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  • Writer's pictureJoe Pace

Player of Games, #75: Caesar II

Earlier this week I cited SimCity as a game I've loved across the years. The society-building, resource-managing nerd market niche was sufficiently robust that it has spawned dozens of spinoffs. These sim-SimCities often take the original premise of urban planning and graft it onto another time or place. Some future society, perhaps, or alien planet, or most commonly, our own past. One of my favorite of these variants was 1995's Caesar II.

In this game, the player is charged by the Emperor to spread Roman culture beyond the Italian peninsula, into barbarian provinces like Gaul or Cisalpia. Quarry marble, plant grapes, build schools and housing, unlock special new's a familiar dance, with the exotic veneer of Ancient Rome. Caesar II didn't just ask the player to build a great city - it also tasked them with pacifying barbarian villages and bringing civilization to the pagan madness of pre-Christian Europe, with the library and the sword alike. This March 15, let's raise a cup to Caesar II and praise it rather than bury it.

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