Avalon Hill's Advanced Civilization

Avalon Hill’s Advanced Civilization Reviewed

Think Civilization was the beginning? Think again: in 1980, Avalon Hill released a board game, called Civilization. (This is the game upon which the Sid Meier classic was loosely based.) But a few years later, in 1991, the company released an expansion pack, Advanced Civilization.

Advanced Civilization

To confuse matters more, in 1995 – while the world was playing Civilization II – Avalon Hill’s Advanced Civilization was released.

Set around the Mediterranean, this slow-going strategy game is a faithful recreation of the earlier board game. You take control of an ancient civilization in the in the melting pot of human civilization, . You choose from North Africa, the Middle East, and the regions now called Turkey, Spain, Greece, Italy, and Germany.

The game benefits from a quick and straightforward setup, requiring you to pick a civilization, number of opponents (human and computer controlled options are possible), computer AI level, and even play-by-email option. It then follows a turn-based pattern, leaving you to make decisions about movement and territory.

Gameplay in Advanced Civilization

So far, so good. It seems like the game is pretty similar to Sid Meier‘s take at this stage, but there’s a bit more to it. In this game, the aim is to progress from the Stone Age, through the Bronze Age, and make it to the Iron Age before any of your competing civs.

Gameplay in Advanced Civilization is considerably different to Sid Meier’s Civilization. In the settling phase, tokens are distributed, a starting territory selected based on historical proximity, and ships are built, in order to begin trading. As with the game you’re more familiar with, trading promotes advancement (a fact of of all major civilizations throughout history that people are quick to forget).

But is it any good?

Inevitably, there will be conflict, with battles centered around unit strength and movement; strong units can move fewer times. But this is not a conflict strategy game. It’s also not one you can dip in and out of, as you might with its more famous forebear. Rather, Advanced Civilization requires complete focus, plenty of time set aside, and patience. Repeated play will reap rewards, as you build an idea of how other civs may or may not develop, and at times their actions.

While the layout is basic and graphics competent, it is genuinely a board game on a PC, a straight conversion with sound – unsurprisingly – an afterthought. A perfectly good adaptation, in another universe Avalon Hill’s game would be well-regarded. But as it is, it has fallen into the shadow of that other title…

Avalon Hill's Advanced Civilization: An attractive board game conversion with a more specific focus than its more famous relative, Advanced Civilization is nevertheless restricted in scope, options, and ultimately, fun. Christian Cawley

von 10

(Reviewed with the DOSBox MS-DOS emulator. A version of this review was published on Altered Gamer. The game is considered abandonware, and can be played online.)

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About the author

Gaming since 1984, retro gaming since 2004. Contributes to Linux Format magazine, TechRadar.com, and other publications.

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