It is not “the watered down version” at all. It’s just different, you know? Civ World is a Facebook browser based game that manages to maintain the feel of the Civilization series while also keeping that same level of uniqueness and difficulty intact. Initially I dove right into the game for the simple reason that my computer could not run Civilization V (me and too many others). While the game itself does not offer as many resources and mechanics, such as in-depth unit movement and civilian options, there is a polished feel that makes up for what it is lacking. Now the game is multi-player and if you have played any Civilization before this one, then you already know that coming out strong is a must because people are competitive.
You know that feeling you get when you are all alone, and there is no one there beside you? Now I understand that the game is (still) in beta but the lack of smooth player-to-play communication really defeats the purpose here. There are ways to send messages but they all feel so shallow especially considering that unless your friends are playing the game too, you won’t have the need to play neighbor with anyone else. The combat is tedious as well. My advice to you is to hoard all of your belongings and listen to the voice of reason in your head that says not to go to war. But if you’re feeling brave you will have to join an actual country first, all of which can be found under the “World” tab.
It wouldn’t be a Sid Meiers game unless there were resources. As usual, your ultimate success relies heavily on how effectively you collect and distribute your available resources. As I mentioned earlier, this too has taken a cut considering the game’s format. Your food, gold, science and culture all need to kept steady or else your production suffers as your citizens become annoyed and hostile toward their own dwelling. When you are not ruling with an iron fist though, there are puzzles you can play! The puzzles in Civ World are excellent time killers, plus you earn bonuses. If you’re not the puzzle type you can always add crap to your throne room because who ever ruled anything from a motel?
Despite having some drawbacks, and the feeling of “well, whatever” you get once a round of play is up. Civ World can’t hurt anybody. The game is easy and can be used as a great way to get into the whole turn-based/real-time strategy game genre. So I suppose that makes it, in a weird way, the gateway drug. It can be pretty good at first but once you broaden those horizons and start learning the ropes, that means it is time to move on to the better stuff. The fact that this game is free is enough to lure anyone in. For a fan of the series you will find it stale but nonetheless enjoyable. And if you hate it then go take up Farmville or something and leave politics to the cool kids.