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Age of Kings is now turn-based

May 15th, 2005 by Troy Goodfellow · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

1up is reporting that the new version of Age of Empires II: Age of Kings for the Nintendo DS will be turn-based.

Why take one of the most popular real-time games of all time and make it turn-based? And how would that even work?

“Age of Empires has set the gold standard for real-time strategy games and its global audience continues to grow,” said Ken Gold, vice president of Marketing at Majesco.

So how do you translate a gold standard real-time game to a turn-based game? It will be an entirely different game, that’s for sure. How can you do an archer rush in a turn based environment? Or a town center creep?

Eagle Games has tried to make these types of decisions for its series of board games based on computer hits. It has somehow managed to make Age of Mythology into a board game. But there can be no confusing it with the the Ensemble Studios hit. It uses cards as power ups and exploration chances, but still has the basic myth unit/human unit distinction and the three races. But when you look at the game board, it is clearly more inspired by Age of Mythology than a simulacrum.

Doing a turn based Age of Kings for a handheld console is an intriguing concept and I look forward to seeing if and how it turns out. Europa Universalis II, the king of humongous real time historical fun is also being designed for the DS and it has the advantage of being derived from a board game in the first place.

Given the dearth of serious historical strategy games on the big consoles, their migration to portables is an interesting trend that might push me to pick up one of these little toys myself.


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