Parents' Guide to

Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Gathering Storm

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Major expansion improves already fantastic world simulator.

Game Mac, Windows 2019
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This huge and substantial expansion makes one of the best world simulation games ever made even better. Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Gathering Storm deepens, enhances, and improves the experience in a variety of authentic and meaningful ways without overwhelming players with new complexity. The new World Congress, for example, adds an easy-to-understand layer of strategy that grows the game's diplomatic systems -- there's now even an optional Diplomatic Victory condition -- in such a way that any returning player can easily comprehend over the course of a game without wondering what needs to be done. Ditto for the new natural disasters. When settling near an active volcano or river prone to flooding, we're warned of the disasters that might occur in the future -- and the potential benefits after the event -- so we can make an informed decision. Several late-game additions and rule changes bring new drama as you approach the 21st century, including technologies and civics that reflect concerns specific to our current moment in history, such as guarding against rising oceans, dealing with carbon emissions, and resettling displaced populations.

If that's not enough to bring players back for a little more, other additions probably will be. The new leaders come with unique units, buildings, and bonuses that can greatly change your strategy. Kupe's Maori, for example, begin the game at sea, which forces players to grow a very different type of civilization, especially in early eras. The two new scenarios are both fast-paced and intense, with The Black Death rewarding players who know how to effectively direct religion and economy and War Machine forcing players to sharpen their military management. Add in fresh surprises while exploring -- there are more than a dozen new wonders to discover -- and plenty of new technologies and civics to research and exploit, and Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Gathering Storm stands as one of the best expansions of any Civilization game yet.

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