Civ 3, or Civilization III, is a turn-based strategy game. The plot is similar to the other games in the Civilization series, in which players lead a group of people into civilization and build an empire. The game initially begins in 4,000 BC, culminating several decades beyond the present era. To earn points and advance their empire, players are tasked to do the following:
• Build and improve cities and facilities
• Improve terrain to accommodate trade
• Train military units for defense
• Research technologies for scientific advancement
• Build structures such as Wonders of the World
Civ 3 also has a civilization editor, which enables players to create new civs. Players can also modify the rules of the game. The success of the player relies on a balance among the different aspects of the empire, such as resources, culture, technology, diplomacy, infrastructure, trade, military might, and even the happiness of the population.
Players starting a civ will be assigned to a global culture. Each civilization is also categorized based in their strengths—some civilizations are good in building their military, some in trade and commerce, some in science, and some in religion. Players can build special units unique to their civ; these units become available at various game stages. These special units have upgraded attack and defense ratings.