civilization v

Farewell, Civilization V

The Civilization series of games moves in cycles. On October 30, 2001, Civilization III was released; October 25, 2005 brought Civilization IV; the latest incarnation of the series was released September 21, 2010; and now Civilization VI arrives on October 21. There is a wistful sense of loss in this pattern—after a spring and summer five years long, the massive canopy of the previous Civilization game fades away to make room for the next, bigger, and hopefully better incarnation. But this is the wrong metaphor. The Civilization series is concerned with civilization: with cities, with growth, with increasing cultural and…


Mini Metro makes mass transportation sublime

I don’t remember much from Jeen-Shang Lin’s Soil Mechanics class. Beyond a vague inkling of his whiteboard doodles and that time he paused mid-lecture to remark on my unexpected presence, most of it remains a formula-laden blur. Except for the one time he mentioned Pittsburgh’s North Shore Connector project. I can still recall his perplexed laugh. “Pittsburgh has some beautiful bridges,” or something like that, he said. “The people know how to build them, how to fix them … so why the hell did they decide to dig a tunnel underneath the Alleghany?” A shrug. More laughter. Then back to…


Three new games to get you through the work week

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. VEKTOR (iOS) BY CAGIL BEKTAS There’s never been an Akira videogame, but Vektor fits the mold. It’s a bite-sized cybercycling head rush, cleverly using tilt controls to accelerate as well as turning left or right. As the soundtrack thumps and the road grows ever more cluttered, don’t be surprised if your palms start to sweat. Perfect for: Fans of ultraviolent 80s cyberpunk anime, forward-thinking gearheads. Playtime: Minutes at a time. OCTOPUS CITY BLUES (PC, MAC & LINUX) BY GHOST IN A BOTTLE With a sickly purple/green…