A free game that takes cues from the likes of Civilization and Colonization has finally hit its 1.0.0 release after over 20 years in alpha and beta development, and you can play it right now. Called FreeCol, the project was initially meant to be an exact clone of Colonization that was developed as an open source game, with incremental updates leading to the full release this month.
The strategy game has been downloaded over 2 million times across its 20 years of development updates, with the FreeCol team saying it will “continue improving the game through numerous new releases” in the future, with the goal of FreeCol 2.0.0 being new features outside of the game Colonization.
For some perspective, the first release of FreeCol just made it possible to explore the map with a ship and colonists, with the 20 years of development incrementally adding in many features fans of the strategy game genre and Colonization know and love.
If you haven’t played Colonization before, the aim of the game is to colonise America starting from the year 1492, after starting with just one ship and two colonists. You then need to build up your nation before you declare your independence and survive an attack from the forces of the King, which can be achieved by promoting free speech and having a strong governmental system that gives you the support of the people.
FreeCol even has multiplayer and mod support, and a series of European nations to choose from before setting sail to the new world. There are huge maps now for America, Africa, Australia, and more, too, with a map editor and easy opportunities for modifications to the graphics and gameplay. You can learn more about FreeCol 1.0.0 and download the free strategy game from its own website.
If you want to play something similar, why don’t you check out our picks for the best grand strategy games available on PC in 2023? There are a lot of great games to choose from. Alternatively, you can check out the best old games and classics still available on PC today that you should definitely try if you missed them.