FreeCiv Game Review

Or, how I learned to stop worrying and learned to love the catapult

I haven't had the luxury of playing the original Civ games, but if they're anything like this, they're probably amazing. The game is very simple. You start out with an isometric view of the world, and a few units. It resembles playing a board game. You start by creating your first city. After that, the game really is all up to you. You advance through different stages of technology, build relationships (good and bad) with your neighboring countries, explore the world and go to war. The ways to win, from what I can tell, is either from eliminating all your enemies, or by being the first nation to make it to outer space. The course of actions that lead to those outcomes is entirely up to you.

I love FreeCiv. It's a huge time sink. This game can appeal to anyone that doesn't heavily dislike strategy games. It's interesting, because I myself am not a fan of strategy games. I tend to find that they're too repetitive or that certain aspects of those games require a lot of mental strain. It just gets boring after a while. While I love FreeCiv, if I set the difficulty too high, I get bored.

It unfortunately has a huge learning curve that really throws off new players when trying out any Civ-like game for the first time. It's what snagged me, initially. The best possible way to play this game as a beginner is to set it to the easiest of difficulties, and play through the game. Read the wiki articles to learn new things and upgrade your civilization to be the best it can be. When the handicapped enemies show up to invade, they wont be so bad. When I usually play, I set all the nations to handicapped, and then I either build a perfect civilization that's free of defects, or I invade all the others. This is how it keeps my attention.

Speaking of keeping my attention, if I play in a way that appeals to me, hours seem to disappear in minutes. If you have any deadlines coming up, or you need to get stuff done, I'd advise not playing this game. It's extremely addictive.

Also, if you're very competitive and love strategy games, it has an online mode.


  • 7/10
  • High learning curve
  • Makes time disappear
  • Violate your handicapped neighbors personal bubbles
  • Their website should start using HTTPS instead of HTTP...
  • Their github repository for their website should have licensing info