Imperialism II: The Age of Exploration
Description official descriptions
Imperialism II: The Age of Exploration is the sequel to the world conquest game in which you control an Old World power between 1500-1850, trying to exploit the New World to support your dominance of the superpowers.
The game breaks off from traditional conquest games by making political and economic pieces of the game much more important for overall victory. In addition, instead of merely trying to take over everything, you'll find yourself manipulating other nations, and abusing those lesser than you, including colonial lands. Imperialism tries, with moderate success, to historically represent the period, from units to strategic mentality.
The game is entirely turn-based and features a separate tactical battle screen, where careful use of your units, ranging from cavalry to artillery, is essential. It can be played on a historic Old World setting (the New World is always random), or completely random worlds, and the campaign support single or multi-player functionality.
Credits (Windows version)
89 People (63 developers, 26 thanks) · View all
|Original Game Design
|Senior V.P. of Development
|V.P. of R&D
|[ full credits ]
Average score: 78% (based on 23 ratings)
Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 21 ratings with 2 reviews)
Complexity. However, this can be relieved by letting the computer take over tasks while you master each aspect one at a time. (This means you replay, replay, replay.) The ability to not only select a difficulty level, but modify those things that compose each difficulty level, allows someone who just can't get the exploration part moving to lessen the computer players' dominance.
The battles are the weakest part of this game. However, my opinion may be based on the fact that I don't yet feel in control of the battle sequences.
I also dislike the limit on readily available saved games. You save to a slot instead of naming the game to disk. (The work around is easy enough but annoying.)
The Bottom Line
A challenging, multifaceted game of exploration, exploitation, empire-building, military-posturing, diplomatic maneuvering, resource management, research management, financial management, and trade/transport management. The game is difficult. Each time you think you have learned how to play, you learn one more lesson. The replay potential is vast. The computer opponents, while predictable, are predictably dangerous and cannot be ignored.
I believe this game is well worth the hours of learning. As a Civ fanatic, I didn't think another game would hold my interest. It's not Civ, not at all. It's different and it's difficult and it's fun. (If you really hate losing, pick a lesser game.)
Windows · by Janet Quick (2) · 2001
The amazing thing about Imperialism II, what jumps out and grabs a person immediately, is the sheer level of detail and the way it all works together to form a cohesive whole. This is the Strategy Game par excellence; the Holy Grail. Not only is there an incredible amount of substance in this game, the AI is topnotch to boot! It's actually an intellectual challenge to take on the computer for once.
The production values are strictly middle-of-the-road--not great but not horrible either. While fancy graphics and sound effects are not required for what is essentially a boardgame translated to the computer, they nevertheless would have been nice. Also, the interface is a bit clumsier than it needs to be.
The Bottom Line
THE BEST turn-based computer strategy game ever made, bar none, in my opinion. While its ratings may look artificially low due to the lack of super-whiz-bang 3D graphics and whatnot, don't let that dissuade you from playing. This game has it all where it counts.
Just don't even think about playing without reading--and rereading--the manual (the strategy guide from Sybex is also highly recommended), first.
Windows · by Jim Newland (56) · 2001
|4X instead of grand strategy group?
|May 28, 2013
Specially marked boxes contained two free bonuses - 12 month subscription to "Computer Games Strategy Plus" Magazine and multimedia CD-ROM Explorers of the New World from Softkey.
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Ray Soderlund.
Macintosh added by Garcia.
Game added August 15, 2000. Last modified January 22, 2024.