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CivCity: Rome review

Ancient city-building enters the modern era - or at least the mid-90s


  • Feeling like a Roman god
  • The variety of structures
  • The branching brain vs. brawn campaign


  • The cursor graphic glitch
  • Ridiculous resolution options
  • The shallowness of this Roman pool

In many ways,CivCity: Rome feels like a throwback to SimCity 2000 or Caesar II, two classics of the city-building genre. Trouble is, both those games are from 1995, making CC:R feel ancient in more ways than one.

The good news is that, if you have experience with this style of city-building game, you can dive in and start playing with nary a glance at the manual. However, mastering the art of city management is another matter, as the game and its documentation do little to help you figure out CC:R 's nuances.

For example, how many goat farms do you need to supply your plebs with meat? It's up to you to figure out these burning questions, which are vital to the long-term growth and happiness of your cities, with little or no help. A bit more player assistance would have been great.

After a bit of trial and error, you'll get the feel for what a successful city requires, and you can appreciate the game's simplicity and overall lack of extreme micro-management. Taxation levels, for example, are automated, entirely dependent on the level of development of your citizens. Much like SimCity 2000, your success and failure in the game is almost wholly dependent on how well you design your infrastructure - it's all about placing buildings and watching your city evolve... or devolve.

More Info

DescriptionAn offshoot of the Civilization series, CivCity gives you the chance to build and run Rome - your way.
Release date (US), 16 June 2006 (UK)