Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. 100
    What really makes Colonization a classic turn-based game is the amount of distinct character. This isn't just a Civ 4 mod; it's its own beast, with its own rules and its own sense of charm and history, carved out of a New World brimming with native settlements, tobacco, and furs, waiting for your people -- people, mind you! -- to conquer it, plunder it, and/or cultivate it.
  2. The random map generator, several unique factions and difficulty levels, and many approaches to the ultimate goal of independence give Colonization as much replay value as any title you care to name. [Oct 2008, p.112]
  3. Civilization IV: Colonization takes a classic game and updates it for 2008, without screwing around with the things that made it great in the first place. Because it does this, we like it a lot. If you like absorbing strategy games, then you probably will too.
  4. Three hundred years of human history refined into the fantastic game of survival, wealth and domination. Challenging management of resources and commodities on one side, great atmosphere and great replayability on the other. [Oct 2008]
  5. Not quite as awesomely mindblowingly epic as "Civ IV," but it's not far off. [Dec 2008, p.78]
  6. 87
    Like Pirates! before it, Colonization is brilliant, not just for the way that it successfully captures the fun and feel of one of a classic PC game, but also for the way that it brings that design into a new era.
  7. A perfect remake of a true strategy classic. The few things Firaxis changed are sensible and functional. A must-have for every strategy nerd.
  8. Best of all, Col08 brings multiplayer to the table for the first time, making it even more fun to smash the other European powers in your race to dominate the New World. [Dec 2008, p.99]
  9. The classic gameplay is mostly untouched, so all the grumpy old gamers will feel right at home. On the other hand, anyone who wanted a true sequel might be disappointed by the lack of real gameplay improvements. In dire need of a gameplay balancing patch to sort out the rough edges.
  10. To play Colonization once more was like reaching deep into my personal drawer of childhood-memories. My verdict: Colonization is a truly well made portation of the original for the new millennium – but you shouldn’t be expecting and real innovations. [Issue#15]
  11. The only criticism I can personally level at the game is that after a few hours of play, I was filled with a burning desire to play some Civilization IV, rather than have another round of Colonization.
  12. Colonization is exactly my type of turn-based strategy. I don’t miss the tech trees, and love the focus on economics and trade.
  13. If you missed Col the first time around (and most of you probably did), now is an excellent chance to pick it up and dive into the colonial era. [Nov 2008, p.62]
  14. Colonization is far more than a simple mod or add-on; it clearly stands alone as a fully fledged blast from the past. This is one walk down memory lane you'll want to take.
  15. 83
    What is particularly interesting about Colonization, as against the Civ games, is the relationships between the different factions. There isn't, for example, the same emphasis on war.
  16. The new Colonization walks the fine line between mod, expansion and remake.
  17. If you don't know the original game from 1994, you should play at the easiest level to understand the complex economy. There are three other nations competing with you to colonize the New World, the native Indians and, last but not least, the King of your nation in the Old World. The Independence War is one of the most entertaining ways to end a campaign ever seen in this genre. The game may not be perfect, but it's a motivating and challenging strategy game.
  18. Apart from mild annoyance at some automation hiccups (occasionally pioneers, ships, and wagon trains, seem to forget what they're supposed to be doing) and slight disappointment at the unit art (more could have been done to distinguish the four civs) I've been horribly content these last few days.
  19. Once again Colonization returns to demonstrate the strengths of the Civilization saga. Deep and full of gameplay variants off and on-line, this is a title that that will be very interesting for the fans of the turn based strategy.
  20. 80
    Colonization adds a great layer onto the Civilization IV gameplay. If you like Civ-style games but also enjoy the trading and exploring aspects of games like Pirates! or, erm, Pirates of the Burning Sea, this is a game for you. However, if your strategic tendencies lean more toward building large armies than building thriving economies, just keep on sailing past this one.
  21. 80
    While it's unlikely to convert anyone who can't see the fun in slowly nudging swarms of candy-coated numbers in positive directions, Colonization is a great addition to the Civ IV stable. And who needs sleep anyway?
  22. For a small price, those who have not yet experienced Colonization can enjoy it now for what it is: a real classic in the 4X genre; the experience is more or less the same and the mechanics are as clever now as they were in the original one. For those who experienced it, it's a nice update with a well put interface, a good way to keep playing it without the mandatory use of DosBox.
  23. 80
    Building a thriving economy from scratch is immensely satisfying, and it'll take several games to really master the nuances of the elegant ruleset. Colonization might not appeal to everyone, but it'll definitely hit a sweet spot for many strategy fans.
  24. Colonization is a more focused and linear Civilization experience that nevertheless offers the depth and rewards of the classic strategy series.
  25. Most will stay for the joy of new discoveries, even if Colonization doesn’t have the same long lasting appeal as the more extensive Civilization series. [Dec 2008, p.71]
  26. If you are a big fan of Civilization IV you probably will enjoy Colonization even though it feels like a rushed attempt at expanding Civilization IV. Only buy if you are a serious fan of the series and Civilization IV is no longer enticing you to play.
  27. Still a remarkable strategy game, and for newcomers it's proof that trading doesn't mean tedium. Unfortunately, it's not quite the grand resurrection that Colonization deserves.
  28. The new Colonization manages in some weird way to capture that conquistador feeling that its 1994 ancestor made popular. But you need to play fast, if you don’t want to lose in one way or another, and a big chunk of feeling is lost when the game itself pushes you onto dark alleys just to finish it.
  29. If you remember the original fondly, then you have nothing to fear; it hasn't been broken. If you're not a hardcore strategy gamer or if you were weaned on them in this century, you may find the archaic mechanics and limited scope a little on the disappointing side.
  30. So while it’s a nice nostalgia trip and makes for an interesting twist on the Meier formula, it’s people who have either never played Civlization IV before (we’ve been told they do exist) or those who have played it to death and want a bit of a change who will get the most out of this title.
  31. Our American cousins will really enjoy this and, begrudgingly, so will we. [Issue#12, p.60]
  32. 50
    This game may be cheap but it often feels even cheaper. It's not just the simplistic mechanics at work but the rough edges which begin to cut once the initial lubrications of happiness at replaying a classic title have worn away. From icons that shift slots on the UI to redundant information screens being favored over the existence of useful ones, Colonization 2008 feels more like an intern project than a game that should be sold to the public.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 87 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 28
  2. Negative: 7 out of 28
  1. Dec 31, 2012
    Absolutely hilarious game. Everything about it suggests it's made for young American children. Whimsical kings who make random demands forAbsolutely hilarious game. Everything about it suggests it's made for young American children. Whimsical kings who make random demands for money; Natives without land borders (allowing you to traipse all over their land); Natives who don't mind you pillaging their burial sites (i'm serious, you can literally pillage native burial sites for money, and nobody will mind). The game serves as another piece of US propaganda to pretend the revolution wasn't simply about colonial greed, and that it was "really" about "freedom" from "oppression". Bwah-hahahahahahaha. As for the gameplay, if you enjoyed Civ IV, this is essentially Civ without all the interesting bits. Full Review »
  2. Nov 20, 2012
    I was a big fan of the original Colonization, and this remake did not disappoint. It's based on the same engine as Civ IV, so definitely aI was a big fan of the original Colonization, and this remake did not disappoint. It's based on the same engine as Civ IV, so definitely a graphics upgrade. The gameplay is similar, perhaps not quite as deep as the original Colonization in some areas, but better in others. Overall, if you liked the original, get this version for sure. If you never played the original, your in for a treat with this. Full Review »
  3. Dave
    Jan 31, 2010
    There is no reason to play this game when you could be playing Civ4 instead. The mechanics of trade, while interesting in theory, are just There is no reason to play this game when you could be playing Civ4 instead. The mechanics of trade, while interesting in theory, are just tedious in this game. You spend most of your turns loading and unloading ships and redistributing labor instead of actually exploring the new world and interacting with the natives. Full Review »