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Civilization Revolution (full title: Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution) is a 2008 iteration of Civilization developed by Firaxis with Sid Meier as designer for the iPhone OS, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. A Wii version was originally expected but was put on indefinite hold. The lack of a PlayStation Portable version was attributed to a lack of development manpower.

Sid Meier was enthusiastic about this installment, being quoted in both the press release and trailer as saying, "This is the game I've always wanted to make."

A demo was released on Xbox Live Marketplace and the North American PlayStation Store on June 5, 2008. The demo allows players to play until 1250 AD on a fixed map as Cleopatra or Julius Caesar, and also allows multiplayer play.It is also now on Xbox Live Marketplace for 29.99 USD as a fully functional game, without the use of a DVD. (Also known as Games on demand)


Xbox 360 Version
Civilization Revolution is a turn based strategy game. In past installments the player had more control over the rules of the game and often the game could last for more than ten hours. In Civilization Revolution the games for the most part can be finished within three hours. For the console version, the gameplay has been streamlined and simplified to make the game easier to play.

Victory conditions

A victory can be achieved in four different ways. Unless specified/defined in a scenario all four victory conditions are open to be used. Different civilizations have distinct advantages over others depending on their "bonuses".

  • Domination: One must capture all other civilizations' capital cities, but they do not need to destroy/capture every city.
  • Culture: Obtain a total of 20 great persons, wonders, and/or converted cities in any combination, and build the United Nations wonder.
  • Economic: Acquire 20,000 gold and build the World Bank wonder.
  • Technological: Research all technologies necessary to build and launch a space ship, and be the first to reach Alpha Centauri.

If the player's civilization is nearing one of the above mentioned victory conditions, all other civilizations will declare war on them in an attempt to delay or stop them from winning. The construction of the World Bank, the construction of the United Nations, and the launching of the ship to Alpha Centauri can all be stopped by capturing the enemy's capital/palace.

Civilizations featured in the game

Players can control one of 16 different civilizations, each with a different leader. Each civilization starts the game with a different special bonus that can be either a technology, a Great Person, or a special ability. As the game progresses through time, the civilizations also obtain new abilities when they reach a specific number of technology. In a given game each civilization can have up to four bonuses that vary from civilization to civilization. Many of the civilizations have specific specialized units that only they can build but unlike previous installments, these are for looks only. Special units do not possess abilities beyond the normal unit but may have varying stats.
Civilization Leader Emblem Special Units
Arabs Saladin Star and crescent None
Aztec Montezuma II Face at the center of an Aztec calendar (Sunstone) Jaguar Warrior
Chinamarker Mao Zedong Chinese Dragon None
Egypt Cleopatra Eye of Horus None
United Kingdommarker Queen Elizabeth I Union Flag on a crest Longbow Archer, Lancaster Bomber, Spitfire Fighter
France Napoleon Bonaparte Fleur-de-Lis Trebuchet, Howitzer
Germanymarker Otto von Bismarck Coat of Arms of Germany Panzer Tank, 88mm Gun, Heinkel Bomber, ME109 Fighter
Greece Alexander the Great Vergina Star Hoplite, Trireme
India Mohandas Gandhi Lion Capital of Ashoka None
Japan Tokugawa Ieyasu Imperial Seal of Japan Samurai Knight, Ashigaru Pikeman, Val Bomber, Zero Fighter
Mongolia Genghis Khan Soyombo symbol Keshik Horsemen
Rome Julius Caesar Roman Helmet Cataphract
Russiamarker Catherine II Romanov Coat of Arms Cossack Horsemen, T34 Tank
Spain Isabella of Castille Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Leónmarker Conquistador
United Statesmarker Abraham Lincoln Seal of the United States of America Sherman Tank, Mustang Fighter, Flying Fortress
Zulu Shaka Coat of arms of South Africa Impi Warrior
There are also NPC barbarians who will wage war with all civilizations in the game until the globe is conquered with all civilizations being destroyed. Compared to previous iterations of Civilization, barbarians now live in villages and will attack from them. Also the level of barbarian activity cannot be adjusted as in previous iterations, though the level of barbarian activity changes in certain scenarios.


Civilization Revolution features multiplayer options, including match making and ranked games for up to four players (in free-for-all, one-on-one, and two-on-two team battle modes), as well as leaderboards and support for voice and video chat. Although many critics and players agree that the multiplayer is slow, there is an option to turn on a turn timer such as in chess to attempt to make the game go faster and one can also use the diplomacy panel and the city screen during other players' turns. Split screen multiplayer is not supported.

Downloadable content

For the Xbox 360, Nintendo DS and PlayStation 3 versions, each week a new Firaxis created scenario will become available to players for download. Players compete to earn the best Civilization Revolution leaderboard score for that scenario during that week. Firaxis has also released DLC for PS3 and Xbox 360 which includes wonders, relics, and even specific maps such as deserts, continent look-alikes and several others; new wonders include the Tower of Babel, the Leaning Tower of Pisamarker and several others which can be utilized in game like any other wonder.


The game received mostly positive reviews by critics. As of October 30, Metacritic lists Civilization Revolution at 85% for the PS3, 84% for the Xbox 360, and 81% for the Nintendo DS. Average score for the iPhone version is 70%.

GameInformer magazine gave the game a 9/10, stating that the controls work very well on the consoles, and, while the game is simpler than Civilization IV, the faster playability is very enjoyable.

GameSpot gave the 360 and PS3 versions a 9.0/10 and an editor's choice award, praising its gameplay and visual design but found the multiplayer to be slow.

Official Xbox Magazine gave the 360 version a 9.0/10 as well as an editor's choice award. It also won Strategy Game of the Year from OXM for 2008.

IGN gave it an 8.8/10.

Game Revolution gave it a B-.

PlayStation: The Official Magazine gave the PS3 version a 4/5.


Wii edition

On February 4, 2008 2K Games and Firaxis announced that the Wii version of Civilization Revolution was put on indefinite hold due to lack of manpower and no PlayStation 2 or PlayStation Portable editions of the game to share assets with. Firaxis programmer Scott Lewis explained, "CivRev was originally a Xbox 360/PS3 project and was in development for over a year before the Wii/DS platforms were added. The result was that the time and effort it would have taken to remake a game built for higher-end hardware from the ground up would simply have been too costly." On June 10, 2008, Sid Meier reaffirmed plans to develop a Wii version, stating that Firaxis had "no intentions of turning backs on the Wii version."

iPhone/iPod Touch edition

On 10 August 2009, 2K Games released an iPhone and iPod Touch version of Civilization Revolution in the App Store, available in various countries, including the USA, UK and Australia. The iPhone/iPod Touch version did not include multiplayer support. There was no announcement of the intention to add multiplayer capability at any point.


  1. GameSpot News
  3. Scott Lewis 1Up interview
  4. Civilization Revolution for the iPhone site.

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