Take matters into your own hand.
Sequels always feel pressure to live up to their predecessors, more so than most for the iOS version of Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution 2. It's probably already a shock for Civ fans that this sequel won't have a console version (at least none of which has been announced), but the original title on iOS was successful too as one of the top-sellers on the platform. This time around, Civilization Revolution 2 discards the rarely-used multiplayer component from the original and focuses on the single-player strategy the series is primarily known for.
At first glance, the new semi-isometric view of the title gave the beta demo I played a welcome makeover that takes a page out of the main entries of the Civilization series. Tapping and sliding my way through the game, on an iPad for around a half-hour behind closed doors, I explored the square-based map like a semi-pro. There were certainly numerous elements that I had to relearn quickly on the fly, but the general idea is the same: direct and manage your civilization towards victory through technology, by piecing together a space shuttle; culture, by cultivating the arts; economy, by acquiring massive wealth and establishing the World Bank; or domination, by conquering four other civilizations in the world.
After being pre-selected as Gandhi on the second difficulty level (out of five), I ordered a settler to establish Delhi in an area with a well-rounded selection of resources. As usual, food is most important for creating additional citizens that can work other resources, while mining, gold, and technology form the base of affording buildings and wonders in the fewest number of turns. Within ten minutes, I had an army of about three soldiers units who were ready to tear down barbarians and defend the city from other AI players. Moving my army, selecting different soldiers, and flipping through the city interfaces were surprisingly smooth and uncomplicated.
During the a latter half of my play sessions, I luckily found a galley that could transport soldiers across shallow water to discover castles and the location of other civilizations. I was told that building the Lighthouse of Alexandria would allow them to delve into deep-blue ocean waters where my civilization could find Atlantis for a hefty technology bonus. A moment later, Russia came knocking at my doorstep, wanting to establish peace and trade 30 gold pieces for their technology. I refused, stopping short of declaring war despite having six soldiers at the ready.
Before leaving the session (and being shown a Game of Thrones tribute using pugs), I noted several other differences to the main series. Instead of advisors, short-term goals will sometimes appear in the lower-left-hand corner and guide players toward their victory of choice with minor rewards when completed. To keep most sessions around 2-3 hours, there are no social policies, religion, or a means for a time victory. Grouping three-like units together will create a super military unit, and a few late units like jet fighters, laser defense systems, nuclear power plants, and Silicon Valley as a wonder broadens the strategy in the end-game. Last but not least, players can select Churchill and Kennedy as their leader.
Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution 2 arrives in just a few days on July 2 for iOS platforms, with Android versions to come at a later time.