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10:27pm on Saturday, 4th October, 2008:

Buggy Game


I bought Colonization 2 earlier this week, and have been playing it every day since.

I have problems with this game. If you accept the premise that New World colonies winning independence from Europe is stirring stuff (I believe it probably goes down better in the New World than Europe), it's actually quite fun. However, if you actually want to win, it's no fun at all. Basically, the more cities y0u found, with more people, the longer it takes to get them to revolt; the longer it takes to build up revolutionary sentiment, the more soldiers you'll be facing in the expeditionary force sent to quell the revolution. If you stay small (say, 4 cities when you could easily have 20 if you wanted), designate each one to a specific purpose, build up your industries and supplies, then suddenly take all those elder statesmen you've had working in the cigar factories and put them into the town hall, your population will be crazy for a revolution almost overnight.

It's basically a trade-off between velocity and acceleration: you win by having a high acceleration (generating rebel sentiment out of nowhere), and lose by having a high velocity (generating rebel sentiment steadily to accumulate it over time). Once you've figured it out, every game becomes the same. I wouldn't care, but it's the same in an unfun way — all the expansion and building up trade networks part of the game just doesn't happen. When the expeditionary force does come, it's tiny.

I doubt any future patch will fix this acceleration/velocity trade-off, as it seems to be the central idea of the game's strategy mechanic (it was a similar thing in the original Colonization). I'll wait for some mods to come out, I think...

Oh, and here's a different kind of bug.

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Copyright © 2008 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).