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