When it was revealed that Civilization VI was coming to the iPad I immediately knew that I had to experience it on the touch-based controls platform. I’ve enjoyed the other stripped down versions of Civ games on mobile devices, so I had a good feeling about playing the latest entry on my iPad Pro.
Upon installing the game and loading up its tutorial I realized that Civ VI wasn’t going to be a watered down experience on the iPad, so I settled in for the long haul and started plotting my path to world domination. For all intents and purposes this version of the game is very close to what you would get on a PC, at least in terms of gameplay. I found the touch controls to be rather intuitive, but if you have an apple pencil, making moves becomes even more efficient. Games can last for hours on end, and the “one more turn” addiction of the Civilization franchise is ever present in this mobile port.
I actually think losing yourself to this version of the game is even easier to do than while playing on a PC because of the mobile aspect. Having a match saved on my iPad came in handy as I traveled this holiday season from one family members house to another. I could easily load up my save, play a few turns, and then put the iPad down so I didn’t come off as the Grinch of the family by locking myself away and playing games like a recluse. The convenience factor is everything with Civ VI on iPad, and for the most part the port excels as a mobile version of one of the world’s most iconic turn-based strategy games.
The gameplay to me is pretty damn close to what you’d get on a PC, but I did find the visuals to be a bit lackluster. The cutscenes look competent, as do static art pieces, but the game world itself leaves a bit to be desired. I was surprised by this considering the power that is packed into a 2017 iPad Pro, but the visuals get grainy as you zero in on your civilization. I was hoping to see slick renders of the Wonders I was building, or to see defined models of my soldiers, but most everything tiny comes off as pixelated and lacking in detail. The visuals just felt off, and they’re definitely the most disappointing aspect of the mobile port.
With that being said, if you passed on the PC version, or just don’t have a rig capable of playing Civ VI on it, the iPad version still packs in all of the addictive qualities of the traditional version. The gameplay is addicting, and it’s hard to put down at times. The ability to bring you game with you wherever you go also makes this port very enticing for gamers on the go who can only get short sessions in throughout their day. Outside of some shady visuals, Civ VI for iPad is just what the turn-based doctor ordered.
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