For a truly wonderful, difficult and magical game, one must not look any further than Age of Wonders. Through level after level, you pit your own strengths against those of opposing races. Your race, name, abilities, army and path all come at your own choosing.
As the game begins and the opening storyline ends, you're left with a ton of information to ponder. Your journey begins as you choose which faction to fight for: the peace-loving Keepers or the vengeful Cult of Storms. Within each faction, there are many different races from which to choose. The Elves are split into two groups themselves and you can choose the Good Elves or the Dark Elves. Goblins are evil characters in the Cult Of Storms while Dwarves primarily exist to serve the Keepers. After choosing your race, portrait and abilities, you're ready to play the game. The area in which the game begins depends on which race you choose, for example, an Elf with the Keepers starts the game defending a colony from an onslaught of Goblins.
The strategy part of this game is vast. Each time you move, you're only allowed a certain number of steps and then must click on a button signifying the end of your turn. When you come upon an enemy, you can either fight them automatically or by tactical war. The automatic option seems quite unfair and often gave my forces damages I wouldn't have incurred in the tactical war. When you choose the tactical approach, you have much more control over what happens and how you attack. You can also use magic of your own choosing.
During the adventure, you'll find characters that want to join you in your fight. These allies either ask for money in exchange for services or join you for free. Once you have eight fighters, you cannot add any more into that part of your army. However, you can still use other characters by moving them separately from the rest. After you defeat a level's objective, you go back to the main map with an option of where to go next.
For gamers interested in a role playing game that plays out as half action-half storyline, Age of Wonders might be a little too slow paced. The idea here is to conquer areas and eventually head towards either a peaceful situation or a dictatorship and revenge on the humans. The story evolves very slowly and this is a game you'll play over a very long period of time.
Moving back a bit, Age of Wonders does not only play out as a campaign but also as single scenarios. Each campaign is made up of many different scenarios with all related to the greater story. If you play in scenario mode, the game ends upon its completion. This mode is ideal for those interested in a short game. Although you're able to save the game at any time in campaign mode, scenario mode offers an option for those not interested in moving in any particular direction as part of the overall storyline.
The option to play as one of a dozen different races is an outstanding feature. During the game, you can interact with these races and offer treaties of peace. They may or may not be accepted, however, but the object is to lean towards peace, the long-term goal. If you love strategy and role playing games, Age of Wonders is worth downloading.
Graphics: The graphics fit the game well, although characters could have been made less cartoonlike. Spells light up the screen and summoned creatures glow brightly.
Sound: The music and sounds are mystical and add to the ambience of the game's environments.
Enjoyment: From choosing between factions and races to deciding where to go on the map, Age of Wonders will keep you glued to the screen.
Replay Value: Many different options and storylines make each adventure unique, thus keeping the game fresh for replays.
How to run this game on modern Windows PC?
People who downloaded Age of Wonders have also downloaded:
Age of Wonders 2: The Wizard's Throne, Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic, Age of Mythology, Age of Empires 2: The Age of Kings, Age of Empires, Age of Empires III, Age of Sail, 1701 A.D.
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