First off let me tell you some good news. Here’s what Tilted Mill Entertainment, Inc., the makers of Caesar IV have to say about the legal status of this game (which is also available on their site):
This version of the original Caesar is no longer supported by VUG, Sierra, and nor will it be by us. But it is free!
So that means this game is now available to have (hurrah), so here’s the review.
You are a very capable leader, who needs to govern one province after another in order to become the emperor - the one and only sovereign over the Roman Empire. At the very start you get to choose your name and ‘handicap’. There are a few difficulty levels to choose from and you get to choose the starting amount of money.
Next you’ll be given a province to govern (randomly). Here you have several things you can do. You need to build you province capital. This city will be the source of your income and your strength.
Build it well. You need to place a forum (without it nobody will wish to live in your city). Next you need to lay down some infrastructure (roads and water sources) and then you’re ready to set up housing. Remember the houses must not be too far away from the road.
To improve the living condition of the citizens you need to build entertainment and sanitation structures. Also they’ll demand certain goods, thus you need to build them a market. Also they’ll wish to find good jobs; hence the industry should be built. Just remember that nobody wants to live near the industrial or military structures (so those would be low class housing districts). But these industries and the taxes you collect will be your income (and you can’t do anything without money).
Besides the military barracks, you’ll also need prefectures (for keeping law and order and also as fire fighting service). To insure greater safety of the city you may also erect city walls.
On the provincial level you also get to build up your army. There are some tribes in the province you need to tame and connect to the capital; also there are some raw resources you need to exploit. Do all of this, pay tributes to the emperor and watch those numbers rise. When they reach a high enough level, you’ll be promoted and will go to the next province (until finally you will become the next emperor).
The game is purely brilliant (even the graphics and sound effects are nice - although they could be better). All of you who know Caesar II (also reviewed on our site) will be surprised how much of the original it kept (it only had some graphical makeover and some improved control system). So basically the second part simply improved on the few downsides of this game.