Welcome to Age of Wonders, the authentic turn-based fantasy strategy classic that started the hit series. Age of Wonders’ intimate atmosphere with painterly graphics still shines today. The game’s fully patched up, start building your fantasy empire today!
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 others, has changed into a struggle for power and survival in the wake of the turmoil the Humans have brought to the land. Prepare for a strategy 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 world in the Age of Wonders!
* Age of Wonders is a turn-based game combining the best elements of strategy, adventure and role-playing.
* Forge strategic alliances with compatible races to leverage each race's unique skills and abilities.
* Experience captivating single player campaign playable from the light and dark side.
* Play multi-player games against your friends through hotseat play, play-by-email, or over LAN or the Internet. The latter two modes feature an additional game play mode of simultaneous turns for a fast game pace.
Minimum system requirements: Windows XP or Windows Vista, 1 GHz Processor (1.4 GHz recommended), 256MB RAM (512 recommended), 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 7 (compatible with DirectX 9 recommended), Mouse, Keyboard.
Posted on 2010-09-16 10:07:20 byArthgen:
To start, I already own a CD copy of Age of Wonders that still works on Vista (Fortunately!) so I don't have a need to purchase it here. However, I enjoyed this game so much that I felt it necessary to write a review of it on GOG. I have poured countless hours, nights and days into this seemingly fantastic game. So here goes...
The story of Age of Wonders is as follows:
The Valleyread more of Wonders is settled by a number of races but is almost wholly controlled by elves. All is peaceful and serene in the Valley of Wonders until one day Humans show up. (Damn Humans!) They enter the valley and wish to settle and claim the resources of everything therein. In doing so, a number of humans go on a rampage and defeat the elf kingdom present there and slay the king. However, the king has two children, Julian and Meandor. Princess Julia was raised as good child and joined a group of good elves who wished to befriend the Humans and other races in order to live in harmony. But her brother, Prince Meandor was still vengeful about the destruction of his father and his kingdom. So he goes and joins the Cult of Storms, a group of dark elves with the vow to eradicate all things human.
That starts the story of the game. In the campaign portion of the game, you can choose to play for Good or Evil (Julia or Meandor) which follows two different paths so you never play the same level twice as the different factions.
But the story campaign isn't (In my opinion) where the heart of the game lies. Don't get me wrong, the campaign is great, but I just have had more fun choosing a random scenario, picking a race and trying to wipe everything out. Sounds simple right? It is, but fortunately there is a fair amount more to it....
You can pick a scenario(map) from a list of a number of pre-created ones. More than that, you can make your own maps with the build in editor… and who doesn’t love map editors, am I right? :-) After selecting a map you can go on to choose which races you would like to be present in the game (Out of the races available for that map) and select the number of human players and the AI difficulty level. Increasing the difficulty level does actually make the AI a bit smarter. At the lower levels, the AI may flat out ignore you, but at the higher difficulty levels, they will make an effort to build up a decent sized force and take out your cities. After choosing the difficulty level, you can go on to select whether the game will be played as Turn-Based (Where each player makes a move on their turn) or Simultaneous (Where each player makes their move during the same turn). Once that is selected, you go on to select whether or not you would like your Leader present in game. The Leader they are talking about is you. If selected, a unit will be placed in the game for you to control that acts as the sovereign of your kingdom. If he/she dies, you lose. However, the same applies to the other players if you kill their leader.
The great thing about adding your leader to the game is that you can create him/her from the start, assigning his various attributes, special abilities and spell spheres. As your leader progresses in the game, he/she will gain experience which in turn allows you to either raise your attributes, add more special abilities or increase your spell-casting power. The special abilities that you can add to your leader range from causing fright on enemies once struck by the leaders attack to being able to conjure up flames each turn. But a great ability to increase is your spell power as it allows you to have more mana and, in turn, cast more powerful spells more often. Your spells that you can cast are based upon which spheres of magic you wish to use during your game. The spheres are pretty typical ones you can imagine; fire, earth, wind, water, etc… Choosing one stops you from being able to choose its opposite however, so choose wisely. If however, you do not select a leader for your game, that doesn’t mean you can’t use magic. You can still recruit heroes that appear randomly during the game which level up in the same way your leader does.
Spells are researched based upon control of mana-nodes which are either sphere specific or just generic.
The gameplay itself is made up of you building armies and moving them around on the map and proceeding to attack your enemies. When you have your stack of units attack another, the game shifts to a close up view of the battlefield where the combat takes place. This area is represented by the several hexagon tiles surrounding the area of attack and all the units that lied therein. So for example, if you attacked a 1 hexagon city in the game and had units in all the hexes surrounding it, all those units immediately around the area of attack would be present on the battlefield. So you must think of the placement of your stacked armies prior to battle. The battle itself is composed of sequential turns where you must just wipe out the enemy. If you are allied with another kingdom (Yes, there is some diplomacy in the game too, :-) ) and they have units next to the area of attack, they will assist you in defeating the enemy, provided they are at war with the enemy also.
There are a number of different races to choose from and play against in the game that all fall under 3 different alignments; Good, Neutral and Evil. Good and Evil will almost always want to kill each other while Neutral can go either way. (Obviously)
The end result of the scenario constitutes whether you have completely conquered your enemies or if Allied Victory is selected, if you and your allies enemies are defeated. The scenarios themselves can take a short of long time to complete depending on their size, the AI difficulty and your play style. There have been times where I have spent several hours on one map and didn’t stop at any point during that time. :D
All in all, Age of Wonders is a fantastic game with a lot to do, especially for a somewhat dated game. Sure the two sequels have better artwork and sound as well as some new features, but that does not mean that the first should be avoided in the least! It is even somewhat different in gameplay than the sequels. Age of Wonders has its own particular charm, art style and music. It has an awesome and active fan community who are almost always pumping out maps, and I am sure it will please many of those who buy it here. There are probably a number of good features I have forgotten to mention but I guess it would be more interesting for others to see them for themselves. Have fun! :-)
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Posted on 2010-09-16 16:58:21 byeskoth:
Even more than ten years after its original publishing date, Age of Wonders is still one of the best turn based fantasy strategy games of all time.
It has lost none of its charm and in addition to the game content, there are literally hundreds of maps and scenarios available for this game, many of which are extremely replayable. There are some mods as well. Most of those you canread more find at the game forums on Heaven Games, where the official forums of the game are located.
Having played all games of the series, I actually like this game better than its successors.
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Posted on 2010-09-17 14:28:42 byFargol:
Even after all these years, AoW still holds up VERY well.
Sure, the animations are virtually non-existent, but the gameplay is still as compelling as it was in its day, and the graphics surprised me at how perfectly acceptable they are in 2010.
Reading through the manual, I was reminded of how many really nice features the game has, one of the nicest being the ability to placeread more multiple armies in adjacent stacks to an enemy, then attacking will all of them at once.
And best of all, it runs flawlessly under Vista-64.
I gave it 5 stars rounded up from my real score of 4.5 since the only real problem I have with it is that tactical battles can be very long to resolve tactically, but it's not much of a complaint.
If you never played it, get it. If you did play it when it came out, get it anyway.
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