Age of Empires

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North American box art.

Age of Empires is a real-time strategy game developed by Ensemble Studios and published by Microsoft originally for Windows in 1997.

I first played this game shortly after it was released when a friend of my brother's let me borrow it. I played through the Egyptian scenario to learn how to play, and then started playing online with him. I really enjoyed the game and got pretty good at it, well enough to beat most amateur-level players. This wasn't the first real-time strategy game I played (that was Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, but it was the last one to interest me since I noticed that they all pretty much follow the same routine.


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Best Version: 82%

— This section contains spoilers! —


  • The graphic art is fantastic. Pre-rendered 3D graphics in 2D usually look awful, but the artists did a good job here.
  • The game's music and sound effects are really good.
  • The game's AI it very competent, and can be quite a challenge at the hardest difficulty.
  • A lot of detailed history was put into the game, and the various touches were noticed and enjoyed.
  • The built-in scenario editor was a wonderful bonus, and certainly stole many hours off my life.
  • The game had really good multiplayer support.
  • The manual is really informative and well-made.


  • The civilizations are not evenly balanced. The fast villagers of the Assyrians and Yamato make them superior for standard play.


  • Nothing.

Rise of Rome

The Rise of Rome expansion adds new civilizations, new units, more scenarios, bigger maps, and lots of bug fixes.





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