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Prepare for Civilization 7 with this $3 Steam Summer Sale deal

Key art for Sid Meier's Civilization VI.
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One of the most exciting announcements for PC gaming fans during Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest live stream this year was for Sid Meier’s Civilization VII. It’s the next entry in a long-running turn-based strategy game series about building up and thriving as a civilization from scratch. Although Sid Meier’s Civilization VII does not come out until next year and doesn’t even get a full gameplay reveal until August, this year’s Steam Summer Sale provides players the perfect opportunity to catch up on the series.

Navigate to the Featured Deep Discounts section of the Steam Summer Sale and you’ll find that Sid Meier’s Civilization VI from Firaxis and 2K is available for just $3, a 95% discount from its typical $60 price tag. If you’ve never played a Civilization game before or want to familiarize yourself with the core tenets of the series ahead of its next entry, this Steam Summer Sale deal provides an optimal opportunity to check it out.

A gameplay screenshot from Sid Meier's Civilization VI.
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Sid Meier’s Civilization VI, like every other game in its series, serves as a centerpiece of the 4X strategy game subgenre. If you’re unfamiliar with that term, 4X is an abbreviation that applies to grand strategy games where the focus is to “explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate.” That gameplay loop is present in full force throughout Civilization VI. Players start by picking a Civilization, each of which has its own abilities and a unique historical figure as a leader. Standout leaders from the base version of Civilization VI include Cleopatra for Egypt, Gandhi for India, and Teddy Roosevelt for America.

After founding the first city at the start of the game, it’s up to players to do what’s necessary to make their civilization grow. This requires the creation of scout units that can explore, worker units that can upgrade and expand cities to give access to discovered resources, and various warrior units that can fight barbarians or other civilizations if need be. 4X and grand strategy games tend to get a little overwhelming, but the Civilization games are masterful in making this formula feel approachable.

Its world is divided into hex tiles, and it’s always clear where the boundaries of the civilization are and what kind of building is on each tile. The user interface is intuitive and will notify players if there’s a useful action they can still take before ending their turn. Even if you’re unfamiliar with 4X games, a thorough tutorial will ease you into its intricate systems. Civilization VI is also friendly to those who like to take a more aggressive approach and emphasize the “exterminate” part of 4X, thanks to easy-to-understand combat and leaders with specific abilities to give bonuses while at war.

Sid Meier's Civilization VI gameplay.
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While games like Frostpunk will constantly keep players in fear as their resources dwindle, Civilization VI is more about giving players a sense of satisfaction as they watch their cities grow tile by tile, with clear improvements or beneficial buildings on each one. It’s very easy to sink dozens of hours into a single campaign, and Civilization VI is built in a way that highly encourages players to do multiple campaigns with different leaders and civilizations.

I could bestow these compliments on every game in the Civilization series, but Civilization VI is the most recent and modern-feeling of the bunch. That means it has the most approachable game design and a cute, clay-like aesthetic that permeates its visuals. If you do end up choosing to pick this game up, don’t be surprised if you end up dropping hundreds of hours into it before Sid Meier’s Civilization VII launches sometime next year.

Sid Meier’s Civilization VI is available for just $3 on Steam until July 11. If you want all of its DLC as well, you can pick up the Sid Meier’s Civilization VI Anthology bundle for just $24.15, an 88% discount from its regular price of $209.86. It’s also available for Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, iOS, and Android.

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Tomas Franzese
Tomas Franzese is a Staff Writer at Digital Trends, where he reports on and reviews the latest releases and exciting…
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