Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution for iPhone Looks Great But is a Bit Sluggish


One of my all time favorite games is Sid Meier’s Civilization for the PC. I was, quite frankly, addicted to the game way back when (and Civilization II as well). So, I was quite happy to see that a version of the game was released for the iPhone and iPod touch this month. The full game…

Civilization Revolution

…weights in at 73.8MB and costs $9.99. That would be cheap for any other platform. But, spoiled as I am by games way under $5, I paused at the Buy App button.

Fortunately, there is a free Lite version of the game (weighing it at an even heftier 75.5MB) available to help people like me make a decision about buying the full game…

Civilization Revolution Lite

The Lite version lets you choose from 3 civilizations (instead of the 16 in the full game). And, it does not let you save a game. However, the game does seem to preserve “state” if you simply exit using the iPhone’s single selection button and then return to the game later.

Game play on the iPhone or iPod touch looks very familiar after playing an embarrasing number of games of Civ I and II many years ago. So, the game looked compelling on the surface. However, the game seemed sluggish on both my iPhone 3G and my 1st generation iPod touch. The hourglass you see in my screenshot above appeared quite frequently during gameplay. It may be a bit zippier on a 3GS or 2nd generation iPod touch since both have faster processors that the hardware I have.

I might wait until the game’s price drops (as many of these premium priced games do after their initial sales launch) or buy it to test with a next generation iPod touch after Apple’s announcements in the second week of September.