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ZOOM Age of Wonders
Sold Out (Win95/Win98) (Jewel Case) (AGEWONDPJ)

Publisher: Triumph Studios / Gathering of Developers

Game(Win95/Win98) (Retail) (AGEWONDPR)

ESRB Rating: Everyone - Animated blood and mild animated violence

                    

Ratings:

A- from  Just Adventure

9/10 from  EuroGamer

An Ancient Saga

Welcome to 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 an 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 earth in the AGE OF WONDERS!

Age of Wonders is a turn-based game combining the best elements of strategy, adventure and role-playing. It features 12 unique fantasy races, over 50 different heroes with upgradable abilities, dozens of spells and scores of locations to explore. In this game of conquest, players employ strategic and tactical skills to command troops in capturing vital locations and defeating enemies in a captivating single player campaign or compete with friends in multi-player scenarios.

Combat

Being a strategy game of conquest, Age of Wonders focuses heavily on combat. Combat in AoW is multifaceted, having many styles influenced by a player's race, productions, and playing style. Magic can also play a major roll in overall combat strategies and in each individual battle. All in all, combat in AoW is a rich mix of subtle strategies and tactical exectuion. To determine the outcome of each conflict, Age of Wonders lets you choose between the two most common combat systems: Fast Combat or Tactical Combat.

Fast combat quickly determines the outcome of a battle by utilizing complex algorithms. The fast combat algorithms are surprisingly accurate in determining the outcome of battles, taking into account unit stats, experience, special/spell abilities, immunities, defense provided by city walls, terrain, and more.

In tactical combat, you control each of your individual units and command them to attack specific units, guard, cast spells, use items, etc. Tactical combat takes place on zoomed-in "battle maps," showing the exact placement of units, terrain and obstacles, such as city walls, trees, bridges, etc. If you have a specific goal in mind when attacking or defending, tactical combat is the best way to ensure that specific goal is reached. Tactical combat also makes for interesting sieges, as the attacker must actually breach a city's wall to enter a city and conquer it.

Races

Age of Wonders features a total of 12 different playable races, which include the Elves, Dwarves, Halflings, High Men, Humans, Azracs, Frostlings, Lizard Men, Orcs, Goblins, Dark Elves, and Undead. Each of these races is aligned toward good, neutrality or evil, which affects their relations toward each other in the game. Each also has their own unique productions list.

Heroes

Heroes are the cornerstone of any army. They are generally the most powerful and versatile units and are nearly indispensable. Heroes are the only units able to explore the many special locations in Age of Wonders, and are the only ones who can use the powerful magic items and artifacts found within these places.

Units

Age of Wonders boasts over 100 different fantasy units and more than 50 unique heroes. Most units are produced in cities and include normal soldiers, war machines, transports, and natural, magical and supernatural creatures of immense power. Productions are divided into four distinct levels of power, with level 1 being the least powerful and level 4 the most powerful. Higher level units are often the most useful strategically because they usually posses many more special abilities that set them apart from the weaker and more mundane units.

Requirements:

Windows 95/98: or NT4.0 with Service Pack 4, P166 MHz (P2 266 recommended), 32MB RAM, 4x CD-ROM drive, DirectX compatible video card capable of 16 bit high color display, DirectX compatible sound card, 350 MB available HD space.

Multiplayer: TCP/IP connection for Internet play, TCP/IP or IPX for Network play, E-mail Account capable of attachments to Play by E-mail.

Reviews:

Just Adventure by Adam Rodman

"Consider for a moment that the role-playing genre, turn-based strategy genre, and The Lord of the Rings series by Tolkien were thrown into a blender set on puree. What would come of this unusual recipe? The resulting amalgam would be Age of Wonders, and it would be (and is) superb. Why? Age of Wonders manages to mix an absorbing plot (rare in the strategy genre), well-paced and entertaining gameplay, and almost limitless replay value into an admirable product that should be greatly considered by all fans of either the RPG or turn-based strategy genre."

"Age of Wonders is easy to learn yet hard to master. Essentially, the player must collect resources, build up armies, and conquer enemy cities, much like any strategy game. However, the game goes much deeper. There are 12 unique races in the game, each of which you can be allied with, at peace with, or at war with. Each race is also controlled by a Hero, including yours. If this Hero happens to die, the Hero's empire will fall. As in an RPG, Heros can gain levels and new abilities and spells. This makes them much stronger than the average unit. Because of the fact that your Hero's death will cause you to lose, it is usually a good idea to keep him or her safe. However, the enemy AI doesn't do a very good job at Hero protection--it is possible to beat otherwise hard scenarios very easily simply by attacking the computer's Hero in the very beginning. Other than the minor hero squabble, Age of Wonders's AI is brilliant. It will strategically retreat, plan ambushes, and surround large cities so none may evacuate."

EuroGamer by John "Gestalt" Bye

"Humans. Can't take them anywhere. Spreading disease, war, starvation and environmental degradation wherever they go...

"The world of Age of Wonders is just one victim of this plague, thrown into chaos by the arrival of humanity in a haven where elves, halflings, faeries, dwarves, and other pointy-eared types used to live in harmony."

"Age of Wonders is a turn-based strategy game, something of a rariety these days. It might not have the fast action of its real time brethren, but the more sedate pace allows it to be far deeper and more involving."

"In fact the whole game is intricately balanced, and no single unit or strategy can triumph in every situation. It is a real tribute to the developers that it works so well.

"Turn based strategy games aren't exactly known for their visuals, but Age of Wonders looks absolutely gorgeous... The graphics are colourful and detailed, and if you have the hardware to handle it you can play the game at ridiculously high resolutions."

Game Industry News Review by Royce Brainard

"The gaming area was beautifully depicted and was a joy to wander around in and discover new and exciting things that were put into this game. Tactical combat maps are also exquisitely depicted complete with opening doors and gates and line of sight obstructions like trees and hills. All in all this is a very visually pleasing game to play."

"I received an upgrade to a 500 MHZ Pentium III for Christmas and ran this game on it. It is indeed a different game. In simultaneous mode all the computer opponents were done before I was and tactical combat was a pleasure to behold and take part of. This is certainly a worthwhile game if you have a 300 MHZ Pentium II or better machine!"



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