Civilization 6 is free to try, 90% off to buy this weekend

The historically-flavored 4X Sid Meier’s Civilization 6 is free to play on Steam this weekend, letting anyone try the core experience of the most recent game in the long-running and genre defining strategy series. The core game is free, which includes some eight years of updates and free civilizations to play as—enough to keep you occupied for months, not just a single weekend.

It’s also 90% off, just $6, for another 44 hours at press time. The two major expansions are on sale as well: Gathering Storm is 88% off, and Rise and Fall is 83% off. That also cuts a lot of cost off of the entire-game-collecting Civilization 6 Anthology bundle.

Civilization 6 released in 2016, and got a 93/100 review from PC Gamer at the time.  Reviewer Len Hafer recognized it as the “ultimate digital board game,” saying that “more than ever in the series, the board—the world—is the soul of every opportunity and challenge.” Since then, it has had three major expansions and a boatload of new leaders and civilizations to play as.

Civilization is considered by many to be the progenitor of the 4X genre, the “explore, expand, exploit, exterminate” gameplay that has spawned many, many imitators and twists. In recent series, however, Civilization has leaned away from its more military past focus to allow for alternate victories based on diplomacy, sciences, and culture, befitting its status as a historically-flavored game.

Indeed, Civilization has been a huge influence on the entirety of PC Gaming since the original Sid Meier’s Civilization released back in 1991. 

“I have no idea where we’d be without Sid Meier’s Civilization. Its influence has been an overwhelming constant for decades, defining generations of strategy games and developers,” wrote Fraser Brown in 2021,  explaining that PC gaming would look very different without Civilization.

You can find Civilization 6 on Steam, where it’s free to try this weekend and 90% off.

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