Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri

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Product Description

Fans of earlier Sid Meier games, such as Civilization and Railroad Tycoon, will love Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, the strategy game where players lead a colony expedition on a new planet. This game employs the same rules and concepts as Civilization, but with a new, slicker interface. Within the game, you can now automate tasks that--in the earlier game--were repetitive and dull. The factions also have a better mix of leaders; three of the seven factions are headed by women.

Players begin by assuming leadership of one of seven colony factions, establishing a base on the unexplored world. A balance of priorities is critical: conquering territory, developing technology, and expanding the faction's population are all crucial factors in your survival. If a faction's military output is low, it may be vulnerable to attacks by others or by dangerous mind worms that roam the landscape. On the other hand, building war machines at the expense of scientific research may result in trying to manage a massive but obsolete war machine or a rebellious population.

This easy-to-learn and thoroughly absorbing game takes the best features of the original classic and sets them in an exciting new world. --Alyx Dellamonica

Sid Meier presents the next evolution in strategy games. Explore the alien planet that is your new home and uncover its mysteries. Discover over 75 extraordinary technologies. Build over 60 base upgrades. Conquer your enemies with a war machine that you design from over 32,000 possible unit types.

Customer Reviews:

  • Civilization jumps into outer space
    I have played many types of Civilization type games - from the original Civilization to the current Civilization III and everything in between.

    But I keep getting drawn back to the fantastic Alpha Centauri by Sid Meier and company. Although sort of a sequel to Meier's highly popular Civilization II, it is just different enough to be easily the best civilization type computer game currently available.

    From it's highly interesting beginning at the start of the colonization of a totally Alien world, you can take your choice of factions to total Transcendence - going beyond humanity and almost becoming a god. There are more different ways to play this game then there is space to review it. Do you want to try you luck as the Scientist and research your way to the top? Or do you want to have Peace with the Peacekeepers? Or do you want to conquer the world with a religious fervor? These are just a couple of the great factions available during game play.

    The interface is one of the better ones available, and allows you to choose from many options which will help you when saving and playing the game. Turning on and off the sound, the secret project movies, and custom tailoring the game to what you want it to display is fairly easy. There's even an "Auto-Save" feature which is a nice touch if you need to break away form your game quickly. There are still many people that play and use this game online, and the online interface is just as easy to use as the rest of the game.

    The science fiction setting gives a totally new way to look at a colonization game. Although some fans of sims might find the units and their names a little strange, you can and you will get into designing your own military might quickly. The unit design feature is a nice touch - it allows you to create a unit with exactly the type of weapons, armor and abilities you want to use in your next encounter with your neighbors.

    Meeting with your neighbors has never been more challenging - the AI for this game is fairly intuitive and you will find yourself wondering how the computer knows to make each faction react the way it does. Do you want to trade with your neighbors or just conquer them? The richness and vast number of choices to make may seem overwhelming to someone totally new to colonization games, but the depth of what is available will keep you coming back for more.

    It's unfortunate that the expansion disc, "Alien Crossfire", seems to be unavailable. But even without that expansion disc, what other computer games have spawned a role playing game? Steve Jackson Games recently published a GURPS version of Alpha Centauri, and that alone should give players a warning that this game will have you hooked quickly.

    My only dream is that both discs will be released as a single package someday. Still one of my most played discs. One of my very highest recommendations....more info

  • Excellent concept, but not smooth enough
    The game is Civ2 in a new world (so I guess we could also call it Civ2: After our rocket landed). The interface is pretty much the same, if we neglect optical changes. From 30 nations we got 7 factions, which are specialized (in Civ2 there were no special abilities), so you have to know from the beginning, to which type you are most suited. Automation is by my opinion not very helpful, the most helpful thing is building queue, which enables you to forget many smaller cities until they grow to size 4 or 5 (then you must check every such city or bigger ones regularly, if you want to make enough progress). Great bonuses can be won from the seas (not usable in Civ2) and City improvements and Wonders are little more numerous than in Civ2. The whole scene is almost too dark and morbid (Alpha Centauri is a sun, therefore a planet could at least have a little light!), it runs very slowly (units travel as they would take sedatives all time) and the diplomacy is very limited (as is perhaps in real life, but every faction leader is tremendously aggressive). Therefore best start for you is even more essential than in Civ2, if you fall back at the beginning, it will be very hard for you to gain back what you missed. The terrain is extremely unpleasant and it can also be of great importance, where you land. I had best experience with the science faction (Zakharov), because I was able to overcome my opponents through technology. The game is very uneven from the beginning (if you don't get a good draw, you are soon in trouble) and it could run much faster. That took away one star for her. Otherwise - if you like Civ2 and if you don't mind too much about this lacks, it's no question - buy it. If you expect another revolution form Sid, lean back, play another Civ 2 and wait for part 3....more info
  • Lasted a long time
    Alpha Centauri is perhaps one of the best strategy games ever. I really like the way you can change your environment with the formers. I usually create rover formers and run with those. They're the same as rovers only can move 2 squares instead of the usual one so you do more faster!@!@

    I start at the edge of my continent and continuously raise terrain adding new area that I can plant colony pods on. Simple by today's standards, but I just can't stop playing it!!...more info
  • If like Sci-Fi games or Civilization games, then you'll LOVE this game!
    I don't really know where to begin, but perhaps a good place to start would be to discuss the in-depth story this game has. There is a SERIES of books based off of this game! Sid Meier's as a company in my opinion did not do enough to hype this game, because this game is SO MUCH BETTER than civilization!!! It's like civilization of the future! They should take this game and ADD IT to the Civilization as a future technology expansion, like have different planets you could zoom into and run. Isn't that really the next step for civilization anyways? MARS! ALPHA CENTAURI! THE MOON! Ect. lol There are a few things you have to get used to in this game, like for example, you can CUSTOMIZE yor units with different armor, weapons, ect. and they build fast/slower depending on how much they cost ect. So you see how it can get a little tricky, but you can leave everything standard if you want. Like I said this game has TONS of depth and in my opinion is BETTER than Civilzation 4 (which I have and am not happy with) Civ 4 is too much hype and not enough game play. It's fun, but Alpha Centauri just DOES IT BETTER. This game draws you in and keeps you telling yourself, 'Just one more turn'. Until 8 hours have gone by and you're thinking to yourself, 'Just ONE MORE turn.' lol I don't know what else to say about this game except I'm hoping to acquire the expansion pack and I hope that Sid Meier's gets a clue and makes a 2nd version of this game. ...more info
  • Terrific game, but software problems?
    The gameplay is really good with a terrific feature for playing that will walk you through features rather than having to read the entire manual to play it the first time. When you start playing over time, it gets really addictive, but things slow down as the game advances. The pieces move like they are on drugs, really sloooow. Unless you have a terrific system to play it on it will slow down as you advance. I have also had two separate lockups in a very advanced stage of play that caused me to have to start over when it reached a stardate even from a stored game, really frustrating when you have spent weeks getting it to that point! Still really worth buying, maybe the lockups were a corrupted copy...more info
  • Still Works Great In WinXP
    I played this game a LOT when it came out in early 1999. Recently, in March 2007, I've gone back to it. I thought it might be helpful to some people to learn that the game works just fine in Windows XP. At first, I wasted a lot of time trying to get XP to run it in Win98 mode; or to follow complicated instructions translated from the German that I found on the net; or to install the latest patches, including one that Firaxis created specifically for WinXP.

    None of that worked for me.

    But I found that if you just install the original CD (in my case, I think it's version 1.01j) it works fine. When you start the game, at first you get a black screen with two white rectangles. One assumes that one is hosed when one sees that. And one would be wrong! Just click the left rectangle! It starts the start sequence, and after that everything works perfectly.

    This really is a cool game, way ahead of lots of more recent stuff. The sci-fi elements are very well represented. It's very interesting. I recommend playing on the Huge Map of Planet--and expect a long game....more info
    Being a huge sci-fi fan, I find this game to be the best thing I've ever played on a computer. There are so many ways to set AC up that you really can enjoy unlimited playability. Between the many game setting choices, the design workshop (where the real fun can be had), faction choices and military/sociolgical choices, this game will keep you interested for quite some time. The thrill of battle, building colonies up with improvements and the race to discover the next technological breakthrough will have you feeling like an Emperor in a matter of hours. I've owned the game for well over a year, and still haven't grown tired of it. If you like strategy games, then you NEED to own Alpha Centauri....more info
  • One of the best turn based strategy games
    This is a classic game. It is one of the definitive best turn based strategy games ever created.

    Alpha Centauri is a Sid Meier game, although it was designed by Brian Reynolds. It takes a lot of what Civilization had at the time (like Civ3 or 2 was the last Civ game to come out before this) and added much more depth to the game world. Just the details like videos and quotes for technology advances. You could create your own units, so I had crazy stuff like troop transports that can make orbital insertions, or insanely expensive aircraft which can ignore all base defenses. I even upgraded the supply crawlers to move faster and be better than relying on terraformers to make a base more profitable.

    The best thing this has over Civ is that it takes place after Civilization, in the future. So you are actually discovering new units and technologies instead of the same old, same old: start with cavemen, move to the Castle age, Industrial, and finally Modern age. Theres none of that nonsense. Its science fiction and even has a storyline which unfolds as the game progresses.
    ...more info
  • Exciting and Engaging
    A friend let me borrow a demo cd with this game on it when I was thirteen. For two years I was addicted to this game until I got a new computer and no longer had the demo. Unfortunately I was only playing the demo so did not get to play all of the characters or go the whole game through so finally, at age nineteen, I stumbled upon the game here on Amazon and must say that the full version is double the excitement of the demo. It has a few new characters and a few missing ones from the demo. Two of my favorite factions "the progenitors" and "the nautilus" were cut out of the full version of the game that I have so I was dissapointed there but otherwise this is a very engaging game that I reccomend to anyone interested in colonizing their own new world and fighting for it against other very unique and objective driven factions with their own different personalities....more info
  • Yes, it's better than civ II.
    Civilization II was a good interm game and was one of the most addictive of 1996, but it was limited where it could go. Civilization III, unless it had intense graphics, would not add anything (other than a few new civs/technologies) over the second one.

    So Sid Meier took the natural step and went to Alpha Centauri. It takes place after humans' take their first step into the unknown. However, the pod taking the pioneers breaks up and splits into several pieces, hence several factions are born, all with different abilities/talents and philosophies. However, all want to dominate the planet.

    The factions are unique and contrived at the same time. To have them all completely different is alittle too convenient. However, it makes it easier to tell them apart. The game play is similar to CIV II, but there are more units, more technologies and more of everything. You can make over 60 different units, all with different strengths/weaknesses as well as cultivate the local alien creatures.

    There are also a lot more technologies one can create, although there is no more direct control of which technologies you can create.

    However, the best feature of the game is that once your empire gets big, you don't have to spend all this time micromanaging your empire.

    Firstly, you can quene a long production line of up to 8 creations, so instead of creating a Recreation Commons and then coming back to create a Tree Farm, you can preprogram a colony to do it automatically.

    Secondly, you can annoint a governor to control what goes on in an individual city. They will build stuff based on what criteria you set for that city. If you set it on build, it will build certain things, if you set it on conquer, it will build war machines, etc....

    All in all another addicting game from the Meier camp...Rating: B...more info

  • Civilization goes wrong
    Sid Meier is a true artist in the realm of software, but with each new addition to the Civilization family the games become more oriented toward conflict and less fun to play. In AC the Believers will appear on your borders within the first 50 turns and you will never really be at peace again. Forget about the fun of managing a nation: this is a non-stop Darwinian struggle to keep your head above water. (Some players might like this, but I find it tedious.) There's no point in trying to negotiate with other factions because they'll just turn right around and violate your territory or declare war. Then after you have spent decades trying to build up your industry, when your output reaches a certain level the planet itself will being to attack you with an inexhaustible supply of mindworms. *Every* game of AC is a race to achieve the victory conditions before the planet itself defeats you, and there's not much sense of satisfaction in that. Add to this the fact that the game runs unbearably slowly. You will spend more time watching units go plod-plod-plod across the screen than you will playing. I really wanted to like this game, but after a while its defeatist atmosphere and tedious play just got too wearisome. Let's hope that in his next game Side remembers that growing an empire is more fun and challenging than beating one....more info
  • Pretty damn good
    Alpha Centauri is the kind of game that you really have to get into to fully enjoy. As with the other Civilization games, it is primarily an empire building game with its prime focus on controlling the planet outlying the Alpha Centauri star system. This game is deep...and I mean DEEP. I have spent countless hours playing this game only to find that I have barely scratched the surface. Unrivaled in complexity and depth, if you have time to spare and you wish to do something that you will not regret with it, then you owe it to yourself to play this game. There are downsides to this perfection though. The game moves at a pretty slow clip, so if you are trying to get fast results, you will be disappointed. The game can suffer from overcomplexity issues with micromanagement (not NEARLY as bad as Star Wars: Rebellion thought) but the "Governer" of each base will assist with that. Other than that, some of the factions seem improperly balanced (the University faction has strengths in research...and thats it...what good is the best techs if you don't have combat attributes to use them effectively). And I think the atrocity factors are unbalanced too (use too many Planet Busting Missles and the whole PLANET hates you). But this game must be played and played to get everything out of it. Great game and a must-play....more info
  • A Disappointment
    The reviews of this game looked great and I've enjoyed Civ I, II, & III. Unfortunately, there was not anything new or interesting in this game. I found the "alien" technology difficult to understand and stragetise. Civ III is much better. I am very glad that I did not pay full price for this item. If you have already played Civ III, do not bother with this game....more info
  • Civ II extended... and IMPROVED!
    I've owned this game for many years.. so long I don't even remember .. pre-2000. To the best of my memory, this game occurred when Sid and the Civ people were having a bit of falling out.. so Sid moved to Fireaxis and produced this game which built into it many of the "improvements" that he forsaw for Civ.. it was in some ways a "pointer" to CIV III and some of the changes to occur there.

    Being a 1999 game it has "primitive" graphics.. no 3D etc as in today's games, but I still think they're decent. Also, like Civ II, this is not a half-hour game.. it can go on for some time.. but at least you can save it and pick it up later.

    It does occur "beyond Civ".. after the launch of the spaceship and colonization of space.. and involves a new set of "races" and a new tech tree. Some call the tech tree "too foreign" or hard to understand.. but I don't really think so.. the techs may seem "artificial" or "invented" while the Civ tech's seem "real".. that is techs based on things we are familiar with. To me they are just a ladder to climb to more advanced capabilities.. wonders (called "special projects), social options, units, etc.

    The game can be won through diplomacy, conquest, transcendence (sort of a human-evolution event), economics, cooperative.. and many rules can be turned "on/off" and "iron man" mode.

    Further there is major flexibility in choosing not only governments, but also economics, military, education, environment (big factor in this game), research, health, etc. And you can take "stances" ruthless, moderate, or idealistic for military interactions. Trade still can play a big role too.

    This is not a war game (though it can be played that way).. instead it is an influence and strategy game.. Without being too longwinded, I think its strong points are (relative to Civ II)
    * You can use the "governor" much better including customizing it to your own rules.. as opposed to the governor in Civ which I don't know anyone who uses.. (including unit automations) These are especially useful in to reduce the tedium in the ICS (Infinite City Sprawl) and "pop-booming" strategies often employed where there may be MANY MANY cities.
    * Strategic deallings with other civ's are crucial to a successful game.
    * Boundaries (or areas of influence) are introduced.. these help "manage" war/peace and some of the really annoying situations in Civ II.
    * You can set ingame "slants" on the governor as you progress through appropriate "play styles" of explore, discover, build and conquer.. you have to be prepared to play any of them depending on game circumstances.
    * There are MAJOR improvements in automation beyond just the governor and "slants" such as using queue's for building, and "group" commands like "build road to" instead of having to go tile by tile to do it. The GOTO command is improved too complete with mod's like "avoid enemies" etc
    * Instead of a lot of units, the units instead are basic, but EXTENSIVE mods can be researched and added to basic units to form new capabilities. This helps avoid the "warrior vs machinegun syndrome"
    * All units can be upgraded for a fee.. this is more realistic than the "throwaways" or needing "Leo's Workshop" wonder.
    * Materials don't have to be in the city to use it.. they can be "teleported" to other cities from one city or from a distant location if you can control the land.

    Well you get the idea.. its just a lot of new stuff.. :)

    I DON'T particularly like the huge differences among the races.. some of which have such constraints that they are virtually impossible to win a game with.. only 4 or so really lend themselves to playable games. But I don't things this is a "game stopper".. just a constraint.. It would be nice if some of the traits could be modified to more balance the game, but I truly think they were created to be a foil to the human player. As you play, you can use the "social engineering" for some balancing.

    The game is richly complex with numerous "in-play" options, mod's and social structures, etc that can give play variations.

    All in all I find it to be a game offering many enjoyable hours.. though it is hard to "FORCE IT" to play your play style.. you instead have to probe for play styles that fit the nature of the challenges of your particular game. I still find myself playing this now and then even 10 years after it's release.

    It can be purchased now for the $10-15 range including shipping. I'd say its a definite option at those prices....more info
  • Civilization goes Asimov goes FUSION!
    Let us first dispense with the tedious details that pull this game down from perfection: The AI can be erratic at times, and faction leader personalities are not always followed. It is a surreal experience to hear Lady Deirdre of the Gaians boast that she now has access to Planet Buster missiles, or to try, and fail, to persuade Pravin Lal into a peaceful cessation of hostilities. Planet, while a characterful actor in its own right, can occasionally become tedious, and one wonders why it would feel the need to attack a faction that has, over the cause of the game, produced exactly zero points of ecological damage, and which relies exclusively on hybrid Chiron/Terran forests for resources, using mind worms in numbers far greater than my own. The game also tends to grow repetitive, rewarding only the player on a full-scale war heading or the one walling him- or herself onto an island, there to spend all his or her time researching rare and rewarding technologies and building bigger, better bases. There are also not enough automation options for Former units, thus disallowing a player, such as myself, who solely contructs forests, from automating it, instead forcing us to manually input each and every order. "Move here - remove fungus - flatten terrain - plant forest - build road - construct sensor array/bunker/what have you" is not the ideal way to spend an entertaining afternoon. The game also has an astonishingly punishing learning curve, leading this player to discount the game as boring for a full year before discovering how engrossing it actually is.

    Let us then move over onto the positive qualities which Alpha Centauri, does, indeed, possess - the most obvious being the addictive quality inherent in the concept. The game induces that condition colloquially reknowned as "Just One More Turn Syndrome", where, upon giving oneself the eponymous admonishment, one tends to spend the entire evening and night playing instead. And, of course, upon recognizing this, one inevitably thinks "This is it. I will turn this computer off now... just after I finish this one turn" - and discovers that it is now 10 o'clock in the morning, and you have missed classes or work today. The game also features very deep and rewarding gameplay - having owned it for several years, this player still occasionally experiences new discoveries. Faction diplomacy offers more options than you will ever use, and all you will ever desire, if only the other players would accept your offers. Factions are well-designed and realistically portrayed for the most part, ignoring the contrivance of seven markedly distinct and dissimilar philosophies amongst the seven most influential individuals aboard the UNS Unity as being under artistic license. The backstory inbetween the game's release date and Planetfall is incredibly detailed, if difficult to track down, most of the in-game references being mere clues.

    This, in turn, brings us to the subject of one of the primary virtues of Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri - the quotes. The game is figuratively speaking jam-packed with small blurbs, whether quoted from an actual, historical source, a fictional historical source or one of the faction leaders themselves in one of their numerous books. These are for the most part insightful, often thought-provoking and always appropriate to the technology, base facility or secret project in question, from the silly-sounding but forebodingly double-edged limerick and snippet of nursery rhyme used to introduce the "Cyborg Factory" or the "Dream Twister" Secret Projects, respectively, to the profound and inspiring pieces of rhetoric introducing the "Human Genome Project". However, one of the best aspects of Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri is the way it takes logical and predictable future technological developments, adds some reasonable extrapolated ones, and puts in just a touch of mysticism - sufficient to spice it up a bit, but insufficient to radically alter the vision of the future. Alpha Centauri's finest side was, and remains, its up-to-date actuality and apartisan exploration of the different aspects of human ideology, ambition and aspiration.

    A true classic, worth the purchase even to play through it only once and hear all the clips....more info
  • It still holds up
    I still play this game even today, in the era of games like Civilization IV and Age of Empires III, and other strategy games that require two NASA supercomputers and the blood of a virgin to run properly. That is the test of a truly great game folks, that even years after you got it, it's STILL installed on your computer, or rather that every new computer you get has this game on it....more info
  • A great game
    I really enjoy this game. There are seven fractions that all broke up when they landed on the planet. You must choose to represent one. There are several changes that this game made along with improvement, A.) There is now a concel that all the countries make up. When issues arive they all go to meet on the issue. You can run for planetary governew where you are essianly the leader of union. I really enjoy this and it opens up the option for a diplomatic victory. B.) You now have boarders. This is simple where your city limits are. An improvement for a possible AC2 would be that you can move the boarders by notation and not but building a city.

    The one thing I did not like about this game was the tech tree. I never felt like I was in charge. Only having seven diffrent fractions, (countries) may seem like a down fall but if you stick with one fraction you will become bitter rivals with other fractions.

    I would highly recommend this game. There is the enivitable question of wiether it is better than Civ2. That of course is tough compition but considering that Civ2 came out a few years ago AC was able to update some parts. I think AC has a slight egde but CIV2 was more impressive for its time....more info

  • All Time Best Turn Based Strategy Game
    I've played all the Civ games so far and SMAC, and I must say I find SMAC to be the best-of-breed. Sure, it's just Civ in space, but the game play is so much better and the options so much more limitless. Is it any wonder they decided to add elements in Civ IV that came pretty much straight from SMAC (like customizable governments and different classes of specialists - above and beyond the typical entertainer/taxman/scientist).

    Sure, the alien tech is hard to get at first, but once you get the feel of it it's second nature.

    The terraforming options are great and the ability to produce sea colonies is also awesome. Need more energy? Raise the terrain to hills to get more sunlight on a solar colector. You can remodel terrain until your heart is content.

    I hated the fact in Civ III and IV that you lost full control of air units. I'm much happier with old Civ II and SMAC ability to fly the air units however you want, including suicide missions to get that pesky colony pod JUST out of range to stimey your oponent.

    The customizable technology in units is also awesome, though it can be daunting at first, if it perplexes you, you can turn on auto prototyping and it's done for you.

    I also still think SMAC offers the best of the CIV/SMAC interfaces in terms of informative, ease-of-use, and power to get done what you need.

    I guess I just didn't enjoy the way Civ III seemed to get "dumbed-down." The micro-management is part of the game, sure, it can be annoying at times, but SMAC offers enough automation to help. The possibilities are simply endless with SMAC....more info
  • You have no control
    The game has great potential, but so many things are automated that you CANNOT do what you want. It is very difficult seize control from the automation. Unfortunately, the automation is stupid and prevents you from carrying out interesting or reasonable strategies. The game needs to provide much more support for user strategies. I got so frustrated that I injured my elbow by banging it on my desk....more info
  • Greatest Strategy Game Ever
    For those who have freqented the worlds of Sid Meier before, this purchase should come as second nature: you will not be disappointed. Alpha improves all of the original concepts of Civilization 2 and adds some of its own- such as borders, social engineering and unit design. Territorial borders is a simple improvement that is just plain wonderful. Social engineering takes some getting used to- I was a sceptic -but after a few tries it is a necessity and adds a new standard to the genere. The technologies also will confuse those of us who are not physics and advanced microbiology/genetics majors; however, the general idea will not take long to grasp. Trade is improved and varies in ways that the far surpasses Civ 2. Unit variety is, well. . . amazing. The Graphics in game play are well done and the cinematics that appear throughout are top notch. One slight downer is the diplomatic relations: a few more choices, but not much change overall. When advancing the difficulty setting Alpha still falls into the old trap of just making the computer's units stronger, which can be frustrating. On the other hand, perhaps it is just reducing the advantage the player's units hold in easier settings.

    A word of warning: this game can be detrimental to one's GPA if not used with caution. Addiction will follow quickly if moderation is not enforced. I recommend having a friend or roommate hide the CD on occasion.

    Few games will provide as many hours of enjoyment as this one will. More fun for your dollar!...more info

  • Dissapointing and the cover wasn't explanitory
    Awful! A real disapointment. This game is confusing and boring much like civilization 2. The game cover made it sound much more exciting than it really was. I bought it a while ago from Rinho and it was bran new then. I was sooo dissapointed. It takes forever to play, the battles are cheesy and a waste of time. If you are considering buying this game, I reccomend you try it before you buy it. Belive me it's not even worth $5. I've always been dissapointed with Sid Meier's games. So I think I'll stop trying them. If your considering this game, try Imperium Galactica 2. It's awsome. No comparison. I hope you found this reveiw helpful....more info
  • One of the games that turned me on to turn based strategy
    This is a classic. I loved this game, and spent hour after hour playing it. As noted in many of the other reviews, I fell into the state of "just one more turn" - often to the neglect of eating, drinking or sleep. But hey, who needs that? I have missed this game quite a bit, as I have never been able to get it to work with the XP patch, or to run in '98 mode. I too hope this will get a second look by Sid Meier, and get revamped for XP/Vista. Certainly a game that still receives such high marks should be given another life....more info
  • one of my favorite computer games!
    I love this game! I like how you can personalize the rules of each individual game to your own preferences - it allows me to change things up and challenge myself! A lot of fun. It has already been described in detail by other reviewers, so I'll just say that I definitely recommend this game!...more info
  • Excellent Game
    This is an excellent game. Though this is a sequel to Civ II there is no need to have experience on that game. This new game eliminates the blurring of history periods that occurs in Civ II. It also allows for different kinds of victories. It further has many customization options. Then there are the nuclear weapons! WOW! You can upgrade the warheads and the bombs get more and more powerful. At one point you can vaproize about 20 squares and as many cities that would be in that area! The mushroom cloud that accompanies the strike is most impressive. Unlike a lot of sims out there, this one come with very complete information and manuals. If you enjoyed Civ II or the builing empires kind of games this is a MUST HAVE!...more info
  • Apha Centauri
    I bought this game at a EB store. It was one of the most interesting civ games I have ever played. It had verry good game concpts and I played for hours on end. And that was about 7 to 10 years ago. I still remeber playing it. But then again I like all civ games. It got 4 stars over all. But I only got 3 stars of fun out of it. I finaly got burnt out on it and traded it. And I have nothing but good memories from playing it. Planting forest and reaserching biomorphic fugi. And the wierd mind worms which took the place of barbains. Differnt factions such as chairman yang of the hive and more cool stuff. ...more info
  • The greatest strategy game of all time?
    Civilization II was the first turn-based stategy game I ever played. Heck, it was the first strategy game I ever played period. And it was amazing. Take control of a civilization and guide from the dark ages all the way to the launch of a space ship to an alien world. The only way you can possibly describe a game that attempts to simulate all of history is EPIC. Civilization II was greatly loved, and with good reason. It was quite possibly the most addictive strategy game ever when it was released. So when people heard about a sequel to what many considered the greatest game of all time...

    Alpha Centauri. In my opinion, this IS the greatest computer strategy game ever, to say nothing of the greatest turn-based computer strategy game ever. There is just so much to love.

    First, this game is amazingly engineered. It had VERY low system requirements when it came out, and runs fantastically on a modern machine. The interface is brilliant. The graphics are clean and detailed. The background sounds are perfect. When a technology comes up, you get a voice reading about it, when you build a wonder, you get a cool movie to watch.

    And there are so many ways to play within each game. You can micro-manage everything, telling your formers exactly what to do, telling every city exactly what to build, designing your own unit types. Or you can set formers, cities, and units to be completely automatic.

    And of course each leader you can choose has distinct advantages and disadvantages, lending themselves to different playstyles. It would take quite a while to master every faction and playstyle in this game.

    And I haven't even gone into the multi-player, the senarios, and the fact that almost EVERYTHING in the rules of the game is customizable. I believe there are about seven or eight ways to win! But of course the the harder ways take longer and give a higher score...

    In conclusion I will say this. This would be a great game if it were merely civilization in space. But what makes it the best of all time for me is the story. There is a sci-fi storyline to this game, and when interacting with other faction leaders you almost feel like you're watching a historical epic with you as one of the main characters (at least that's how I felt the first time I played). I once even found myself daydreaming about conversations I was having with different faction leaders. Maybe I had just gone a little too long without sleep, maybe I was just playing a little too much, or maybe...this is the greatest strategy game ever made. Now to get back to reading the prologue I downloaded off of the offical website and download some wallpaper......more info

    As a kid, this game is great. It has 7 factions, or groups, all with different outlooks on the planet they crashed on. The challenge at the beginning is contacting the other factions. My bro has already lost a unit to mind worms (However, that unit was damaged). There is one other annoying part. Whenever you make a gigantic leap in the progress of your faction, this little screen comes up with a weird image on it. I haven't played Civ 2 yet, so maybe it's good if you haven't played its predessors. One more thing. Don't expect to become INSTANTLY dominant....more info
  • Entertaining time-waster with few improvements over Civ2
    I am a huge fan of Sid Meier's products, and I enjoy AC very much. This game is largely Civ2 in space, with a couple of distinct changes that greatly improve the game play. First, the planet Chiron (or "Planet," as it is called) is much more of a character in the game than Earth is in Civ and Civ2. Your increased industrial development may result in environmental damage. Where Civ and Civ2 punish haphazard development with pollution, Planet strikes back. Xenofungus, the ubiquitous red-pink substance that covers much of Planet's surface, will wipe out your environmental improvements. Also, global warming may cause the oceans to rise, wiping out your coastal cities. In Civ and Civ2, your only responses to pollution are to build certain city improvements and use your settlers to eliminate pollution. In AC, you may build improvements, or you may also change your society's philosophy to "Green" to be more in tune with Planet. Also, you may change your geographic improvements from Mines and Solar Collectors to the more eco-friendly Forest, or you may plant more Fungus. Second, choices of various Social Engineering choices are more varied in AC, allowing for greater variety of societies. Third, the production queue and Governor function automate some of the more tedious aspects of the game. And the graphics for the units, the cities (each faction's cities look different), the Design Shop, and Planet's characteristics are a big stride over Civ and Civ2.

    That being said, AC leaves something to be desired. Despite the changes and the multiple paths to victory, the game still gets a bit dull in the latter third when you've pulled away from your rivals. Resource management becomes paramount, and communication and interaction less so. There is a plot device in the prologue (the murder of the mission commander on the Unity) that goes nowhere in the game. It's also doubtful that some of the factions would be so aggressive militarily so early in the game: you've just landed on a new hostile planet, and you want to go to war over 50 energy credits? The AI also periodically places your initial units in a position where you have no chance whatsoever to survive 50 turns, let alone win the game, so rebooting is an occasional necessity. Unlike Civ2, the progression of the knowledge tree is a bit haphazard (but that's to be expected of a game predicting future technological advances).

    The factions are very balanced, as demonstrated by the other reviews saying "I always win with X faction . . ." The movies for the Secret Projects and cut-scenes are wonderful, and the music and sound effects are first-rate (although there should be much more variety in the combat sounds -- there are two).

    If you like turn-based strategy resource-allocation games (and you know if you do or not), buy this game. If you want an action-strategy game, get something from Blizzard....more info

  • Alpha Centauri
    In the Metric Year 2060, riots and wars have nearly destroyed Earth and the United Nations. As the end grows near, the United Nations Starship Unity is launched towards the planet, called, simply, 'Planet', which orbits Alpha Centauri A. As the Unity approaches Planet, a meteor collission damages the ship. The seven most powerfull leaders of the ship each take their share of crewmembers, supplies, and a 'Colony Pod', and split, minutes before the Unity's fusion core explodes. Choose to be leader of one of the seven factional leaders-Academician Prokhor Zakharov,of the scientific University of Planet; the religious Sister Miriam Godwinson, of the Lord's Beleivers; Brother Pravin Lal, of the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces; and four more. Explore unknowm territory, recover resupply pods scattered by the Unity before it was destroyed, battle other factions and alien swarms, and talk with the other leaders. If you like Civilization, Outpost, and Command and Conquer,you'll love this! Also, be sure to buy the expansion pack, Alien Crossfire!...more info
  • Simply The Best

    All the five star reviews (which of course are the majority) are exactly correct. This game has made its way onto three of my computers over the years, and it will no doubt be installed on my future computer. If it ever stops working on modern operating systems (no problems with XP) than I shall keep my current rig (P3 800 PCI Geforce2...) so I can always play this game, along with the other best PC games ever: Thief 1&2, System Shock 1&2, Deus Ex and Baldur's Gate 2.

    I wish Brian Reynolds would sell one of his kids to get the A.C. copyright and remake this gem.....

    Chuck...more info
  • One of the best I've seen from Sid!
    I am a long time fan of Sid Meier's games since the moment I played the first Civilization in 1991. From then on, I mostly bought all of Sid's games. I recently got Alpha Centauri and man is it incredible. The gameplay is good, the graphics are great, and overall the game is excellent. The only thing I don't like about the game is that I finshed in two days and now there is nothing more to discover about the game. Other than that, I loved this one from Sid. If you have played any of the other Civs or even any other game from Sid Meier, you will love this one!...more info
  • Civ III?
    Having played more games of Civ II than I care to remember, I was really looking forward to this game. Initially I had thought it was just more of the same and I should have saved my money and kept playing Civ II. Dozens of games later I can honestly say this game was well worth the 49$ I had paid and at the current price of 19.99$ it's a real deal. The game isn't a departure from Civ II in anyway and may fall short of other's expectations when they are anticipating Civ III but with any amount of game play they will be pleased. Is it the same game? Basically yes. Are there THAT many improvements? No. Is it better than Civ II? Yes. Just the little things like unit customization, new techs, new races, improved network play, etc. make it worth it in my book. I've had the game since it was released and still play on occasion and most likely will still play a year from now. If you approach this game not expecting it to be a huge breakthrough in the Civ series, then you won't be disappointed....more info
  • Just short of perfection
    The title for this review would be "absolute perfection" if it weren't for the stratospheric expectations I had of it.

    The gameplay, as anyone familiar with Civ would know, is unbelievably addictive, we're talking losing sleep and missing meals addictive. If you don't know what I'm talking about, Civ and AlphaCentauri have a "Just One More Turn" phenomenon.

    Unlike other games with different races, the seven factions in the game are supremely balanced, and Firaxis has created a fairly interesting storyline.

    The only faults I have with the game are: 1) its harder to relate to the units-- its a lot easier to visualize tanks and legions than sigularity trance marines; and 2) with the latest patches startup can take a long time. But these are not even pimples on blips on the radar....more info

  • I didn;t get the item
    I didn't get the item I purchased. The retailer said the item was lost, or stolen while being shipped. Fortunately, I have full refund....more info
    The graphics are great for their time, not bad at all even though its old. The gameplay is great: turn based strategy. I have spent way too many hours of my life playing this game! On top of that, it is really cheap here on amazon. I lost my first copy, so I bought another one, that is how much I like this game. Similar to other Sid Meier strategy games like civilization....more info
  • Familiar yet Different . . . very different
    Many people immediately connect this game to what they believeto be its predecessor: Civilization II. And there is no question thatCivilization II heavily influenced this game. In fact, its basic storyline is a continuation of Civilization II. However, the roots of this game are more properly found in another of Sid Meier's gems: Colonization. The basic premise of Alpha Centauri and Colonization is, after all, to colonize a new world while beating out all others for dominance of that new world. But where Colonization was limited by its historical storyline, Alpha Centauri has a free reign to go wherever the mood takes the player.

    The mesh of these two great games have produced an extremely playable third. AC takes the best of both games, including a few new twists of its own, and immerses the player in a fantastic new environment.

    Of course, the game is not without some problems. Though diplomacy is a bit repetitive, you are now given more options and can build strong alliances with other factions. Unit building is much more interesting because you can design units that fit your needs rather than having a basic unit types that all factions share. However, any faction can build any unit if they have the technology.

    Though the game isn't perfect, I still haven't grown tired of playing it after 2 months of owning it. Adding the Alien Crossfire expansion pack also adds to the game by providing new factions including 2 alien ones with alien units.

    All in all, a great game that I will keep playing for many months to come....more info

  • In-Depth Fun for Turn-Based Strategy Fans
    Fans of turn-based strategy games usually simply go by Sid Meier's name--nearly everything that has his name on it is a highly enjoyable product. Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (SMAC) is no exception. Unlike many games, it works at two levels. You can enjoy it as a macro-level management game, where you are concerned with fighting and diplomacy. You can play it as a micro-level game, where you decide how your cities will develop. And, of course, you can play it as both.

    Many features allow you to overlook things you may not care about, such as building units or constructing buildings. There are governors and automatic programs that do that for you. The game also features factions--differing organizations with vastly different goals. This is what makes the game different from the Civ series.

    The game is also surprisingly balanced. Certainly, some factions seem to be better than others, but it all depends on how the game progresses. Become too powerful too quickly, and you'll have to fend off even those players who would otherwise be your ally. Sit back, and you'll be too weak to win the game. I've won with Miriam (by general concensus the "hardest" faction to play as) and lost as Skye (the easiest). There are also four (!) ways to win, giving you, as a player, much more flexibility.

    Bad things? Well, there are a few, but not enough to cover such an engrossing game. First off--the game is *ugly*. Awful. Your eyes will hurt after playing for a while. But you get used to it.

    Secondly, the factions are, perhaps, a bit too aggressive. Pact brothers suddely get mad and declare war for no particular reason. Opposing ideologies can trigger unreasonable anger in other players. It is unrealistic that a relatively weak faction will declare war on the strongest faction in the game simply because you're a police state and he's a democracy.

    The aforementioned governors--which automatically build up your cities--can also get irritating as well. Usually they do a fairly adequate job, but at times they want to produce sea units en masse for no particular reason. Occasionally, they decide that *every* city in your empire needs a Covert Ops Center, so everyone starts building one. Usually, though, it does pretty much what I would do; it just gets irritating to have to stop the game and relist all of the cities' build queues.

    There are a few other minor irritances--the game has a not-so-subtle bent against capitalism, and preach to you about "eco-damage"--but these are minor compared to how much you'll enjoy the game.

    A sequel was made, Alien Crossfire. It is recommended as well, though it has its own problems....more info

  • To Time Consuming; Annoyingly Long Game Length 12 to 25 hours until finish;
    The artistic renderings some are quite good; it is sometimes better to just watch the movies (secret base project completions); the game length of play is annoyingly long;

    But if you play for an hour or so once in a while you can gradually see how it develops over time;

    They spent a lot of time making the game; I like it best of all the civilization builder games by Firaxis;

    In spite of long game length of time playing; I think it was well done artistically and the game play is quite good;

    ...more info
  • Great game, although can be hard to master.
    This game is the Civilization concept set on another planet. The graphics are cooler, and their is flexiblity in creating weapons and the such. I like the United Nations concept, but some of the dialog, especially when you discover something new is kind of irritating. It's usually something pretentious. It's a little harder to master and learn than Civ2, so it will take longer to get bored with it than Civ2. I like the constant graphics that tell you who is winning, and who is the strongest, it helps out a lot with strategy....more info
  • Just Another War Game
    I had anticipated more building, more great projects such as in the Civ games. Basically, you spend all your time making a bigger war machine than the Joneses. Diplomatic relations are simple, boring, and moot, as the real goal of the game is that you have to conquer everyone else before being able to live peacefully... and then there's nothing to do. I regret I shelled out 40 bucks for this game that's collecting dust....more info
  • One of the greatest strategy games ever made
    I'm sure if you've been looking at this game you've probably also played the Civilization series. This game has a similar blueprint to Civilation, but at the same time is quite different.

    It starts off as your average civ-building game with the five crashed faction colonies setting up separately. As one of the faction leaders, you have particular bonuses. You start off with a town, a couple technologies, and you're off and running trying to build up your tech tree, economy, military, and lots of cities.

    Instead of barbarians though, you're fighting worm-like lifeforms with "psionic" attack abilities that can bypass your normal defenses. In time you can learn to defend better against them and even harness these capabilities yourself, which makes an intriguing extra layer to the combat here. These worms also figure into somewhat of an overarching storyline as well, as told through various dream sequences your faction leader has throughout.

    One great thing about this game is how you can create your entirely own units. For example, if you don't like the design vehicle unit with the antimatter weapons and speed upgrade, you can run to the prototyope shop and swap those out with psionic weapons and the ability to paradrop (so long as you have the right technologies). Plus, not only can you upgrade the weapons and armor on just about any unit you've already built, but you can swap it out for different bonus abilities (such as paradrop), though all for a price. This leaves you with the ability to have the upgrade and alter all the units at your desposal to your needs, rather than on regular Civ games where you might get stuck with a useless cavalry unit because you can't upgrade it into a tank.

    The best part may be how immersive it is. Alpha Centauri boasts leaders with unique personalities that shape how you interact with one another. Whenever you research a technology, it features original quotes by these leaders (and occasionally by other less important figures) that can be funny, enlightening, and possibly even mind-boggling. Add to that a veritable storyline that has different outcomes based on the methods you use to beat the game and it is probably the most creative and fully-realized fictional universe put into a strategy setting.

    Having replayed it recently the only drawback I can find with this game is the AI. While not necessarily bad, once I got used to the game mechanics again the AI is just a bit too easy even on the highest difficulty setting. I don't know if thats because the AI hasn't aged well, or I just played this game so much that I know it inside and out, not to mention help from all the other strategy games I've had practice with in the intervening years.

    Long story short: this is the most memorable Civilization game, and probably even strategy game altogether, I have ever played. Definitely worth a look if you can find it for a decent price....more info
  • Great Civilization follow-on
    Alpha Centauri is a turn-based, city-building strategy, a great follow-on but not a sequel to Civilization II. The game adds a lot of diplomacy features although I usually try to wipe the other players out. Alpha Centauri has automation features too: City governors who decide what to build, although sometimes they would try to build something they shouldn't such as the `Build' governor making military units. Overall a classic, recommended for most and a must have for Civilization fans....more info


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