Codex Gamicus

Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Colonization is a remake (a total conversion using Sid Meier's Civilization IV engine) of the 1994 game Sid Meier's Colonization. Players control settlers from one of four European nations, Spain, England, France, or The Netherlands, that are trying to conquer and/or colonize the New World in the time period between 1492–1792. The final goal of each player is to build up their colonies and a standing army, then declare independence from their mother country and defeat the military force that the King sends to crush the rebellion.[1][2][3][4][5]

The Windows version was released on September 22, 2008. A Mac OS X version was released in January 2010.[6] Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Colonization does not require a copy of Sid Meier's Civilization IV in order to play.[7]


In order to build and expand their cities, players must balance negotiations with several separate groups: the natives of the Americas, colonists from the player's home country, and other colonists from the old world. Players may also recruit founding fathers to join their cause — each with a specific bonus that helps them throughout the game. The player influences the direction of his colony through his choices in diplomacy, recruitment, and city management. Additional colonists from Europe or converted natives can result in population increases after food surpluses exceed a pre-set level.

Economics and trade come into play when the player makes finished goods and sells them in Europe, or trades with the natives for other goods or gold. By harvesting natural resources, skilled craftsmen can convert them into finished goods for sale or trade. Additionally, silver can be mined for direct trade, and ore can be mined to turn into tools and then in turn guns. Skilled craftsmen produce twice as much as regular workers, and specialist buildings can be built to increase overall production as well.

Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Colonization — Natural Resources and Finished Goods
Good Resource Harvester Worker Building Terrain
Cigars Tobacco Tobacco Planter Tobacconist Tobacco Shop Grassland
Cloth Cotton Cotton Planter Weaver Weaver's Shop Prairie
Coats Furs Fur Trapper Fur Trader Fur Trading Post Forest/Mixed Forest
Rum Sugar Sugar Planter Distiller Rum Distillery Marsh

The player's selection of nationality, made at the start of the game, affects the colony's standing in the world: The English receive an immigration bonus, while the Dutch enjoy trade bonuses. The French diplomacy edge encourages more favourable relations with native tribes, while the Spanish Conquistador bonus favours conquest against the natives.[3]

In addition to single-player campaigns, the new game has a multi-player component.[3]

Changes from Sid Meier's Colonization[]

In addition to an updated graphics engine and a multi-player segment, Civilization IV: Colonization has many new gameplay mechanics. When starting the game, in addition to choosing a starting European nation, a player chooses between two governors, each with different advantages.[8] In addition, national borders is a gameplay concept taken from Sid Meier's Civilization IV. This means that rivals cannot pass into each other's land unless they have an open borders agreement — or they have declared war.

Unlike the original game, nations cannot recruit the same founding fathers. Each founding father is recruited by one and only one nation/player. Moreover, founding fathers will only join nations with certain criteria, namely a certain level of "points" obtained in various categories (political, military, exploration, religion, and trade).[9]

After the player declares independence, players draft a constitution determining the government style of their independent nation. For example, if a nation chooses a monarchical system, then it can still trade with Europe during the war for independence.[10]

Additionally, there are no longer any Loyalist victories.


The game runs on an upgraded version of the Sid Meier's Civilization IV engine with changes including enhanced graphics, streamlined code, and redesigned interfaces. With these enhancements, Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Colonization requires video cards that support Pixel Shader 1.1.[11]

Critical reception[]

Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 80%[12]
Metacritic 83%[13]
Review scores
Publication Score A[14]
Computer and Video Games 7.9/10[15]
Eurogamer 8/10[16]
G4 4/5[17]
Game Informer 9/10[18]
GameSpot 80[19]
GameSpy 80[17]
IGN 8.7/10[20]
X-Play 4/5[21]

The single victory condition – declaring and winning a war for independence – has been both criticized[9] and accepted[22] by reviewers. Another criticism of the game is that it only has four playable colonial powers. The exclusion of Europe's less prominent colonial powers has been called a "limiting" factor in the game.[3]

Variety video games reporter and reviews editor, Ben Fritz, in his blog, criticized the concept of the game because of the injustices that occurred during the colonial time period.[23][24][25] Firaxis has responded to Fritz's blog post with the statement, "the game does not endorse any particular position or strategy - players can and should make their own moral judgments."[26]

Minimum & Recommended Specifications[]

Microsoft Windows Microsoft Windows Minimum/Recommended Specifications
Minimum Specifications Recommended Specifications
Operating System Windows 2000
CPU 1.20 GHz CPU 1.80 GHz
RAM 512 MB
GPU DirectX 9.0c-compatible
Pixel Shader 1.1 Support
Graphics RAM 64 MB Graphics RAM 128 MB
Storage 900 MB
Sound DirectX 9.0c-compatible
Optical Drive 4X CD-ROM
Additional Software DirectX 9.0c

See also[]

  • FreeCol, an open source Sid Meier's Colonization clone


  1. 2K Games (2008-06-09). "2K Games Announces Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Colonization for Games for Windows". Press release. Retrieved 2008-06-09. 
  2. Joe Keiser (2008-06-09). 2K Games Revives Sid Meier’s Colonization.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Miller, Jon (2008-06-26). Civilization IV: Colonization First Look. Retrieved on 2008-07-02
  4. GameSpot: Civilization Colonization Updated Hands-On
  5. Firaxis Games Coming Soon Updated 9-21-2008
  8. Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Colonization Dutch Faction Profile. IGN (2008-08-21). Retrieved on 2008-08-23
  9. 9.0 9.1 Kosak, Dave 'Fargo' (2008-07-18). Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Colonization (PC). GameSpy. Retrieved on 2008-08-23
  10. Park, Andrew (2008-07-15). E3 2008: Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Colonization Updated Impressions — New Information and Details. GameSpot. Retrieved on 2008-08-23
  11. Thorsen, Tor (2008-06-13). Q&A: Meier on revolutionizing Colonization. Retrieved on 2008-06-15
  12. Civ IV: Colonization. GameRankings. Retrieved on 2008-12-17
  13. Civilization IV: Colonization Review - MetaCritic. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2008-12-17
  14. [Tom] (September 25, 2008). Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Colonization (PC). Retrieved on 2008-09-27
  15. Meer, Alec (September 22, 2008). Civilization IV: Colonization Review - Computer and Video Games. Computer and Video Games. Retrieved on 2008-09-23
  16. Clare, Oliver (September 22, 2008). Civilization IV: Colonization Review - EuroGamer 2. EuroGamer. Retrieved on 2008-09-22
  17. 17.0 17.1 Tim, Tim. Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Colonization (PC). GameSpy. Retrieved on 2008-12-17 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "civ4crev-Gspy" defined multiple times with different content
  18. Biessener, Adam (September 24, 2008). Civilization IV: Colonization Review - Game Informer. Game Informer. Retrieved on 2008-09-25[dead link]
  19. Watters, Chris (2008-10-03). Civ IV: Colonization Review. GameSpot. Retrieved on 2008-10-04
  20. Butts, Steve (September 26, 2008). Civilization IV: Colonization Review - IGN 3. IGN. Retrieved on 2008-09-27
  21. G4 X-Play Review: Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Colonization. G4 (September 23, 2008). Retrieved on 2008-10-15
  22. Butts, Steve. Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Colonization Review. IGN. “[this winning condition] should appeal to strategy gamers who are unhappy with the less structured victory paths in Civilization IV”
  23. Civilization IV: Colonization... Wow that looks offensive (2008-06-25). Retrieved on 2008-09-10
  24. Civilization IV: Colonization Called 'Morally Disturbing'. The Escapist (2008-06-27). Retrieved on 2008-08-18
  25. Variety Troubled By Sid Meier's Next Game. Retrieved on 2008-08-18
  26. Firaxis responds to my Colonization post (2008-06-27). Retrieved on 2008-09-17

External Links[]