Recommended Civ version for young kids?

AnthonyPaulO

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I've played Civ since Civ1 and would like to introduce my seven year old son to it, but I'm not sure which version to use. Of course Civ VI is beautiful and the UI is as polished as you can get, but I'm hesitant since the game has also grown considerably more complex since then. Civ 1 on the other hand was much simpler (and I do recall it actually being more educational), but I haven't played it in so long that I don't recall if the UI might trip him up and hinder him, or other factors that might make it unsuitable. Does anyone here have experience with this? I'd appreciate recommendations from people who've actually gone through this process or have an excellent grasp of the older versions vs the current version and can provide some meaningful feedback.

Thanks in advance!

Anthony
 

GenMarshall

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aimeeandbeatles

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The GOG version of Civilization 3 works well on Windows 10. If you have the disc version, you might need to get a modified executable because of the SuckyROM thing.
 

Commodore

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Provided you get it to work on Win10. :p

I've never had a problem getting Civ 3 to work on Windows 10. But then again, I have the Steam version since I lost my disc version a long time ago, so maybe the Steam version was patched or something.
 

Valka D'Ur

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My suggestion would be either Civ I or Civ II. Civ I is simple enough to learn the basics of founding a city, setting up a couple of units to defend it, creating trade routes, learning how to build and operate boats (remind them of the Lighthouse), dealing with goodie huts and barbarians, and in the later game, you can show them what happens if you don't clean up the pollution. Of course the graphics are very simple compared with later versions, but it's enough to learn the basic principles of the game.

Civ II has cute elephants, and you can make your own maps. I love the throne room and the Advisors.

My own favorite is Civ II: Test of Time. But that variety means playing on at least 2 layers of maps (the Extended version; you can start on Alpha Centauri and work your way to finding a way to get to Earth), and the Midgard and Lalande scenarios each use 4 layers of maps. That's not something I would recommend for a beginner.
 

AnthonyPaulO

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My suggestion would be either Civ I or Civ II. Civ I is simple enough to learn the basics of founding a city, setting up a couple of units to defend it, creating trade routes, learning how to build and operate boats (remind them of the Lighthouse), dealing with goodie huts and barbarians, and in the later game, you can show them what happens if you don't clean up the pollution. Of course the graphics are very simple compared with later versions, but it's enough to learn the basic principles of the game.

Civ II has cute elephants, and you can make your own maps. I love the throne room and the Advisors.

My own favorite is Civ II: Test of Time. But that variety means playing on at least 2 layers of maps (the Extended version; you can start on Alpha Centauri and work your way to finding a way to get to Earth), and the Midgard and Lalande scenarios each use 4 layers of maps. That's not something I would recommend for a beginner.

Out of curiosity, how would you even play Civ 1 or 2 nowadays? Can it be purchased? I've tried GOG but they don't have them, and even if I ebay it it's not going to run on Windows 10 without some special acrobatics.
 

Farm Boy

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It's a good question. Too ugly and it gets outshone by everything, too complicated and they lose interest. City Skylines was on hella summer sale and he sort of liked futzing around with SimCity 1 for a while before it was just to hard to make the books balance, so I figured we'd give Skylines a go. Went better than I thought for a while until he put a water tower in an industrial zone and poisoned his entire town. When he called me in to help and figure out why, he responded that "it was a water tower, not a well, they don't work like that" and he was 100 percent done with the entire game. :lol: Good on him, I suppose.
 

AnthonyPaulO

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It's a good question. Too ugly and it gets outshone by everything, too complicated and they lose interest. City Skylines was on hella summer sale and he sort of liked futzing around with SimCity 1 for a while before it was just to hard to make the books balance, so I figured we'd give Skylines a go. Went better than I thought for a while until he put a water tower in an industrial zone and poisoned his entire town. When he called me in to help and figure out why, he responded that "it was a water tower, not a well, they don't work like that" and he was 100 percent done with the entire game. :lol: Good on him, I suppose.

Wow! He's right too! I wonder why they made water towers poison the town...
 

Truthy

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I'd probably just go with V or VI. I doubt they're too hard for a kid to learn and I don't see the point in introducing a kid to the series via an ancient game with graphics any kid will recognize as super out of date and ugly in comparison to new stuff.
 

Valka D'Ur

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I'd probably just go with V or VI. I doubt they're too hard for a kid to learn and I don't see the point in introducing a kid to the series via an ancient game with graphics any kid will recognize as super out of date and ugly in comparison to new stuff.
That's part of the problem. Start someone out with the latest, and they never appreciate the earlier ones.

I have tried Civ III and SMAC. I've tried IV. And for me, it's too much information overload. I love the 4-level maps of Test of Time, as it forces you to plan your strategy in 3 dimensions, with creative use of units that can travel between multiple levels on their own, or leave their "home" map after you develop the game-equivalent of transporters. So that means that in the Midgard scenario I can have Dwarves terraforming the ocean floor, birds flying around the underworld (and under the ocean; just have a Buteo unit rest on top of a Kraken you've bribed, take the Kraken underwater, and presto - the bird unit can fly around wherever it wants to underwater, and it's very handy for boats to be able to sail around in the sky).

Out of curiosity, how would you even play Civ 1 or 2 nowadays? Can it be purchased? I've tried GOG but they don't have them, and even if I ebay it it's not going to run on Windows 10 without some special acrobatics.
I honestly don't know. I'm pretty well computer-illiterate when it comes to manipulating and patching programs. Your best bet would be to consult the tech-savvy people in the Civ forums. The only reason I can still play Test of Time is because I bought a WinXP computer and would not allow it to be upgraded past XP. There's a very detailed thread in the CivII forum to patch this game so it's playable on Windows 10, but I confess I can't follow it.
 

TheMeInTeam

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The correct answer is CivIII. For any age. :yup:

And while you're at it buy them a copy of Dark Souls, Cuphead, and SNES Silver Surfer :D!

Of course Civ VI is beautiful and the UI is as polished as you can get

Pfffft :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:. It's probably better than Civ 5's but c'mon man :p.

The most polished Civ UI by miles is 4's, and that one still has serious problems. But Soren's team knew how to create controls that don't require you to spam thousands of extra inputs per game compared to what a good UI looks like. I don't think Firaxis has had staff that knows how to do UI well since, or if they have they haven't allocated them to Civ games. From Civ 4 until now none of the games have represented information accurately with consistency, so 4 wins by default simply because of its sheer objective efficiency of inputs.

Complexity wise the first two games are the easiest, but kids also care about looks, animations etc so 5 or 6 make the most sense. At low difficulties these are still winnable even with horrible misplays, and they're among the most forgiving at high difficulties too despite the complexity because the AI hasn't kept up with it.

Edit: Freeciv looks a lot like Civ 2, but I'm not sure how closely it plays to it. Might be worth checking out if you want something simpler/more retro to work with.
 
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west india man

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I started out with Civ 3 when I was 8 years old myself and loved it (to the point that my avatar is Civ III's representation of Xerxes), so I'd recommend that, but at the same time Civ 4 is also probably the most intuitive Civ game for beginners

It's a good question. Too ugly and it gets outshone by everything, too complicated and they lose interest. City Skylines was on hella summer sale and he sort of liked futzing around with SimCity 1 for a while before it was just to hard to make the books balance, so I figured we'd give Skylines a go. Went better than I thought for a while until he put a water tower in an industrial zone and poisoned his entire town. When he called me in to help and figure out why, he responded that "it was a water tower, not a well, they don't work like that" and he was 100 percent done with the entire game. :lol: Good on him, I suppose.

try giving Simcity 4 deluxe a go, it's much more intuitive than Skylines and it's possible to drive various vehicles around your city, which creates a much more immersive perspective of what was built
 

CKS

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My son (now 11) is quite happy with Civ 3. In the beginning he especially liked to play multiplayer with me, where he would build military units and go to war, I'd research, give him techs, build the UN and then vote for him. He also likes Civ 4, but playing his own game in Civ 4 (rather than just following the computer's suggestions) is more complicated.

My kids don't have any issues with graphics, though. My son has spent hours and hours playing games from the 80's (Might and Magic starting with Book 1, the Gold Box adventures, the Bard's Tale, Nethack, etc.) I wouldn't worry about this.

What I'd suggest is pick an older version you like and start playing it and talking about it with him. He mostly wants to spend time with you, so if you like it, he'll like it. If you have a chair that is comfy enough so he can sit in your lap to play, you'll be all set.
 

Farm Boy

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I'll take a look, ty, WIM.
 

BCheek

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Civ4 it's held up well over the years and won't look dated to your kids. Also if you're playing on Chieftain you don't need to fully understand all of the mechanics, they'll learn as they go along.

For what it's worth, I played since Civ1 and have gone back to play the older versions. I enjoyed 1 and still do, but man is it dated now. The AI, lol is awful. I kind of forgot how badly they used to spam attack you then make peace only to break it the very next turn. It's also missing so many features that I consider essential now. If I never used to play it I'd have no interest in doing so. Civ2 overall isn't that good and I never liked the mechanics of Civ3.
 
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Lemon Merchant

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I would recommend Civ4 simply because of the sheer number of good mods available for it. It's not that hard to learn and it is much more logically thought out and streamlined than Civ6 (I'm playing both ATM). I much prefer Civ4 because the mechanics of the game make sense. Yes it is a little complex at first, but the UI is easy to use and MUPT combat is much easier to deal with than 1UPT.

Did I mention good mods? :)
 

Ajidica

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I would echo Lemon Merchant and say Civ4. The UI is easy to read and handle, there are much fewer anti-fun mechanics when compared to Civ3 (Happiness, corruption, commerce, etc), and the graphics still remain crisp and clear. Civ5 returns to unintuitive anti-fun mechanics, and Civ6 tiles/districts I at least struggle to wrap my head around. Much easier to just dump cottages everywhere that isn't needed for a farm or mine.
 

TheMeInTeam

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I don't know, design wise I don't think Civ 6 is significantly behind 4 any longer. You can do a LOT of optimization with cards, districts, and timing their selection/placement with how you tech and pursue the boosts. The builder system is different, but it has some dynamic considerations as well just like 4 had with optimizing worker turns and whips. The only major thing keeping me from playing Civ 6 a lot is its frustration with actually interacting with the game and playing turns. The strategy and tradeoffs, both for empire building and warfare, are pretty good. And I'm not sure a kid cares as much whether the keyboard shortcuts are trash for experienced players, while he/she might be more excited about fully animated responses from leaders and unit combat animations (which I've long turned off heh).

Similarly to how carpeting cottages in Civ 4 is considered bad play by elite players but you can still win below deity with it consistently, you can also win even on high difficulties reliably in Civ 6 despite poor optimizations. Civ 4 can also be pretty punishing on maintenance/expansion timing, but on low difficulty where a kid is likely to play probably not noticeably. Still, it's easier to have units go on strike in Civ 4 than it is to lose stuff that way in Civ 6.
 

Ajidica

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If the OP is introducing the game to his kid, minimizing anti-fun or features that have a steep learning curve is probably best. It is easy for a seven year old to grasp (especially with dad there), to build farms next to rivers, mines on hills, and cottages everywhere else. Planing tens if not hundreds of turns in advance to place districts and coordinate adjacency bonuses gets difficult fast.
 
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