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#2 Civilization played on PC, released 1991

Civilization made me realize I would be playing games for the rest of my life. I had played plenty of games before, but all were either based on hand-eye coordination and reaction time or simple adventure games like king's quest and police quest. Civilization showed me the true power of video games and how addictive they can be.

The first time I got my hands on it I played straight through until the next morning. Being able to create your own civilization, explore, strategize, plan ahead, discover, negotiate, work together was all beyond my wildest expectations of video games at the time. This is a perfect game to play together, discussing strategy and what to do next. Many nights were sacrificed playing this game with friends.

Going from 4000BC discovering the alphabet and the wheel to eventually venture into space is an epic journey every time you play it. The game has a lot of depth with different government styles, trying to keep the population happy and safe, staying ahead in technology and eventually trying to keep pollution under control at the risk of global warming causing coastal flooding and once fertile land turning into desert.

After the playing the game over and over at the hardest difficulty levels under all kinds of different conditions and opponent combinations I started to check out the executable. I found the run-time library using a hex editor and started mapping out the properties for all the things in the game. Soon I was making new versions by changing land, unit, technology and building/wonder properties and even parameters for the AI oponents. Playing these accelerated or slower / extremely defensive or offensive versions or any combination there of kept the game fresh for years. Making nucleair weapons cheap with extremely long range did not end well though.

Civilization also got me back into board games. Not having played anything more strategic then risk, the original board game version of civilization was an eye opener as well. Avalon Hill quickly became my favorite board game company which led me to the best boardgame of all time, 1830: Railways & Robber barons, which also has a great pc version. No element of chance involved, pure strategy. It plays out completely different every time you play with different people. Playing strategic boardgames led to AD&D which led to Baldur's gate and eventually my nr 1 game of all time.

Civilization started it all for me and I have bought every version since the first one. One thing I hope for Civ 6 is a spherical world. Civ 5 made the transition to hexagonal tiles, just one simple step away from turning it into a hexagonal sphere.
Original version is available for free now here