Old World is a new Native Linux historical strategy game from Soren Johnson, Lead Designer of Civilization IV and Offworld Trading Company and Mohawk Games.

This was originally an exclusive for Epic Games, and back when it released there in 2021 it gained some rather high praise from the wider bigger PC gaming websites. Since then though, the game has expanded dramatically with hundreds of new narrative events, a brand new DLC that also just released, lots of bug fixes, balance changes and various other improvements.

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Note: the publisher, Hooded Horse, was kind enough to pass along a review key for this.

Given the designer on this, it's safe to say this is like a spiritual successor to Civilization. It's much more than that though, and there's been a few attempts from others to do the same, but this is more like a slick evolution on it. Much more character-driven, so it's a little bit closer to Crusader Kings in that way too and honestly, I'm not sure I can see myself going back to any current Civilization title after playing Old World.

One of the major ways it mixes things up is the new Orders system. Instead of only moving units once per turn, you have an overall Orders currency to use each turn. Units still have limits and can get fatigued but this expands what's possible in such a strategy game making it just feel so much more open. It does mean you need to do a lot more planning too, and at times completely rethink what you're doing, as using up all your orders might leave you too open for an attack, as just one small example.

Did you screw up? Good news, you can undo moves repeatedly, and that alone makes me really love this.

An absolutely gorgeous looking game too. The artists did some truly fantastic work on all aspects of the design here. Even the fog of war clouds excited me when playing it for the first time, the way they gently caress the map, it's really something to look at.

The amount of info you're being given the first few times can feel a little daunting though. There's quite a bit of depth to various parts of the game, even just founding a city needs you to be careful because of the family system. When you go to found a city, you pick which family will be the founders and they each come with different bonuses so you're choosing your focus very early on. You also have to keep them all happy too, to ensure you keep various bonuses and don't lose out. Even though there's plenty going on, it's surprisingly accessible thanks to the clear UI.

Research is another area that's quite different here too with it being more random, and a bit more like Stellaris in fact. You are given a few cards to pick from, and those not picked go into a discard pile. Once your pile to draw from is empty, the discard pile comes back shuffled up for you to continue on. You still get access to a tech-tree but you don't get the direct planning to go through it like other games. (although you can target specific research to remind yourself when it comes up). This presents some difficult decisions when you're going through the game but does spice things up a bit.

One aspect of it that some will love and some will hate, is how much shorter it is compared to other similar games. It's a race to 200 turns, which for me is actually great. Games don't feel like they drag on forever! I continue to be quite amazed with Old World and it has firmly scratched the itch I wanted after burning out with Civilization.

With all the events though, of which the developer said there's at least 2,500 of them now, there's never a dull moment in any part of the game. So many choices.

I quite liked how the tutorials were done too, as there's a fair bit to learn. You can go through dedicated tutorial missions that carefully guide you on the same map each time but you can also just play a normal game, with plenty of tutorial prompts and explanations as you go along. Best of both worlds and a nice touch.

When it comes to the fresh Native Linux port, I have to say that I'm very impressed. It works out of the box with no issues on Fedora 36, and performance is absolutely fantastic. It's even playable on Steam Deck. Turning down a few settings and upping the built-in scaling actually worked quite nicely but some text was still a bit too small. No obvious issues in my notes on it to tell you of, so it's a solid recommendation from me. A simply must have for strategy fans.

Later in June they plan to add in localizations for Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Japanese, Spanish, Russian, French and German. If you buy it before May 25th, you get the Heroes of the Aegean DLC free.

Available for Linux on Steam. For GOG it does not have the Linux build.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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34 comments
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Cyril 21 May
Well, this is not really a GOG/Galaxy issue here, the devs just refused to release the Linux version as single player only on GOG, they could do it but didn't want to.
It would have been better than nothing, the devs of Northgard did that.
Plus, don't forget that the macOS version is missing on GOG too, so what is the excuse then?
Guys, don't get it wrong... the devs are not trustworthy.
Liam Dawe 21 May
Quoting: CyrilWell, this is not really a GOG/Galaxy issue here, the devs just refused to release the Linux version as single player only on GOG, they could do it but didn't want to.
It would have been better than nothing, the devs of Northgard did that.
Plus, don't forget that the macOS version is missing on GOG too, so what is the excuse then?
Guys, don't get it wrong... the devs are not trustworthy.
I don't agree at all. I think it's a fine decision not to release a cut-down version on a store because that store can't support it fully, the developer is well within their rights not to so they don't provide a sub-par experience for users. Saying the developer isn't trustworthy because they don't want to be on a particular store is ridiculous.
Quoting: Kalua
Quoting: tohur
Quoting: Raaben
Quoting: Mountain ManIt should be obvious by now that GoG simply doesn't care if Linux users buy from them or not.

I know but I can always hope.

why would you want to give anyone your money that lacks the care in the world about you. they don't want your money so why fight to give it to them thats insanity

The other thing is why would you want to give your money to a company which can shutdown their servers overnight and you lose all of your rented games? On gog I can buy the games and download them to my hdd and if gog goes bankrupt I still have access to the stuff I paid for and can install and play all the games (even if gog is long gone).

We will always have access to our games through - ahem - unofficial means.


Last edited by Mountain Man on 21 May 2022 at 3:18 pm UTC
Cyril 21 May
Quoting: Liam Dawe
Quoting: CyrilWell, this is not really a GOG/Galaxy issue here, the devs just refused to release the Linux version as single player only on GOG, they could do it but didn't want to.
It would have been better than nothing, the devs of Northgard did that.
Plus, don't forget that the macOS version is missing on GOG too, so what is the excuse then?
Guys, don't get it wrong... the devs are not trustworthy.
I don't agree at all. I think it's a fine decision not to release a cut-down version on a store because that store can't support it fully, the developer is well within their rights not to so they don't provide a sub-par experience for users. Saying the developer isn't trustworthy because they don't want to be on a particular store is ridiculous.

That's not exactly what I'm saying. They're not trustworthy because of the lack of the macOS version too, but we, as Linux users, just are focusing on Galaxy problem... It just seems hypocrisy for me.
And what if I don't care about multiplayer? Personally I would be happy to just play the game in single mode...
But in the end, I think we can agree that the devs should have use something else to rely on for the multiplayer, something more "store-neutral".


Last edited by Cyril on 21 May 2022 at 1:29 pm UTC
Quoting: Cyril
Quoting: Liam Dawe
Quoting: CyrilWell, this is not really a GOG/Galaxy issue here, the devs just refused to release the Linux version as single player only on GOG, they could do it but didn't want to.
It would have been better than nothing, the devs of Northgard did that.
Plus, don't forget that the macOS version is missing on GOG too, so what is the excuse then?
Guys, don't get it wrong... the devs are not trustworthy.
I don't agree at all. I think it's a fine decision not to release a cut-down version on a store because that store can't support it fully, the developer is well within their rights not to so they don't provide a sub-par experience for users. Saying the developer isn't trustworthy because they don't want to be on a particular store is ridiculous.

That's not exactly what I'm saying. They're not trustworthy because of the lack of the macOS version too, but we, as Linux users, just are focusing on Galaxy problem... It just seems hypocrisy for me.
And what if I don't care about multiplayer? Personally I would be happy to just play the game in single mode...
But in the end, I think we can agree that the devs should have use something else to rely on for the multiplayer, something more "store-neutral".
If it would work with either Steam or Galaxy, then technically it is store-neutral. It's just that one of the stores it's neutral about doesn't support OSes other than Windows.
mircalla 21 May
  • Supporter
For some reason the Linux native build isn't playing sound at all for me :/ I might try Proton later.


Last edited by mircalla on 21 May 2022 at 3:47 pm UTC
omer666 22 May
Quoting: Cyril
Quoting: Liam Dawe
Quoting: CyrilWell, this is not really a GOG/Galaxy issue here, the devs just refused to release the Linux version as single player only on GOG, they could do it but didn't want to.
It would have been better than nothing, the devs of Northgard did that.
Plus, don't forget that the macOS version is missing on GOG too, so what is the excuse then?
Guys, don't get it wrong... the devs are not trustworthy.
I don't agree at all. I think it's a fine decision not to release a cut-down version on a store because that store can't support it fully, the developer is well within their rights not to so they don't provide a sub-par experience for users. Saying the developer isn't trustworthy because they don't want to be on a particular store is ridiculous.

That's not exactly what I'm saying. They're not trustworthy because of the lack of the macOS version too, but we, as Linux users, just are focusing on Galaxy problem... It just seems hypocrisy for me.
And what if I don't care about multiplayer? Personally I would be happy to just play the game in single mode...
But in the end, I think we can agree that the devs should have use something else to rely on for the multiplayer, something more "store-neutral".
That is more complicated for smaller devs, that's why they rely on each store's online services. It is not something new, in the past devs used GameSpy extensively to avoid upkeep cost of servers and infrastructure. Most of the time those services were not available outside Windows, and Mac users for example had to rely on GameRanger
Cyril 22 May
Quoting: omer666
Quoting: Cyril
Quoting: Liam Dawe
Quoting: CyrilWell, this is not really a GOG/Galaxy issue here, the devs just refused to release the Linux version as single player only on GOG, they could do it but didn't want to.
It would have been better than nothing, the devs of Northgard did that.
Plus, don't forget that the macOS version is missing on GOG too, so what is the excuse then?
Guys, don't get it wrong... the devs are not trustworthy.
I don't agree at all. I think it's a fine decision not to release a cut-down version on a store because that store can't support it fully, the developer is well within their rights not to so they don't provide a sub-par experience for users. Saying the developer isn't trustworthy because they don't want to be on a particular store is ridiculous.

That's not exactly what I'm saying. They're not trustworthy because of the lack of the macOS version too, but we, as Linux users, just are focusing on Galaxy problem... It just seems hypocrisy for me.
And what if I don't care about multiplayer? Personally I would be happy to just play the game in single mode...
But in the end, I think we can agree that the devs should have use something else to rely on for the multiplayer, something more "store-neutral".
That is more complicated for smaller devs, that's why they rely on each store's online services. It is not something new, in the past devs used GameSpy extensively to avoid upkeep cost of servers and infrastructure. Most of the time those services were not available outside Windows, and Mac users for example had to rely on GameRanger

It's pretty simple: tell me why they didn't release the macOS version on GOG even though Galaxy is available on macOS?
Linux users: "It's Galaxy fault!"
So what should say macOS users then?
BTRE 22 May
View PC info
  • Contributing Editor
So far Old World has been pretty fun. I enjoy that it's more focused thematically and there's lots of interesting interrelated systems. Runs pretty well though there's the late game slowdown when processing turns that's endemic to the genre. Ambitions for leaders is a neat mechanic and way to win the game.

I'm not sold on combat and I think the AI is too spammy with units. My few wars have turned out to be a matter of having a bigger standing army at the beginning of the conflict to be able to deal with the horde of units that move in from across their empire in a single turn. I haven't really noticed much tactical considerations in terms of terrain/army composition yet and the order system of pooled moves has done little to give either side an advantage. Still, I think I have to play more as the intricacies of this sort of thing aren't obvious after only a dozen or so hours.

Quoting: KaluaYou're not own any games on steam.
You don't own anything you buy on GOG, either. You're simply acquiring a license. You cannot share, transfer, sell, etc a game by those terms either. That's standard on all digital goods for better or worse and singling out Steam is disingenuous, at best.

Putting your Linux build on GOG involves messing about with FTP and having someone manually mess with things on their end. Which, to me, drives home about how little GOG actually cares about Linux users. It baffles me how many people waste their time in every article about any game posting and arguing how they'd want to see it on GOG. The platform is a right pain for both users and developers and they've had years to change and have done nothing about it. In my opinion it's better to spend that energy and money on platforms that actually treat Linux users as normal, first-class, customers like Steam or itch.io.


Last edited by BTRE on 22 May 2022 at 1:04 pm UTC
omer666 22 May
Quoting: Cyril
Quoting: omer666
Quoting: Cyril
Quoting: Liam Dawe
Quoting: CyrilWell, this is not really a GOG/Galaxy issue here, the devs just refused to release the Linux version as single player only on GOG, they could do it but didn't want to.
It would have been better than nothing, the devs of Northgard did that.
Plus, don't forget that the macOS version is missing on GOG too, so what is the excuse then?
Guys, don't get it wrong... the devs are not trustworthy.
I don't agree at all. I think it's a fine decision not to release a cut-down version on a store because that store can't support it fully, the developer is well within their rights not to so they don't provide a sub-par experience for users. Saying the developer isn't trustworthy because they don't want to be on a particular store is ridiculous.

That's not exactly what I'm saying. They're not trustworthy because of the lack of the macOS version too, but we, as Linux users, just are focusing on Galaxy problem... It just seems hypocrisy for me.
And what if I don't care about multiplayer? Personally I would be happy to just play the game in single mode...
But in the end, I think we can agree that the devs should have use something else to rely on for the multiplayer, something more "store-neutral".
That is more complicated for smaller devs, that's why they rely on each store's online services. It is not something new, in the past devs used GameSpy extensively to avoid upkeep cost of servers and infrastructure. Most of the time those services were not available outside Windows, and Mac users for example had to rely on GameRanger

It's pretty simple: tell me why they didn't release the macOS version on GOG even though Galaxy is available on macOS?
Linux users: "It's Galaxy fault!"
So what should say macOS users then?
I don't know, and I don't care.
I was only replying to the part about a "store-neutral" multiplayer.
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