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Age of Empires (Series) Review

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Posted: A year ago, last updated 4 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 colonizing 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 utilizing 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

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB TEEN

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

Platforms: Mac, PC, PlayStation 2 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Open World and Strategy

Developer: @Relicgames


Duration: 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.
Players: You can play this with 8 players online. 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.


Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience. This game is free with Xbox Game Pass.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

This game has been rated ESRB TEEN.


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.


Accessibility for this game is as follows:
System Settings

Windows has extensive accessibility features. Some, like colour correction, work with games. Lots of accessibility software can be used with PC games, from voice recognition to input device emulators. Xbox One has a system features, the excellent co-pilot share controls mode and adaptive controller support for all games... read more about system accessibility settings.

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