Age of Empires is a strategy-driven game that lets you fight battles that made history. If your hunger for battle hasn’t simmered down yet, then you’ll love the games like Age of Empires enlisted in this Techspirited article.
Out of the entire series, Age of Empires: Castle Siege is the only free-to-play game launched in August 2014.
Almost every computer game lover must have heard of ‘Age of Empires’. The first of its kind, it is an interactive strategy game that lets players take part in a multi-player battle online. It spawned 3 games ranging from Age of Empires I, II, and III with special add-ons including further conquests. Even after Ensemble Studios refused to release more sequels, it had a cult following, with battles still played at major gaming tournaments.
Age of Empires Online was launched in 2011 with only two civilizations, the Greeks and Egyptians. Over the years, they added some more like the Persians, Celts, Babylonians, and the Norse. Empire Points can either be earned through completion of conquests or bought with real money, and these points can be used to buy premium content. But with the servers shutting down on July 1, 2014, the fans protested in earnest while some being satisfied with a mini version available on ‘Steam’. The rest of you who feel the need of imaginary battle scars, should scroll down to see the list of games like Age of Empires.
|Anno Online & The Anno Series|
|Release Date||September 24, 1998 (Original), May 14 March 19, 2013 (Online)|
In this game, you start as an unknown country which builds its reputation slowly through trading with its neighbors. The player needs to create communities and build their economies. The more the economic growth, the more successful will be the communities, and hence the rewards. The Anno series all feature similar gameplay, but occurring in different eras. Though the focus is on building the economy, there are combat elements involved. Anno Online is a free-to-play game on your browser.
|The Settlers Online and The Settlers Series|
|Platform||DOS, Microsoft Windows, Macintosh|
|Release Date||1993 (Original), September 2012 (Online)|
The Settlers hold a special place in the strategy game circuit by being the first to introduce multi-player gameplay between opponents in a split-screen mode. Similar to Age of Empires, it lets you start from modest beginnings to a country with a powerful culture. The series has 7 original games which let you explore from the dark ages to the present. The online version lets you build up camps to mount your defense against the bandits residing in the area.
|Clash of Clans|
|Release Date||August 2, 2012 (iOS), October 7, 2013 (Android)|
Clash of Clans is a fun, independent strategy game with a mix of fantasy. The main goal of the game is to protect the home camp at all costs. You can even attack nearby camps to loot treasure which can be used to train and upgrade your soldiers. The loot can also be used to buy more advanced features such as wall-breaking giants and wizards. Gold is the main currency in this game, and if you run out of it, you have to buy it from the developer. All in all, it’s a very fun game to play on a weekend.
|Age of Mythology (series)|
|Published by||Microsoft Studios|
|Platform||Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X|
|Release Date||October 30, 2002|
We just couldn’t go forward without mentioning Age of Mythology, the only fantasy series to come out of the Age of Empires franchise. As the name suggests, it has mythology at the core of its story. Similar to Age of Empires, the players have to gather resources, build their armies and townships, and combat the enemies. While doing so, they travel through several ages of civilizations and unlock new features. There are three civilizations in this game namely, Egyptian, Greek, and Norse, and each of them have 3 major Gods whom you can select before the game commences. On your journey, you will find amazing creatures and meet real-life heroes like Ajax and Agamemnon. The game has 32 campaign missions, and if that isn’t enough, it has a sequel called the Age of Mythology: The Titans.
|Rise Of Nations (Series)|
|Published by||Microsoft Game Studios|
|Platform||Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows|
|Release Date||May 20, 2003|
Rise of Nations is a unique game in which the player can assume the identity of any country, irrespective of the country’s fate in real life. With more than 18 civilizations and 100 special units, strategy plays a crucial part in this game. It has 4 main additions to its already huge franchise namely, Thrones and Patriots, Rise of Legends, Tactics, and Extended Edition, and the latest one released in 2014.
|Published by||Blizzard Entertainment|
|Platform||Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows|
|Release Date||July 27, 2010|
By combining elements of science-fiction and real-time strategy, this game lets you conquer civilizations in outer space. For all the fans of storytelling games, it’s a race between 3 civilizations fighting for domination in the Milky Way. The civilizations consist of the Terrans; humans trying to find themselves a home, the Zerg; an insectoid race that wishes to rule the galaxy, and the Protoss; a humanoid race with advanced technology that won’t allow anything to stand in their way of peace. As a player, you participate in each of the race’s conquests and discover their history. It has 2 expansion packs called ‘Heart of the Swarm’ and ‘Legacy of the Void’.
|Published by||Sierra Entertainment|
|Release Date||November 12, 2001|
Empire Earth is a game similar to Age of Empires. It spans all the ages of civilization starting from the prehistoric age to the nano age. It contains 4 campaigns (Greek, German, Russian, and English), each dealing with a different part of the world. Empire Earth has spawned several sequels, with each generation embedded with improved graphics and multi-player support. The expansion pack ‘Empire Earth: The Art of Conquest’, which was released in 2002, allows the player to explore the space age.
|Published by||God Games, Take Two Interactive|
|Release Date||July 31, 2002|
Stronghold: Crusader is similar to the Stronghold franchise except that it features campaigns in the Middle East. It narrates the adventures from the perspective of Saladin and others with major battles at Nicaea, Heraclea, Krak des Chevaliers, and the siege of Antioch and Jerusalem. One distinct feature of this game is that the characters in this game are able to communicate with the players through short videos. Thus, it adds more elements of fun and interaction while playing.
|FTL: Faster Than Light|
|Published by||Subset Games|
|Platform||Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, iOS (iPad only), Browser (asm.js)|
|Release Date||September 14, 2012, April 3, 2014 (Advanced Edition)|
The player controls an FTL-enabled spaceship that can warp through time and space. The game generates random enemies that shoot at the player that he must avoid, reminiscent of the arcade games. It has waypoints that the player jumps through, but it costs fuel. You need to make strategies for basic fuel consumption and force fields that aid you against enemy forces. The simple layout may surprise you, but once you understand the gameplay, you’ll keep coming back for more.
|Command & Conquer: Tiberian series|
|Published by||Electronic Arts, Virgin Interactive, Sega, Nintendo|
|Platform||Apple Macintosh, Nintendo 64, PlayStation, PC (MS-DOS, Microsoft Windows), Sega Saturn, PlayStation Portable/3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3|
|Release Date||August 31, 1995 (Original)|
If the title explains it all, then you are ready for war. With humanity nearing extinction, Tiberium, a mysterious alien-like substance falls on earth. Now, the race to control Tiberium begins with the formation of two groups fighting for its control. Who’s gonna win in this battle for world domination, the Global Defense Initiative (GDI) or the Brotherhood of Nod? Play to find out.
|Warcraft 3 (Series)|
|Published by||Blizzard Entertainment|
|Platform||Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, Mac OS X|
|Release Date||July 3, 2002|
If StarCraft took place in space, then Warcraft takes place in the realm of fantasy and magic right here on Earth. With the dark forces approaching, the races of orcs, night elves, and humans gather up arms. But with their forces being outnumbered at every point, are the dark forces too many for them to handle? Play the game through different perspectives of these unique races to build unique weapons and collect rare artifacts as they face the wrath of the Burning Legion.
|Published by||Wildfire Games|
|Platform||Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux|
|Release Date||October 12, 2014|
The title is symbolic of time standing still and waiting for the player to start the game. The game is a real-time strategy that lets the players relive history through the time period between 500 B.C. and 500 A.D. Considered to be the most ambitious game ever, it’s renowned for its detailed graphics and a flexible game engine that goes with it. It’s the only free online game similar to Age of Empires, and it’s still in the alpha stage.
|Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War|
|Release Date||September 20, 2004|
Set on the planet of Tartarus, this game sets the stage for battle between 4 races namely, the Orks; a brutal war-seeking species, the Space Marines; a race of superhuman soldiers serving the Imperium, the Chaos Marines; a group of marines serving the Lords of Chaos, and the Eldar; a sophisticated race endowed with psychic abilities fighting the Lords of Chaos since past ages. With specialized units and a hero equipped for each race, the battle will be nothing but intense. So who’s gonna survive this game of cat and mouse? Play to find out.
The list of these games is enough to satisfy any strategy gamer’s appetite. However, feel free to suggest any game you think we have missed.