For the past couple of days I have been playing Sid Meirs' Colonization. After writing up a post about it a few days ago I started looking around for a place to download it. I was a bit uncertain whether it would actually work on this computer and was not to suprised when a few downloads turned out bad. However, I eventually found one that did work and have been playing that since. It is very much like the Sid Meirs' Civ series but despite the horrible graphics I find myself loving this old game. Everything is right about it, and even me who is a hopeless tactical player, can appreciate and enjoy it. Being the tactical failure that I am I first played it on easiest which basically lets you win. But non-the-less it was very enjoyable.

My sister noticed me playing the game and asked if she could have a go. I left her alone for an hour and came back to see chaos. She had no idea what she was doing or what she was supposed to be doing, saying that the game had no tutorial from which to learn what to do. And I realized that she was right. The game just launches you straight into the action-packed world of building your own colony without explaining a whole lot. This seems to be true for many of the early games; the player is just expected to 'figure it out' with minimal explanation. It may have been difficult for my sister, who is definitely not a gamer, to play properly without a tutorial but I had no problems even though I hadn't played for over 8 years.

Nowadays nearly every modern game that comes out has a tutorial. Sometimes these are separated from the game's overall mission or storyline before you get to play the actual campaign, while others integrate the tutorial into the campaign/story. But they all have a tutorial. But why? What has changed through the years? Do modern computers and games provide a much steeper learning curve then they did back then? Or were games just for ultra nerds who didn't need tutorials? I have to say that I detest tutorials, many leaving me feeling more confused about the game then when I started. For some games they don't need much of a tutorial like Call of Duty because it is simple and everyone has played that kind of game before. But its rare that you come across a game which is different to others yet is simple enough not to need a detailed tutorial. I consider colonization to be one of such games, except I think my sister would disagree.


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