4X games that are similar to the Firaxis Civilization series in design and spirit are included in this list.
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So you’d like to see additional titles in the Civilization series released?
Many have attempted to duplicate Sid Meier’s creation, and many more are looking for a Civ-like experience that wasn’t developed by Firaxis.
To experience turn-based strategy like no other, civilization games immerse you in the history of ancient civilizations, from the formation of cities to the development of new technologies and the eventual conflict with other civilizations. Only a few other games have attempted to offer the depth that Civilization does, as it is not strictly a historical strategy game.
If you’re seeking for a 4X game that more closely approaches the popular Firaxis series, you may check out our list of fantastic 4X games (which includes Civilization). You won’t have to worry about too much overlap between this list and the one for Civilization-like games because we’ve come up with some pretty particular examples for this one. Enjoy!
1. Warlock: Masters of the Arcane
Warlock is the result of taking Civilization V and adding fantasy aspects like magic (instead of technology), NPC monsters, and gateways to alternate dimensions.
The Arcane’s greatest master. When it was released in 2012 by Paradox Interactive, this experimentation mash-up went much beyond its ‘fantasy Civ’ veneer and presented an intriguing alternative to Civilization V, which was already hugely popular when it was released in 2011.
For those who grow tired of the standard Civ-style activities on the main map, you can send your troops off to explore other’maps that represent different dimensions, where the creatures are stronger and prizes are bigger. Colonize these areas and use them to further your empire’s reach.
Warlock 2 was released in 2014 as a follow-up to the original.
The Exiled, which was a little more focused on the dimension hopping. Maybe a little less imaginative than its predecessor; nevertheless a solid effort. It is clear that Civ V’s UI was the primary source of inspiration for both of these games, which are renowned for their accuracy.
2. Old World
If you’re looking for a 4X game that’s more innovative than any of its rivals, look no further than the recently launched Old World. Soren Johnson, the former Civilization IV main designer, and his studio Mohawk Games are behind it. The ancient and classical civilizations of Rome, Carthage, and Assyria can be found in the Old World.
Empire management’s mechanical parts are great, but the addition of Crusader Kings-style character elements, events, and the “orders system” is where the real originality lies. Rather than allowing every unit to act every turn, this shifts a player’s action potential into a limited resource. For more information, see our Old World review, although this is a title well worth a look.
3. Age of Wonders 3
Planetfall, the third installment in this long-running turn-based wargame series that harkens back to Civilization’s beginnings while adding a fantasy touch, may be found in our guide to 4X games. This Civ has everything you’d expect, such as empire management, armies, technology trees and spells, plus extras like hero units. There is a distinct tactical battle mode in Age of Wonders 3 where armies fight it out in greater detail.
It is possible to engage with quest-like nodes like dungeons and abandoned mines throughout the globe, which is full of NPC threat and rival empires. Subterranean levels that can only be accessible through specific tunnels could also be spawned in the game’s maps. AoW3’s dwarfs, for example, like to live underground. To hold critical places without the need to found a city, you could create smaller “forts and outposts,” which I always thought was great. It’s akin to what Humankind has done recently.
It’s impossible to have a Civilization discussion without mentioning Freeciv, the ultimate copy cat. Because of its name and the fact that it has been an open source project since 1996, it is completely free. It has a lot in common with Civilization II in terms of gameplay, and its architecture is based on an ancient shooter game named XPilot.
A new ‘longturn format’ was introduced in 2004 and includes day long turns and games involving up to 30 individuals. Since then, the project has grown and changed. For those who know what they’re doing, the game supports both 2D and 3D visuals.
5. The Battle for Polytopia
An great, light summary of the Civilization 4X experience can be found in here. With 12 civilizations, different procedurally generated terrain and all the hallmarks of a 4X strategy game, Polytopia is worth a look even if you’re not a fan of strategy games.
Free upgrades are available for the game’s most important features; additional civilization packs can be purchased separately. In addition to the latest balance pass, the game’s creators still have several ideas up their sleeves. It’s here that you’ll find a more condensed version of Civilization.
Last but not least, a game like Civilization that actively seeks to overthrow Sid Meier’s giant must be the ultimate goal of such a game. Reimagined diplomatic, empire and victory systems, plus a turn-based tactical mode in which armies can battle across enormous areas of land, are just some of the ways in which Humanity, from the developers of Endless Space and Endless Legend, plans on taking over the world.
There’s a lot riding on Amplitude’s first game, which the company has dedicated its entire existence to developing. If you’d want to read our full review of Humankind, you can do so here. Having a good start. The late game balance is still an issue, but it’s not in a worse situation than when Civilization V or VI originally started. This is just the beginning for the developers.