Sid Meier's Colonization is a turn-based 4X strategy game (based on the early European colonization of the New World) developed and published by MicroProse for the PC (both MS-DOS and Windows), Macintosh, and Amiga on June 26, 1995.
Players take control of a single colony from one of four nations (England, France, Spain, and the Netherlands) as they try to build and expand their settlements while maintaining their local economies and building trade relationships (or warring relationships) with the motherland, the colonies of other players, and Native Americans. Eventually, the monarchy demands too much from players, and the overall goal in the game shifts to being the first player (before a certain time) to declare independence from the motherland and defeat their homeland's usurping army.
The game received an official remake in 2008 from Firaxis (published by 2K) titled Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Colonization. Despite the name, it is not an expansion to Sid Meier's Civilization IV. (It does, however, use the same game engine).
Once the New World has been discovered, the player is challenged with finding a place to settle down and build a colony. As soon as the colony has been established, the player will be able to engage in trade with the Old World as well as the other colonizing powers. New citizens can also be hired to populate the new world, although in time, interest in the new world will lead to an influx of people interested in populating the player's colonies. As the game progresses, the player will discover many wonders, establish contact with the natives, and interact with the other colonies from rival nations.
In due time, the course of the game will lead to the player preparing for and declaring independence from its European mother nation. This will lead to a war of independence that the player must win to become an independent nation. A player can also choose to end the game by resigning. However, at the end of the game, whether by resignation or independence, the colonists will name something of significance after the player depending on how well the colonies were governed.
The game offers the option to play on a randomly created 'new world' at the start of a new game alongside the option to play on the American Hemispheres. These customizable worlds allow for greater replayability.
Another very important mechanic found in the game are the many different resources that require specialists to effectively reap and refine the resources. Training and recruiting the proper specialists is one of the major challenges of the game.
A key feature in Colonization are the founding fathers of the colonies (and eventual nation), who are chosen at regular intervals. Each founding father grants specific bonuses to the player and the founding fathers can be chosen to benefit the player's style of play or to complement current goals.
Colonization also allows for different ways to treat the Natives. They can be fought for their gold, converted into Catholicism or Protestantism, engaged in trade, or used as tutors for the purposes of creating a specialized colonist. They can also be hired as mercenaries to fight against other colonizers or tribes.