FreeCol - Colonization for modern computers

Well, by trying another dialogue option in conversation with Google, I tracked down an (incomplete) amiga .mod soundtrack at

It looks like Freecol already has almost everything that was in stock Colonization, so that’s good. I loved Col as a kid, and I’m wondering - why didn’t it take off the same way Civ did?

I had Colonization back in the day and I remember playing just one game. The Revolutionary War was exciting but I remember doing so much fiddling with trade routes that I couldn’t bring myself to play it again. From my fuzzy memory of it, Colonization was far more micro-managey than Civ.

I’d add it was also much more specific and historicaly tied down(like EU is) than Civ was. I guess many of it’s potential market would have been Civ fans, but even though i did like Col it was the open play style of Civ that made that my prefered choice.
Also i didn’t enjoy having to subjugate the native americans with guns+whisky+the bible, that just made me feel dirty.

Yes. I took a look, and it appears that all it is missing in terms of actual content are some famous person powers. Which is enough for me not to play, but I’m hopeful they actually stick to their time schedule and have something complete out later this year.

Yeah, it was Civ limited in time but with a more sophisticated production/economic model. It even had the annoyance of enemy units fortifying their troops in your city space. I too thought Civ was a stronger game. Colonization would have been much better if there was AI competition for the Founding Fathers. As is, it’s mostly an issue of collecting them in the order you want them.

You were supposed to feel dirty. That’s a part I like about Colonization.

You could choose to get along with the natives - I’d sometimes suck up to a few of the tribes, arm them with muskets and send them after the French. But going this route would just slow down your progress in many instances.

“Winning” the game often forced you to make compromises or break promises you’d made. It didn’t shy away from this aspect of European expansion to the Americas.


If corruption and subjugation of the Indians made you feel dirty, just think how’d you’d have felt if Sid had included slavery. ISTR reading that he wanted to, but that Microprose drew the line there.

I also felt that the game went awfully slowly, and after a couple of tries went back to playing Civ. I was blown away by the water effects, though.

Don’t forget FreeCiv, my favourite Civ! (I haven’t played Civ4).

There’s also C-Evo, it’s not quite as good, though it looks better.

Civ 2 is the best civ, imo. I haven’t played enough Civ 4 to make a judgement about whether it has solved the four archers holding off two tanks problem.

Yea, I didn’t play a lot of Civ2, I was playing Carmageddeon and Mario 64 when it game out. Those were more on my brain wave.

That said, if you like Civ2, you’ll probably like FreeCiv, as that is what they were attempting to recreate. I don’t know if Civ2 had smallpox and largepox as feasable strategies (building fast and close together vs. slower and spreadout). I know in Civ3, smallpox would only take you so far before your people would become unhappy, and then riot. Largepox worked better, though you could start to run out of money before it paid off.

Plus, there’s multiplayer, as in more than two. Hit me up for PBEM if you want, it’s been awhile since I’ve played.

I bought Colonization and gave up after playing one game. I really enjoyed the original Civ, Colonization seemed much less enjoyable. Too much fiddling as you say. The A.I. also seemed extremely poor. The combat algorithm seemed even worst than Civ, far to many situations where a much stronger unit was destroyed by a weaker one.


I loved Colonization. It’s a fantastic Civ game. Better than Civ IMO.

All that fiddling people bitch about is because (I think) every city needed to specialize. It was very difficult to build a city that could do all things (troops, industry, varying agricultures, trade, outposts) and when you could manage city like that it was the jewel in your empire. When I play civ most cities get the same build sequence. Late in the game most cities are content wise the same. Colonization was different and for tangible reasons. To me it really felt like you were carving out a civilization from the wild.

Combat was cool too but I do remember a bug in the original where a unit would inexplicably become invincible for a span of turns. This was my biggest gripe that I can remember.

Just as a heads-up, Freecol 0.7.0 is out. It appears to have every feature in the original Colonization, sans music and some graphics. :)

Neat. I may have to check it out. Though I can still play the original.

1.1 is out now. Seems to have a lot more stuff than the original game. Has anyone tried it yet?

Also, does anyone know what the end game is like here? The teleporting innovation fleet at the end of the original game kind of ruined it for me.

Seems you’re in luck! From the game’s documentation, which is available as a PDF or an online single sheet:

Thanks for bumping this thread, by the way. This totally looks like my jam, especially with version numbers bigger than 1.0!

Thank you for the info and the link to the documentation. Reading about the choice of nations and the victory conditions there shows there is a lot about the game I have forgotten. I’m looking forward to trying this new version, it sounds like my jam too.😃

I downloaded this and it looked much “older” graphics and UI wise than I remembered. It turns out I may never have played it, the game I remembered playing is “Sid Meier’s Civilization IV: Colonization,” a stand alone game built on the Civ 4 engine. It seems there are now a number of mods for that, so down the next rabbit hole I go.

I remember some people playing Colonization a lot on the two lab computers in my dorm when it came out. But I never tried it myself. I used to play Civilization a lot back then, (during the summers I spent at home, not at school) but never thought to try Colonization. And then Civilization 2 came out soon after, I think in 1996? And then there was no going back after that, the interface improvements and graphics were so far ahead of Civ and Colonization.

I had forgotten FreeCol was a thing, so thanks for reminding me. Colonization is one of my all-time favorite games, but that may have something to do with the fact that I was 9 or 10 when I got it (my family only had a Mac for a long time), and the idea of a historical computer game of this type pretty much blew my mind.