Black Box

The Low-End Mac Portable Gaming Page


A very old game, released between the original, breakthrough 'Civilization' by Sid Meier - and its evergreen sequel, 'Civilization II'. Not as good as any of them, but still entertaining. In this game, you build a colony in the New World either for England, Netherlands, France or Spain. You manage your relationships with the natives (some euphemism! - namely, you decide which group exterminate when), trade with Europe, build cities, roads and factories, and some day you declare independence and you need to fight the army send by your king. I played it a lot on Amiga and I just can't stand the Mac conversion - the graphics is just plain ugly, when compared to Amiga. But it's playable, of course. Unlike 'Civilization', this game has a bit too linear storyline - you cannot, for example, establish a happy white-Indian community or cooperate with the king without revolution. If you try to do so, the game forces you to change your mind increasing anger among natives or pushing the king into unruly taxation. As for me, this game looks too much as 'recreation of American history'.

OVERALL RATING: The graphics is a bit disappointing, but it's a good strategy.

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: The documentation is a bit unclear - it's a FAT binary, runs well on 040 and probably 030. The game requires less than 8 megabytes of RAM.

CD-ROM: Required only for background music.

SCREEN: 640*480 8-bit, scalable to larger resolutions, cannot run in grayscale. See a screenshot here.

SLEEP: Compatible.

KEYBOARD/TRACKPAD: As usual with Microprose, lack of numerical keypad leads you to issuing orders using trackpad, which is a minor annoyance.

BUGS: None detected, but the conversion was done in a bit un-macish fashion. For example, you have to change color depth to 8-bit manually to run the game.

MORE INFO/PURCHASE OPTIONS: I doubt if it is still on sale.

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