Age of Wonders
Genre Strategy -> Strategy
Today's Rank 9346
Date 2003-07-22
Publisher Gathering
Date 2001-02-09
North America Retail Box ArtBerry gathering and cave painting may best illustrate the real story of mankind's formative years, but making more room by slaughtering a few of the earth's previous inhabitants ensures a far better game in Age of Wonders. This addictive, turn-based strategy game can keep you immersed for hours in a Tolkeinesque, high-fantasy earth that just begs to be conquered. Age of Wonders is not overly original in any aspect of its gameplay, offering a familiar interface and a proven formula that emphasises a town-based resource-management system, mana-based magic, and unit-based combat, with the always satisfying end goal of conquering your enemies. Here, the resource-management system is somewhat more simplistic than others found in games of this genre, drawing almost all of its depth from town size and the acquisition of mines and farms. The combat portion of the game is easily grasped, if sometimes silly, and the magical model found here is of the "bolts from above" variety, straight out of Master of Magic, which allows you to personally influence individual battles or plague your opponents from across the globe. At first glance, it would appear that Age of Wonders is nothing more than the classic Master of Magic's dim-witted younger brother. This unfavourable characterisation is avoided by the enticing nature of the plot and a diversity of play options that allow gamers to play in up to 22 different scenarios, with 12 engaging races to choose from and a campaign feature that is more versatile than a choose-your-own-adventure novel. The campaign feature allows you to try and save humanity or destroy it, with many possible means to those two ends, and the scenarios range from very specific objectives to the classic crush-your-enemies free-for-all. There's nothing new here, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. You can definitely still get lost in this latest offering of a classic theme. --Joshua Coombs

- Embark on a glorious voyage of naval combat and grand adventure with Age of Sail 2: Privateer's Bounty
- Over 20 single mission scenarios, all of the original Age of Sail 2 scenarios, 3 dynamic non-linear campaigns, and 3 units: Air Balloon, Submarine, and Steam Paddleboat
- Brand-new weather effects and intuitive game interface; improved high-resolution graphics
- Minimal system requirements: Pentium 200MHz, 16MB 3D video accelerator with D3D support, 64MB RAM, 550MB free disk space, Windows 95\98\Me\2000\XP
- Recommended configuration: Pentium III 600MHz, GeForce II 32MB, 256MB RAM, sound card with EAX support
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