Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution DS Review

If happiness is a warm gun,Civilization Revolution is sure to cause shouts of glee from DS owners across the world. Filled with an arsenal from ancient and modern times, it's your ticket to handheld world domination. Thank you Sid Meier, thank you.

Create a world in your image with single-player scenarios or on a random map. Depending on the difficulty level, your game can be a quick sweep of destruction across the land or a drawn out conflict ruled by strategic decisions. In addition, wireless capabilities let you challenge up to four friends to a multiplayer battle royale.

Much like the Civilization games of yore, Revolution comes packed with a saucy group of world leaders ready for action. Jump directly into play on a random map where a military free-for all awaits or complete specific objectives in a scenario.

As much as Revolution looks like a regular PC Civilization game, this release is developed specifically for the DS and includes several differences. For starters, each game plays out much faster than Revolution's PC cousins. The long wait for military units and buildings to be completed is gone, and you'll often find yourself creating new structures with each turn. While this fast-paced action can be exciting, strategists may find themselves eating the dust of their trigger-finger counterparts.

In each random map you must expand your empire with developments in technology and culture to reach four pre-determined victory conditions. Sadly, there are no customization options for random scenarios other than selecting your leader and the difficulty level. However, the developers included an assortment of era bonuses for each commander such as boosts in production, culture and gold.

Each city can produce a building and a choice of land, sea or air units. Once you make a selection, it is continuously produced until you select something different. As you enter new eras, there are no automatic upgrades, so expect to send machine gunners out to finish the pike men's job. Keeping track of your platoons may become difficult as your size increases. To keep control of your massive battalion, the developers included an option to form an army with three of the same units.

The game automatically selects cities, troops and artillery ready for action, but we noticed that inactive combatants are skipped unless you remember to give them an order. Combat is fun, but seems uncontrollable. You can choose to attack your opponent, but the action is automatic and sometimes leaves you wondering how a single veteran archer could possibly defeat your ninja tank brigade.

Despite the fast pace, we found that one game may take a few waiting rooms and car trips to complete. If you make it through the scenarios and want something besides a random skirmish, you can download the Game of the Week and work your way to high scores.

As the game goes on, the map becomes riddled wit, cruisers, cities, riflemen, bombers and cavalry. Even with the army option, this clutter is possibly the only downside to the game with exception to the controls. The stylus works just fine, but it is mildly difficult to use when creating a new path for units to follow.

We put away the stylus and played with the buttons, but then you have to pull out the stylus or your finger if you want to select a certain unit within a stack. These stacks are not armies; rather they are just a conglomerate of soldiers who happen to occupy the same square.

Unlike other versions of Civilization, workers do their thing automatically rather than waiting around for you to determine their careers. Food and goods feed your people and build your economy while you concentrate on the war at hand.

Civilization Revolution makes our DS smile. The game is sweet strategic candy wrapped in replay chocolate. There are a few drawbacks, but not enough to make us cranky. Whatever your pleasure you are sure to find a massive dose of engaging gameplay, so put Civilization Revolution on your list of things to buy.

What's Hot: Fast pace, less micromanaging, four ways to win, Game of the Week, bonuses for discovering a technology first.

What's Not: Game almost plays for you, requires heavy use of short-term memory, cannot set-up victory conditions or customize random maps.