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Civilization: Call to Power

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Civilization: Call to Power
Director(s)Cecilia Barajas
Producer(s)Mark Lamia
Designer(s)William Westwater
Programmer(s)Steve Mariotti
Artist(s)Rick Glenn
Platform(s)Windows, Linux, Mac OS, BeOS
May 15, 1999[3]
Mac OS
Genre(s)Turn-based strategy
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Civilization: Call to Power is a turn-based strategy game developed by Activision for Microsoft Windows as an attempt to capitalize on the success of the Civilization computer games by Sid Meier. It was ported to Linux by Loki Software, as well as BeOS by Wildcard Design, becoming one of the very few commercial games for that operating system.

A sequel, Call to Power II, was released 18 months after the original. The sequel could not have "Civilization" in its title because Activision did not have a license for the "Civilization" name for a second game.[7]


Timeline and epochs[edit]

One of the most noticeable differences from the previous Civilization games is that the timeline of the game does not end in the 21st century, but rather goes to the year 3000.

There are five epochs in this game: Ancient Age, Renaissance, Modern Age, Genetic Age, and Diamond Age. Call to Power adds a more thorough space colonization as well as sea colonization, with the appropriate technological advances (available in the Genetic Age).

Terrain features[edit]

Similar to Civilization II, the game uses an isometric view, although each tile is actually two separate tiles: the space level on top of a "terrestrial" level (thus, this game has a z-coordinate to represent position). Players can toggle between "Earth view" and "space view". All land and naval units are exclusively terrestrial, although most land units can be launched into space inside a cargo pod by a rail launcher in cities or via a space plane.

Space fighters and space planes can freely travel in space and in the atmosphere. While the SWARM warrior can survive in space as well as the earth, it cannot launch itself into space. There are also some units that exist in space exclusively (i.e. cannot make a re-entry into the atmosphere) such as the Star Cruiser, the Phantom and the Space Bomber.

Space produces no resources, as it is a vast void. However, once a space colony is built, players can build food pods and assembly bays to produce resources for the colony.

"Water tiles" are also divided into several types. After submarines are available, the type of tile in oceans can be seen (e.g. continental shelf, deep sea trench, rift, etc.). Once the technology for sea colonies is discovered, undersea tunnels can be built to link to other sea colonies and dry land. Fisheries and undersea mines can also be built to produce resources.


In Call to Power, pollution is produced in meaningful quantities after the Industrial Revolution advance. Cities that produce a lot of pollution will start to produce "dead tiles" within their city radius. Such tiles produce no resources. If pollution is left unchecked, eventually the game will give a warning that global disasters will occur. Disasters include change in climate, ozone deterioration, and global warming. In the case of global warming, the game informs the player that "ice caps have melted" and sea levels have risen. Tiles affected are turned into either coast or shallow water, and cities on tiles that become shallow water or coast are destroyed.

The destruction of the ozone layer causes a large number of land tiles to become dead tiles. If a nation is appropriately technologically advanced, then that nation can repair dead tiles, but only at a significant cost of industrial production. The "Gaia Controller" wonder removes all pollution in the game but can be built only in the Diamond Age.

Pollution is exacerbated by several city facilities such as factories and oil refineries. On the flip side, some facilities such as recycling plants and nuclear reactors will reduce the production of pollution. Additionally, certain events such as space launches and use of nuclear weapons will result in one-time additions of pollution each time that they occur.

An initial setup feature is game play without pollution problems.


While playing the game, the happiness level of the citizens must be maintained. If a city is far away from the capital, is overcrowded, polluted, overworked, starved or underpaid, the happiness level will drop with riots and revolts occurring. Cities also experience unhappiness during wartime, especially if they have just been conquered by another empire. Many terrorist units can decrease the happiness of an enemy city. For example, if a city is "infected", it will lose both population and happiness. If the happiness' level goes under 75, then the city is in danger of rioting. If a city riots, it does not produce any work during that turn. If happiness in cities continues to decline, revolution becomes a possibility. If that happens, the city's inhabitants become "barbarians", or change nationality to another country if another country has the Egalitarian Act Wonder. However, if the happiness of a city reaches very high levels, it "celebrates". Some buildings can increase happiness (e.g. temples, cathedrals, body transplants), and wonders can increase happiness (e.g. Immunity Chip, Ramayana).


These can be built by any civilization who has acquired the technology to do so. They take a longer time to build than ordinary buildings or units of that age, but have a greater effect, and a cinematic is shown when the player builds one. The wonders usually affect the civilization as a whole (with exceptions, such as Galileo's Telescope which effectively doubles scientific production in the city which it is built), and can only be built by one civilization. As with previous games, wonders can go obsolete with technological advances; if someone researches "Age of Reason", the Stonehenge wonder no longer has any benefits. Generally, wonders of the future have a greater effect than wonders of the past. If a city containing a wonder is taken by another player, then ownership of the wonder and its benefits go to the conqueror.

Victory conditions[edit]

Apart from conquering all opponents, players can achieve victory by completing the Alien Life Project, which is triggered by the "wormhole sensor" wonder. After a wormhole probe is sent through the wormhole, an alien life lab and a series of upgrades must be built to achieve victory. A player can also win by converting all enemy cities on the map. The final option is to get the highest score by the year 3,000.


Call to Power was published by Activision for Windows in 1999.

A Linux port was announced on January 26, 1999 by Loki Software.[8] Pre-orders were collected by Loki and via GameCellar.[citation needed] The port was set to ship in the week of April 26, but the date was postponed by a week to include bug fixes by Activision.[9] On May 15, Loki announced it had begun shipping. It was distributed in Europe via SUSE by Media Markt and other retailers.[10] It marked the availability of the first major commercial video game for the Linux platform.[11] In January 2000, the game was also released for Macintosh.[12] A BeOS port is also known to exist.


The PC version received average reviews according to the review aggregation website GameRankings.[13] Next Generation said that the former version was "not without its good points, but in the end it's difficult to enjoy. Gamers hungry for a worthy sequel to Civ II will find it in Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri."[24]

The game was the 16th-best-selling computer game of the first half of 1999.[27] According to PC Data, a firm that tracked sales in the U.S., it sold 293,046 units by September 2000.[28]

The game was a nominee for GameSpot's "Most Disappointing Game of the Year" award, which went to Ultima IX: Ascension.[29]


  1. ^ Mac OS port developed by Westlake Interactive;[6] Linux port developed by Loki Software.[3] BeOS port developed by Wildcard Design.[5]
  2. ^ Mac OS port published by MacSoft.[6] BeOS port published by Wildcard Design.[5]


  1. ^ Mullen, Michael (April 5, 1999). "Civilization: Call to Power Ships [date mislabeled as "April 27, 2000"]". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on June 19, 2000. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  2. ^ "PC software new releases". The Daily Telegraph. April 2, 1999. p. 6. Retrieved January 9, 2024. Civilization: Call to Power//Out Now
  3. ^ a b "Archive". Loki Software. May 15, 1999. Archived from the original on December 1, 2001. Retrieved January 19, 2024.
  4. ^ "Macintosh Games". EB Games. Archived from the original on June 22, 2000. Retrieved January 19, 2024.
  5. ^ a b c "Wildcard Design News". Wildcard Design. March 22, 2000. Archived from the original on August 16, 2000. Retrieved January 19, 2024.
  6. ^ a b "Civilization: Call to Power". Macworld. February 29, 2000. Retrieved January 19, 2024.
  7. ^ Geryk, Bruce (November 20, 2000). "Call to Power II Review [date mislabeled as "May 17, 2006"]". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on December 11, 2004. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  8. ^ "Loki To Launch Activision's Civilization: Call To Power for Linux". Business Wire. Berkshire Hathaway. January 26, 1999. Archived from the original on April 23, 1999. Retrieved June 15, 2019 – via Yahoo.com.
  9. ^ "Where to Buy Civilization: Call to Power for Linux". Linux Today. TechnologyAdvice. April 26, 1999.
  10. ^ "May 1999 News". Loki Software. Archived from the original on June 11, 2001.
  11. ^ Kepley, Travis (May 13, 2010). "A brief history of commercial gaming on Linux (and how it's all about to change)". Opensource.com. Red Hat.
  12. ^ "Civilization: Call to Power". Gamer Info.
  13. ^ a b "Civilization: Call to Power for PC". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on May 20, 2019. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  14. ^ Savignano, Lisa Karen. "Civilization: Call to Power (Mac) - Review". AllGame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on November 15, 2014. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  15. ^ Cirulis, Martin E. (April 6, 1999). "Civilization: Call to Power (PC)". Gamecenter. CNET. Archived from the original on August 15, 2000. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  16. ^ Chick, Tom (April 27, 1999). "Civilization: Call to Power". Computer Games Strategy Plus. Strategy Plus, Inc. Archived from the original on June 25, 2003. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  17. ^ Jones, George (July 1999). "Zero-Sum Game (Civilization: Call to Power Review)" (PDF). Computer Gaming World. No. 180. Ziff Davis. pp. 145–46. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  18. ^ Edge staff (April 1999). "Civilization: Call to Power (PC)". Edge. No. 70. Future Publishing. p. 84. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  19. ^ Grant, Jules (April 18, 1999). "Civilization: Call to Power (PC)". The Electric Playground. Greedy Productions, Inc. Archived from the original on June 22, 2004. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  20. ^ Brenesal, Barry (1999). "Civilization: Call to Power Review for PC on GamePro.com". GamePro. IDG Entertainment. Archived from the original on December 1, 2004. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  21. ^ Broady, Vince (April 16, 1999). "Civilization: Call to Power Review [date mislabeled as "May 1, 2000"]". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on January 26, 2005. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  22. ^ Ward, Trent C. (April 20, 1999). "Civilization: Call to Power (PC)". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
  23. ^ Chen, Jeffrey (June 7, 2002). "Civilization: Call to Power (Mac)". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  24. ^ a b "Civilization: Call to Power (PC)". Next Generation. No. 55. Imagine Media. July 1999. p. 95. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  25. ^ Burns, Enid (July 1999). "Civilization: Call to Power". PC Accelerator. No. 11. Imagine Media. p. 85. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  26. ^ McDonald, T. Liam (July 1999). "Civilization: Call to Power". PC Gamer. Vol. 6, no. 7. Imagine Media. pp. 98–99. Archived from the original on November 13, 1999. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  27. ^ IGN staff (August 3, 1999). "And the Winners Are..." IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on March 5, 2000. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  28. ^ "The Numbers Racket" (PDF). Computer Gaming World. No. 194. Ziff Davis. September 2000. p. 55. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  29. ^ GameSpot staff. "The Best & Worst of 1999 (Most Disappointing Game of the Year)". GameSpot. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on August 16, 2000. Retrieved June 11, 2021.

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