Age of Empires
There are three games in the series so far. These are: Age of Empires, Age of Empires II (also called Age of Kings), and Age of Empires III. There is also a spinoff game called Age of Mythology. It is very similar to Age of Empires, but players can also control monsters like the cyclops. After Ensemble Studios had closed down, another game was made called Age of Empires Online. Age of Empires Online is "free to play", which means that you do not have to pay money to play the game, but you can buy things in the game if you want to.
In Age of Empires, the player usually guides a small tribe of people to build a city. The people, called villagers, can hunt deer, collect berries, and farm for food. They can chop trees for wood. They can collect gold and stone at mines in the ground. The villagers build buildings to make a large city.
There are enemy cities that the player must destroy. When the player has enough food, wood, gold, and stone, the player can train soldiers to fight the enemy. At the beginning of the game, the player only gets weak soldiers, but the player can get better and better units as time goes on.
Each game takes place over four or five time periods called ages. Each players starts in the first age and wants to get to the last age. Each game has a different set of ages:
- Age of Empires starts in the Stone Age, and then you can advance to the Tool Age for 500 food, and then you can advance to the Bronze Age for 800 food, and then you can advance to the Iron Age for 1000 food and 800 gold.
- Age of Empires II (Age of Kings) starts in the Dark Age, and then you can advance to the Feudal Age for 500 food, and then you can advance to the Castle Age for 800 food and 200 gold, and then you can advance to the Imperial Age for 1000 food and 800 gold.
When a player has enough food and gold to advance to the next age, the player must wait. After about a minute, the city reaches the next age. The player's buildings look different and the player can do new things to improve his town and soldiers. New, powerful soldiers such as archers (people that shoot with a bow and arrow), cavalry (warriors that ride horses) and catapults (machines that throw stones) can be used. The player can build walls and towers to defend the city. The player can even build a Wonder of the World, which is a huge building that costs 1000 food, 1000 wood, 1000 gold, and 1000 stone.
All of the Age of Empires games are usually good because the game makes sure no type of soldier is too powerful. There is always a way to kill a large group of enemy units. For example, if a group of twenty archers is attacking, the player should fight back with cavalry. Many people call this balance, because it is impossible for one unit to get too powerful.
The Age of Empires games have many different groups of people to choose from. Each group has a different set of soldiers and abilities.
There are three common ways to play Age of Empires:
- Random Map: Players start with a small town. They build up and fight each other.
- Deathmatch: Players start with a small town, but with lots of food, wood, gold, and stone. Because the players start with so much, they can build a huge army very fast, and there are big fights.
- Regicide (Age of Empires II): Players start with a small town, and a king. The player must protect his own king and kill the enemy kings. Once a player's king dies, he loses and can no longer play.
Age of Empires can be played alone (against computer players) or online against human players. Age of Empires used to have the MSN Gaming Zone, but that no longer works. Age of Empires can still be played online using programs like GameRanger.