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Exploring the Age of Wonders series

Age of Wonders is now a venerable series, with a history that dates back two decades. The latest game, Age of Wonders: Planetfall, has taken the series in a new direction with an entirely new setting.

With a new game out it’s the perfect time to look back over the series and see where Age of Wonders has taken us in the past. Here’s our look at the Age of Wonders by Triumph Studios.

Age of Wonders

The first game to be released in the Age of Wonders series in 1999, the original Age of Wonders is a fantasy strategy game set on a world filled with magic and strange creatures.

Players choose from a selection of races to begin their adventure to victory. However, not all races are available on each map, and not all are playable. Present in this inaugural game in the series are Elves, Lizardmen, Humans, Goblins, Dark Elves, Undead, Orcs, Dwarves, Halflings, Frostlings, Azracs, and Highmen.

Age of Wonders came with a basic map editor, and multiplayer modes over LAN, hotseat, or email.

Age of Wonders II: The Wizard’s Throne

The sequel to Age of Wonders was released in 2002 and took the approach of making games a little faster and a little easier to navigate whilst also expanding the solo campaigns present in the game. Tactical battles between units were sped up by taking place in smaller tactical arenas, making them quicker to resolve.

In addition to the above, the game featured improvements to graphics and sound, two new single-player campaigns, more side-quests available in-game, a revamped magic system, and more races and build options.

Age of Wonders II: The Wizard’s Throne was released to an overwhelmingly positive response, with many publications putting it in the running for best strategy game of the year.

Age of Wonders: Shadow of Magic

Released in 2003, Shadow of Magic expands upon The Wizard’s Throne in several key ways. The world has been expanded by taking place on three different layers, the Surface, the Underworld, and the Shadow World, The game’s structure has also been significantly changed up, with the option for turns to be played out simultaneously

With fifteen races in the game and a series of cities that can be upgraded through several levels, there’s a large amount of replayable built into the game with no two games being the same.

Age of Wonders: Shadow of Magic was praised on its release for its addictiveness and ‘one more turn’ playability, being nominated for many strategy game of the year awards.

Age of Wonders III

Introduced into Age of Wonders III are a large number of RPG elements that stir up the mix of the formula. The leader of your faction must be chosen, customised, and then upgraded throughout the game, and difficult decisions are to be found when guiding your character through Age of Wonders III.

This third main installment in the series streamlines but doesn’t simplify many of the mechanics that Age of Wonders fans love. Reviews at the time touched upon how even though the game was a little easier to get to grips with, it still offered a good challenge for any strategy fan.

Released in 2012 to good reviews, Age of Wonders III received two expansions, Golden Realms and Eternal Lords.

Age of Wonders: Planetfall

The first new Age of Wonders game in seven years and also the fourth main game in the series, Age of Wonders: Planetfall marks a departure for the series.

Whilst still utilising that essential Age of Wonders DNA, Planetfall takes to the stars for a sci fi adventure on a distant planet. Set after the intergalactic Star Union has fallen, the player takes on the mantle of a faction leader as they explore, expand, exterminate, and exploit their way to a victory across the world.

Released on August the 6th, 2019 for Xbox One, PC, and PlayStation 4, Age of Wonders: Planetfall is already one of the most highly rated games released in 2019.