Age of Wonders

 
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Product Description

Game of strategy and conquest incorporatingadventure and role playing Product InformationWelcome to the Age of Wonders once a time of magic and peace. An age swept intothe ravaging gale of chaos by the arrival of a single uninvited race: theHumans. T

Berry 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 game play, offering a familiar interface and a proven formula that emphasizes 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 unfavorable characterization 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

Pros:

  • Versatile campaign feature and numerous scenario options allow for great replayability
  • Well designed for multiple players and Internet games
  • Rich plot provides excellent backdrop and inspires play
Cons:
  • Mediocre graphics
  • Simplistic control of town economy
  • Weak sound


Welcome to the Age of Wonders, once a time of magic and peace. An age swept into the ravaging gale of chaos by the arrival of a single, uninvited race: the Humans. The fragile balance that existed between the ancient races--Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, and other--has changed into a struggle for power and survival in the wake of the turmoil the Humans have brought to the land. Prepare for an adventure where you will uncover wondrous ancient artifacts, awesome magical power, and the secrets of a shattered empire. Ally with the forces of light or darkness to determine the fate of the earth in the Age of Wonders.

Age of Wonders is a strategy game in development by Triumph Studios and Epic MegaGames and is being published by The Gathering of Developers. The setting is a rich fantasy world where magic and primitive technology coexist. Age of Wonders lets you utilize hundreds of fantasy units, heroes, items, and spells to overcome your opponents in strategic and tactical fantasy warfare. Age of Wonders also incorporates role playing and adventure elements, with many mysterious places to explore and a diverse array of characters to encounter.

Play the game in a captivating nonlinear single-player campaign or with friends. In the single-player game, your decisions influence the outcome of the entire fantasy realm. The game features an exciting magic system, including spell research and more than 100 spells spread over seven spheres of magic. You can even hand tailor your heroes as they grow in experience and power.

This software is a native Windows application with DirectX support, and it runs in either a window or full screen. Other features include a point-and-click interface with tool tips and online help; DirectPlay and Play-by-email (PBEM) support for multiple players on a single PC (or over Internet, LAN, modem, or direct connection); a choice of Round Robin or Simultaneous turn schemes for multiplayer games (simultaneous turns greatly speed up multiplayer games!); and a rich, orchestral soundtrack and digitized sound effects.

Customer Reviews:

  • One of the greatest classics
    This game was released in 1999 and here it is 2008 and I still find myself playing this game often. I even have age of wonders 2, yet I still play this way more than AOW 2. I even have a friend that comes over every-so-often and all we do is play AOW together for hours.

    The reason for this is simple, it is one of the greatest fantasy, turned-based strategy games of all time!

    First of all the single-player campaign is great. You chose between the Keepers (good guys) and the cult of storms (bad guys). From there you chose your hero's race and then as your leaders and heroes level up you chose what abilities they get, and if you use the Dragonlance mod like I do, you can really get good heroes with some uber abilities(ie flying and physical immunity), and then (mod and non-campaign only) you have dragon heroes, the granddaddy of them all. Anyways as the campaign progresses you have the option to chose your path. Your ultimate goal is to reach the valley of wonders, but the way you chose to get there is up to you and affects much - what heroes you pick up, what allies you will have in the final battle and what artifacts you pick up and what troops you have at the end. All in all it leads up to a very nice, and hard, final battle against an opponent on the hardest difficulty. Good luck, you will need it, cause unless you played the campaign up to that point right you will not do well. That is an element that I love, if you didn't do right in the beginning you either cannot win the final battle, or it will be immensely hard.

    As for the rest it comes with a great map editor, which I use to a great degree to make my own maps...which can take a couple days, even weeks to win. There are twelve playable races (though not all races are on every map) Each race is truly unique. For example the Dwarves have some amazing machines. They use a cannon while everyone else uses a normal catapult to destroy walls(save the undead who throw massive skulls at walls from a catapult made of bone with a wicked looking skull at front).

    It is also balanced quite a bit. For example, the undead all regenerate their health, but all other race's priests have abilities that do massive damage to undead. Heroes can even learn this ability.

    You can also chose between different spheres of magic, but if you chose one you cannot chose its opposite. For example, if you chose fire magic you cannot use water magic. The spells in the game are really where the fun is. Nothing like seeing your opponent standing there and then water spews up under him and sends him high in the air and then lets him drop to the ground, killing him or hurting him badly, or seeing massive amounts of black-boned daemons flying through the sky as your enemies quake in fear.

    All in all, a terrific game. While it cannot compare in terms of graphics to any of today's games it still possess that charm and re-playability that I love. It has been out since 1999 and I have owned it for many years and still don't tire of playing it. ...more info
  • Spiritual Heir to MOM
    This game carries on the tradition of Master of Magic and Master of Orion II perfectly. If you like turn based strategy then you will love this game. Even after all this time it still holds up and still has a place on my hard drive.

    The great thing about the game it lets you play in two modes. You can choose to have the battles decided in quick combat which is similar to Civilization games where you are just in charge of choosing what units to build and sending them off to battle. You can also choose the strategic combat mode where every battle is fought on the strategic map and you take control of every unit.

    If you are a fan of turn based strategy and don't mind a game with older graphics, then I would highly recommend this game....more info
  • Excellent storyline
    While it is true that this title borrows heavily from many others, there are some differences. First, a great story behind the campains that gives you some insight and tips on the upcoming mission. Excellent (IMO) characterization of the main hero of the story, which evolves as the campain unfolds. There are abilities beyond regular Leadership/Spell casting/Markmanship that can give you competitive edge (my favorites are Domination/Charm). As the campaing progresses, the features come into play more and more (e.g. on early stages ruin exploration are somewhat hindering speed, whereas on later stages artifacts/rescued troops can play significant roles).
    Overall, very involving (and time-consuming :-)...more info
  • Great for fantasy fans everywhere.
    If you're into the whole "middle-earth" atmosphere (like me), then you're sure to love this strategy game. In addition to a myriad of scenarios and campaign options, this game boasts a wonderful, "Tolkeinite" style story (complete with briefings and journal entries to urge the plot along) and race/character descriptions that anyone who is a little obsessive should love.

    It's also a game for people who aren't strategy game pros because it's not that hard to master and anyone with some common sense could figure it out.

    I personally love the often complex maps on which the scenarios/campaigns are played on. The gameplay is quite fun with it's alternating turns and automatic/tactical battle options. Just an overall neat game.

    P.S. The music is lovely, too!...more info

  • Transparent, short lived gameplay
    I found this game to be FAR to obvious. The races have merely a percentage of a difference between them. The game has zero variety. Play it for an hour . . . and then you'll see how it will ALWAYS play. Boring....more info
  • Age of Wonderous Gameplay
    Having played the demo before playing the full version, i had a slight idea of what to expect from this game. Now that i have had access to the full features of the game, i'm happy to say that i will keep playing this game, because it has endless possibilities. The only problem i had with this game, and the reason i gave it four stars instead of five, was the fact that the campaign didnt end very well. It was pitiful. I happen to be a huge fan of movie endings and qualities of them.....this game had potential, till the end. Also, not a very taxing game on the systems (the gameplay isnt that much graphic driven). It is a content based game, and chooses to wow you with its gameplay than with its graphics, which is fine with me. In conclusion, Age of Wonders is a great game for any strategy type fantasy gamer....more info
  • I am now dumber for playing this game...
    I give it to you straight. This is the worst game in my collection. The graphics are horrible, not even as good as Master of Magic that was published fiver years earlier. The music isn't good enough for an elevator and the game play couldn't be any worse if it tried.

    You can't build new cities, you have to pay to bring items with you...The whole game is stale and unimaginitive. The map editor is hard to work with too. They pain, the pain... It just won't stop. I haven't played this "turkey" since the first week I bought it six months ago....more info

  • Epic fantasy war gaming at its best!
    I bought "Age of Wonders" when it first came out. The game, in my opinion, is the best computer fantasy war game that has ever been made. With the option of twelve different races and seven different spheres of magic, there is definitely plenty of diversity and replay value in this game. The spell effects are charming, and the musical score is beautiful. The single player campaign has a great story line, and the multi-player aspect of the single scenarios is well developed. Heroes are very customizable, and if you so choose, you can actually have a hero represent you on the playing field as well (though if you die, you lose). There is only one thing that I would change about the game and that is some of the unit icons; to be honest, the artwork on some of the icons is a little lacking like they were rushing to get this product out the gates. All in all, "Age of Wonders" is an awesome game, and I am definitely looking forward to "Age of Wonders 2"....more info
  • Best overall turn-based fantasy strategy game
    If you like turn-based fantasy strategy games, buy this one. I still play this game every other days after 2 years, which for me is the ultimate accolade -- and I buy a LOT of games in almost all genres.

    It's Master-of-Magic like, but has a huge advantage: it's enormously well supported by independent scenario designers who continue to add scenarios every week. There are HUNDRED of scenarios available, and it's a bargain......more info

  • What a disappointment!
    This game is Civ II meets D&D. Its horrible. One of my five LEAST favorite games....more info
  • I waited 10 years for MoM 2 and this is what I get!
    To compare Age of Wonders to any game other than Masters of Magic is ludicrous. This game is blatantly an MoM clone with deprecated gameplay and better graphics. Granted MoM was a terrific game, but surely Triumph Software could have improved on more than the interface. The few improvements over MoM are:

    - better (barely better) graphics - a couple new races - a few new spells (most spells are exactly the same as MoM) - tactical combat inside monster lair locations - simultaneous turns - game doesn't end when someone researches the mastery spell.

    Its list of features that are lacking from MoM are:

    - brutally simplified town management (is this a shooter?) - can't build new towns - no town growth - an 'upgrade' option to replace individual building - one player per race - confusing diplomacy that changes round to round - no improvement to combat, identical to MoM - no improvement to heroes, identical to MoM - no improvement to magic system, identical to MoM

    Perhaps I shouldn't be so hard on this game. Other reviewers and friends say that the simplified interface is a blessing. That the micromanagement of MoM was tedious. But what is wrong with having an AI do your town management for you if you choose? In all fairness I have, and will, be playing Age of Wonders for hours. Buy it for MoM with a facelift, but it is not MoM2....more info

  • wow... this is FUN
    This game is plain fun! The atmosphere and graphics are compelling (if you remember it is a game), there is room for story telling in the game, the AI is decent, you have 12 sides to choose from, loads of magical spells (the effects are fun!), ships, the whole nine yards.

    I love that you get a game editor with it and can create your own magic items and heroes and story-line. The game is very well balanced and involves actual strategy.

    The simplified economy is a BIG PLUS over MOM which was micromanagement hell and why I gave it up eventually.

    There are little details of hte game that go pretty deep, such as the weaponry needed to hit a Wraith or a Dragon, how the alignments and races interact and sometimes desert your army, how best to attack a fortified and walled-in town (loads of fun), choice between tactical and strategic combat. And overall, it flows just so much smoother than MOM ever did. I actually get lost in the story and details much more than I did at MOM, and the AI is not as much of a push-over as the MOM AI was if oyu factor out cheating...

    I can't believe I overlooked this game and glad I found it!...more info

  • The genre's not dead after all......
    After losing what little social life I still had, thanks to this game, I have to say it is hands-down the best strategy game I've ever played. The graphics are not real flashy, but they are pretty and they work well with the game type. Age of Wonders is not the most original game in the universe, but it's a lot more so than much of what's been on the shelf lately. I must also admit I am obsessed with elves, so this game naturally appealed to me. All that aside, however, it has the one thing that makes a game great, and that is that it's FUN. The most beautiful graphics in the world, and the best soundtrack, not make a mediocre game good. Age of Wonders has that great, addictive gameplay. (Which, come to think of it, is probably why I nearly failed math....)...more info
  • A terrific turn-based fantasy strategy game
    This is the most recent turn-based fantasy strategy game and is arguably the best of them. The game includes two full campaigns (choose between good guys and baddies) and several single scenarios. You control one main hero with the option to recruit units and secondary heroes. Each race you control has 4 levels of units unique to each race. Heroes improve through experience in the campaign, gaining spells, higher stats and unique abilities. Units can also improve gaining better stats with experience. Heroes, units and magic items are carried forward to the next scenario subject to a points maximum. Unlike Heroes of Might and Magic, your heroes actually fight in battles (finally!). If you liked Master of Magic or the Heroes of Might and Magic series, you'll love this game.

    The good parts: Multiple races (all controllable through capture even from opposite alignments). Simple intuitive interface. Deep strategic battles, where each unit has srong and weak points. Improveable heroes with spells, magic artifacts, and a large number of unique skills. Units and Heroes carry forward to the next scenario you get to select which ones. Superb replay value (many races to play, two branching campaigns, scenario editor included). Rock-solid stability (haven't had a crash since I installed it a month ago)

    The bad parts: If you didn't have much of a life before, you'll have even less after you buy this game....more info

  • Finnaly, Turn-Based Fantasy that Does Everything Well
    Take it from me, i have been playing games of this type all the way back to the days of Kings Bounty (which still rules and fits on only one disk) I spent hours playing Heroes 2 and 3 as well as with the Warlords series and this takes the best from them all, thrown in some of its own unique charecter and ends up with one of the most well balanced, downright fun games to come down the turn-based pike in quite some time....more info
  • Solid.
    Although it may not be the most innovative or the most expansive game on the market, Age of Wonders captivates the hearts of gamers withits solid tried-and-true gameplay. Even if the game borrows details from several others, it just improves so much on the gameplay that it's hard not smile. While the game lacks any randomness, it captures the old-school feeling of true feudalism. The color palette is fantastic and I was surprised at the superior quality of the music - excellent, to say the least. The units are well-balanced, and despite the low number of different unit types the game allows for a fascinating amount of strategy, unlike the other games which mainly specialize in getting as many units, items, and characters on-screen as fast as possible.

    Even if a game doesn't fill your screen with glittering effects, or doesn't offer you fifteen billion different customizable units doesn't exactly mean that it cannot be excellent. Age of Wonders is....more info

  • Master of Magic it ain't.
    For those of you saying this game is basically a rehash of Master of Magic I don't know what game it is you think you've been playing. While Age of Wonders is a very good game and I do reccomend buying it, if you are expecting a game with the raw amount of possibilities that were present in Master of Magic you will be dissapointed. There aren't even half the spells available, you can't create magic items for your characters, the units for each race are basically the same and the number of varrying units isn't very great, and no random map games. The other thing that really bothered me is that since there are no random map games you have to play all pre-generated scenarios which force you to pick from a select number of races and follow a set goal for the scenario.

    But, on the whole, the game is good, just don't go into it expecting a game very close to Master of Magic. Oh yea, and here's to Microprose to make a sequel to Master of Magic. =)...more info

  • It's fun while it lasts
    I bought this game not too long ago never having played a turn-based strategy game, although I am a longtime veteran of RTSs. At first it was a lot of fun, researching new stuff, taking over towns, etc, but it began to get boring. Three or four levels into the single player game, it was still extraordinarily easy, and I already had access to most of the upgrades, but it was getting annoying. You can't have parties of more than eight, so when taking on a castle garrisonning 20 enemies, things get quite ridiculous. All of the units are pretty even in strength, and the cutscenes were not very good, basically a bunch of still shots blending together.

    I do buy games for the single-player, though. I don't have a great internet connection, so my reviews don't apply to multiplayer aspects of games. It may be great online, I don't know. However, offline it is fun and addictive for the first few days, and then it quickly becomes yet another game junked onto the shelf.

    Caution -- when you're playing, this game becomes one of those "Just a couple more minutes" games that you never stop playing....more info

  • A great game
    This is simply a great game. Easy to learn but lots of play value. Combinations of strategies make it sort of a "rock, paper, scissors" game where no unit (except maybe for heroes) can always beat any other unit. Hero development also has a new twist bringing ability development closer to role-playing games. Simply a great game!...more info
  • This game is wonderful. Really.
    This game is going to be on my hard drive for a long, long time. The only thing it lacks is a random map generator, which I think will be added in a patch or an add-on later. If you're a turn-based strategy fan, this game is a must have. It blows Heroes of Might and Magic (an already superb series) out of the water with more detail, better combat, and just plain better everything (even better MUSIC, which was very hard to beat!).

    If you don't love this game, you're not a gamer. (Either that or you're just a twitch gamer, which is allmost as bad. :-)

    In all my years of PC gaming, this is my favorite turn-based game (tops Master of Magic and even X-COM! those two games held the "longest on hard drive" awards up until this one came along, and I know it will unseat them). It might actually be my favorite game of all time, bar-none, but that remains to be seen in the test of time.

    Buy this....more info