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Age of Empires: World Domination Review

 

If you’re like me, you spent hours playing Age of Empires as a kid. Every now and then I’ve thought about the game, looking forward to the time when I could play it once again, and confident that the franchise wasn’t dead just yet.

Rumors about an Age of Empires game for mobile devices have been floating around for a few years now, and while Microsoft did bring Age of Empires: Castle Siege to iOS, many rightfully knew that this wasn’t the Age of Empires game we had been hoping for.

That game just launched, and while it seems like it’s only out in Singapore and the Philippines, it’s all but certain that we’ll see a worldwide launch for the game in the near future. I was able to get my hands on the game to take a look and see if it lives up to my inner child’s dreams.

Design

aoe2Upon first opening the game, you’ll be faced with the standard mobile game rigamarole. Sign up, enter the name you want to use, download additional files, and so on. Afterwards, users will go through a lengthy training period, where they will learn the different aspects of the game and how it’s played.

Let’s make something very clear. If you’re expecting to play the Age of Empires games of old on your mobile device, you will be disappointed. It’s just not the same game. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it is something to be aware of.

The menus and main screen is pretty easy to get used to, especially after a few days. The game isn’t one that relies on graphics, but the graphics aren’t bad at all for the type of game that it is.

Gameplay

While everything looks good, unfortunately the game is pretty confusing. I’m going to attempt to explain things below, and will probably confuse myself in the process.

aoe3Like in previous Age of Empires games, users start by building what are supposed to be centers for different supplies. Users collect wood, gold, ore, food, and gems. This is all done automatically – no need to send out different villagers to try and collect the supplies. These supplies are used for things like building new buildings, upgrading buildings, and training soldiers, except for gems, which are used to make upgrades and training go quicker, and, you guessed it, can be purchased for real-world money.

Speaking of soldiers, there are four types – militia, spearman, scout cavalry, and archer. Different types of soldiers are assigned to different “heroes,” and certain heroes have different advantages when they’re assigned to the right kind of army. Users will also build structures related to the different armies, with different buildings being used to train the different types of soldiers.

The building of a user’s town, assigning and training of armies, and collecting of supplies all takes place on one screen – battles take place on another.

Like many other games of this nature, users head to a map to conquer different areas and advance through the world.

Battles

aoe4During battles, users start with their garrison, which is their main building that can be used to send out different heroes and the armies associated with those heroes. Armies can be assigned to different modes. For example, when a battle starts, the battle ground is usually shrouded in darkness, with armies first needing to explore the land to both find the enemy and to find land to build extra buildings on.

Usually the objective of the battle is simply to destroy the enemy garrison, and users have ten minutes to do so. If the time runs out, or their garrison is destroyed by the enemy, the user loses.

After a battle, users will win rewards in the form of extra supplies, gems, and other items that can be used to advance their civilization in some way. They will also win experience, which will level them up, and after reaching a certain level, they will be able to trade supplies for an advancement in “age.” Advancing in ages is the real goal of the game, and will allow the user to reach new heights – buildings will look and perform better, capacities will improve, and the user will be an overall better player.

Conclusions

Was that confusing enough for you? In reality it’s not too bad. After an hour or so of playing, the user will get the hang of the game, and the roles of the different points and supplies will begin to be obvious.

Overall, Age of Empires: World Domination is a great attempt at a mobile Age of Empires game. I would love to one day see the original games ported over to iOS and Android, however it’s easy to see why that might never happen. The game tries to appeal to both the seasoned Age of Empires fan and those that have never heard of the game, something that it does quite well despite initial confusion as to how the game works. Not only that, but the game is free apart from any in-game purchases that the user decides to buy.

You can head to the Google Play Store if you’re an Android user, or the App Store for iOS users, to download the game. If you can’t yet download the game, that likely means that it hasn’t yet rolled out to your country, so don’t worry if you have a fairly new device and it says that your device is not compatible – just be sure to check back every now and then.

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Nik

Dec 21, 2015

643 Articles Published

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