:
Layout - grid Layout - list

24 Games Like Civilization

Civilization is a long running strategy game where you develop a society from hunter gatherer to space travel. There are many ways to approach this challenge; socially, militarily, politically or perhaps building wonders to impress other nations.
 

These games offer a similar experience or are about a theme that Civilization addresses. Also, if you want to play a game like Civilization but don’t have PC, PS4, Switch or Xbox One, these are a good alternative.

 

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB EVERYONE 10+

Release Date: 21/10/2016, updated in 2019

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Genres: Fighting, Open World, Strategy and Turn-Based.

 

 

Islanders

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Creative, Open World, Simulation, Strategy and Turn-Based

Duration: Between 5 minutes and half an hour to play a round.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Islanders is city-building game where you carefully place structures to earn points from their geographic location and relation to other features and buildings on your islands. Earn enough points and you unlock new buildings and eventually the chance to...


Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind

Platforms: PC and iOS

Genres: Narrative, Role-Playing, Simulation, Strategy and Turn-Based

Duration: Between 8 hours and 10 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind is a storybook strategy game, set in the same world as King of Dragon Pass. Similar to games like HeroQuest, RuneQuest or God Wars but unusual because you make decisions at your leisure then see them play out through static...


Mini Motorways

Platforms: Mac, PC and iOS Apple Arcade

Genres: Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Duration: Between 20 minutes and 1 hour to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Mini Motorways is by the same developer as Mini Metro but tasks you with planning a road network rather than subway. You lay down roads, traffic lights and motorways to ensure enough cars can get to the buildings that pop up in your city as time passes....


Castaway Paradise

Platforms: Mac, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Open World and Simulation

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Free-to-start. In-game purchases.

This game places you on your own tropical island. Make the place your own with decorations and furniture, dress up, collect bugs, fish, grow crops and help your new neighbours. It's an open-world game that offers an Animal Crossing style experience on...


Pocket City

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Creative, Open World and Strategy

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Free-to-start.

You build your own living breathing city by creating residential, commercial, and industrial zones, as well as placing special buildings. In addition to this Sim City style play you earn points to upgrade by competing missions.


Sim City (Series)

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Creative, Simulation and Strategy

Duration: Between 10 hours and 20 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

SimCity is a series of city-building game, created by Will Wright. Since their inception as educational experiences in 1989, the games have enabled players to design ambitious cities. The attraction is the open-ness of play, where you can let your...


Football Manager 2020 (Series)

Platforms: Android, Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC and iOS

Genres: Simulation, Sports, Strategy and Turn-Based

Duration: Between 141 hours and 170 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost. In-game purchases.

Football Manager is a football management simulation video game that started back in 1992 and has evolved each year. Now fully licenced for most of the Football Leagues, it offers an intricate way to manage a Football Club of your own.


Slime Rancher

Platforms: Mac, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Duration: Between 15 hours and 19 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost. In-game purchases.

Slime Rancher is a farming simulation with a difference. Rather than chickens, sheep or cows, you farm slimes. You explore the open world from a first-person perspective to find and collect slimes. As you develop your farm in numerous ways you generate...


Cities Skylines

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Creative, Simulation and Strategy

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost. Season pass and in-game purchases.

Cities: Skylines is a city-building simulation. It rekindled the attention to detail and ambitious city planning of the Sim City games. You zone buildings, place roads, set taxation, provide public services and public...


Subdefuge

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Open World, Puzzle, Simulation, Strategy and Turn-Based

Duration: Between half an hour and 1 hour to play a round.

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 10 players online.

Costs: Free-to-start. In-game purchases.

Subterfuge is a strategy game played with human opponents. The game is designed to be played over a week or so, to give players time to talk between goes. This encourages players to team up, trick or double-cross other players to get them to make the...


Pikmin 3 Deluxe (Series)

Platforms: GameCube, Nintendo 2DS/3DS, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii and Nintendo Wii U

Genres: Action, Fighting, Simulation and Strategy

Duration: Between 14 hours and 17 hours to complete.

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room, but you can’t play it online.

Costs: Free-to-start. In-game purchases.

Pikmin is a series of puzzle games where you direct hordes of titular plant-like creatures to navigate garden locations. Different colour Pikmins have different abilities so the challenge is to get enough of the right ones to destroy obstacles, avoid...


No Man's Sky

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Open World and Simulation

Duration: Between 30 hours and 90 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 32 players online.

Costs: Purchase cost.

This game invites you to take your spaceship to explore and colonise a universe rich with diverse planets, creatures and fauna. Facing so vast a space is daunting at first, but a rhythm of survival, combat and trading draw you into a space drama of your...


Wargroove

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Fighting, Strategy and Turn-Based

Duration: Between 20 hours and 40 hours to complete.

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 4 players online.

Costs: Purchase cost.

This is a fantasy war game, similar to Advanced Wars from the Gameboy era, where players take turns in a variety of battles. Computer-controlled and human opponents compete to achieve objectives and be the last player remaining.


Curious Expedition (Series)

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC and PlayStation 4

Genres: Adventure, Open World, Puzzle and Strategy

Duration: Between 1 and a half hours and 105 minutes to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Curious Expedition is an expedition simulation, in the late 19th century. You join historical people to explore a world map to gain fame, science and treasures. Each time you set out the world is different, with unique challenges requiring particular...


King of Dragon Pass

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Genres: Narrative, Role-Playing, Simulation, Strategy and Turn-Based

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

King of Dragon Pass is a fantasy strategy game where you control barbarian clans settling in the dangerous frontier region of Dragon Pass.


80 Days

Platforms: Android, Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC and iOS

Genres: Adventure and Turn-Based

Duration: Between 3 hours and 5 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

80 Days is a travel and culture discovery game set in 1872, where decisions about your journey around the world impact the course of the story and characters.


Age of Empires (Series)

Platforms: Mac, PC, PlayStation 2 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Open World and Strategy

Duration: Between 20 hours and 30 hours to complete.

Players: You can play this with 8 players online.

Costs: Purchase cost. In-game purchases.

Age of Empires is a strategy game where you command an ancient civilisation in real-time and must develop from hunter-gatherers to advanced forms of defence and war. This is similar territory to Civilization but focus on...


Grounded

Platforms: PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X | Series S

Genres: Action, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Duration: Between half an hour and 1 hour to play a round.

Players: You can play this with 4 players online.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Grounded is a survival game where you are tiny and find yourself in someone’s back yard garden. It’s like Honey I Shrunk The Kids meets Fortnite. Ants, cockroaches, and bees pose a threat along with environmental hazards like water, tall grass and...


Pine

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch and PC

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World and Simulation

Duration: Between 15 hours and 17 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Pine is an adventure game where you play a primitive young man searching for new land for his tribe. You discover five tribes of anthropomorphic creatures that need to be understood and overcome to enable your tribe to have somewhere to live.


Tooth and Tail

Platforms: Mac, PC and PlayStation 4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Fighting, Open World and Strategy

Duration: Between 5 minutes and 15 minutes to play a round.

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 4 players online.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Tooth and Tail is a real-time strategy game about anthropomorphic animals. Before each match, you choose a commander from four factions and six units from a pool of twenty. You then use these units to build farms, lookouts and gather resources.


Discovery Tour (Series)

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure and Simulation

Duration: Between 10 hours and 15 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Discovery Tour uses the worlds created for the main Assassin’s Creed games to offer an educational exploration experience.


Age of Wonders: Planetfall

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Shooting, Simulation, Strategy and Turn-Based

Duration: Between 10 hours and 50 hours to complete.

Players: You can play this with 10 players online.

Costs: Purchase cost. In-game purchases.

This is a turn based strategy game with a large strategic map that lead into multiple turn based battles. You build your empire with one of six unique factions, progress through each faction’s missions using your wits, military strength and diplomacy,...


XCOM (Series)

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Fighting, Shooting, Strategy and Turn-Based

Duration: Between 30 hours and 45 hours to complete.

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 2 players online.

Costs: Purchase cost. In-game purchases.

X-Com (which became XCOM) is a science fiction strategic battle game where you control units to stop an alien invasion. The long running series has come in many forms, but always has in common the finely tuned turn-based ground combat where you control...


Total War (Series)

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Action, Fighting, Simulation, Strategy and Turn-Based

Duration: Between 35 hours and 45 hours to complete.

Players: You can play this with 2 players online.

Costs: Purchase cost. In-game purchases.

The Total War series are strategic turn-based war games. Each game has a different historical or fanstasy setting where multiple armies battle and compete for terriotry. You can win by military force, religion, diplomacy, espionage and economics.


 
Content devider

Civilization is in These Lists

In addition to the similar games listed above, which have been linked to this game specifically in the database, you may find games with a similar theme to Civilization in the following lists:

Nourish Youthful Ambition In 7-12 Year-Olds

As children get older, they develop stronger ideas of what they want to play. Friends at school and YouTube stars create popular gaming fads for the latest titles. These are a lot of fun, but children’s choices can end up being narrowed down to big-budget or on-trend games. The games suggested here go beyond the usual suspects. While offering age-appropriate alternatives to older-rated games, they are still exuberant, intriguing and create raucous gaming fun that fires the imagination of children aged 7 to 12 years old.
 

BAFTA Nominated Games

The British Academy Games Awards are presented annually to recognise, honour and reward outstanding creative achievement in Games. The awards categories reflect the wealth and diversity of the games sector.

The awards started in 2004 and are presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). For parents, they are a great way of discovering brilliant games to play in their family. The games included here are from the:
  • The Family Games award highlights games that will work really well for parents and children. These often include multiplayer features and feature a cast of family-friendly characters.
  • The Games Beyond Entertainment award is also of interest as this highlights more unusual games with an emphasis on storytelling that addresses topics that parents may find appealing themselves.

 

Big Budget Popular Games

These games are big, brash and popular. They have big budgets which means the visual and interactive quality is particularly high. They also have strong and wide ranging player communities.
 

Educational Games That Are Also Good Games

These games have an educational element to them, but also offer experiences that are good games in their own right. This isn't busywork to trick you into learning, but clever and innovative ways to encounter history, physics, engineering, maths, geography and language subjects without feeling like you are in school. They also teach softer, deeper skills like long term strategy, planning, balancing systems, emotional intelligence, compassion, team-work and self-care.

Some of these games are aimed at younger players to play on their own, but others (as indicated by their PEGI ratings) are better for teenagers or played together in a family. Find some games that pique your interest, read through the details and decide how your child might benefit from playing them.
 

Wield Absolute Control

Things don’t stay put. You’re the only one keeping the ship afloat. You can’t get people to do what you tell them. The effort you spend doesn’t produce the results it deserves. Well, in these video games you get to wield complete control over people, things, situations or even whole worlds.

If games offer an escape from chaos, these games are particularly good at granting a sense of satisfying agency and power as they do that. Whether it’s ordering the perfect stock room in Wilmot’s Warehouse, organising your island in Animal Crossing, perfectly controlling the flow of traffic in Mini Motorways or even build civilisation just the way you want it in Civilization the sense of satisfaction and calm from the achievement is second to none.
 

Get Children Reading

Image 221We have partnered with the National Literacy Trust to create this resource of video games that encourage and enable reading and writing skills.

The National Literacy Trust is a charity dedicated to improving the reading, writing, speaking and listening skills of children and young people who need it most, giving them the best possible chance of success in school, work and life.

Video games have significant benefits for children who are reluctant or struggling readers. They give them access to stories through interaction and world building which they may not have been able to read in print. Video games also have benefits for families where parents may not be confident readers, meaning that sharing stories as a family is still accessible to all. The rise of video games on smartphones and tablets, as well as more affordable game consoles has made the sharing of interactive stories easier.

Image 241There are different ways that video games create this kind of collateral reading and aid literacy:
  • Reading In Games: Video games offer all sorts of reading at all levels. This can be from simple narrative in a game like Florence to dialogue in a game like Mutazione or even just identifying useful items and game mechanics with in-game descriptions in a game like Zelda Breath of the Wild. Then there are games like Thousand Threads that help players think about the power and the consequence of words.
  • Reading Around Games: Video games create worlds that often spawn secondary texts. This can be official novels that expand the world or guide books that offer instructions and help. Knights and Bikes, for example, has spin off books, a cartoon series and recipes to read.
  • Routes Into Books: Many popular book series, such as Beast Quest, offer a range of video games as an easy first step into those worlds that lead to then reading the books themselves.
  • Communication Around Games: As well as reading, games encourage all sorts of creative output. This can be to contribute to the many online forums and message boards to talk about the game. This can also be to write fan-fiction after being inspired about a game world or character. The Sims, for example, has an avid community writing and creating all kinds of content online.

 
Content devider




Image 242 Image 243 Thank you for using our resource, supported by AskAboutGames, ParentZone and PlayAbility Initiative. We are editorially independent, written by parents for parents, but welcome sponsorship, partnership and suggestions. Email our editor for details on these opportunities.

The information on this database is designed to support and complement the in-depth discussion and advice about video game "addiction", violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. If you have any concerns or questions in these areas, email our editor who is quick to respond or can arrange for a one-to-one conversation.

YouTube | Facebook | Twitter | Discord | Contact | About