Revolution is a turn-based strategy game about development and territorial expansion, with sixteen distinct civilizations from prehistoric times to the future. Not counting Silent Service, it is the second console-only Sid Meier branded game, the first being Sid Meier’s C.P.U. Bach, and it is the first in the Civilization sub series to be released on console platforms.
Specifically built up with console controls in mind, the original gameplay is intact but with stripped-down complexity. The available civilizations include America, England, Japan, Aztec, China, India, Mongolia, Rome, Egypt, France, Arabia, Greece, Spain, Germany, Zulu and Russia, each with their own leaders (e.g. Julius Caesar, Abraham Lincoln) and specific perks. Another civilization, the Barbarians, is not playable and they constantly wage war with the other ones. Gameplay sessions are generally shorter with fewer victory conditions and simplified city management. The possible strategies are still very open, as the four victory conditions are Domination, Technology, Economic and Cultural. Players can either build vast armies and try to dominate the other civilizations to capture their cities (Domination), or use a more subtle, diplomatic approach to gain the upper hand. There is a technology tree to eventually move into space and be the first to reach Alpha Centauri (Technology), players can try to create a World Back earn 20,000 gold (Economic), or build twenty wonders (Cultural).
Units are often specific for a certain civilization and gain experience, as well as through research, to access upgrades. That way, a catapult can eventually become a tank. The focus is as usual on micromanagement. The two single-player modes allow for straight matches against AI players or rather fixed scenarios to complete. Multiplayer is supported for up to four players, free-for-all or with teams.