Colonization given a new lease on life

No this isn”t a comment on the reemergence of neo-colonial tendencies by American-based multinationals, it”s about a computer game. This isn”t any video game though, it”s my favorite and it has been for 11 years when I first installed it on my mom”s IBM x486. Colonization was developed by Sid Meier (now famous for the super-popular Civilization series) in 1994 as "an exercise in nation-building." The gameplay is unbeatable and it really is fun at all skill levels, from the lowly discoverer mode up to the completely impossible-to-win-you’re-going-to-die-in-two-turns viceroy.  If the level of detail and care a game”s Wikipedia page shows is any indication of popularity, Colonization must be well-loved.

The only problem with the game that I”ve seen so far is that you can”t play it anymore. No operating system will support it anymore without sucking RAM like nobody”s business. The version I have now will technically run in OS X if it goes to Classic Mode, but it always end up crashing and Classic Mode is nothing but a chore. Besides the fact, Classic Mode”s days are numbered. Windows users are stuck running it out of DOS and from what I understand that”s no more of a picnic than Classic. So what shall I do? My favorite game of all-time is bound for the rubbish heap and it seems like there is nothing I can do about it. Enter FreeCol. Apparently there are a lot of people out there who liked the original Colonization and they rebuilt it from the ground up on an open-source platform.

Though the graphics, text, and menus of FreeCol are all different from the original, qualitatively the game play is exactly the same. In fact, it may be better because the new version offers multiplayer capability, allowing Colonization enthusiasts from all over the world to connect and develop the New World together, or against each other.