Sid Meier’s Civilization V

LQ: 9.6


Brain grade: 9.6
Fun score: 9.6

Game Type: ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ Platform/Console: , LWK Recommended Age: 12+ Thinking Skills Used: , ,


Sid Meier’s Civilization franchise is an immensely popular turn-based strategy game series in which players take control of an entire civilization and lead them from the dawn of man until the space age, vying for the position of the most powerful empire in the world. As the leader of a specific civilization, players can interact with other surrounding civilizations in any way they see fit. Players can choose to wage war, conduct diplomacy, build trade routes, or help defend against barbarian tribes tearing through the land. Whatever they do, each decision will have consequences later in history. Although the game features warfare, there is little to no blood or explicit violence shown. Because of the game’s complexity, mild violence and steep learning curve, Civilization V is it is recommended for ages ages 12 and up.

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Developing a systematic approach for setting and achieving goals

Immediately upon starting a game of Civilization, players must begin developing a strategy of how they are going to settle and expand their new colony. Choosing which structures to build, citizens to train, and areas to explore are an ongoing part of the game. Each turn, players instruct their citizens to do their bidding, with different types of citizens performing different tasks. For instance, a worker can build structures and farm land while a soldier can attack and defend people and cities. Larger tasks -- like build roads connecting cities -- take several turns to complete. All of this requires players to sequence the actions of their citizenry appropriately to set realistic, attainable goals.

Along with controlling the citizenry, players also manage cities, where they can research new technologies and adopt different social policies, all of which will drastically shape how the civilization progresses in the game. Technologies give civilizations access to advanced structures and new citizen types, while social policies represent how the empire will govern its people, effecting the strengths and weaknesses of the populous. All of these decisions must be accounted for by players, requiring a significant amount of strategic thinking and prioritization of tasks.


Understanding and articulating her own thoughts and feelings

Because strategies and tactics may take awhile to develop in the game, it is important for players to be able to assess whether they are effective or not. If, for instance, a military campaign is not going as planned, the player must be able to recognize this and minimize the costs and damage it could do to his civilization. Leaders of nearby civilizations will also speak out to players in regard to their actions, either in hostility or by seeking counsel. This provides the players with a good opportunity to reflect on their progress and relations with bordering nations and make necessary changes. A list of all discovered civilizations will appear every few turns, further calling attention to how players' progress compares to other nations. Because each game of Civilization V can take several hours to complete, it is imperative that players remain aware of their actions and take the appropriate measures to improve their empire.


Adapting and adjusting to changing conditions and expectations

Victory in Civilization can come in several ways. A domination victory is the simplest to comprehend, it simply means that your civilization has control of every surrounding capital city. A cultural victory comes from adopting five social policies and creating a utopian society. A diplomatic victory comes from establishing the United Nations and being elected as the World Leader (this may require some negotiation). And finally, a science victory can be achieved by winning the space race and eventually reaching "Alpha Centari." These victory conditions are reached in drastically different ways and alter the style of gameplay significantly. Remaining flexible and shifting strategies is very important to not only winning in any of these conditions but becomes necessary once your opponents become aware of your intentions and may seek to change them.

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