iPad, PC/Mac/Linux •
Yesterday saw one of the biggest surprise releases to ever land on the App Store, Civilization VI. Yes, THAT Civilization VI. The one with Sid Meier in the title and Boromir doing the voice-overs. The one that takes days to finish a game, with full tech trees, barbarians, city states, and enough different Civs to fill a tiny UN. It’s the real deal, with a real price, and it’s on the App Store.
We all know what Civilization is, so I won’t give you details about 4X games and yada, yada, yada. Instead, let’s talk about the app itself. First of all, don’t come knocking on the Civ door if your iPad is older than an Air 2; the app is only available for iPad Air 2 and later, including the iPad 2017 and iPad Pro. I have none of the above, so I’ll be waiting to play this until I get a real job which, let’s be real, isn’t happening any time soon.
If you do have one of the newer iPad models, however, Civ Vi on it is fairly incredible. For research purposes I went to a friend’s house to mess around with the game on their iPad Pro and it was a delight. The graphics aren’t turned up all the way, but I couldn’t really tell a difference between the iPad version and how it currently looks while playing it on my MacBook Pro. Everything was smooth as silk, including moving units with your fingertips and scrolling around the randomly generated world. The time between turns can get a bit long, but never got to the point of being unbearable. I was playing on a large world, but also didn’t make it all the way to the end game which is when turns get long even on the laptop. I’ve also been told by Nick who has one of the 12.9″ iPad Pros that the game isn’t scaled right for that device. I haven’t seen it for myself to give more details, but you’ll want to download and try it out before hitting the buy button if you have one of those.
The iPad version has everything its big brother has, with the only thing missing being DLC. There is a small note on the bottom of the main menu telling you about the upcoming Rise and Fall expansion, so it would seem that they’re planning on bringing it to the app. If they do that, I don’t see why all the DLC currently available for the PC version wouldn’t make it to iPad as well.
We now need to talk about pricing. As amazing as it is to have a game like Civ VI on our iPads, the truly amazing thing might be the price. The game is free to download, but that will only get you the first 60 turns. If you want the full experience, you have to unlock it with cash: $60. It’s currently on sale for only $30, but that will end on January 4th when it will shoot up to its Steam-sized price point. Did Aspyr get confused and think they released it on the Switch store? Folks there and on PC will gladly pay $60 for a AAA title but, as you can imagine, there are already cries of outrage over the price on the App Store as if the folks at Aspyr don’t need to eat or buy clothing. I, for one, welcome the price and hope this sells like hotcakes, opening the door for other devs to release full-price ports of games for iPad. I’d much prefer to see a bunch of really well made $60 games released each year, rather than the thousands of free-to-play garbage that’s turned the App Store into a laughing stock. Maybe that’s just me, but I really hope not.
Off my soap box, let me point you to where you can pick up Civ VI for yourself. On the App Store. I still can’t believe I’m typing that.