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Civ III Menu Buttons not showing up on new computer


Aug 30, 2022
I recently purchased a Microsoft Surface computer and downloaded Civ 3. Prior I had a Dell Inspirion and had 0 issues outside of the occasional freezing/closing of the game if I became impatient with something.

Anyways, I just installed Civ 3 from the CD but now it gets me to the menu screen with no buttons.
The music is playing, the image shows on the background (its a little cut off on the right of the screen) and the menu buttons are just not there..

Any thoughts on what I can do? I purchased Civ 3 Complete on Steam too, but the resizing is incompatible and all the boards in the world dont make sense to me on how to fix that too. It downloads as a web link so I dont know how to resize anything.
Tech newbie here, so go easy on me please!
Sometimes the new computer/tablet are a "leap too far," as the game tries to deal with lots of pixels.

Here's something that worked for me.
1. Before launching Civ3, right-click on the desktop to choose "Display Settings"
2. Scroll down to "Display Resolution." Choose one of the moderate resolutions, say, 1360x768 {Think of it as meeting the game halfway}
3. Accept the new resolution when it asks.
4. Then try launching Civ3. See if it can deal with the resolution and start normally.
If it works, then play normally. When you've exited the game, repeat steps 1-3 but choose the higher, or native, resolution of your Surface and go back to what you do when you're not playing.
I remember that once my buttons also disappeared, when my cat jumped on the keyboard. That was on a standard desktop with Win7 (or maybe even when I had Win XP). Can't remember, what I did to get the buttons back. Probably some special key combination like Ctrl-Alt-Shift-Something...
Perhaps something like that happened to you as well?!
Toggling buttons on and off is the "Del" key, often located on the numeric keypad for US keyboards. Not sure where it would be on German keyboards, but it would be easy for a cat paw to land on :)
I understood the OP to be complaining that it's actually the Start-Menu buttons which are missing, not the Unit-Action buttons. Which sounds like an incompatibility with Civ3's hardcoded menu-screens and the default-resolution/ onscreen co-ordinates.

The MS Surface is a tablet, right? So could it be that the screen has insufficient vertical pixels (<768) for Civ3? If so, @Lanzelot, didn't you figure out a fix for a similar problem you had with a notebook computer a while ago?
Yes, indeed, I have an 11" netbook with an 800x640 resolution, where an open source program called "MoveMe" virtually increased the available screen space for applications to 1024x768. The mouse wheel can then be used to scroll the display area of Civ3 into the visible area of the "real" (hardware) screen.

If it's a resolution problem on a too small display, this could help here as well. However, if I remember correctly, in my case Civ3 refused to even start, when the display size was too small. Haven't seen it starting and then not displaying parts of its UI in such a case?!
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