As the game continues, various aspects of your people’s culture and their technological understanding of the world develop. You must help them accumulate research to make their civilization grow, especially if you want to see it move into modern times. To that end, you guide your Science Advisor toward the areas of research deemed most important. Diplomacy and trade must also be maintained. Neighbouring civilizations, can help by providing technology or information that your own people would otherwise spend inordinate amounts of time trying to discover themselves. It can certainly be a handy way of advancing, but it’s also potentially dangerous – a particularly covetous civilization next door could wage war, or sabotage, or steal. Civ III differs from Civ II in a few key areas. Most notably, there’s no multiplayer mode. I don’t think the game is diminished without it, since I found multiplayer rounds of Civ II to be tiresome and slow, and not altogether in the spirit of the game. Regardless, many gamers may be disappointed that it’s gone. Civ III also features a more streamlined interface, and here’s where I think the game succeeds best. Civ II was difficult – even daunting – to learn how to play effectively, and Civ III’s designers have taken great pains to make this version easier to play.
Veterans should be able to hop in and get started right away, and a tutorial mode will help neophyte civilization builders. Also handy is the Civilopedia, a comprehensive in-game reference guide. Great stuff.