Friday spotlight: Age of Empires.

Connor Lyons By Connor Lyons, 30th Aug 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Games>Strategy

Games are certainly not all bad, though as we all know it can lead to some pretty bad things if we’re not careful about restrictions and what we let children play—here is a great example of the good in gaming society!

Age of Empires!

Age of Empires is a historical real-time strategy game, created by Ensemble Studios and published by Microsoft, it is quite possibly one of the coolest games you could actually let your children play without worries of it corrupting your child’s mind and imagination. The games typically have two types of game modes, with sub modes within the free-for-all. The first and most impressive one is the campaign mode, with a variety of historical figures to choose from, like Genghis Khan, Joan of Arc, Minamoto Yoshitsume, the list goes on. The campaign mode will shortly explain to the player about the historical figure they have chosen and their cultural difficulties, and then will proceed to place the player in command of that player, as he/she guides the hero through these historical-based missions. Your objectives will be anywhere from escorting Joan to France so she can lead, to putting the reins of power in Genghis’ hands, and this game handles it beautifully.

The free-for-all mode, you’ll choose a race, and there are a great many to choose from, and start out with a handful of villagers, militia money, food and stone. The objective is to build your empire and go to war against either a human or CPU player. Each race will have their own special types of soldiers, researchable social knowledge and special abilities. Whereas Saladin might be more at home in a desert climate with his camel-back soldiers and can research skills to make his unique soldiers better, Richard the Lionhearted would be more at ease in the rolling hills of the meadows with his horse-back soldiers, he too would research for his own communities strengths and weaknesses. There’s a lot to choose from, and I’m not going to write it all down here, but it’s a lot and you won’t regret getting it.

Why should the kids play it?

Yes, there is killing, a lot of killing. But the character’s deaths are not grotesque, and while in some of the games the bodies of fallen soldiers will bleed, and even decompose, it’s not really might a huge point of or done to the extreme like some games and your children won’t be affected by this.

What they will be affected by though, is probably a craving to learn more about the heroes and societies they so often lead into battle. They’ll already be learning a great deal from the game, if they’re playing the campaign mode, and there’s a lot to learn from in it. But afterwards they’re almost certain to start wondering a little more about these historical figures. It will help stimulate their minds, as they have to strategize how they will use their community’s resources, balance between non-combative units, and combative units that their community can sustain, the terrain, and their enemies how best to bring down the opposing force with as little drain on your resources as possible—they’ll want to be as frugal as possible, because the more resources, the better the score at the end of the game.

This game is also on pretty much all systems in one form or another and each one is just as educational and fun. Chances are you’ll be able to find one of these games on your console, handheld, or PC of choice.

Overall, I’d personally give the game five stars. Your child will be learning a great deal about how to multi-task, better judgment, history, imagination, teamwork, as they help their human or CPU allies, all while they’re having a lot of fun. It’s a win-win for mom and dad, who just want some quiet time every now and then.


Advice, Educational, History

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author avatar Connor Lyons
I'm greatly interested in writing, life, the military and education!

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