Colonization, by Microprose, was a computer game largely based on, and extremely similar to Civilization, the great turn-based strategy titan. Focusing on a single era in history (1500-1800), the player takes on the role of the discoverer of the New World, playing as either English, French, Dutch, or Spanish.
This New World can be the historically accurate Americas (North and South) or a randomly generated world with varying resources and challenges. Overseeing economic, military and political growth, gamers strive to establish independence from the mother country while competing with other colonies for control of the New World.

Players of Colonization will find a lot that is familiar (to Civilization) - and therefore easy to learn - plus new and exciting challenges. In Colonization, gamers can assign colonists to any of 20 different professions including farming, fur trading, weaving, mining, soldiering and so on. With Training, colonists can achieve mastery of their chosen skills, which increases their efficiency. This diversity and efficiency help make each colony productive and self-sufficient.
The overall goal of the game is to win independence from your country. Choosing forefathers (the equivalent of scrolls of knowledge), and building your population and military, half of the game is encopassed in preparing your Revolution. After this has begun, you must fight off the massive tory armies and verify your liberty.

While this may seem difficult in itself, the developers threw in another variable: Native Americans. Made up of several tribes with historically accurate traits and locations - I.E. the Inca, Aztec, Arawak, and Iroquois - they are easily be friended. You can make peace with them, attempting to make them allies against the expeditionary force your monarch will send after you declare independence, or you can simply wipe them out and loot their villages. Either way, they will play a huge role in how your colonies turn out.

A game of the early 90s (running on MS-Dos), Colonization was surprsingly addictive. Heavy players of Civilization easily fell in love with it, as it provided hours of turn-based, isometric fun. Unforunately, Microprose never fixed its difficulty levels, and there are still cases when significantly low level units will mysteriously destroy a higher level ones (I.E. a Spanish Caravel annihilating a British Man-O-War).

I guess some things never change.
* Microprose's official site -

This is a short description of the term.

Colonization is one of the two possible results of Imperialism. As a term it began its existence in the 16th century. It derives from the Greek concept of colony as the movement and settlement of people from one country or area to another. The distinctive feature of this was that immigrants intended to establish societies as similar as possible to those they had left behind. They had no primary concern with the indigenous people they found overseas.

As a result most settlements were founded where indigenous people were relatively few or weak. This was so there would be room for the settlements and it would be relatively easy to defend them. Examples of this of this would English settlers in North America and Portuguese settlers in Angola and Mozambique. Often these European communities would import an additional labour force from non-European countries. Although Britain abolished slavery in 1833 and most other European states had done so by 1870 the need for labour continued. It was met by bringing a technically free labour force for a specified time under contract (mainly from Asia). So because of this thus a key feature of most settlement colonies was a complex and diverse ethnic mix. Over time a substantial dilution of ethnic peculiarities occurred.

The distinction between this earlier phase of colonization was the successful transformation of a non-European into a fundamentally European country. However there were failures on the margins such as Algeria, Angola, Kenya and Zimbabwe. It is also important to remember that not only was the old culture replaced and dominated, but often the indigenous population (for example in Australia and the USA) faced a disastrous decline in its population.

Col`o*ni*za"tion (?), n. [Cf. F. colonisation.]

Tha act of colonizing, or the state of being colonized; the formation of a colony or colonies.

The wide continent of America invited colonization. Bancroft.


© Webster 1913.

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