When we first heard about the Facebook version of Civilization a couple of years back, the prospect was enormously exciting - a persistent online Civ, played from any PC, any time. Of course, back then we perhaps weren't fully aware of the route Facebook games were broadly taking - the pay/spam friends/wait model popularised by FarmVille. There's absolutely nothing to say that model can't be successful and entertaining, but it does mean that Civ World, as the now fully-revealed Facebook Civ has been retitled, is necessarily a very different prospect to Civ itself. In-game footage and dev commentary below...
I've had to watch this several times to get a handle on how I think it works, but telltale stuff like crop harvesting and slowly recharging actions appears to be in there, suggesting it does cleave as closely to FarmVille as to Civ. The key difference, before you start screaming, is that this remains a game with a purpose, rather than the infinite self-rewarding of FarmVille. You're trying to win, you're trying to rule the world, and you need the help of friends to do it. Or, more likely, they need your help, as only one can be king.
Also not really on display yet is the tech tree or combat - they're clearly in there, suggesting this will be a reasonably elaborate title. The key, I guess, is just how you interact with all its systems - whether it's click to collect or if there's real strategy underpinning your actions and decisions.
More soon. Not what I expected and I need to see how the pay/wait stuff works given it's a game about winning and dedicating yourself to a grand plan, but it's clearly not simply FarmVille with historical stuff in. Interesting/perplexing/worrying/promising.
You can apply for closed alpha testing of the game here. No release date as yet.