Civilization 5 On The Go On the iPad

I had an interesting itch to scratch, desktop gaming on the go, without a laptop or a desktop but with an iPad. Given the advent of high speed Internet broadband in Malaysia along with remoting software that I usually use for work, I was just waiting for the right game to come.

I know I can't cope with action games for the purpose of this experiment, not with the level of interactivity required (basically the need to use the mouse and the keyboard at the same time). So how about a turn-based strategy game which already passed the “new father with a 2 and a half month old baby” test.

Civ V's relatively simple controls belie the complexity this long standing franchise has been known for. But complexity isn't what we are looking for here, we just want to find out whether the game is playable on the iPad. My test environment involved a MacBook Pro running Steam on Mac OSX at home with a 5 Mbps line, while I'm accessing that machine from my in-laws, where they also have a 5 Mbps Internet connection as well.

The results? A totally playable experience, with one niggling issue, the fact that the virtual mouse is a little small will make it slightly difficult to left click and drag to move around the map. It felt really seamless though the experience, I guess the high speed line (well at least to Malaysians, our neighbors down south run at 150 Mbps) had a lot to do with it.

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Why bother going to such trouble to get Civ V running on the iPad instead of sticking to just iPad games. Well, I've not met one with such excellent start and stop gameplay and while some do show potential, other elements such as the genre and rules (some iPad games are too complex for their own good, don't you think) simply put me off.

Now if you may excuse me, Boudicca has a round of diplomacy to make before deciding on which city state to conquer.

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