Sid Meier's CivNet (header background)

Sid Meier’s CivNet

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Take your civilization building skills online against friends and strangers with Sid Meier's CivNet.

Released in 1995, Sid Meier’s CivNet marked a significant evolution of the classic Civilization game, introducing multiplayer features, enhanced graphics, and a Windows-friendly interface. This review explores the game’s journey, features, and the multiplayer experience.

The Birth of CivNet

Early Days of Civilization

Sid Meier’s Civilization, the original, set the stage for turn-based strategy gaming.

It was a single-player masterpiece, but the idea of multiplayer was brewing.

The Long-Awaited Multiplayer Experience

This game fulfilled the dreams of many gamers, bringing multiplayer functionality to the Civilization universe.

With LAN, internet play, hotseat, modem, and direct serial link options, players could finally challenge real human opponents.

Civilization Roster

The game expanded the civilization roster to 14, including Aztec, Babylonian, English, Russian, Zulu, French, German, Roman, Greek, American, Indian, Chinese, Mongolian, and Egyptian.

Sid Meier's CivNet (gallery 01)

The Rise and Fall

A Promising Start

Upon its release, this game seemed poised to revolutionize multiplayer gaming, maintaining the addictive essence of the original.

The Windows Facelift

The game retained the core gameplay of Civilization but adorned it with a sleek Windows interface.

New features like the king builder and map editor added a layer of personalization.

Multiplayer Woes

Multiplayer feature, a major selling point, faced challenges. Turn-based play led to agonizingly long waits, while simultaneous movement introduced unexpected challenges, especially in games with more than two players.

Sid Meier's CivNet (gallery 02)

The Shadows of Civilization 2

An Ongoing Legacy

Despite being a solid single or two-player experience, game struggled to shine in the shadow of Civilization 2, which took the series to new heights.

Missed Opportunities

Critics lamented that CivNet could have been a true gem if it had addressed gameplay speed issues and integrated its multiplayer system into Civilization 2.

Sid Meier's CivNet (gallery 06)


In retrospect, This version of Civilization stands as a testament to the ambition of bringing multiplayer dynamics to a classic. While not reaching its full potential, it provided a glimpse into the future of Civilization games. Sid Meier’s CivNet, despite its multiplayer challenges, remains a nostalgic gem for fans of the classic Civilization series.

“Forge your path through history, challenge friends, and build your empire.”

Play Sid Meier’s CivNet Online

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Is CivNet worth playing in 2023?

Absolutely, especially for those seeking a classic multiplayer Civilization experience.

Which civilizations stand out in CivNet?

Each civilization offers a unique playstyle, try them all to discover your favorite.

Can CivNet be played on modern systems?

Yes, with the help of emulation or compatibility modes.

How does CivNet compare to Civilization 2?

This game is a precursor, introducing multiplayer, while Civilization 2 expanded and refined the series.