FreeCol – Based on a classic, Colonization


FreeCol is a turn-based strategy game based on the old game Colonization, and similar to Civilization

The objective of the game is to colonize the New World. You start the game in 1492 with a vessel and some colonists. The goal is to build many colonies (with the help of Europe) so that you can live off the land after a while.

At the beginning of the game, you start with a naval vessel and two colonists. Your first task is to discover the New World, which should lie due West, although sailing North West or South West may prove quicker. As soon as you have discovered land, you can establish your colonies and produce goods to send home to Europe.

Once the majority of the people are behind you, you can declare your independence. The King will then send over his forces from Europe and try to gain control over your colonies. If you survive the attack you’ve won the game. To be allowed to declare independence, at least 50% of the player’s colonists must support independence. This is achieved by producing Liberty Bells; 200 Liberty Bells turn one colonist from being a royalist into a rebel. To defeat the royal expeditionary force the player must train and build a strong army of his own.

FreeCol is a client-server game.

Features include:

  • Gameplay and rules are a clone of Colonization
  • Additional ruleset adds ideas that were not included in Colonization
  • Isometric map
  • Multiplayer support
  • Map editor
  • Zooming
  • Maps supplied for Africa, America, Australia, and the Caribbean Basin
  • Internationalization support – available in 54 languages


Sadly there has been no development in the past couple of years. While the game is very playable, it doesn't have many of the features and rules of Colonization.

System requirements are modest. You'll need a minimum screen resolution of 1024x768, and install Java Virtual Machine version 1.8 or above.

Developer: The FreeCol Team
License: GNU GPL v2 or later
Written in: Java

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