PDA

View Full Version : Review: Sid Meier's Colonization



Geraldine
6th February 2012, 18:24
Better sit down with a cuppa for this one! :lol:

This game arrived on the Amiga in 1995 and was a follow up to the superlative Civilization which serves as the basis of its gameplay, only this time it not a whole planet your trying to wrestle under your control, but the Americas circa 1492 or a randomly created continent to give you replay value. It can run on either an ECS or AGA equipped Amiga as the game will auto adapt.

The game starts with giving you an option of a selection of European patron nations, namely England, Spain, France or the Netherlands. Each of these has their own advantages. For example, the Spanish can do better when plundering native settlements or the French have better relations with the native population.

Science research has been changed in Colonization. Instead of just picking a subject from a list you need specialists to teach raw colonists their knowledge. This is fine for general subjects like farming or mining as you can bribe these specialists to sail to the new world from your European home port. Other specialities though can only be taught at native settlements, which can be a problem if the natives dont like you very much. You can also try capturing another nation's specialists if your really stuck.

Patron nations are very helpful at the start of the game in giving you colonists and specialists who will assist you in building up settlements which you can use to produce goods that you can sell back to your nation. You can also buy goods in Europe which is useful if your running low on something.

Trading is not limited to just Europe though, you can also trade with other competing nation's settlements or even the native settlements.

Now for the twist. As the game progresses your patron starts to demand more and more tax on your trading with them until it reaches a point where profitable trading becomes harder and harder to achieve. The money the crown makes from this is put into building a Royal Expeditionary Force which ultimately you will have to face in the end game when you decide to have an Independance tea party. To make matters worse, your patron can declare war on a rival nation, which can make things difficult for your fledging settlements if they happen to be near that other nation's well equipped ones!

Also, the other nations can also employ pirate ships (as well as other vessels) to hijack your gallons loaded with your hard earned goodies. You of course can do the same to them or if your feeling very war like, just drive the other nation's settlements into the sea and claim all the land for yourself!

Graphics were never what Sid's games were about, but the ones in Colonization serve their purpose well enough. The music however is another matter. The Amiga version had the benefit of having Allister Brimble involved in it's creation and is far superior to the PC DOS version of the game. :p

Screen shots (shown below) cant really do justice to this game. Its all about how it plays and it plays very well. There is so much depth to its gameplay, its very difficult to cover everything in this short review. My advice is that if you loved Civilization your going to love this too. However if you never tried it, its still worth a go as its has enough features of its own to make it different to its illustrious forebear.

Also of note, there is a save game editor on the Aminet. Do a search for a file called Coloniz2HD.lha or click this link http://aminet.net/game/edit/Coloniz2HD.lha

Anyways have fun and remember there's gold in them thar hills!!

You Tube Vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hz0FWO6STGQ&feature=related

BlindGerMan
6th February 2012, 18:31
Thank you for this review :)

I like this game and of course Civilization, they are one of the best ever made, so :bowdown:Sid Meier

Tajmaster
6th February 2012, 18:34
Superb review Geraldine! Very detailed and thanks for the links too :)

BritishGeek
6th February 2012, 19:01
Awesome review Geraldine, thanks :D

I love the early Sid Meier games !!

J.T.Kirk
6th February 2012, 19:03
Sid Meier is just perfect when it comes to simulations. :thumbsup:

cugar124
6th February 2012, 21:40
Sid you ROCK!!! still playing his games 20years on LOL:bowdown::bowdown::bowdown:

DonutKing
6th February 2012, 22:57
This is one of my favourite games :) Was really highly polished and had a lot of character for a strategy game. Wasted many hours with this one on the PC when I was younger :)

The version I played had some interesting bugs. You could get around boycotts at your european port by pressing the U key to unload your ship. So there was really no reason not to hold a 'tea party' when the king tries to increase the tax rate. :) This was fixed in a later patch.

I tried out the Amiga version and personally I think the PC version is better because you don't get that 'windowed' interface that sort of ruins the aesthetics a bit, and also if you have a decent General MIDI or Roland sound device the music is actually really good (I'd say better than the Amiga version). If all you have is a sound blaster/adlib then the Amiga versions music is a lot better :)

They remade this game a few years back based on the Civ 4 engine but its heavily streamlined and I feel its really missing the magic that made the original good.

BlindGerMan
6th February 2012, 22:59
They remade this game a few years back based on the Civ 4 engine but its heavily streamlined and I feel its really missing the magic that made the original good.
Yes, as it is mostly, the remakes are not so good as the original ones! :D

Geraldine
8th February 2012, 11:23
They remade this game a few years back based on the Civ 4 engine but its heavily streamlined and I feel its really missing the magic that made the original good.

After doing this review , I decided to do a back to back comparison between the original and the Civ 4 version. I would agree that the original has a magic about it that it's more modern, better looking re-make lacks :nod:

AmiNeo
11th March 2012, 07:43
Ah Bonny morn... best tune in this game, sounds amazing on the miggy aswell, PC audio for it bites in comparison.



Great review Gereldine! One of my fave and fondest miggy games this! :thumbsup:

Mendel
11th March 2012, 11:19
That does it, this shall indeed be one of the games I must play on my new amiga asap. I never even played the pc version of this. Played a lot of civilization but somehow totally missed this colonization game :oops:

AmiNeo
12th March 2012, 02:23
You can do a sound comparison courtesy of Youtube... Allow me to save you the time :D


PC

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4no17ep3xqA



Miggy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hz0FWO6STGQ



On the Amiga version you can actually distinguish between different sampled instruments. The pc sounds like the internal speaker may as well be playing it xD

DonutKing
12th March 2012, 05:12
Like I said in my previous post - using a good MIDI sound device makes the PC version sound a lot better.

Bonny Morn, DOS, Yamaha MU10XG MIDI (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/9151127/YMF719/bonny%20morn.mp3)

Admittedly the Amiga version of this song is probably better even then this MIDI version, but I think that's about the only song that's true for.

My favourite song from this game is Shady Grove (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/9151127/YMF719/shady%20grove.mp3) :)

AmiNeo
12th March 2012, 07:39
Its definately nicer, but still nowhere near as nice as the miggy sampling.

Hehe, Shady Grove always sounded like some old western movie theme to me :lol:

a.mi.goun
12th March 2012, 11:43
One of the best games ever, but I always hated when the "Unable to create more" message occured, when your colony is large with many units. If this Unit limit isnt there I would play once again :)

AmiNeo
12th March 2012, 15:31
Would that not be related to the amount of system memory?

moijk
12th March 2012, 18:09
They remade this game a few years back based on the Civ 4 engine but its heavily streamlined and I feel its really missing the magic that made the original good.
Yes, as it is mostly, the remakes are not so good as the original ones! :D

When I was a kit, the only strategy game I loved was "Seven Citites of Gold". Well, the c64 version was a port from the atari 800, but a great one. However, my enjoyment over getting hold of a remaked pc version in the early 00s was pretty much overshadowed by every bit I loved was gone.

Reminds me, do anyone have that for sale for the c64? :)

Geraldine
12th March 2012, 21:23
One of the best games ever, but I always hated when the "Unable to create more" message occured, when your colony is large with many units. If this Unit limit isnt there I would play once again :)

Simple answer, go build more colonies :)

DonutKing
12th March 2012, 22:49
Would that not be related to the amount of system memory?

In the PC version that was hard coded into the game. The later Windows version didn't remove or increase the limit either.

AmiNeo
14th March 2012, 05:39
Hmm I bet that was to reduce slow down or something. You only have to look at the likes of Red Alert on PS1 or Supreme Commander on an older PC when you get an exceptionally large army built up to see what happens when too many units are created xD

DonutKing
19th March 2012, 01:10
That's true, although those are RTS games, whereas in turn based games like Colonization you only have to worry about moving one unit at a time :)


As an aside, I remember trying to play Transport Tycoon on my old 486SX-25 back in the day. This machine was the absolute minimum system according to the box. It seemed to run fine at the start but once you got up to around 20 trains or so things started to slow down. I eventually hit the vehicle limit (80 for each type of vehicle IIRC, plus some other limit for train wagons) at which point a game year would take 3 hours to pass. On a new game with an empty map, game years were over in about 10-15 minutes. Screen updates were amazingly slow too, the monorail trains would move a pixel every few seconds, when they are supposed to be the fastest train in the game and zoom across the screen :)


Anyway, Colonization. I read somewhere that the unit limit is 255 for all players combined (including indians). I'd say it was just done this way so they only needed a single byte to ID each unit, for sake of simplicity when programming the game.

AmiNeo
19th March 2012, 01:19
Aye that also makes sense. :thumbsup:

J.T.Kirk
31st March 2012, 17:49
I've heard rumours that you can actually run Colonization under 800x600 resolution using an RTG system? Is this true or hoax?

AmiNeo
31st March 2012, 18:14
Only one way to find out!... FIIIIIIIIIIGGGGGHHHHTTTT!!! :p




Seriously, I'm not sure. Does anyone have the hardware to try that out? :unsure:

J.T.Kirk
31st March 2012, 18:20
Ok, I did a little search and I found that Colonization has a tooltype which you can run it on the Workbench, so obviously you can run it under RTG.

AmiNeo
31st March 2012, 19:24
Oh nice. I bet it looks great too.

Geraldine
31st May 2012, 18:13
Oh look its (the PC version) on GOG now http://www.gog.com/en/gamecard/sid_meiers_colonization

AmiNeo
31st May 2012, 19:18
If only it had the Amiga graphics and audio... I'd be all over it.