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Video GameAge of Empires IV (Series) Review
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Posted: 2 years ago, last updated 2 weeks ago.

Author: @GeekDadGamer and Jo Robertson.


Age of Empires is a strategy game where you command an ancient civilisation in real-time and must develop from hunter-gatherers to advanced forms of defence and war. This is similar territory to Civilization but focus on resource management and direct warfare rather than politics and religion and is played in real-time.

It initially focuses on events in Europe, Africa and Asia, from the Stone Age to the Iron Age. Subsequent games in the series took players to the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages, the Spanish conquest of Mexico and Europe's colonising of the Americas.

To play, you click on buildings, people and items in the world to direct your population. You must collect resources, build camps and buildings and develop armies to survive. Mining, fishing and farming play a vital role. The combination of real history, with knife-edge strategic gameplay, has seen the series sell over million copies. The main releases are as follows:
  • Age of Empires (1997)
  • Age of Empires II (1999)
  • Age of Empires III (2005)
  • Age of Empires: The Age of Kings (2006)
  • Age of Empires Online (2011)
  • Age of Empires II: HD Edition (2013)
  • Age of Empires: Definitive Edition (2018)
  • Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition (2019)
  • Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition (2020)

The recent rerelease of the HD version of the game has brought the series back to the fore. While the Age of Empires Online offers a free-to-play experience utilising Games for Windows Live.

For families, the earlier games are a great introduction to strategy games. You can take them at your own pace to some extent as well as play together online. Their age also means that they are simpler and easier to understand than more modern strategy games.

DetailsGame Details

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Release Date: 02/02/1998, updated in 2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS2 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Open World, Point-and-Click and Strategy

Developer: Relic Games (@RelicGames)

Players: 1 (8 online)




Play Time: This game will take between 20 hours and 30 hours to complete. This is for the original Age of Empires game, the expansions and newer games extending this considerably.

Play StylePlay Style

You can play this by yourself or as a 8-player online game. You can play with 100 people in Age of Empire Online, but the main Definitive Edition of the game is played with battles of up to 8 people each commanding a competing civilisation.

You can play this game in the following styles:

This has been enjoyed by families in the following styles:



This game has helped players develop their Disposition as part of the following pathways:

This game has been the inspiration for the following activities:

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

This game has been rated PEGI 12 for depictions of non-realistic looking violence towards human-like and animal-like characters, and use of mild bad language. Not suitable for persons under 12 years of age.
Users Interact: The game enables players to interact and communicate with each other, so may expose players to language usually associated with older rated games.

Rated for younger players in Australia. Rated Parental Guidance (PG) for Violence, Mild Themes, Coarse Language.

Skill Rating

11+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Still, it's important for parents and guardians to consider the maturity required to process the game content. As with any real-time strategy game, you need to be able to plan ahead and react to a changing situation. This can frustrate younger players who fail to scale up fast enough to be competitive. Still, on easier game modes it's a great way to start out in these kinds of strategy games.

Our Game Pathways reveal how 7-year-olds play this game:


Age of Empires IV usually costs £14.99 to £44.99.

Age of Empires II (2013)

Steam Store PC £14.99

Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition

Steam Store PC £14.99

Age of Empires III (2007)

Steam Store PC £29.99

Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition

Steam Store PC £14.99

Age of Empires IV

Steam Store PC £44.99

Age of Empires: Definitive Edition

Steam Store PC £14.99

Age of Empires

Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience.


We haven't documented accessibility features for this game yet. Our Age of Empires IV Accessibility Report details system-wide settings that may help, and suggests similar games with accessibility features. Tweet the developer (@RelicGames) to let them know about our Accessibility Questionnaire.

Diversity and InclusionDiversity and Inclusion

We haven't documented diversity and inclusion information for this game yet.

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Video Games Like Age of Empires IV

Our experts have hand-picked the following similar games. These are similar to Age of Empires IV in how they play or their theme. These are good alternative games to Age of Empires IV, or are a younger rated alternative for players not ready for PEGI 12 or ESRB TEEN games.

Board Games Like Age of Empires IV

Our experts have hand-picked the following board games that offer a similar experience or theme to Age of Empires IV., or are a younger rated alternative for players not ready for PEGI 12 or ESRB TEEN games.

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Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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