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Posted on Oct 26, 2006 in Electronic Games, Front Page Features

CivCity: Rome – Game Review (PC)

By Nicholas R. Reese

The game also adds the variable of involving citizen emotions, or “Roman morale.” When something is wrong, citizen emotion goes down and we start to lose money and citizens. If things are good, citizen emotion goes up and we gain money and citizens. The emotions run off of a list of different desires and when a majority are good or bad, the citizen emotion is therefore changed. It seems as though the makers didn’t think of the Romans very highly, because their desires and requests barely surpass those of a monkey. In addition, the solutions to the problems are very simple and usually only involve building another bakery or, in a rare case, adjusting food rations.

Someone at Firefly studios got really lazy when creating this model because those square, shaped boxes are supposed to be bushes. Ancient Rome "Unemployment Office": These citizens (or vagrants actually) sit and wait for a job to appear, although sometimes would rather sit. It gives you a visual representation when there needs to be more jobs. In addition, how big the line is affects the city emotion as well.

Once the goods have been delivered, there is no more problem. We don’t have to deal with too many or too few supplies; it just ends there. Sure, that would be great if problems like hunger were solved as easily as that in real life, but we don’t play video games to be pampered.

Because CivCity: Rome pampers us, the time needed to learn the game is short. Fortunately, the game does give us a fairly easy to use tutorial, and one in which we don’t need to read at length for ourselves. The narrator reads it for us. That is one advantage of the game, but once the mystery of playing the game disappears, your desire to play the game also disappears.


All in all I’m disappointed. Rome has a lot of potential and could have been an extremely deep and innovative game, yet somewhere along the line Sid Meier left behind his innovation and settled for something average.

Armchair General Rating: 68%

39/60 — Gameplay
13/20 — Graphics
08/10 — Sound
08/10 — Documentation

Pros: For fans of ancient Rome and city-builders, Rome is a decent game that allows you to play in a whole new category of city-building and Roman experience.

Cons: Déjà vu. There isn’t anything truly exciting about the game and is, mostly, a reformatting of past games. All added in with fairly dated graphics and some rather nifty glitches.

Overall: For those of you who enjoy mediocre experiences like waiting in line and eating at Arby’s, CivCity: Rome is just for you!

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  1. My grandson & I are playing the game. We can not get wheat farms and we can’t upgrade to larger hovels. Anyone out there with an answer.

  2. Hey, I had the same problem, thought the game was bugged, but actually you just need to build a trade caravan and import the wheat.
    Hope this helps. 🙂