- Warlords (1978 on Apple II, TRS-80, Commodore PET/CBM)
- Warlords (1981 on Atari 2600, Arcade, 2004 on Windows)
- Warlords (1982 on Atom)
- Warlords (2002 on Windows)
- Warlords (2008 on Xbox 360)
- Warlords (2012 on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
The first in the Warlords series. Basically, your mission is world domination. This may be played between up to 8 people all on the same machine. It is a medieval type strategy game that requires the player to control 80 cities in the realm of Illuria. In order to do so you must wipe out your 7 opponents.
Gold is accrued through the ownership of cities. The gold is then used to create armies. Heroes can sometimes "find" things or be rewarded by sages (there are only 2 and it's a first come first served basis). You can choose between various human and non-human peoples, as well as the ubiquitous evil Warlord. This is a very early version of what strategy games eventually became.
Credits (DOS version)
|Ideas (radical and clever)|
|Artificial Intelligence Design and Programming|
|Ibm Development and Programming|
|Production Co-Ordinator and Additional Development|
Average score: 76% (based on 18 ratings)
Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 21 ratings with 4 reviews)
Warlords I was a near perfect game. It was funny. It had massive variety in units and racial abilities (Elves moved better in the woods...). Different cities produced units, say cavalry, better than others, or cheaper than others. Leaders could explore ruins and if they survived, return with Dragons or obscene amounts of Gold. Units could be blessed at one of four different altars (Control of the Altar was therefore strategic. The Map was not random, but well planned. In its first dozen or so plays, we utterly forgot Empire ever existed.
The graphics folks used dithering in this game to greatly improve the realism level over earlier efforts by game designers. While I'm pretty sure this was a 16 color game, it appeared to use many more colors than 16.
This was the first game I'd played that required a mouse. I remember teaching my roommate how to double click.
One thing I loved was when the AI would explore someplace and get a stack of dragons, which it would then use to fly around the map razing cities. Once it lost a dragon, that stack would stay where it landed forever.
Oh yeah, you could stack units in this game, and the units affected each other's performance. So, start with a stack of Loran wolf riders, bless them four times prior to use, stack them with a hero and some demons, and you were ready to
go after Lord Bane...or stack a hero on some griffens and you could fly. Wizards moved 50 (Shadowfax???). If you razed a city, you got some wild sounds from your PC's built in speaker--this was before the soundblaster card was expected to be on a PC. This game had a fabulous number of new ideas, many of which have yet to find their way to even today's turn based favorites.
For all the good work, Warlords, just like Interstel's Empire, failed to constrain unit production. Each turn took longer than the preceeding. Cities became more and more difficult to take, and I do not remember any multiplayer games ever being finished, even after weeks of get togethers. Nonetheless, Warlords is better fantasy game than can be created with the scenario editor of Civilization III.
The Bottom Line
This is still worth playing. I found Warlords I better (and far more stable) than later Warlords releases, and preferred the original map to any that I played in Warlords II, which incidentally, did have a great scenario editor). I have only just recently discovered that Warlords has had versions since version II. Yes, I am interested!
DOS · by Simon Haller (16) · 2004
The fact that I loved this game growing up. I have always liked strategy games that don't have 10,000,000 things you have to keep up with. Being able to find things that aid in your strength and other attributes are also a real plus.
It's hard to keep up with where your armies are that you are moving.
The Bottom Line
This is an essential game to play if you are interested in classic strategy games. Plus, the wolfriders are just cool.
DOS · by Leshpar Dracendor (15) · 2005
The strategy and difficulty levels of this game were much like that of Civilization is today. I rather enjoyed gathering with 2 or 3 friends in an apartment for an all nighter to play a game. We, of course would add our own little refinements - like alliances to be betrayed later on and restrictions.
Turns took forever, though and if we started at 6:00 by midnight there was usually no clear cut winner. By dawn we would frequently give up or save the game and then spend weeks trying to get us all together again to play it. Also let's face it sometimes the lower res graphics were a problem (Is that an elf or a giant?) At 3 AM it was hard to tell sometimes.
The Bottom Line
This is a very early Civilization or RISK type game. The graphics were low (what do you expect for a DOS game of that age). Each player built, searched and attacked according to a preset order. The computer rarely won against multiple human players. If you have an old system around I would recommend it. Otherwise go for one of the later versions. The gameplay improved and the graphics were much clearer
DOS · by zeta thompson (50) · 2002
|iPhone remake||Rola (8131)||Feb 13th, 2013|
- Computer Gaming World
- November 1991 (Issue #88) – Wargame of the Year (together with Command H.Q.)
Related Sites +
Warlorders.com by Wooger
Has information on all games in the Warlords series.
- MobyGames ID: 6845
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by zeta thompson.
Game added July 2nd, 2002. Last modified August 17th, 2023.