Celtic Kings: Rage of War

aka: Imperivm: La Guerra Gallica, Imperivm: La guerra de las Galias, The Druid King
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Buy on Macintosh
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$1.99 used at Amazon
(prices updated 9/30 3:44 PM )

Description official descriptions

In the game you control the great soldiers of Gauls, who want to defend their independence. After the Teutons destroyed your village and killed your beloved, you trade you life to ancient Celtic goddess. After that time you control the great armies and gain great powers of Celts to fight with Teutons and Romans.

Controlling your units with personal tactics you have to defend your natives and to control your land using great powers of druids.

Real-time strategy and role-playing elements allow you to gain Celtic experience.


  • Король друидов - Russian spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

128 People (125 developers, 3 thanks) · View all



Average score: 75% (based on 21 ratings)


Average score: 3.1 out of 5 (based on 13 ratings with 2 reviews)

A poverty-stricken clone of WarCraft

The Good
Celtic Kings is nice and compact, so it installs in a thankfully short time, compared to those 2-gigabyte monsters, and, with a dozen saved games, it will take only about 400M of your hard disk.

But before we move on to "The Bad" a warning to those who, like me, don't mind cheating with a character editor or a trainer. There is only one trainer available, by Team NMS or NEMESiS. All it does is install spyware. Other than that it is completely non-functional. My copy of NetCommando Lite (highly recommended) caught it red-handed sneaking H@tKeysH@@k.dll into my Windows\System directory and Ad-Aware identified that as a keylogger.

The Bad
The worst is those glowing reviews of Celtic Kings that a Google search will fetch for you and which will likely con you into buying the game.

Celtic Kings is just another clone of WarCraft with different graphics. Not just a clone, but a clone stripped down to the absolute playable minimum. For instance, there are only two types of resources: gold and food. But there are no gold mines, and no farms nor fields. Gold "grows" in Strongholds, food in Villages. The more people in a Stronghold, the more gold it produces. Same for Villages. The more houses in a Stronghold or a Village, the more people it can hold. But wait... you cannot build any. And every Village is the same, every Stronghold the same. All you can build is military units and Mules (to carry resources from one place to another). You cannot research anything either, as you do in WarCraft and most of its clones. And you cannot even control your peasants. When a building of yours is attacked you have no way directing anyone to repair it. Oh, repair does take place, but you have no control over it, you just wait and wait and wait and eventually it will have repaired itself.

Combat is absurd. There is only one way to take an enemy Stronghold: break one of its gates and send in the cavalry, or the pikemen, or the axemen, or the women warriors in sufficient numbers. You can have archers too, but they are completely useless. In fact, there are only two land units worth having: Heroes (who start with 1000 hit points) and Axemen. Why? Because the number of military units you can have is limited by the amount of food you have, and, as far as I could ascertain, Heroes do not eat more than other units which are much weaker. They are also the only ones able to make good use of the stuff you find scattered about. A feather, for instance, will increase a Hero's hit points by 200 (never mind the logic of it: there isn't any).

Which brings us to Axemen. Compared to Heroes, they are weak and useless. So why have them? Because, remember, the only way you can take a Stronghold is by breaking its gate, and the only way to do that is with a catapult. And the only ones who can build catapults are Axemen. And this is where this game rises from the ridiculous to the sublimely ridiculous. You select a group of Axemen, direct them to build a catapult, and... they slowly turn into one! And no need for timber anywhere nearby either. I could not help imagine that Axemen, like witches (shades of Monty Python's Holy Grail!) were made of wood, disassembled themselves, and reassembled their bits and pieces into a catapult. Now that would be fine in a fantasy game (like, hey, WarCraft). But in a war game specifically purporting to take place in Gaul in the days of Julius Caesar? Faut pas prendre les gens pour des gogos (pardon my French).

And another thing about catapults: they are useless against the tents in which Teuton Raiders live. Logical, isn't it? A catapult can reduce to rubble a gate, a tower, a barracks, a townhall, but not a tent!

I forced myself to play this game partly because I wanted to review it, partly to explore the depths of its absurdity. For instance, there are only two types of boats you can build. Both cost the same (1000 gold or 1000 food). I could not figure out the use of the first type. The manual says it's used to carry resources (you cannot use it to carry troops). But the other type, the warship, which carries troops, can also be used to carry mules, which carry resources, and it is armed with a ballista. So what is the point of building plain boats? And, of course, there is no way of upgrading your fleet, like there is in WarCraft.

And finally, back to other reviews of this game. Some mention "Celtic music" in the sound effects. Makes sense: "Celtic Kings" so "Celtic music". Well, I was raised in Britanny, and I have most of the works of the Chieftains, the Dubliners, and of Alan Stivell. So I should know Celtic music when I hear it. There isn't any.

The Bottom Line
In a charitable mood today, I shall call Celtic Kings a brilliant send-up of how not to plagiarize a proper game (WarCraft if you hadn't guessed)

Windows · by Jacques Guy (52) · 2004

Great, innovative ideas that didn't quite make it through in the end.

The Good
The Campaign mode in Celtic Kings : Rage of War is unique in the way your character, Larax, and his party can travel to any place at will, not only focusing on the main objectives but also on optional quests and the gain of experience/magical items. This freedom captures the player into a constant search for a better way to accomplish a task, as there are many things that you do early in the campaign that have an affect on the outcome in subsequent areas. The main success in this game is how strategy is carried out on several different levels. There's the combat stategy: the combinations of warriors you chose, where you place them in an army and how you move your forces around to expand and maintain your territory. Then there's the more managerial aspect of the game: harvests, food and gold distribution, supplying food to troops... etc.

The Bad
There are somewhat many aspects of the game that don't quite work. Firstly, unlike many strategy games, you can't build anything which means that the entire chance of success lies in the way your troops fight and how you manage your armies, which can become very tedious and simply boring if you're looking for a lot of action. I also don't like how there is very little 'chance' involved in combat. For example, the victor of a one-on-one combat between two level 20 swordsmen will always be the one who gave the first hit, no matter how many times you try. Another disappointement is the lack of variety throughout the game. Everything stays about the same in terms of enemies and monsters, so a battle in one multiplayer game can seem very similar to any other game. Losing entire armies in a few seconds because of the wrong formation can be extremely demoralizing!!

The Bottom Line
The quality of the game really depends on how the player can appreciate the differences between Celtic Kings and other strategy games, and see these as an opportunity to experience a different type of game. Comparisons can't be made between this game and say Red Alert or Warcraft, simply because the entire setting of the game puts more constraints on the variety of troops and items possible.

Windows · by Pwa (368) · 2003

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Related Sites +

  • Celtic Kings News
    The official Celtic Kings Website, maintained by the developers of the games. It provides the lastest news updates on the game as well as good screenshots, wallpapers, patches, demos...etc.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by POMAH.

Macintosh added by Kabushi.

Additional contributors: Pwa, Klaster_1, PeppersRiffsMullins.

Game added November 25th, 2002. Last modified August 27th, 2023.