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FreeCol] 0.8.0 - Released 15 January 2009 (after a few months of alpha versions). See http://www.freecol.org/news/freecol-0.8.0-released.html. Works fine on the 9-year-old unsupported Windows Millennium Edition.
- Four new nations possible (with option, in single-player mode, to have any number of European rivals from 0 to 7)
- New sound effects (though no music)
- Forests' appearance changed, and some changes to other terrain
- Units slide instead of jumping
- Player may name geographical features (when starting a game with the "Exploration Points" option) - regions, rivers (both the traditional sort and the new-style "great rivers"), mountain ranges
But the big thing is reportedly the ability to use XML to define gameplay mechanics.
- Portugal, of course: Brazil being the obvious reason, with Vasco da Gama helping swing the pendulum
- Denmark, which colonized Greenland long before other European powers were up to such exploits
- Sweden, a major power centuries ago. The Swedes settled in New Jersey before the Netherlands took over it.
- Russia, which approached the northwestern side of America but eventually sold Alaska to America.
They have default advantages, but see below.
Human player can choose to play as any power with any power's advantage, not restricted to the default advantage of the chosen power.
Choosing FFs is apparently more restricted. No longer can you "ESC" to get a fresh selection next turn if your favourite is not on offer: you have to choose one of the five. So if really keen to get De Soto on board you should, choose whichever explorer is on offer.