Pros: A well paced game, very appropriate for DS, replay value is very high, appropriate for all skill levels.
Cons: Play ends after so many turns, the historical stuff is cringe worthy, minor touch screen issues.
This is probably one of the best titles available on the Nintendo DS. I've played it several times -- the replay value is very high because each time you play it, it is a different experience. There are four different ways of winning. You can win a Cultural Victory by obtaining a certain number Great Person, Wonders of the World, and converted enemy cities, a Technological Victory by obtaining a certain number of technologies, an Economic Victory by obtaining a certain amount of gold, or a Domination Victory by capturing enemy capitals. There is a lot of strategy involved in which civilization you choose to be as well because the different civilizations have different advantages. One civilization might start the game with a cathedral, giving them a cultural advantage, while another might start with stronger warriors, giving them a military advantage. You can also play scenarios in which the game works differently -- for example a scenario in which barbarians are more aggressive or a scenario in which naval battles play a larger part. The diversity of ways to play is probably this game's biggest advantage.
The game is a bit simplified from larger console versions, but this works well for a DS game. Playing through a campaign typically last a couple of hours which means that you can pick up the game a play it in an afternoon. The graphics aren't high end, but they serve their purpose well. The menus all work well making micro-managing your civilization a breeze.
Occasionally, tapping on the touch screen isn't as precise as I'd like it, causing my troops to move in ways that I don't want them to move, but this doesn't happen often. I have to admit, that my inner historian cringes when Chicago is sitting right next to London and Gandhi is talking to Alexander the Great, but I can see why they made the game this way and the attributes that are given to each civilization actually make sense.
This game's biggest problem is that if you haven't won in a certain number of turns, the game just ends. I do not know why the game is made this way because given enough time, someone would invariably win. It is very annoying to be playing and planning and then be told that the game will end in 5 turns.
Still, this is a fun, complex game that can be played over and over again. 5- stars.