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Age of Empires

aka: Age of Empires 1, Age of Empires: An Epic Game of Empire-Building and Conquest, Age of Empires: Bâtissez votre civilization., Age of Empires: Ein Spiel über große Zivilsationen und Eroberungen, Age of Empires: Un juego épico para crear y conquistar imperios, AoE, Dawn of Man, Diguo Shidai, Microsoft Age of Empires, Tribe
Windows Specs [ all ]
(prices updated 9/18 10:55 PM )

Description official descriptions

In Age of Empires, players are able to manage a tribe with their mouse. Command them to build houses, docks, farms, and temples. The player advances their civilization through time by learning new skills. The game allows the player to advance through the Ages: The Paleolithic (old Stone Age), the Neolithic (new Stone Age, or the Tool Age), the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age. If the player would rather get away from the historical aspect, the game offers a random terrain generator and a custom scenario builder.

The game has four resources: food, obtained by either hunting, foraging, fishing, or farming; wood, which must be logged by hand; stone, which must be mined; and gold, which can either be mined or obtained through trade with other players.

As a real-time war game, Age of Empires naturally revolves around gathering resources and producing units.


  • マイクロソフト エイジ オブ エンパイア - Japanese spelling
  • 世紀帝國 - Traditional Chinese spelling
  • 帝国时代 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

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Average score: 82% (based on 41 ratings)


Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 161 ratings with 11 reviews)

Microsoft=Bad entertainment.

The Good
The historical theme is quite nice. I'm not a historian but from what I can see it is more or less correct in it's historical descriptions (although "correct" is a bad word when talking about history, because history is not about facts but how we interpret what we THINK are facts). Anyway, this gives a somewhat educational touch to the game which I quite like.

The Bad
Well, the rest, more or less. There are no obvious flaws that jump at you when you start the game. It is just so... bleak. The graphics are boring to look at, and the menus would suit some Microsoft excell-program better. The illusion that you aren't just playing around with ones and zeros aren't there at all. It really feels like a computer programe, not some "alternative" reality. In short, there is no way in which I can ever feel involved in the game and that makes it uninteresting and boring, since the game is so depressingly slow. Most strategy games are slow, but when involving even the most slow-paced game becomes exciting (civilization is an excellent example). Age of Empires is just plain boring and depressing to look at. The graphics aren't bad in that sense, the game just looks bleak and uninspired. One of the most overrated games in the history of games, since it has virtually no entertainment value at all.

The Bottom Line
Well made, but oh so uninspired and boring. Bleak, boring and bad.

Windows · by Joakim Kihlman (231) · 2004

Brilliant! Up until its sequel, the best RTS ever made.

The Good
Age of Empires got me hooked on real-time strategy games. It was Ensemble Studios' first game; they put a lot of hard work into making it just right, and they succeeded brilliantly. The graphics are breathtaking and the units are plentiful and unique. Resources are balanced; sometimes hard to come by, but never impossible.

The campaigns are perfect! I didn't like the sequel's campaigns much at all, unfortunatly; I still play these sometimes. The cutscenes in between them are stunning, comparable with Blizzard's work IMO, and the stories are captivating. But the maps for them are perfect! They are challenging but balanced, with resources in key spots and enemies in just the right places to make it hard just when you thought it was gonna be easy. You'll really need to use your head to win them, unlike some other, very simple RTSs. Ground troops, flankers, bowmen, seige weapons and war boats all have their places, and they are all neccessary at some time or another.

The Bad
Stone is just about impossible to come by if you squander it early on. They fixed this in Age of Kings, by the way.

There is also a bug with the AI-- if you have two priests trying to convert a unit at the same time, it can't decide which one to attack and will just freeze. So under the right conditions, the game gets dangerously easy. On a larger scale, this could have pretty much ruined the playability of the game, but it's only an annoyance as it is ('cause the enemies normally come by with buddies who chop your priest into mincemeat when he gets near enough to convert). Also fixed in the sequel.

The Bottom Line
If you're wondering which RTS to get, get Age of Kings. It's better than this one in almost every way. But if you're either collecting good RTSs, or just good games, or want to see where Age of Kings got its brilliance from, look here.

Windows · by ShadowShrike (277) · 2003

oh my God... what a disappointment!

The Good
It had nice graphics... the intro was nice, and the little guys running around and getting killed by elephants was cute.

The Bad
Good Lord... I was SOOO disappointed... I bought this in a sale box at the local Electronics Boutique and, having heard already so much about Age of Empires, was practically salivating... and man, did it suck! Sure, it looks cute, but the different civilizations are completely unbalanced, the tech tree is small, limited, and sucky, wonders are complete idiocy (someone builds one, go and nuke it or lose the game), the campaign mode is boring and every game ends the same: you try to survive until you build enough whatever and come over to kill. Sure, the same might hold true for Civ or C&C or Dune 2 or Alpha Centauri... but at least you have fun and options and along the way.

The Bottom Line
Avoid like the plague unless you ADORE this genre and are willing to forgive it's flaws. I've heard Age of Empires 2 was a vast improvement but I never dared to take a look.

Windows · by Gothicgene (66) · 2001

[ View all 11 player reviews ]


1001 Video Games

Age of Empires appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Demo version

The demo released is worth getting, even for those owning the full game. It includes a tutorial campaign featuring the Hittites and two maps not present in the full version.


Being a RTS, it's surprising the printed manual in the UK release only covers the game basics, but the game includes a large online help file worth hundreds of pages of both game and historical information. Guess it's true that digital information does save trees.


"Multiplayer mode" in Age of Empires is actually something of a misnomer. It is possible to create and play a multiplayer game with only one player.


In 1998, Age of Empires has won both the Gold- and Platinum-Awards from the German VUD (Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland - Entertainment Software Association Germany) for selling more then 100,000 units (Gold) and more then 200,000 units (Platinum) in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. As the Gold-Award is not counted into the Platinum-Award, both awards total in between 300,000 and 700,000 units sold.


  • Computer Gaming World
    • March 1998 (Issue #164) – Outstanding Multiplay of the Year
    • June 2001 (Issue #203) – Introduced into the Hall of Fame
  • Game Informer
    • August 2001 (Issue #100) - #81 in the Top 100 Games of All Time poll
  • GameSpy
    • 2001 – #14 Top Game of All Time
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 12/1999 - #14 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking
  • Interactive Achievement Awards (Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences)
    • 1998 – Computer Strategy Game of the Year – Won
    • 1998 – Interactive Title of the Year – Nominated
  • PC Gamer
  • April 2000 issue - #21 in the Readers All-Time Top 50 Games poll

  • Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland (Entertainment Software Association Germany)

    • 1998 - Gold Award for selling more then 100,000 units in Germany, Austria and Switzerland
    • 1998 - Platin Award for selling more then 300,000 units in Germany, Austria and Switzerland

Information also contributed by Luis Silva, Maw, PCGamer77 and Xoleras

Related Games

Age of Empires: Collector's Edition
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Age of Empires (Demo Version)
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Age of Empires: Anthology Bundle
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Age of Empires: Gold Edition
Released 1999 on Windows
Age of Empires III: Gold Edition
Released 2007 on Windows
Age of Empires: Pocket PC Edition
Released 2003 on Windows Mobile

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by MajorDad.

Macintosh added by Jeanne.

Additional contributors: Ummagumma, Andrew Hartnett, Unrealist, Unicorn Lynx, Maw, Havoc Crow (formerly JudgeDeadd), formercontrib, Zeppin, Litude, Paulus18950, Patrick Bregger, Plok, Rik Hideto, Victor Vance, FatherJack.

Game added November 5th, 1999. Last modified August 14th, 2023.