Sid Meier's Civilization IV for Mac has reached beta status, Aspyr Games has announced. The game should ship later this month.

This version of the perennial games classic is described as a "beautifully detailed, living 3D world". This iteration of the Civilization series introduces new gameplay features, new civilisation management tools, and several multiplayer modes and options. These include suport for Local Area Network (LAN) internet and play-by-email gaming.

The title supports larger and more heavily populated civilisations, has an improved user interface, and offers players more strategic options for developing their technology.

A new 'Team Play' mode offers a new way of setting locked alliances that result in shared wonder effects, visibility, unit trading, and shared territory, delivering a plethora of new strategic and tactical options.

Most Civilizations now have two leaders from which to choose, with each Leader having traits that provide various bonuses to the player.

The game offers endless government choices and possibilities inlcluding seven major religions. Sid Meier's Civilization IV also offers in excess of 40 in-game cinematics.