So, taking possible the best chance I have of utterly wrecking my degree, sleep cycle and general social life and sanity for the next few months, I bought Civilization V.
It's addictive as fuck. In a strangely different way to Football Manager, which is probably the only other game series aside from Tetris and Civ that I've invested weeks and months of my life into. Football Manager has this quite unsettling ability to take over your mind even when you're not playing it. It's addictive in the sense that when I'm not playing FM, I want to be playing FM.
Civ V is different. I don't get obsessive cravings that I must play it, but once I [i]am[/i] playing it, it just has this insane ability to warp time and consume hours and hours. I look at my watch, see it's 1:30am and I think "OK just one more turn." and the next thing I know it's fucking 4am. FM usually has at least fairly occasional moments of "right, fuck this shit" after a defeat, and they can send me to bed. Civ V doesn't, and it's even worse because so much is going on and the game is in a perpetual state of something being about to happen. It's just a huge overlapping sequence of "oh I'll just finish this bit" events.
It's a pretty nice game, and it actually runs fairly well on my laptop (which apparently isn't the case for plenty of people who get regular crashes even on better specs). The last game I played in the series was Civ II: Test of Time, which was released about ten years ago, so things have changed pretty significantly still then and I'm still getting used to it. At the very least I like how they've made combat far more tactical, because you can't just stack units. It used to be you could just combine units on top of each other and move them around as a single huge all-destroying entity. Now your units interfere with the positioning and movements of others, and the likes of terrain matter far more, and it's all far more tactical than simply having the biggest most powerful army win all the time.
It's not consuming my entire life (for example, I'm writing this when I could be playing it instead) but it is eating up most of my evenings and causing me to go to bed stupidly late. And when I go to bed and close my eyes I can see hexagonal patterns :\
Also, amusing comic, linked to me by I think Meroigo: