One of the popular games to come from Ensemble Studios, Age of Empires was originally released in 1997, but since then has been played, had sequels added to it, and been copied by many others. With over 20 million copies sold to the public, it is no small wonder that other developers have sat up and taken notice of what Ensemble is doing so right.
Though there is no winning formula when it comes to designing computer games, developers understand that if they give consumers what they want, they are more likely to sell games. This is why they have followed in the footsteps of Ensemble and developed games that are like Age of Empires. But do these games measure up? While some may immediately dismiss them, claiming that no game will ever reach the heights that Age of Empires did, others are not so sure. As for your opinion, it certainly stands to reason that you may want to play some of these games before you make up your own mind. The list below is not a fully comprehensive one, and it does not give extensive details of every game, but it does have just enough information for you to decide whether or not you are willing to give these games a try. All of the games below are available on Mac or PC, but you are unlikely to find them for console.
Age of Mythology
This game comes to players courtesy of Ensemble and ensures that what people loved about Age of Empires, will find appealing about this game too. With a high score from players, the game is more than enjoyable and gives you the chance to decide whether you want to play with a Norse, Egyptian or Greek civilization. Depending on the civilization of your choice, you will also want to select the deities your society will worship and try to plan campaigns to expand your land. If you loved AoE, this is another you will want to add to your list of favorites.
Command & Conquer
If the name doesn’t already give you a clear indication of what this game is about, the graphics certainly will. A game that is more heavily focused on attacks and defenses, this is one that allows you to build up your city, but without having to focus too heavily on structure strategy. The first in this series came to market in 1995, but since then the series has grown exponentially, and more and more people are trying their hands at it. With the chance to control infantry and aircraft, and a style that follows in the genre of dice-roll games, each game will be different for each player.
Real-time games are often a player’s first choice when it comes to gaming as they get to see the effects of their decisions as they occur. Social Empires is one of those games that allows players to take the reins when it comes to decision making and create their own mini empires. Starting with just one small village and a few citizens, you have the responsibility of collecting food and gold, building farms and houses and defending your citizens from attack. While you play, various missions will be placed in your path and you can choose to complete them at your will for various rewards.
Another series of games, this is your chance to build a great city and get involved in some real-time strategy as well. Though there are quite a few available in the series, each one is unique in its offering but the golden thread that runs through them is that players need to, you guessed it, build up a village and defend it from attackers. The difference between these games and others in this genre is that this one focuses very heavily on the economy, and not as much on battle. As the ruler of a tiny land, you need to take your citizens from poor farming folk to rich city dwellers.
Rise of Nations
This game was released nearly a decade ago, but despite one of the older games, it is still quite popular. Players have their choice of as many as 18 civilizations to build up and control and this means a journey through eight different eras in history. This game works in a territorial way, which means that players can only expand their land in their own territory. While some may find this restrictive, others will enjoy playing within the boundaries and making the most of the space they have. As they manage to expand their civilizations, players will be able to expand their territories. One of the greatest parts of this game? Resource collectors that look for missions for you to complete so that you advance faster.
This is yet another game that has presented with various series and follows the same formula as the others. It another game about collecting gold, wood, and other resources, building structures, and enforcing law and order. So what’s the difference? Well for one, the series spans the development of the Earth from prehistoric times to modern-day times. This means you get about half a billion years to structure and shape your world. If you get the latest expansion, you can even advance to the space age and this means a lot of potential and a lot of fun to be had. This is one game you do not want to miss out on.
This game has quickly shot up the popularity ranks both in its original release and for this sequel. With three races to control, namely, the humans, the Protoss – a race of aliens – and the Zerg – pretty much the alien bad guys – players will have the opportunity to play in a variety of ways and with a variety of results. This is all about the single-player but if you prefer going multi, the game has the facilities for you to do so. And if you happen to get stuck on a particular campaign, all you need to do is check out the YouTube community for a little help.
Yes, folks, it’s another series of games, also that released its original in the early 2000s. For those who like their games warlike though, this is really the best to choose. Not only does it give you a unique insight into Medieval England, but the player will also have the chance to build an empire up from the ground. This is another game that quickly became popular after its original released and because it sports such a large online community, it has a lot to offer players both of the single-player variety and those who prefer multiplayer strategy games.
Rome: Total War
Set in the days of the Roman Empire, this game gives players one of three families to control. You get to use your turn to engage in real-time battles and turn-based strategy, all in the hopes of building your empire to a level of greatness beyond what has even been known. Whether you’ll actually be able to do it is a different story altogether, since you’re going to have to focus on building your civilization, taxing your citizens and defending your city from all manner of threats. If you’re got the guts for it, you’ll have a great time.
Yup, that’s right, we just went there. While you may be wondering how we could dare classify Sim City in the same category as these awesome games, know that just because you’re playing an RTS game, doesn’t mean it has to be about war or history or aliens. Sim City is the real deal, the original trendsetter and it is this game that so many others follow. While you may be wondering just what redeeming features the game could possibly have, there is only one way to find out, and it requires buying or downloading and playing so you can make up your own mind.