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Civibattle Free Strategy Game Review

Updated on November 18, 2010

Civibattle is a game of the profoundly unexpected. It starts out like a game of Bejeweled, morphs into an overly simplified simulation or RTS game (or both) and then does something so twisted that your brain will be contorted into a shape that only M C Escher could love. You have been warned. This game is innovative, entertaining, and perhaps best of all, free.

Essentially, this is a Roman strategy game in which your success or failure depends on how much Bejeweled expertise you've gained over the years. My favorite aspect of the first round of Civibattle is the way the little tokens (or resources, as we pretend they are) appear to be electrocuted into non existence when they are 'collected'. No other game uses the charms of electrocution so disarmingly.
Some of the tokens hum with an electrical light that spreads out to other tokens when they finally meet their matches. Like life, the way some people seem to be lit from within with a special spark, these tokens are extremely important and should be collected with all due haste.

To collect resources, you must enter into 'battles'. This is where the game takes a turn for the insanely awesome. You see, in order to win the battle, you must continue to collect resources, whilst you're being attacked. You use the resources you collect in what I'm going to call your 'Bejeweled' screen, to train troops and send them out to fight your army. The more resources you collect, the greater your army and the greater your victories.

For every battle you win, you progress further towards your ultimate goal, but battles aren't just about gaining ground you see, they're also about collecting enough resources to create upgrades that allow you to build better military units. For example, if you want Centurions to command your armies, then you'll need to build a barracks and a stable. If you want bowmen, then you'll need to build a place to practice archery.

What I really love about this game, and the main reason you should play it, is that it takes the passive feeling that one often gets when playing strategy war games and beats it until it is whimpering in a corner. In Civibattle you don't just sit there and watch your troops go into battle for you, you're working alongside them, sometimes you become so engrossed in what you're doing that you may even forget about your troops (not a good idea, but there is the danger of it happening.)

If you're a gamer who enjoys a game that plays and works on multiple levels, you will fall in love with Civibattle.


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