Someone must be buying historic city-building games because this year we will see three set in ancient Rome with another one the way in 2007. First out of the gate is Glory of the Roman Empire, an obvious title for a game that follows an obvious path.
Glory borrows a bit from 2004’s Children of the Nile. Instead of money, you need specific goods to build and maintain structures. Your entire economy is based on the provision of these supplies, and as long as your citizens are satisfied in their needs, the city is considered a success. Basic wooden huts will upgrade to better housing when surrounded by the right buildings in the neighborhood, but a higher class of resident comes with more needs to satisfy.
Even first-time city builders will find satisfying these needs remarkably easy. Except for the frequent fires and the risk of overstretching the slaves who carry everything around, there is little sense of challenge. Buildings never degrade in status, and your citizens are very patient. This makes Glory of the Roman Empire a great starter city-builder for that little historian in the family.