Monday, February 25, 2008

4X Games: A New Addiction to an Old Genre

I've been playing a lot of Civilization lately, an endeavor brought on by my inability to really get into Sins of a Solar Empire (great game though it is). I couldn't help while playing it but wish I was playing Civilization instead. So that's just what I did.

Only now I find myself sucked into the vortex that is the "One-More-Turn" phenomenon. I stay up later than I ever intend, I raze Russian settlements, and strive ever-onward for the next technological marvel. Such is the life-blood that fuels me now.

And on top of it all, this rediscovery of the awesomeness that is the Civ series has also led me to other 4X games (eXplore, eXpand, eXperiment, and eXterminate) and other simulation based gaming. Revisiting titles like "The Movies", SimCity on my DS (for work boredom), and even Sourceforge's freeware FreeCol (itself a remade version of Sid Meier's 1994 classic Colonization).

And I don't expect I'll stop there in my renessaince of strategy gaming. On the horizon is the excellent turn-based (and therefore more up my alley) Galactic Civilizations II: The Dread Lords, and I hear that the low-budget Dominions III from a couple years back is quite good too.

Oh yes, I am in gaming Nirvana lately... though I still wish these massive worlds I am currently inhabiting were of the online kind. I wonder if someone will ever make a world or universe 4X game that can truly be made into an MMO? Isn't Travian something like this? Inquiring Bildos would like to know.

Cheers folks.


Relmstein said...

I think Tobold did Travian about a year ago and did a nice series of write ups. Some serious design flaws and it wasn't quick enough for him I believe.

I recently picked up my Civilization 4 addiction again and I'm sad to report just barely being beaten on the Prince level recently. Managing religions and keeping the strongest AI player on your side becomes important at this level. Below Prince I just strong armed my way to military victory.

Hudson said...

We should totally play Sins of a Soalr Empire, I am a total noob in it and it would be funny to see how much we screw up. We can team up against one computer opponent in skirmish mode and see how bad we lose

Tobold said...

You might want to try Ikariam, which is newer than Travian and has somewhat more options for trading, not just conquest. But the general problem of all these games is that they are impossible to balance, because not everyone starts at the same time, and not at the same frequency.