Civrev_boxWe first got a look at what appeared to be a very well done port of Civilization Revolution [App Store] for the iPhone in a clandestine conference room meeting with several other members of the iPhone gaming media at this year's WWDC. 2K Games explained that the great thing about Civilization Revolution was that it was built from the ground up with everything that takes place under the hood completely abstracted from the game's graphics and interface. This allowed for remarkably similar experiences across the 360, PS3, DS, and now the iPhone.

Civilization Revolution is the latest iteration of Sid Meier's dynasty of games where the player is simply tasked with the goal of building an empire to stand the test of time. Like previous Civilization games, Revolution is a turn-based strategy game where you take command of a primitive civilization from their meager beginnings to complete world domination. Civilization Revolution was originally released in 2008 to strongly positive reviews.

While all of the gameplay, scenarios, and sixteen civilizations to choose from are packed into the iPhone game, multiplayer is notably absent. Each civilization has slightly different bonuses to them, which will aid in satisfying one of the four distinct victory conditions. For instance, if you want to play Civilization Revolution as an economic game, civilizations like the Aztecs start the game with more gold, and get a bonus to gold production. If you prefer to brute force your way to victory, civilizations like the Germans have veteran warriors by default. Other ways to win are by obtaining a cultural victory through producing great people and wonders, or a technological victory by advancing your society all the way in to the space age.

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Early reactions on our forums have been mixed, with some complaining about the game's performance on previous-generation devices. Our own testing did reveal erratic and poor performance on our iPhone 3G, and good performance on our iPhone 3GS. However, others have reported solid performance even on older generation devices. Thankfully, 2K Games released a surprisingly full-featured free version of the game to test the game out yourself. Civilization Revolution Lite [App Store] walks you through the entire tutorial and allows you to play on your own in the two lowest difficulty levels.

If you enjoy turn-based strategy games, Civilization Revolution has gameplay depth that is seldom seen on the iPhone. With enough difficulty levels to provide everyone from casual to hardcore players a good time, enough content to keep you busy for quite a while, and at a significantly reduced price point compared to the game on other platforms, Civilization Revolution will be hard to pass up. With that said, the game is lacking multiplayer, and the iPhone-specific interface seems a little cramped and clunky. Still, I highly recommend giving the Lite version a try.

App Store Links: Civilization Revolution, $4.99 - Civilization Revolution Lite, Free

  • fresh

    I'm an Civ addict since Civ1. Bought.

  • fresh

    I'm an Civ addict since Civ1. Bought.

  • yacoub

    Is that Jimmy Kimmel on the cover? ;)

    • John Cruz

      Do you mean Jimmy Fallon?

  • yacoub

    Is that Jimmy Kimmel on the cover? ;)

    • John Cruz

      Do you mean Jimmy Fallon?

  • Akira01

    Not in the french store.
    Hurry up 2K !!!

  • Akira01

    Not in the french store.
    Hurry up 2K !!!

  • Xood

    nice short preview. I agree and I hate the performance on my device.
    However, it still is really cool to play and once a fix fixes are released I am sure to buy it.
    (performance is poor, 2G Touch, OS 2.x, yet it never crashed)

  • Xood

    nice short preview. I agree and I hate the performance on my device.
    However, it still is really cool to play and once a fix fixes are released I am sure to buy it.
    (performance is poor, 2G Touch, OS 2.x, yet it never crashed)

  • Dusan Hlavaty

    It is not available in Slovak AppStore !!!! WHYYYYYYY ?!?!?!?!

  • Dusan Hlavaty

    It is not available in Slovak AppStore !!!! WHYYYYYYY ?!?!?!?!

  • _jnc_

    OMG
    Civilization has stolen my youth!
    Now it's coming back for more?
    I'm afraid!

  • _jnc_

    OMG
    Civilization has stolen my youth!
    Now it's coming back for more?
    I'm afraid!

  • Albtraum

    Yuck. Unplayably slow and clunky. Moving a unit is like swimming across a lake of maple syrup blindfolded. Why is an ancient 2D game far slower than the Sims 3, for example?

    • Albtraum

      I take back my earlier comment about the game being too slow - as others have noted, for some reason the lite version is horrible while the full version is OK.

  • Albtraum

    Yuck. Unplayably slow and clunky. Moving a unit is like swimming across a lake of maple syrup blindfolded. Why is an ancient 2D game far slower than the Sims 3, for example?

    • Albtraum

      I take back my earlier comment about the game being too slow - as others have noted, for some reason the lite version is horrible while the full version is OK.

  • xte

    I downloaded the lite version and the performance was not very good, it was a bit laggy. But still fun to play. So I bought the full version and the performace was much better. I have no complaints
    The game is very cool, I played it for like 4 hours now since I downloaded it.
    So much fun.
    The controls are good and the complexity of the game is in my opinion very good for a portable device.
    (iPhone 3G, OS 3.x)

    • yellows33

      could you tell me if hatepshut is abailable on the full version, she's my fave civ leader.

      • xte

        I don't see a leader named like this ...
        The leaders are:
        Gandhi (Indians)
        Saladin (Arabs)
        Montezuma (Aztecs)
        Shaka (Zulu)
        Genghis Khan (Mongols)
        Elizabeth (English)
        Ceasar (Romans)
        Cleopatra (Egyptians)
        Alexander (Greeks)
        Isabella (Spanish)
        Bismarck (Germans)
        Catherine (Russians)
        Mao (Chinese)
        Lincoln (Americans)
        Tokugawa (Japanese)
        Napoleon (French)

      • MacDaddy

        Gandhi may have been a leader but I think he would skip a few meals over the fighting aspect of this game!

    • Yellows33

      She was an Egyptian queen and is on the civ warlords game for mac as well but cleopatra sounds awesome as well. Thank u for the reply!!!!

  • xte

    I downloaded the lite version and the performance was not very good, it was a bit laggy. But still fun to play. So I bought the full version and the performace was much better. I have no complaints
    The game is very cool, I played it for like 4 hours now since I downloaded it.
    So much fun.
    The controls are good and the complexity of the game is in my opinion very good for a portable device.
    (iPhone 3G, OS 3.x)

    • yellows33

      could you tell me if hatepshut is abailable on the full version, she's my fave civ leader.

      • xte

        I don't see a leader named like this ...
        The leaders are:
        Gandhi (Indians)
        Saladin (Arabs)
        Montezuma (Aztecs)
        Shaka (Zulu)
        Genghis Khan (Mongols)
        Elizabeth (English)
        Ceasar (Romans)
        Cleopatra (Egyptians)
        Alexander (Greeks)
        Isabella (Spanish)
        Bismarck (Germans)
        Catherine (Russians)
        Mao (Chinese)
        Lincoln (Americans)
        Tokugawa (Japanese)
        Napoleon (French)

      • MacDaddy

        Gandhi may have been a leader but I think he would skip a few meals over the fighting aspect of this game!

    • Yellows33

      She was an Egyptian queen and is on the civ warlords game for mac as well but cleopatra sounds awesome as well. Thank u for the reply!!!!

  • Ol gravy leg

    Works like a charm on my 3GS. Not a slow down one.

  • Ol gravy leg

    Works like a charm on my 3GS. Not a slow down one.

  • Septimus

    So it looks like they have messed up the performance of the Lite version then?

    My wife would probably like this (2G iPhone), but I have only tested it on 3GS. Anyone know the kind of performance drop the full game will have on a 2G iPhone?

    • sticktron

      No. Lite version is fast as can be.

      Its older devices that are having problems with smoothness.

  • Septimus

    So it looks like they have messed up the performance of the Lite version then?

    My wife would probably like this (2G iPhone), but I have only tested it on 3GS. Anyone know the kind of performance drop the full game will have on a 2G iPhone?

    • sticktron

      No. Lite version is fast as can be.

      Its older devices that are having problems with smoothness.

  • sticktron

    Its unfortunate that non-3GS users are having such performance troubles.

    The first thing I wanted to post here after trying the game last night was how FAST it is.

    I think this is going to be the way it is from now on, you want games with fancy graphics or alot of detail, you need to get newer hardware.

    • spiffyone

      But there's nothing inherently "fancy" about the graphics in this game. Other games look much better and run just fine on the previous generation of hardware (iPhone,iPhone 3G,iPod touch v.1 and v.2). It's more likely simply a matter of optimization. The code is probably flush with issues that don't cause any effect on 3Gs because it has the basic brute power to go right through those things. Resolve the issues, optimize the game further, and most likely it'll run smooth on all devices.

      • sticktron

        That's why I said fancy graphics *OR* alot of detail... maybe its an issue of too much information to swap in-and-out of the tiny amount of RAM available to the game on non-3GS devices?

      • Yarn

        That theory falls flat when you compare it to the Nintendo DS version, which also included multiplayer by the way. The DS is no speed demon and while the graphics were decidedly 8-bit, it had no slowdown issues that I can recall, even near the end game with tons and tons of cities and units to deal with. I'm going to also point the finger at poor iPhone optimization as well.

    • SSarl

      Possibly, but devs who leave out older hardware are going to be shooting themselves in the foot. The iphone is still a casual game platform at best (the majority of iphone owners don't even play games) and it'll be a while before there's a 3GS equivalent of the iPod Touch.

      Though in this case I don't think it's because it's a particularly intensive game, it's because it's a port instead of a game built for the iPhone.. It's not optimized, the interface was probably hastily assembled just to get it out there, it may not have even been extensively tested. Same problem with Sim City and quite a few others.

      At the same time something needs to be done about this distribution model... If it doesn't run acceptably on first generation devices they need to tell you that, or make it so you aren't even able to buy it. It's unacceptable that the consumer has to pay for it first then see if it works. Even if there's a light version, that doesn't mean the game will run acceptably a few levels in.

  • sticktron

    Its unfortunate that non-3GS users are having such performance troubles.

    The first thing I wanted to post here after trying the game last night was how FAST it is.

    I think this is going to be the way it is from now on, you want games with fancy graphics or alot of detail, you need to get newer hardware.

    • spiffyone

      But there's nothing inherently "fancy" about the graphics in this game. Other games look much better and run just fine on the previous generation of hardware (iPhone,iPhone 3G,iPod touch v.1 and v.2). It's more likely simply a matter of optimization. The code is probably flush with issues that don't cause any effect on 3Gs because it has the basic brute power to go right through those things. Resolve the issues, optimize the game further, and most likely it'll run smooth on all devices.

      • sticktron

        That's why I said fancy graphics *OR* alot of detail... maybe its an issue of too much information to swap in-and-out of the tiny amount of RAM available to the game on non-3GS devices?

      • Yarn

        That theory falls flat when you compare it to the Nintendo DS version, which also included multiplayer by the way. The DS is no speed demon and while the graphics were decidedly 8-bit, it had no slowdown issues that I can recall, even near the end game with tons and tons of cities and units to deal with. I'm going to also point the finger at poor iPhone optimization as well.

    • SSarl

      Possibly, but devs who leave out older hardware are going to be shooting themselves in the foot. The iphone is still a casual game platform at best (the majority of iphone owners don't even play games) and it'll be a while before there's a 3GS equivalent of the iPod Touch.

      Though in this case I don't think it's because it's a particularly intensive game, it's because it's a port instead of a game built for the iPhone.. It's not optimized, the interface was probably hastily assembled just to get it out there, it may not have even been extensively tested. Same problem with Sim City and quite a few others.

      At the same time something needs to be done about this distribution model... If it doesn't run acceptably on first generation devices they need to tell you that, or make it so you aren't even able to buy it. It's unacceptable that the consumer has to pay for it first then see if it works. Even if there's a light version, that doesn't mean the game will run acceptably a few levels in.

  • Paul S

    It is odd that the full version runs better than the lite one; the lite version ran just a wee bit sluggish on my iPod Touch, but it's been smooth sailing with the full game.

    It is almost exactly like previously released DS game, but this version trumps the former in about every which way - the included zoom function is much appreciated - at a much lower price to boot. Color me happy.

  • Paul S

    It is odd that the full version runs better than the lite one; the lite version ran just a wee bit sluggish on my iPod Touch, but it's been smooth sailing with the full game.

    It is almost exactly like previously released DS game, but this version trumps the former in about every which way - the included zoom function is much appreciated - at a much lower price to boot. Color me happy.

  • http://www.hbdia.com IzzyNobre

    Always been a huge fan of Civilization but this latest offering (be it on the DS, Xbox or iPhone) really just feels like a kids version of Civilization.

    Tried the lite and didn't like it. Pass.

  • http://www.hbdia.com IzzyNobre

    Always been a huge fan of Civilization but this latest offering (be it on the DS, Xbox or iPhone) really just feels like a kids version of Civilization.

    Tried the lite and didn't like it. Pass.

  • http://christians-media.com chuckiej

    The responsiveness of the buttons on my 3G is slow, but other than that, so far, so good. I love the 360 version and was one of the first people to request an iPhone version in the 2K forums. If they clean it up, I'll be super happy.

  • http://christians-media.com chuckiej

    The responsiveness of the buttons on my 3G is slow, but other than that, so far, so good. I love the 360 version and was one of the first people to request an iPhone version in the 2K forums. If they clean it up, I'll be super happy.

  • Ooops

    I love CIV IV for the PC. I seem to remember the "revolution" title was kind of an accelerated version of civ IV. Could anyone tell me what are the key differences between civ IV and revolution ? (apart from modding capabilities) Thank you.

  • Ooops

    I love CIV IV for the PC. I seem to remember the "revolution" title was kind of an accelerated version of civ IV. Could anyone tell me what are the key differences between civ IV and revolution ? (apart from modding capabilities) Thank you.

  • CyberData4

    At the end of the day two things should be put into perspective when w/ this game. First, it's only five dollars. Second...it's Civ. On your cell phone.

    I'm not looking for a PC/Console/DS perfect port. For 5 bucks this to me seems to be well worth the price.

  • CyberData4

    At the end of the day two things should be put into perspective when w/ this game. First, it's only five dollars. Second...it's Civ. On your cell phone.

    I'm not looking for a PC/Console/DS perfect port. For 5 bucks this to me seems to be well worth the price.

  • wegmans

    downloading the demooo i never really liked Sid Meier's stuff, i preferred like c&c and Total War, and Age of Whatever.. i mostly like things that aren't turn based, though i did like Deadlock 2 way back in the day.

    I hope this is something i could get into! Remember when we used to rely on our imagination?

  • wegmans

    downloading the demooo i never really liked Sid Meier's stuff, i preferred like c&c and Total War, and Age of Whatever.. i mostly like things that aren't turn based, though i did like Deadlock 2 way back in the day.

    I hope this is something i could get into! Remember when we used to rely on our imagination?

  • shenando

    WHY?!?!?!?!?!

    Why is it not available in the Singapore App Store?!?!?!?!

  • shenando

    WHY?!?!?!?!?!

    Why is it not available in the Singapore App Store?!?!?!?!

  • ChrizzieFrizzie

    WHY?!?!?!?!?!

    Why is it not available in the Hong Kong App Store?!?!?!?!

    *sob* the humanity *sob*

  • ChrizzieFrizzie

    WHY?!?!?!?!?!

    Why is it not available in the Hong Kong App Store?!?!?!?!

    *sob* the humanity *sob*

  • aenigmaeffect

    Well, I bit the bullet, even though the Lite version ran really slowly on my iPod Touch (a rather old one). The full version runs MUCH smoother (though I'm not too far in the game yet).

    If playability on an older device is what's keeping you away (it's $5 only for 48 hours!), I want to let you know that the Full version is much, much better than the Lite version.

  • aenigmaeffect

    Well, I bit the bullet, even though the Lite version ran really slowly on my iPod Touch (a rather old one). The full version runs MUCH smoother (though I'm not too far in the game yet).

    If playability on an older device is what's keeping you away (it's $5 only for 48 hours!), I want to let you know that the Full version is much, much better than the Lite version.

  • Mindbender

    *sigh* still not available in "my" store...
    but thats ok i guess... still have to finish plenty of other games ;-)

  • Mindbender

    *sigh* still not available in "my" store...
    but thats ok i guess... still have to finish plenty of other games ;-)

  • nicor

    I also experienced the strange performance difference lite vs. full version. 1st generation iPhone 16GB. Lite version: lots of lag, after playing for approx. 5 hours starting to get errors (technology tree lost color and background). Also, autosave inaccurate. Bought full version this morning: FAST (on 1st gen iPhone!), no performance issues whatsoever. A huge difference to lite version. But: Crashed after playing for approx. 1,5 hours - autosave did not help. I'm still very satisfied with the game itself - the original also stole part of my youth...

    • bubbles

      Yeah, I tried the lite version for my first generation iPod Touch, and while it was slow it wasn't unplayable... and as a big fan of the series I decided to buy the full version anyway.... to my surprise it works almost flawlessly. A few annoyances with touch controls here and there, and the speed has been pretty fast. Hasn't crashed once. I have a few minor disappointments regarding the gameplay, but that's only because I'm used to the more comprehensive PC versions of the game. For five bucks this is more than decent I think. Definitely has a lot of replay value. I just hope for an update fixing a few bugs and perhaps adding some features - - but since it's a port of the DS version, new features are unlikely I figure.

  • nicor

    I also experienced the strange performance difference lite vs. full version. 1st generation iPhone 16GB. Lite version: lots of lag, after playing for approx. 5 hours starting to get errors (technology tree lost color and background). Also, autosave inaccurate. Bought full version this morning: FAST (on 1st gen iPhone!), no performance issues whatsoever. A huge difference to lite version. But: Crashed after playing for approx. 1,5 hours - autosave did not help. I'm still very satisfied with the game itself - the original also stole part of my youth...

    • bubbles

      Yeah, I tried the lite version for my first generation iPod Touch, and while it was slow it wasn't unplayable... and as a big fan of the series I decided to buy the full version anyway.... to my surprise it works almost flawlessly. A few annoyances with touch controls here and there, and the speed has been pretty fast. Hasn't crashed once. I have a few minor disappointments regarding the gameplay, but that's only because I'm used to the more comprehensive PC versions of the game. For five bucks this is more than decent I think. Definitely has a lot of replay value. I just hope for an update fixing a few bugs and perhaps adding some features - - but since it's a port of the DS version, new features are unlikely I figure.

  • Guillermo

    WHY?!?!?!?!?!

    This is my most expected game to the iPhone since i bought it and...

    Why is it not available in the Peruvian App Store?!?!?!?

  • Guillermo

    WHY?!?!?!?!?!

    This is my most expected game to the iPhone since i bought it and...

    Why is it not available in the Peruvian App Store?!?!?!?

  • Addicted2waffle

    I also requested this game to the iphone/pod a long time a go... Sadly it is not in the norwegian store, but did just call a friend in the states, and borrowed his american credit card info... Downloading now!!! :)

  • Addicted2waffle

    I also requested this game to the iphone/pod a long time a go... Sadly it is not in the norwegian store, but did just call a friend in the states, and borrowed his american credit card info... Downloading now!!! :)

  • http://www.invaders.com SyntaxError

    Why it is not already available in France :( It's always a shame for being behind something great !

  • http://www.invaders.com SyntaxError

    Why it is not already available in France :( It's always a shame for being behind something great !

  • David Frampton

    WHY?!?!?!?!?!

    Why is it not available in the New Zealand App Store?!?!?!?

  • David Frampton

    WHY?!?!?!?!?!

    Why is it not available in the New Zealand App Store?!?!?!?

  • shenando

    Why is it STILL NOT AVAILABLE!?!?!?!
    Its a CONSPIRACY!!!

  • shenando

    Why is it STILL NOT AVAILABLE!?!?!?!
    Its a CONSPIRACY!!!

  • ChrizzieFrizzie

    It's weird that not a single news site has picked up on the fact that this game is not available outside of the US. Why isn't anyone asking 2K what the deal is? Or Apple? Why are some apps available as separate versions called (international)? Is there a licensing issue, or is it some kind of market experimentation going on, finding the right price point in the us before launching the international version? or what? i don't get it... especially that not a single blogger seems to have picked up on it...

    • wowpeter

      Exactly... at this day and age... everything should be release at the same time... and yet none of our social / tech blog pick up on this... sigh...

  • ChrizzieFrizzie

    It's weird that not a single news site has picked up on the fact that this game is not available outside of the US. Why isn't anyone asking 2K what the deal is? Or Apple? Why are some apps available as separate versions called (international)? Is there a licensing issue, or is it some kind of market experimentation going on, finding the right price point in the us before launching the international version? or what? i don't get it... especially that not a single blogger seems to have picked up on it...

    • wowpeter

      Exactly... at this day and age... everything should be release at the same time... and yet none of our social / tech blog pick up on this... sigh...

  • shenando

    bought it from the australian itunes store.

    great game...

    i think it is a licensing issue...

  • shenando

    bought it from the australian itunes store.

    great game...

    i think it is a licensing issue...

  • Mike

    Just a hint on getting better performance. Civ Rev performance increased for me after I turned off and then restarted my iPhone. (old school 3G) Not sure why this works, but it's helped for other large file games and worked like a charm for Civ Rev too.

  • Mike

    Just a hint on getting better performance. Civ Rev performance increased for me after I turned off and then restarted my iPhone. (old school 3G) Not sure why this works, but it's helped for other large file games and worked like a charm for Civ Rev too.

  • http://phwampfler.blogspot.com Philippe Wampfler
  • http://phwampfler.blogspot.com Philippe Wampfler
  • http://philippe-wampfler.com Philippe Wampfler
  • http://philippe-wampfler.com Philippe Wampfler
  • disappointed customer

    APPLE BETTER REPAIRS THIS..... ITS NOT AVAILABLE IN SINGAPORE STORE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HELL !!

  • disappointed customer

    APPLE BETTER REPAIRS THIS..... ITS NOT AVAILABLE IN SINGAPORE STORE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HELL !!

  • Oystein

    Not available in Norway either, I really do not understand why? This is the first app I've actually planned on buying, so far I've only added free apps. How can this be a problem for Fireaxis or Apple, I thought making money was their main objective.

    This really irritates me.

  • Oystein

    Not available in Norway either, I really do not understand why? This is the first app I've actually planned on buying, so far I've only added free apps. How can this be a problem for Fireaxis or Apple, I thought making money was their main objective.

    This really irritates me.

  • a24fran

    I swore I saw this in the NZ app store the first time I used my iPhone, but then when I went back.. gone! :(

  • a24fran

    I swore I saw this in the NZ app store the first time I used my iPhone, but then when I went back.. gone! :(

  • http://www.fullbellek.com Haber

    nice game, thank you for sharing..

  • http://www.fullbellek.com Haber

    nice game, thank you for sharing..

  • Angry iphone user

    I hope Apple sees this website and do something abt it. This game is not available in alot of countries and its not fair! Pls do something abt it Apple!

  • Angry iphone user

    I hope Apple sees this website and do something abt it. This game is not available in alot of countries and its not fair! Pls do something abt it Apple!

  • Macbrush

    Apple is forcing me to JB my iPhone and iPad... I can't do without many apps, but this, I must have!

  • http://www.dobert.pl Dobromir Chodkowski

    It's a gerat game but why Civilisation Revolution for iPad isn't aviable in Poland?!?!?
    I can't get one of the best games ever released for iPad because of some weird decisions...