I am curious which parts of Civ4 you would describe as “cuckoo-land“? In fact, our overriding goal was not to go down the standard sequel path and overwhelm the player with too many choices. Civ4 actually has fewer technologies in the base game than Civ2 does. We even had a rule-of-thumb – if you put something new in, take something old out. On the other hand, if you haven’t played Civ4, you should give it a go. You might be surprised.