"Caesar IV" Review (PC)

"Caesar IV" Cover. Box Cover © Vivendi.

Publisher: Vivendi

Developer: Tilted Mill Entertainment
Genre: City Building
Release Date: September 26, 2006


  • Multiple modes of play
  • Hours of gameplay
  • Graphics - if you have a high-end system
  • Micromanagement of economy (may be too much for some)
  • Online play
  • Scenario Editor


  • Need a high-end computer to enjoy full effects
  • Military aspect - feels like an after thought


"Caesar IV" Features


  • Recreate Rome and neighboring cities per the instructions that Caesar himself gives you.
  • Strike a balance between industry, culture, health, religion, and education to achieve a prosperous city.
  • A series of tutorials teach you the ropes of building a Roman city.
  • Three social classes of citizens each with their own job, cultural, and entertainment requirements.
  • Create a desirable housing, with plenty of jobs, decorations, and services to lure immigrants to the city.
  • Advisers tell the city's problems (health, resources, ratings, and more).
  • Farms and industry provide goods and employment.
  • Collect raw material (clay, timber) and use those resources to provide goods and trading material.
  • Sell and buy goods that your city cannot produce easily with other cities across the Roman empire.
  • Build temples and shrines to appease the Gods.
  • Play through campaigns or individual scenarios, each available in 3 difficulty levels.


"Caesar IV" Review

There hasn't been a new installment of "Caesar" for almost a decade (8 years to be exact). Tilted Mill (a group of developers who have worked on popular city builders in the past) decided it was time to bring the "Caesar" series back to life with "Caesar IV."

There's a lot going on in the Roman cities of "Caesar IV." The tutorials of Kingdom Campaign teaches new players how to run a city from the placing the first buildings to building an army. The gradual introduction of elements leaves gamer not feeling overwhelmed by all that is involved in running a city.

A happy and healthy group of citizens is the first that needs to be accomplished. The three social classes are satisfied in different ways and each help the city in their own right. The Plebeians do the back breaking work. They work on the farms and in the industries, and are much easier to please. The middle class is Equites, the city service workers. To keep the Equites happy they will want some of the finer things in life (They take care of the city services and require some of the finer things in life and more types of food. The highest class is the Patricians. They never have to work, but do provide tax money from their extravagant homes.


Plebeians will take jobs that will provide the food and resources that residents require to be happy and the city running smoothly. The product cycle starts with raw material (grain, vegetables, cattle, etc) that either goes into storage, food market, or onto mills that will use the resource to make a product that citizens require or to be sold.

A bustling city requires closer attention to managing resources. Warehouses and granaries can have a set amount to be stored. Ports connected to neighboring cities may need to have the amount of product available to sell adjusted, depending on the need of the city and goals. The data on goods are easily accessed by clicking on the building. You can see how many crops need to be harvested, stored, and in the markets.

While keeping the citizens, Gods, and Caesar happy, you will also have to protect your city from intruders. A military is essential to protection of your people and borders. You won't have to spend a lot of time worry about it during most campaigns. When there is a war, the controls are simple. Combat is not a reason to buy "Caesar IV," it feels to be merely because there should be some sort of army. This does not bother me at all. I prefer the focus being on the economics, over combat, in city builders. It's easy enough to get through the parts that require attention to the military.


"Caesar IV" has multiple levels of campaigns and online play. The Kingdom campaign introduces how to play "Caesar IV." Finishing the Republic campaign, the second campaign, unlocks the Empire campaign, the most challenging of all the campaigns. The missions fall under economic, military, and earning favorable ratings.

You will regularly encounter demands from Caesar in campaigns and scenarios. He will require large amounts of goods for Rome. Not meeting those demands will have a negative impact on Caesar's view of you, which may lead to your dismissal as Governor.

The city's advisers will keep you on track if you start to neglect one area of the city. They can be a hard bunch to please, even when the city is running smoothly, they will be sure to find anything to grip about. Advisers do serve their purpose, though, and help you remedy a situation before the issue gets out of control.

"Caesar IV" is not a ground breaking game. There are residents to put to work and feed, food to be grown and processed, demands to be met, and wars to be fought - typical cycles of city builders. This is not to say that "Caesar" is boring or feels uninspired. It has all the classic gameplay elements needed for a city builder, all the while giving the gamer hours of game time that will quickly pass. The right mix of difficulty, playing modes, and entertainment help "Caesar IV" stand out among other city builders.