The open beta launch for Civilization World on Facebook has started, allowing millions of Facebook users the chance to finally experience the casual version of Sid Meier's strategy gaming classic. This iteration of the game has been tailored to take full use of Facebook's social interaction features, and has been designed to be an experience shared with other people. The game is free-to-play like other Facebook games, and as previously speculated, offers players in-game items such as weapons and armies at an extra cost. To keep things balanced for players who don't purchase in-game items, a daily limit has been imposed as to how much players can spend.
The premise: Players find themselves beginning the game in an ancient timeline, developing a fledgeling settlement starting from a single house and eventually, with a little help from your Facebook buddies, turn into a powerful empire ending in the space ages. Hardcore Civilization gamers might find the game mechanics to be overly simplified compared to the PC versions, but the casual approach made by Firaxis could be just the thing to lure in thousands of new players. The upside of this is that you can leverage fellow Facebook players to help you out in building your empire, much like Facebook's other social games. The game is far from being complete though, and you might find some niggling issues, especially with the combat. Still, if you've got tons of time to kill online, sign up for Civ World, and let us know how many hours you've lost playing Sid Meier's latest.