Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic is the third entry in the award winning fantasy strategy series. This fan-favorite enhances the series' praised fusion of empire building, role-playing and tactical combat with the eerie Shadow World and battle with races never before seen, across new and diverse landscapes.
Combined with the option of creating a totally unique environment with the map generator and rewriting the history of this world through the enhanced campaign editor, you are ensured a constant stream of completely new game experiences.
* Revisions to the original 12 Age of Wonders races. Each race has a new city upgrade, which comes with a new unit. For example, the Elves can build a Secret Forest, which cloaks the town and produces Treemen.
* Use diplomacy with your rivals as you see fit. Lay siege to enemy cities with a careful balance of tactical guile and magical augmentations. You might just be destined to become the greatest Wizard-King of all time.
* Confront rivals in Multiplayer via a LAN or over the Internet for up to 8 players - options include Play by Email, Hot Seat, and the exciting Simultaneous-Turn System allowing all players to move at the same time!
* Design your very own scenarios, heroes, items, and even new Wizards with the enhanced scenario editor, challenging others to triumph over your creation
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 2010-11-04 14:53:50 byBoaan:
This game has stolen more time from me than I care to share. I don't know exactly what makes it so addicting, especially if you plan out long hot-seat sessions with friends, but I can try and explain in my own words:
Firstly, it has a greatly refreshing formula compared to other turn-based strategy games out there. The fact that it relies heavily on your wizard which, if lost,read more means game over, while the wizard, in turn, compliments the dispatched units across the playing field really struck me as awesome.
Your wizard can learn spells that can be cast within your range of influence that expands if your wizard is located in a city with specific buildings built, and skills that benefit your overall economy or army. Before every skirmish round you can customize your wizard to specialize in specific areas, this determining what types of spells you can research and subsequently use, along with race/faction, power alignment, etc.
Aside from your wizard, you get the chance to employ various heroes to lead your army. Each army unit can only be comprised of a maximum of 8 individual units. The hero is no exception, but you always want to have a hero in your pack whenever possible as they provide their own area of influence (provided your wizard is in that city with the special building I mentioned previously).
The great thing about this game is how it handles positioning in battles. Since the grid is hexagonal you can surround and enemy unit with six of your own. When one of them attacks or if one is attacked all the surrounding units (provided they're withing one hexagon range) get dragged in the battle. It can end up providing such strategic options you're never gonna have a boring game.
Two new races are added to the ones that were kept from the previous games, making this installment feel like a steal. They're all very diverse, very fun to play in their own unique way and best of all, it can take a while to discover all they have to offer which provides a great incentive to keep on trying the same race until you've squeezed all there is out of it.
The campaign itself is lighthearted in dialogue, serious in events but very engaging altogether. You'll find yourself wasting just as much time here as you will in multiplayer skirmishes or custom maps. I don't want to spoil anything but the intro will provide a good sense of what the campaign focuses on.
The visuals and audio, in my opinion, should be tackled together. They compliment each other so well it immerses you completely the second you start a game. Some unit sounds can get on your nerve every now and then but I've always looked at them as good comic relief and frequently would taunt my hot-seat friends with them. Good fun. The levels themselves are all full of detail, never bothering the eye with blandness or repetitive tiles. Spell effects are also impressive and add a sort of dreamy fantasy feel to it all. This is where the sound really compliments as not only are spells recognizable based on sound, they also accentuate the feeling of power they have.
I would definitely recommend this game to anyone that wants a slightly more refreshing twist on the turn-based strategy genre. While it may seem complex at first, it's really easy to get into even without having played previous installments or other staple games of the genre.
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Posted on 2010-11-30 20:44:15 byasc1974:
Wow. Just Wow. Where to begin? This game is incredibly addictive and a true treat for fans of turn based strategy. Truthfully though any fan of the fantasy genre should enjoy this with its diverse races and intriguing story. I sat down to play 'a few minutes' of my new game when I finished installing it at 8pm. Suddenly I realized with bleary burning eyes it was 3 am and STILLread more regretted that I had to stop and was thinking about getting back to it all day. The visuals hold up even today though they are definitely 'old school.' I had to search for something negative to say here and its quite small. In tactical battles it is often difficult to see units if they move into trees, etc. Then again, maybe thats intentional since they'd be difficult to locate there in RL. Still, I found myself wishing for a rotatable camera to use a few times in my battles.
I can recommend this to anyone interested in fantasy or strategy games without reservation. It is truly a "Good Old Game" and my only regret in buying it is that I missed all the time playing it since its first release.
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Posted on 2010-11-06 11:56:18 byrmm1976:
As someone who'd missed out on the AoW series but was a fan of the Civ games (especially Civilization 2), I'd been waiting on this title to release. I'd read that it was an improvement on AoW2 and the graphics looked to be way better than AoW1. Plus it has a random map generator.
So far, so good after about 4-6 hours of gameplay. Although GOG says it includes a manual, I didn'tread more see that on the downloads page. However, there is an extensive tutorial in-game, so not really a need for a manual in my opinion. As others have described, this is basically a fantasy version of the Civ series. So anyone who likes that series and is into fantasy realm type stuff, you'll enjoy this. It has some cool differences such as starting out with a wizard (customizable) who can cast spells each turn, including during combat. And you can pick up mercenary units for a price, plus units all have the ability to level up. Very cool.
So basically, I'd say this game is worth the $10 price tag. If you're on the fence about it, search YouTube and there are a few gameplay videos that can give you an idea of what it's like. Thanks GOG!
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