Caesar II is a computer game of the Caesar computer game series that takes place in Ancient Rome; when the game begins the Roman empire extends no further than Italy. Players have the opportunity to civilize adjacent barbarian provinces, eventually reaching the entire Roman Empire at its height. When a province is civilized it unlocks the surrounding provinces. A computerized rival also completes missions both preventing the player from civilizing that province and allowing them to civilize the provinces adjacent to it (the computer has been known to civilize a province it could not have selected when it successfully civilized the last, meaning it is a randomized event, rather than AI).
Unlike Caesar III, or Pharaoh, the province and city are separate spheres, as is the military. The player builds primary industry (such as mines or farms), trade facilities (such as roads or docks), and military facilities(such as forts and walls) on one map and builds their city houses, secondary industry (such as wineries or potters), and tertiary industry (such as fire stations, police stations, bath houses) on another (represented as four squares in the center of the provincial map). Also unlike later games walkers are not required to bring services to people, which is instead determined by one buildings distance from another. Invading Armies differ from later games as well, in that Barbarian towns exist within many provinces from which Barbarian armies can emanate. These are converted to Roman towns through invading them and defeating the inhabitants. Most missions require you to pacify a province and raise the citizens standard of living to a certain level, while neither suffering a military loss, nor losing the emperor's favour, often within a certain time frame. Major factors in city and province building are housing values and types of housing, unemployment/labour shortages, taxes, wages, deficits, food shortages, Military Readiness and morale, and Imperial demands. The game is won when the player has conquered sufficient provinces to attain the rank of Caesar. The game is lost if your computerized rival becomes Caesar, if Caesar removes you from your post for running too large a deficit, for going beyond your time frame, for failing to follow Imperial demands, or having the city conquered.
It was released in 1995 and developed and designed by Impressions Games and distributed by Sierra On-Line. Initial reception of the game was positive. Arinn Dembo writing for Computer Gaming World gave the game 4 stars.