Most games for smartphones and tablets are designed to be simpler than PC and console titles. These games appeal to different audiences, and they’re easier to play in short sessions on the go.
That’s not the case with the latest high-profile iPad game release. Civilization VI is now available as an iPad exclusive, and you can try it for free. If you want the full game, it’ll cost you a whopping $60.
For the uninitiated, Civilization VI is the latest in a long line of turn-based strategy games. You choose a civilization and start out at the dawn of civilization. Your civ grows and becomes more powerful by developing new technologies like agriculture, masonry, sailing, and (eventually) electricity. But there are other civilizations in the world, and many of them may encroach upon your territory. To win, you must best all the other civs in one way or another. There are military victories, but you can also win with diplomacy, culture, or religion.
Civilization VI launched in late 2016 on PC, then several months later it came to Linux and Mac. Firaxis Games developed the PC version, but the Linux and Mac versions are courtesy of Aspyr. As for the new iPad port, that comes from Aspyr as well. That’s the same developer responsible for porting games like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire to mobile devices. Making Civilization VI run on a tablet is a much more impressive feat, though. It’s the same experience you get on a PC, which is probably why the developer feels justified pricing it like a full PC game.
You can download the game for free on your iPad, and it supports a surprising number of models — even the original iPad Air and the Mini 2 are compatible. It’s a pretty massive 3.14GB download, though.
The free version is limited to 60 moves (maybe half an hour or so of gameplay), then you have to pay the $60 upgrade price to unlock the full game. That’s what Civilization VI cost on PC when it was new more than a year ago. Today, you can get the PC version for $30, and the deluxe version with additional content is just $10 more. That extra content isn’t available on iPad. At least not yet. For a limited time, the game is on sale for $30, the same as the PC version. That deal goes away on January 4th.