Freeciv

Good
  • Free and open source base that continues to evolve with development
Bad
  • Need to be proactive in creating your own adventures given the lack of campaign content
7

Freeciv is a turned based strategy game based on the original Civilization title that seeks to capture a similar level of strategic challenge with a free to play experience. Continuing to be actively developed Freeciv continues to expand it’s features, fix bugs and grow in community size with each update. The game is also operated as a completely open source model which allows all elements to be altered by players and the community as they see fit.

freeciv-gameplay-map

Freeciv supports both single player and multiplayer gameplay with the core game being focused around the year 4000 B.C. where your objective is to guide a tribe of people through the centuries and beyond. Through technological research players can advance their faction behind the primitive technology at the start of the game into an advanced civilization much like the original game of which it is based.

Following the same core ruleset as the first Civilization games you’ll win when you have taken all other civilizations off the map or accomplished space travel. Time limit and score functionalities are also included as are a number of scenarios created by the community for further game experiences. Regardless of your goal you’ll utilise familiar mechanics to master economy, diplomacy and war with your own mixture based on your grand strategy vision.

freeciv-gameplay-research

Common levers pulled in creating a new game include the number of players (Freeciv supports over 100), technology growth speed, AI controlled players, map size and respective map topology. These combined with the various tilesets that can alter your visual experience provide players with that abundance of skirmish style content that games of this genre usually offer.

These Freeciv games will likely follow a similar strategic flow although there is still plenty of variability between matches, particularly when you involve human opponents. Your first goal will be to assess your surroundings in order to plan your cities and units accordingly with your basic units able to explore at a rate of 1 tile per turn as you seek out new fertile ground for city construction. Advanced unit types fall across three different archetypes that each have their role to play in this process with explorers roaming around the game world, workers who serve as utility units by enabling roads, irrigation and fortresses with settlers the final piece of your puzzle with their ability to start cities.

freeciv-gameplay-workers

While exploring is critical and comes with potentially powerful rewards from gold, friendly units, technology or new citizens for you it can also be dangerous with barbarian attacks potentially weakening your current forces. During this exploration you’ll also be acquiring the resources of food, production (or prod) and trade which includes gold, luxuries and science. Each has their role to play from food allowing your city growth, production enabling city build speed and trade for research, happiness and negotiation.

In general gameplay is closely comparable to the very first Civilization game although your individual experience can differ greatly between game build and settings that you select such as the long turn games that give you a turn every 24hrs.

Summary:

  • Free and open source strategy turn based game based on the original Civilization game with elements of the future games also included.
  • Establish cities as you acquire different resources to support your grand strategy.
  • Under continuous development for over two decades with an open source model.
  • Android based mode alongside a downloadable version for Windows.
  • Large community for multiplayer games and development collaboration.

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Review Platform: PC

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Written by
Samuel Franklin
Samuel Franklin is the founder and lead editor of the Games Finder team and enjoys video games across all genres and platforms. He has worked in the gaming industry since 2008 amassing over 3 million views on YouTube and 10 million article views on HubPages.

Games Finder is a Steam Curator and featured in the aggregate review scores data of MobyGames and Neoseeker.
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