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Sid Meier

The Windows Phone Xbox Live lineup has long lacked strategy titles. Last year saw the release of Fusion: Sentient, which turned out to be more of a sophisticated boredom simulator than an actual game. Thankfully, 2K Games’ very first Windows Phone release is not just any strategy game. No, it’s part of the illustrious Civilization series: Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution.

From humble origins

The overall goal of Civilization Revolution (or Civ Rev as I’ll now call it to be cool) is to steer a tiny settlement from the year 4,000 B.C. into modern times and beyond. There will also be multiple NPC civilizations that yours can deal with in a variety of ways. There are actually four different ways to win the game, allowing for a variety of play styles:

  • Domination: Capture all of the other civilizations' capital cities and hold them for one full round.
  • Culture: Gain a total of 20 great persons, wonders, and/or converted cities in any combination, and then build the United Nations wonder.
  • Economic: Acquire 20,000 gold and then build the World Bank wonder.
  • Technological: Research all technologies necessary to build and launch a spaceship, and finally be the first to reach Alpha Centauri.
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It’s time to put on your black caps and eyepatches, Windows Phone gamers. Sid Meier’s Pirates! from 2K Games is now available on the Marketplace.

In Pirates! gamers play as the son of a man whose family was unjustly imprisoned by a nobleman in the 1600s. The path to rescue them is fraught with peril, as he’s forced into the life of a pirate. From there, players must form alliances with some nations while warring on others, collecting treasure, upgrading their ship, and hiring new crewmen all the while. Pirates! is ostensibly a strategy title, but it packs a wide variety of gameplay, including ship battles, sword fighting, city bombardment, and even dancing. How else are you going to romance those ladies?

We noticed last week’s Xbox Live title, Civilization Revolution, which is also a Sid Meier property from 2K Games, suffered a noticeable visual downgrade during the transition from iPhone to Windows Phone. Still an awesome game, but that’s beside the point. Pirates! comes to Windows Phone straight from iPad, having never materialized on iPhone for some reason. Thankfully this version’s visuals are quite clean and attractive, with no aliasing problems to speak of. It looks and plays like a faithful port of the 2004 Xbox version. Pirates! is also a whopping 225 MB download, thanks in part to several FMV sequences taken from its big brother.

Sid Meier’s Pirates! costs $2.99 and there is a free trial. Set your sails toward the Marketplace and grab it here. Thanks to Jimbob73 for the tip!

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Last week’s Xbox Live release, Civilization Revolution, is part of a series crafted by design genius Sid Meier. This week, 2K Games follows up with another of Meier’s creations: Sid Meier’s Pirates!

Pirates! is a strategy game/sim that debuted on the Commodore 64 computer in 1987. It was then remade for consoles and PCs in 2004. Unlike Civilization Revolution, Pirates! never came to iPhone, though the iPad version (pictured) is highly regarded by critics. Microsoft couldn’t provide screens for the Windows Phone version in time for this article; let’s hope the graphical fidelity hasn’t taken too much of a hit this time.

As for Pirates!’ gameplay, it primarily involves sailing around the Caribbean, attacking other ships and stealing their treasure. In addition to ship-to-ship battles, players can bombard towns with cannon fire and even take part in sword fights. Managing good and bad relationships with other nations is key; otherwise you’ll find nothing but hostile ports when you come to land. At port you can hire new crew mates, buy and sell goods, and talk to the locals for news.

Sid Meier’s Pirates! comes to Windows Phone on Wednesday, April 11. We don’t have an official price yet, but $2.99 is likely.

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First announced at the beginning of March, Civilization Revolution is now available on the Marketplace. 2K China, who also created the iOS version, ported the game to Windows Phone for 2K Games.

In the Civilization games, players start at the dawn of humanity and lead their civilization through the ages, including modern times and even the future. You’ll need to gather resources, build new cities, research technologies, and either war against or form alliances with neighboring countries. You can choose from 16 different nations to play with as you strive to achieve one of four possible victory conditions: Technology, Economic, Cultural, and Domination (war).

After jumping in to the Windows Phone game, a few things have become clear. First, the graphics appear to have been awkwardly rescaled from the iOS original, resulting in a generally pixelated look. This version’s tutorial text isn’t as helpful as say, Civilization IV, so it’s going to be a lot harder to learn than previous Civilization games. Hopefully Revolution will be a rewarding experience once we get our heads around it. Feel free to leave gameplay tips in the comments section, clever readers.

Civilization Revolution costs $2.99 and there is a free trial. Get it here on the Marketplace.

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When Microsoft announced that Civilization Revolution would be coming to Windows Phone, strategy fans were understandably excited. They won’t have to wait much longer, as Civilization Revolution from 2K Games is next week’s Xbox Live game.

In the Civilization games, players start at the dawn of humanity and lead their civilization through the ages, including modern times and even the future. You’ll need to gather resources, build new cities, research technologies, and either war against or form alliances with neighboring countries. The mobile version of Civilization Revolution includes 16 countries to choose from, and four possible victory conditions: Technology, Economic, Cultural, and Domination (war). Like the iPhone version, this one won’t have multiplayer, but the single-player game truly has endless replay potential.

We’re still investigating whether Civilization Revolution will sport any Windows Phone-specific improvements; enhanced visuals over the iPhone version (pictured) would be nice. But we do know about its Xbox Live Achievements thanks to our friends at

Civilization Revolution comes to Windows Phone on Wednesday, April 4. It will cost $2.99 (!).

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Good news for those of you who enjoy Sid Meier’s work on lush and detailed strategy games, we'll be getting not one but two offerings sporting his name:

  • “Civilization Revolution” (2K) – Award winning Sid Meier’s “Civilization Revolution” is coming to Windows Phone! Build, Discover, Rule the world.
  • Pirates!” – Sid Meier’s “Pirates!” is an exciting high-seas adventure overflowing with intense pirate action and a treasure chest of gameplay riches!

Those titles should be familiar to those who indulge in strategy games as they are both ports from other systems, but that shouldn't stop the excitement as they are considered to be solid games.

Pirates! is already available on Xbox 360 (since 2005) so you can go ahead and try that now to get an idea for the game. The original Pirates! goes back to 1987 but was re-released and updated in 2004 and it is still getting ported to new platforms (including the iPad). It's your normal sail around the world, engage in battles and grab some booty game.

Civilization Revolution, known as the game Meier's "always wanted to make", is widely available on multiple platforms and continues the Civilization/empire building turn-based-strategy stylings of previous games in the same series.

No word on release dates but we imagine it will be sometime this Spring, giving Windows Phone users plenty of options and some skilled strategy gaming.

Source: Major Nelson; Thanks, Daniel G., for the tip

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Review: Sid Meier’s Civilization IV

One of the games that has defined cross platform gaming is Sid Meier’s Civilization. I remember back in the late 90s when Linux was starting to get more widespread, many of the Linux flavors shipped with Civilization. Because of this, it was no surprise to me when I saw it listed in the Windows Marketplace for Mobile.

Hit the jump to see what this game is capable of, and if it’s worth the $4.99 that it will cost you.

Intriguing game concept, simple to use controls
Game has a repetitive value
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