Title Colonization (Second Review) Game Type Management Sim Company Microprose (1994) Players 1 Compatibility 1 meg Amigas HD Installable Yes Submission firstname.lastname@example.org Review This game is one of my favourites, so much so that I have written a Web Site for it at: http://www.colonization.biz This site is actually based on the PC Version, but I played the Amiga Version first, and as far as I can tell they are identical. You start off as an explorer for the English, Dutch, French, or Spanish (like Columbus), with a small ship, a Soldier and a Pioneer. If you go West far enough you will eventually find the new World, and can found a Colony. There you will compete with the 3 other European Powers, and 8 Indians Tribes at varying levels of development and wealth. There are two ways you can treat the Indians: -Friendly: Then they will bring you gifts, and teach you skills like growing Tobacco, and Cotton -Hostile: Where you send Soldier, Dragoons, and Artillery against there Cities, to gain plunder Both methods work, but I use the former. You may also wish to fight the other European Powers to gain more Colonies, or be dragged into a War by your King. The map is huge, covering all of North and South America, plus the West Indies, Europe is not included as such, ships sail to the High Seas, and then arrive in a European Port, where they can buy or sell goods which are taxed, increasingly heavily as the game goes on, until trade becomes uneconomic, and you either trade with other European Powers and the Indians, or fight a War of Independence. Be aware the King builds an Expeditionary Force, paid for by your taxes, which is very formidable. Make sure you have good Colony Fortifications and plenty of Troops before you Declare Independence, or you will lose. Another European Power may send Troops to aid you after a time, depending on what level of internal support your revolution has. Tory Cities, will yield few troops for your cause. There are also a number of Ships, including Privateers hired by European Governments, and given a letter of Marque which allows them to prey on enemy shipping. This is what made Britain Great, Francis Drake and his like, intercepting Spanish plunder before it reached Cadiz. There are Frigates which can attack Privateers, but they are not always successful, and cost a lot. During the Revolution, the Man-O-War option appears, these are truly formidable, and can even bombard coastal Colonies. 3 types of transport ships exist: Caravel, Merchantmen, and Galleon, each with increasing defence, speed, cargo holds, and cost. Each Colony produces Liberty Bells, which increase Revolutionary Sentiment, improve production, and after a while create Founding Fathers. Build Printing Presses and Newspapers in your Colonies to further increase this trend, but be aware the King looks badly on disloyalty and will increase the Tax Rate. There are 25 Founding Fathers from a number of nations, including famous ones like Traitor Washington and Pocahontas, and less well known ones like Simon Bolivar and Peter Minuit. They each have a beneficial effect in the fields of War, Politics, Trade, Religion, and Exploration. This game will increase your knowledge of history. One fun thing about this game is exploration. When you begin the game the whole map is black. But you soon uncover it. Ships can quickly map out the coastlines, but are expensive and may be needed for defence or trade. The interior is harder to map, as you require scouts with horses. Although the horse evolved in America, it became extinct there, so Indians prize it for War and Hunting, so your Scouts often disappear, and their horses are taken, they may also be ambushed as the Indians know, once a region has been charted Europeans Colonists and Armies will soon follow. Each tribe has different skills to teach, about half the skills in the game can be learned from Indians, some can only be learned from Indians, or other captured Europeans, who also learnt from Indians. Religion plays a part in immigration, with the Catholics wanting to save heathen souls, and the Protestants wanting to find a new home free from Religious conflict. Missionaries can be sent to Indian Villages to make them less hostile, or hostile to another power, and gain converts, who will work in the fields. More Preachers, Churches, and Cathedrals means more European Immigrants, many will be unskilled depending on game level and which founding fathers you have, some will even be petty criminals, debtors and such like, sent to clear out the prisons. A few will bring valuables skills, like Lumberjack, Carpenter, and Blacksmith. They can teach others, or work much more efficiently than other Colonists. Each skill is represented by a little man or woman in the Colony. There are five commodities in demand in Europe that the New World can provide in quantity: -Fur: Although available in Europe, the Quantity in the colder regions of the New World is much greater due to low human population densities, and the beaver. Colonies can convert this to Coats, historically also Top Hats, which will fetch a much better price. -Sugar: Available in tropical regions, can be converted to Rum. -Cotton: Can be converted to Cloth. -Tobacco: Can be converted to Cigars, Indians used it in the Pipe of Peace, not that it did them much good. -Silver: Prices vary with supply and demand, both by you and other powers. Colonies can build a number of buildings to increase efficiency in Trade, Lumber, Iron, Muskets, Commodities, and Education. There are three levels of fortification, the Stockade means Colonies can not be disbanded, a Coastal Fort can fire on ships which is great fun, fill it with Artillery and it will decimate them. A Fortress is virtually impregnable when properly garrisoned, of course this doesn't mean a Colony is safe from blockade, siege and starvation. Docks increase food, Dry-docks repair Ships, and Shipyards can build new Ships given enough Lumber and Iron. The European powers behave very much as they did historically: -The Spanish Plunder Aztec and Inca Cities, taking vast quantities of gold and building a large Army. The game also gives them military advantages. The natives flee to Spanish Colonies, but are unskilled, so the Colonies are very inefficient, and Latin America stays permanently underdeveloped. The Portuguese are not included, but would behave much like the Spanish. The two had a treaty, arbitrated by the Pope where one got one half of the Globe, and the other got the other half. This is why Portuguese is spoken in Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Goa, East Timor, and Macao, and Spanish is spoken in the Philippines, Mexico, and Argentina. -The English produce a greater number of Colonists due to Religious unrest, each state was a Colony for a different Religion, Virginia: Church of England, Maryland: Catholic, Pennsylvania: Society of Friends (or Quaker a term they don't like, as it was used as an insult), New England: Puritan. The English generally have fewer, bigger, more developed Colonies, and usually dominate their region, but not the entire Continent. They tend to settle in less developed regions, as there is more free land, and the Spanish aren't interested in these areas. -The French maintain good relations with the Indians, having a lot of small trading Colonies. Trade pleases the Indians. -The Dutch have commercial advantages, this makes them a greater target for the other powers. To conclude, the game is highly enjoyable, with the usual Microprose resource trade off problems. It came after Railroad Tycoon, and Civilization, and you can see influences from these two in the game. The game does have a few flaws: -There are too few powers, and one is usually forced to withdraw by a treaty following a War, early in the game, which further unbalances it. The Indians are no match for European Technology, they can acquire Horses and Muskets, but too few, and too late, and are never able to use Artillery, this however is a commentary of History. -There are only a handful of Military Units which is constraining, but at least you're not upgrading every 5 minutes like in Civilization, and again it is historically accurate. -You only need about half a dozen Colonies to Win the game, if you run an efficient operation, which leaves a lot of space in the map, and means you don't really have to fight anyone except the King. A bit boring really. -The Computer builds Colonies in stupid places like next to each other, so they have to share resources, and cuts down all the trees so there is no Lumber available, also it never trains it's Colonists. This makes conquered Colonies much less useful than they should be. -Other powers don't have to fight Revolutionary Wars, it would be good if they did, as you could step in and take a few Colonies when they got weak. -Warfare is decided by probability not damage, which makes warfare less realistic. -The replay value isn't that great, once you've mastered the game. But never the less, I would heartily recommend this game.