Starting today, an Internet connection and a web browser is all you need to play Civilization. The Facebook incarnation of the strategy series, Civilization World, is now in open beta.
You can enter the beta by heading here. You'll then be prompted to sign into your Facebook account. Assuming the servers aren't completely slammed by masses of other Civilization fans, you should be able to play right away.
Civilization World was first announced in late 2009 as Civilization Network. It was first intended for a 2010 release but then dropped off the radar for most of last year. 2K confirmed late last year that the game was still alive.
"[Civilization World] will allow you to join together with your friends to create the world’s most powerful, richest, smartest, or just plain coolest civilization," said Civilization creator Sid Meier when the game was announced. "You can coordinate your strategy to win great battles, share your technology to jump ahead of your rivals, lobby your family and friends to form your own government and win vital elections, manage and grow your cities to maximize production and happiness, spy on your enemies, and work with your friends to create the great Wonders of the World. The game will offer everything you enjoy in Civ in a fully persistent environment - you can play as much as you like, whenever you like, and it’ll be free to play."
Each match has a "well-defined beginning and end," Meier would later explain. At the end, one player's civilization will be deemed the most successful. There are short terms goals as well, though. The game will recognize the most successful civilizations in individual eras of time.
Your successes in the game will earn you trophies. These items will stay with you even when you start a new match. You can show these trophies off in your throne room. And really, isn't showing off what Facebook is all about?