Age of Wonders 2: The Wizard’s Throne
Time to cleanse this undead town. Every time I played Age of Wonders, the game revealed new subtleties. The AI was damn clever. Plus there were delightful touches of whimsy â€” take the Nymph unit, a temptress whoâ€™d run up to a foe, embrace him, do her thing, and turn the poor sap into a love slave. AOW 2 doesnâ€™t monkey around with the primary ingredients of the originalâ€™s successful recipe. The interface has been overhauled and is better organized. The diplomacy aspect is also enhanced.
In the old game, your Wizard characters had to lead troops in the field in order to gain points for advancement. I lost a heap of them because of that. In Age of Wonders II: The Wizardâ€™s Throne, you have only one wizard, and instead of leading your troops directly, he never needs to leave his tower. â€œSummonedâ€ units, spells, and high-level heroes expand his domain while he focuses on magical research. The benefit: you donâ€™t have to restart a million games because your wiz got killed off in his second battle. The drawback is that gaining experience takes a whole lot longer.
As G.O.D. promised, the graphics are lush and vibrant, and the 3D tactical screens make terrain a more vital part of your tactics. All sorts of strategies are open to you, and the pre-packaged scenarios give you a chance to see the game strut its stuff as you try out a wide variety of approaches. If you tackle the grand campaign, however, be warned: even on the Easy setting, youâ€™ll find it bloody hard to win. Strategy games donâ€™t need tanks, hexes, and supply rules to be fun. AoW II will fit almost anyoneâ€™s bill for an involving, effects-laden fantasy game as long as they’re ready for a deep challenge.
System Requirements: Pentium II 300 Mhz, 64 MB RAM, 500 MB HDD, 8 MB Video, Win 95