I finally beat Sid Mier's Colonization last night.
This game is such a pain in the butt. I have to say, despite the fact that some aspects of game play are fun, I don't think I'm ever, ever going to play it again.
The basic concept is that you're building a new colony on the new world. You have the evil king and your home country that you trade with. Slowly but surely, you get people to join your cause from the motherland. Or you can buy them from money you make via trading with Europe, trading with the natives, and from treasure you find in ancient burial grounds and ruins. People you buy/recruit from Europe each have a set of skills, or are "blanks" which you can train via schools in you build in your colony or by sending them to live with the natives.
You take resources from the land, and turn into products - like sugar for rum. You build roads and farms, and send your little wagon trains to move the goods across land and your ships to send the products back to the homeland. But, don't get happy. The only way to win is to free yourself from the greedy bastard of a king, who taxes you like crazy business and steals all your hard earned loot (unless you have a "tea party" (think Boston tea party) for a resource/product, which means you can never trade that item overseas again).
It's the winning that gets complex. If you build "rebel" points too early, the king adds more people to his army. His army comes when you declare Independence. But...the math behind the process of being ABLE to declare independence is insane. Not to mention that fact that you have to have enough guns stockpiled to equip all your colonists. (P.S. - your colonies can only hold 200 guns each, which equips only four people (eight if you're from England. I was from England. Go team George Washington!). But if you have too many people and too many colonies, its very hard to lift your rebel sentiment high enough to revolt. But...if you don't have a huge army, you can't hold out against the attack. But...
OK well, I'm sure that doesn't make much sense to anyone who hasn't played.
Short version: Unless you like suffering, meticulous game play/strategy or proving your simulation game skills to the damn pretend King of England, skip this game and just buy the normal Civ IV. It's much better, and it doesn't make you want to kill your own citizens. At least not all the time.
If you do decide to try Colonization: The Devil's Playground, visit the CivFantics forum for a general guide. You'll need it.
Added: Hey, is that a typo I see? Shouldn't my victory be "an Independence" victory?