Project: Pocket Civ
Author: Shawn McCaffrey
Official Site:
Platform: Palm O/S 3.1+ (Runs on all classic Palm handhelds, from the Palm III and Handspring Visor up to the last Palm device ever released, the Palm Centro.)
95% Compatible: Palm WebOS, using the third-party Classic emulator. (Palm Pre, Pixi, and all later devices) (it works, but attack animations don't show up, so it can be confusing when the AI attacks you and you can't see what happened)
Development: Currently a closed project; not accepting new developers.
(2002) Goal: Ideally, to create a game that's as close to Sid Meier's Civilization (Civ1) as possible on a hand-held device. Realistically, to develop a civ-like game having some degree of playability, but lacking many of the elements of the PC game. The ultimate goal of creating a Civ1 clone is more of an abstract destination; it's the journey that counts.
Copyright: Copyright (c) 2002-2010 Shawn McCaffrey, All Rights Reserved.

Version History

v1 - Apr 16, 02
The world consists of a 39x39 grid of grassland. The hero plays the English. The only unit is Settlers, and there's no combat. Your settlers can build cities - and that's it. Cities produce settlers faster as their population grows.

Your capitol city at the dawn of time

About the only thing to do is wander around until you find the French.

Contact with the French!

Features: fog of war, re-centering screen. Known bugs include incorrect screen redraws.

v2 - Jan 15, 05
The first update in 3 years!

Paris is undefended, and ripe for capture!

Features: Settler vs. Settler combat. Since settlers are still the only unit, they act as 1/1/1 for this version only. Cities can be captured. Units can be sentried, fortified, told to wait, disband, or be given no orders for the turn.
v3 - Jan 21, 05

Liverpool's only hope is a catapult forced to use its weak defence!

Wow, it won! Anything can happen in Pocket Civ...

Features: Military units - one offensive and one defensive. The calendar year now shows the passage of time.

Be careful when defending in this version - there are no defense bonuses for fortifying or being in a city.

v4 - Nov 23, 05
Features: a 50% defense bonus for fortified units, and GoTo. The GoTo really makes the game a lot less tedious once you get a lot of units!

To use the GoTo feature, click G, then use the world map (mini map) to find the general area of your destination, then click on the main map to tell the unit where to go.

v5 - Aug 10, 06

An ocean near London

Features: Oceans. Some instructions and welcome text. Building a settler reduces the city population by 1. Automatically filed under Games.

Bug: Opening CivStats while the End of Turn button is showing caused a crash (fixed in v6)

v6 - Aug 13, 06

Features: Color!!
v7 - Jan 15, 07

City Screen

London is defended by two catapults and one phalanx

Features: a city screen, allowing you to choose what to build. Cities can be renamed. Show defending unit when attacked.

When more than one unit is present at the same location, you can pick which unit to activate.

v8 - Jan 28, 07

The first tech tree

At least one other unit occupies the same square as the Knight

Features: All land-based military units. Now available: Armour, Artillery, Cannon, Catapult, Cavalry, Chariot, Knight, Legion, MechInf, Militia, Musketeers, Phalanx, Riflemen, and Settlers.

Science. The first mini tech tree is introduced, allowing the discovery of each unit.

Resume Course. Got held up by some enemy units along the way to your destination? No need to GoTo again. Find it under the Orders menu.

Show stacked units.

v9 - Apr 8, 07

Roads link London, Liverpool, and Birmingham

Features: Roads. Choice of Random World or EARTH.
v10 - May 14, 07

City walls protect London

Features: City Improvements - knowledge, production and defence-related.

New Tech Tree:

NoneNoneMilitia, Settlers
Bronze WorkingNonePhalanx
Horseback RidingNoneCavalry
The WheelNoneChariot
MasonryNoneCity Walls
AutomobileMetallurgy, The WheelArmour
ConscriptionGunpowder, UniversityRiflemen
ChivalryHorseback Riding, WritingKnight
GunpowderIron Working, ConstructionMusketeers
Iron WorkingBronze WorkingLegion
Labor UnionAutomobile, WritingMech Inf
MathematicsAlphabet, MasonryCatapult
RoboticsUniversity, ElectronicsMfg. Plant, Artillery
ConstructionMasonry, Bronze WorkingNothing
IndustrializationMathematics, The WheelFactory
ElectronicsGunpowder, UniversityHydro Plant
Nuclear PowerElectronics, AutomobileNuclear Plant
RefiningUniversity, The WheelCoal Plant
UniversityMathematics, WritingUniversity
MetallurgyGunpowder, UniversityCannon
v11 - Oct 14, 07

Choose a civilization to play

The Aztecs capture the Russian capitol early in the game

Features: Multiple Civilizations. Choose which Civilization to lead, then play against just one or up to all 6 at once.

Each civilization you can encounter plays with a slightly different style. They are: The Aztecs, Babylonians, Chinese, English, French, Mongols, and Russians.

Cities lose population when attacked. The city screen is now accessible from the City Advisor. (Makes it convenient to change what's building in several cities at once!)

v12 - Mar 2, 08

Make peace with your neighbours... or declare war

Review your diplomatic positions

Features: Diplomacy. Use gold or the spectre of military force to negotiate peace treaties with other civilizations.

New end-of-game features: Have a last look around before starting another game. See a graph showing the relative power of each civilization, and reveal the map to see just where the Aztecs had been hiding all that time...

Treo buttons. Optionally use the keys on your Treo or Centro for basic unit actions. (Build, Fortify, Sentry, etc.) Many actions, including unit movement, still require tapping on the screen though.

New city improvement: Aqueduct. (requires Construction)

Gold. Used for maintainence fees and diplomacy.

Bugs: 2 crash bugs found (fixed in v13)

v13 - May 2, 08

Assign workers to the surrounding terrain

Features: Workers. The amount of food, production, and trade earned each turn is now determined by the placement of workers surrounding each city.

By default, this is taken care of automatically. Auto-placement can be toggled by tapping on the city square in the center of the worker area on the city screen. Placing a worker manually will turn off auto-placement. If you don't like micro-management, just leave it on Auto.

Trade contributes to science and gold. Oceans offer more trade but less food and no production. Roads increase trade.

v14 - May 28, 08


Features: Terrain. The terrain type affects movement, defence, and the resources generated by a city. Help/Terrain in the game shows a detailed chart.

Blinking unit. Use the Game menu to switch this off if desired. Your Palm uses slightly more battery power when blinking is enabled.

Icons on the City Improvements screen. Adding a little color to your life.

Show wasted shields when switching production to something cheaper.

New tech: Bridge Building. Requires: Iron and Construction, Allows: Gunpowder (with Pottery)

Bug: crash bug found (fixed in v16)

v15 - Oct 8, 08

Caravan arrives in Shanghai

Trade route established

Allocate trade to tax and research

Features: Irrigation and Mining. Settlers can be automated by tapping 'A'. Automated Settlers improve terrain near your cities, but never found a new city.

Trade Routes and Rates. Use Caravans to establish trade routes. Trade is also earned by workers on terrain surrounding the city. Trade is then split into gold and science. Use the Game/Trade Rates menu to change the allocation.

Changes to Gold. If there is not enough gold to pay for the upkeep of city improvements, citizens will react by permanently closing them down. One random city improvement is destroyed in every city until the budget balances.

Buy and Sell. Buy whatever the city is building to complete it in one turn. Sell city improvements. One may be sold per turn in every city.

Resource Usage. Units now require resources for maintenance. Shields and food may get used up by supported units. Check resource usage by tapping 'Res' on the city screen. Units are maintained by their home city. Change it using the Orders menu.

Monarchy and Anarchy. Use the Game/Revolution menu to change governments.

Quick Start button that selects random setup choices.

Rivers now generate 1 trade.

New unit: Caravan (0/1/1). Requires: Trade

New city improvements: Bank (requires Banking), Marketplace (requires Currency)

New techs: Trade, Currency, Banking, Combustion, Ceremonial Burial, Code of Laws, Feudalism, and Monarchy.

New tech tree:
Changes to existing techs in bold.

NoneNoneMilitia, Settlers
Bronze WorkingNonePhalanx
Ceremonial BurialNoneNothing
Horseback RidingNoneCavalry
MasonryNoneCity Walls
The WheelNoneChariot
AutomobileCombustion, The WheelArmour
BankingTrade, WritingBank
Bridge BuildingIron Working, Constructionroads over rivers

ChivalryHorseback Riding, FeudalismKnight
Code of LawsPotteryNothing
CombustionRefining, MetallurgyNothing
ConscriptionGunpowder, UniversityRiflemen
ConstructionMasonry, Bronze WorkingAqueduct
ElectronicsMetallurgy, Ceremonial BurialHydro Plant
FeudalismMonarchy, MasonryNothing
GunpowderBridge Building, PotteryMusketeers
IndustrializationMathematics, The WheelFactory
Iron WorkingBronze WorkingLegion
Labor UnionAutomobile, WritingMech Inf

MathematicsAlphabet, MasonryCatapult
MetallurgyGunpowder, UniversityCannon
MonarchyCode of Laws, Ceremonial BurialMonarchy
Nuclear PowerElectronics, AutomobileNuclear Plant
RefiningUniversity, The WheelCoal Plant
RoboticsElectronics, RefiningMfg. Plant, Artillery
TradeCurrency, Code of LawsCaravan
UniversityMathematics, WritingUniversity

Bug: crash bug from version 14 still exists in this version (fixed in v16)

v16 - Sep 4, 10

Settlers at the dawn of time

Features: only minor changes

Fixed a crash bug that was found in versions 14 and 15. This bug could occur at the start of the game (after selecting settings), but was only detectable on certain devices. This is likely the bug that was reported on the m505, m130, and Palm VIIx.

Space taken up on device

Version 16 406K
Version 15 425K
Version 14 393K
Version 13 386K
Version 12 346K
Version 11 310K
Version 10 229K
Version 9 209K