I pre-ordered Age of Empires: The Age of Kings for the Nintendo DS a while ago, figuring that I’d need something to keep me occupied while waiting for my phone line and Internet to be connected. Age of Empires is an historically accurate real-time strategy game in which players must build up a large civilisation to conquer single player scenarios or defeat the other player and is brilliant on the PC…
If you’re an Age of Empires PC game player, forget pretty much everything you already know. The scenarios and units are basically the same, but that’s where the similarities end. Where there was perpetual daytime previously, now you have days in which your group of men can only move and attack (or in the case of villagers: build) once before they need to rest.
Instead of building giant armies of archers or militia to spring attacks on the enemy, one ‘character’ represents a team of that type and targeting per special ability is a must to hold the foe back. Buildings seemed to be limited to a select few, and you have to build directly adjacent to your Town Centre. Mills cannot be built just anywhere — they must be placed on fields of wheat.
Forget creating 15 villagers to mine all of the gold before anyone else gets it; once you’ve built a mine on the gold you have to wait for it to collect itself. Villagers are left pretty useless once you’ve built farms (which seem to run themselves).
Differences aside, the game is just as addictive so far as its PC counterparts. I like the maps and building detail (even if they are on a much smaller scale) and am enjoying the challenge of making strategical moves based on individual limitations of each unit. I don’t want to give too much away because it’s only been out about 24 hours, but if you’re already a fan of the AoE series and own a Nintendo DS: go buy it now.