The pacing is bizarre however, with crazy slingshots interspersed with lots of useless techs in a row. Take a good example: say you want a spaceship game. If you work the top half of the tech tree you can get to Scientific Method pretty quickly. If you're doing Culture, Archeology and Acoustics. However, to progress further you will eventually need to plow through a bunch of random things from the bottom part of the tech tree while getting nothing useful (except military units, which you don't care about in a space or culture win.) After getting Biology I frequently find that I have only 1 (!) research choice at all, and I have to go through the following series to get to anything interesting: note the things that you are getting as you go through: Machinery Crossbowman, faster roads. Physics Trebuchet. No science impact at all. Steel Longswordsman. Printing Press Theatre, Taj Mahal (at least these are a bit useful) Gunpowder Musketman. Economics Windmill, Big Ben (meh) Chemistry Cannon, Ironworks. No science benefit. Military Science. Cavalry, Military Academy, Big Ben. And then I get to Steam Power and a few useful things show up before other long slogs through chains of fluff follow. Designing a game that forces you to buy 8+ consecutive techs which don't materially help you with all non-military victory conditions is bizarre. And there are other dead zones further up the tech tree - for culture between telegraph/radio and globalization, for instance.