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Ask PC Gamer is our weekly advice column. Have a burning question about the smoke coming out of your PC? Send your problems to letters@pcgamer.com.



I'm trying to find some games my retired dad might enjoy. He's not really a gamer... all he plays right now are games on his phone, and I guess he could play casual games on PC, but I wanted to show him there's more than simple puzzle stuff (he likes Threes) without overwhelming him. He has a pretty decent desktop I got him a couple years ago. Any recommendations? J.M.



Dear J.M.,



"Casual" has taken on a new meaning for me in the past few years. I used to think of Facebook games and the incessant notifications spawned from friends who think we might somehow connect over a mutual love of vegetables despite not talking for 10 years. Today, I think of any game that can be played in short sessions and doesn't demand a lot of familiarity with the genre or precision control.



That's a lot of great games, and 'casual' probably isn't the right word. Civilization V qualifies, for instance. You don't need to have played other turn based strategy games to get the concept it's like a board game, and the tooltips explain the rules and it's turn based, so there's no athletic mousery involved. And though it's hard to do, it can be played in short sessions. He can save and quit whenever.



Then again, I don't know your dad, and Civ might bore him to death. I'm just guessing (and only because this is true of my dad) that he isn't going to jump between a bunch of games. He'll probably want to get familiar with one or two and play them a lot, a la Threes. Turn-based strategy is a good call if that's the case. Total War: Shogun 2 and Unity of Command also come to mind, though the jump from Threes to the latter could be a bit much.



You may also consider going to GOG and finding some classics: Theme Hospital, SimCity 2000, Police Quest. Regarding that last one, if you think he might like story and adventure games, Zork: The Grand Inquisitor is one of my personal favorites. And there's always Telltale.



In the puzzle department, I can also recommend SpaceChem and World of Goo. And if none of that appeals, you can always install Peggle and move on. There's nothing wrong with Peggle. (Though I'm sure the commenters can supply some good answers and anecdotes of their own.)
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

A whole new world. A new fantastic point of view.

…I’m so sorry.

However, I am pleased to report that sci-fi strategy game Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth is not simply Civ V with green face paint on. It has the same hexes and it does have much of the same infrastructure as its historical-themed predecessor, but its transformation into something alien goes far more than miasma-coated skindeep. The essential framework of Civ remains, but the final frontier – for the 200 turns with beta code I’ve spent there – requires a very different sort of thinking.

… [visit site to read more]

Announcement - Valve
Enjoy deals on the entire 2K Games catalog during the 2K Publisher Weekend! Save 50% and up on Civilization V, Borderlands 2, Bioshock Infinite, XCOM: Enemy Unknown along with many other titles.

The 2K Publisher Weekend begins at 10am PDT on Aug 20th and ends at 10am PDT on Aug 25th.







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Rome wasn't built in a day, but now it can be built in a turn. A new mod for Civilization V, called CivRome, lets you play from 323 B.C., the death of Alexander the Great, to 500 A.D., the fall of the Roman Empire. You can play as one of 22 possible civilizations including the Romans (Caesar), the Egyptians (Cleopatra), the Macedonians, the Goths, the Gauls, and even the Huns (led by one Mr. Attila T. Hun). There are new technologies to research, specific attributes for some of the civs, and a beautiful, historically accurate new map to conquer. In other words, it's a toga party, Civilization-style.



I'm a little hesitant to cover this mod, as it's still in development and there are tons of planned features that aren't implemented yet, but I figure getting players involved early to show interest and provide feedback and suggestions can't be a bad thing. Besides, I tried it out for a while this week, and it's highly playable with plenty to keep you occupied even in its unfinished state.



So much to conquer!



There's the map, and it's lovely and accurate, not to mention massive (not my picture, that's from the mod's Steam page). Obviously, you can play the mod on a random map, too, but I think the custom map will let you really get into the frame of mind to mess around in ancient Rome. One important note: the mod requires all of Civ V's DLC and expansions to run.



This! Is! An! Area! Outside! The! Border! Of! Sparta!



Along with the 22 playable civs, you'll be able to interact with a massive slew of familiar city-states. Early in my game, I ran into Jerusalem, Cyrene, Rhodes, Nazareth, and of course, Sparta, though deviating from completely realistic movie history, the Spartans wore more than tiny underpants and capes, and there didn't appear to be exactly 300 of them. Oh well, you can't have everything. On the other hand, I'm playing as Caesar, so I'm still going to try.



Yay. We are so happy! Well. Some of us! The rich ones!



What makes citizens happy in CivRome? Well, researching Happiness technology demonstrated that everybody loves slave labor. In fact, the CivRome mod makes slavery a big part of day-to-day life. The system isn't complete yet, but when it is, slaves will function as a resource, able to be imported and exported, used as labor to boost production, functioning as private tutors to buff science and culture, and increasing the happiness of the citizens who aren't slaves themselves. (The slaves, one presumes, will be pretty damn miserable.)



Okay, Rome is founded. Let's get to work on the vomitorium.



There are some interesting and unique facets to some of the new civs. The Huns, for example, were a nomadic people, so if you play as Attila you won't be able to build settlers to found new cities, though you'll be able to capture settlers from other civs. Their cavalry, naturally, will be top notch. Carthage, meanwhile, begins the game with a whopping five cities, owing to the fact that they were a territorial powerhouse at the time, though their military units will be unable to cross the sea as other civs can.



I'll be remembered through history as... a salad? A friggin' salad? Sigh.



The Romans have their own issues. As they grow an advance, a curious problem will arise among their military: soldiers will become more and more unhappy. It makes sense. If Rome was a remarkable paradise filled with wonders and luxury, who the hell would want to go tromping off to die in some distant war? To boost morale, Rome will need to ratchet up the distractions, devoting a lot of effort into keeping its citizens happy, like holding chariot races in the Circus Maximus and by building the Colosseum. Nothing to take your mind off faraway bloodshed than by watching some local bloodshed.



Darn Vandals. They keep tagging my storefronts.



I'm no ancient history buff, but I can appreciate the efforts being made to reflect this era as accurately as possible, and with such a wide range of civs to choose from, I think this could grow into a really spectacular mod. Again, while playable, this is still largely a work in progress and there's a lot more planned. You can check out the discussion page on the 2K forums here, and there's tons of talk on the mod's Steam Workshop page.



Don't forget, you need all of the Civ V DLC and expansions to run this mod!



Installation: You can subscribe to the mod on the Steam Workshop page I just linked. When you fire up Civ 5, just activate it on the Mods menu, and make sure you choose the CivRome map if you want to use that one specifically (trust me, you do).
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

Hexcellent.

Joking about booking time off work for a video game’s release is awfully hackneyed, but I have known people to do it for two series: Grand Theft Auto and Civ. So, just so you know, Civilization: Beyond Earth now has a release date so WINK you might want to WINK book time off work or WINK consider laying the dramatic groundwork for a WINK illness to strike you on October 24.

The news comes alongside a new video with Beyond Earth’s co-lead designers talking about the kinda-Alpha-Centurai-ish-but-really-more-Civ-y game, over footage that’s mostly cinematics but does give a few tantalising peeks at things including the new web-like tech tree.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

This man represents open source supporters.

Is… Is this E3 news? On day three, I can’t tell anymore. Did Sid Meier swing on a trapeze across the E3 concourse to announce that Civilization 5 was now available on SteamOS and Linux? Did Aspyr gather the world’s press in an art deco theatre to reveal that this was their first Linux port, after years of porting popular games to Mac? Or is it the case that there was a simple post on Civ V’s Steam forum to declare that users of Ubuntu could now begin conquering 4X strategy worlds?

Probably that last one.

… [visit site to read more]

Shacknews - Steve Watts
Of all the times to roll out a video game, the middle of E3 probably threatens to drown it out the most. That makes the announcement of Civilization 5 on Linux and SteamOS a bit odd, but let this serve as your official alert: Civ 5 is now on Linux and SteamOS. And it's on sale to boot.
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E3 is in full swing and that means an overload of press events, trailers, interviews and hands-on time with the latest and greatest of upcoming videogames. But I'd like to take a break from all that sound and fury for a moment, if I may, to let you all know that the strategy classic Sid Meier's Civilization V is now available for Linux and SteamOS. (Oh, and it's on sale, too.)



Civilization V has been around for a few years now but this still qualifies as pretty big news for SteamOS and Linux gamers. Developer Aspyr Media said today's release "targets SteamOS on current gen hardware," and it's also looking toward supporting Ubuntu 14.04 and additional video cards in future updates.



To that end, Aspyr is asking for feedback about what works, and what doesn't, in the Steam forums or via its own support channel. Some users are saying that the DLC isn't currently appearing in their Civilization V: Complete Edition packages, but the general consensus seems to be that it's a solid port that runs very well.



And as it occasionally does, Steam is marking the moment with a sale, offering Civ V and its various DLC releases, as well as Civilization IV and III bundles, for up to 75 percent off. The sale ends in a little over 19 hours at the time writing, however, which puts it around 1 pm EDT. Best not to dawdle.
Product Release - Valve
Sid Meier’s Civilization V and all available Expansion Packs and DLC are Now Available on Linux. Additionally, the entire Civilization Franchise is currently on sale for up to 75% off*!

*Offer ends June 11 at 10AM Pacific Time

Community Announcements - Aspyr-Blair
Aspyr Media is pleased to announce our first Linux and SteamOS title, Sid Meier’s Civilization V. The SteamOS release includes all Civilization V DLC and expansion content, including Gods & Kings and Brave New World.

This release targets SteamOS on current gen hardware. Additionally, we're working towards supporting Ubuntu 14.04 as well as additional video cards in future updates.

Here’s where we need your help! To improve Civ V and future AAA games on SteamOS, we're looking for feedback. Tell us below what's working great or what's not working. If you're having any problems, please contact our support directly at http://support.aspyr.com/tickets/new
...

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