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Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked Age of Empires IV 3 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 3 weeks ago.
It initially focuses on events in Europe, Africa and Asia, from the Stone Age to the Iron Age. Subsequent games in the series took players to the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages, the Spanish conquest of Mexico and Europe's colonising of the Americas.
To play, you click on buildings, people and items in the world to direct your population. You must collect resources, build camps and buildings and develop armies to survive. Mining, fishing and farming play a vital role. The combination of real history, with knife-edge strategic gameplay, has seen the series sell over a million copies. The main releases are as follows:
- Age of Empires (1997)
- Age of Empires II (1999)
- Age of Empires III (2005)
- Age of Empires: The Age of Kings (2006)
- Age of Empires Online (2011)
- Age of Empires II: HD Edition (2013)
- Age of Empires: Definitive Edition (2018)
- Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition (2019)
- Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition (2020)
The recent rerelease of the HD version of the game has brought the series back to the fore. While the Age of Empires Online offers a free-to-play experience utilising Games for Windows Live.
For families, the earlier games are a great introduction to strategy games. You can take them at your own pace to some extent as well as play together online. Their age also means that they are simpler and easier to understand than more modern strategy games.
This game is good if you want to:
This game has been the inspiration for the following activities:
You can play this game in the following styles:
This has been enjoyed by families in the following styles:
Rated for younger players in Australia. Rated Parental Guidance (PG) for Violence, Mild Themes, and Coarse Language.
11+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Still, it's important for parents and guardians to consider the maturity required to process the game content. It's also important to ensure children understand in-game purchases and have spending limits set-up. As with any real-time strategy game, you need to be able to plan ahead and react to a changing situation. This can frustrate younger players who fail to scale up fast enough to be competitive. Still, on easier game modes it's a great way to start out in these kinds of strategy games.
Our Game Pathways reveal how 7-year-olds play this game:
- 7-year-old: Digging Into History
Age Of Empires 25Th Anniversary Collection
Age Of Empires Definitive Edition
Age Of Empires III: Definitive Edition
Age Of Empires IV: Anniversary Edition
Age Of Empires: Definitive Collection
Age of Empires II (2013)
Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition
Age of Empires III (2007)
Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition
Age of Empires IV
Age of Empires IV: Anniversary Edition
Age of Empires: Definitive Edition
- In-Game Purchases: Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience.
It's important to set up your accounts and devices appropriately. More information is on our Financial Resources page.
Release Date: 02/02/1998, updated in 2023
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS2, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S
Content Rating: PEGI 12
Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds
Players: 1 (8 online)
Components: 2D Overhead, Grid and Open World
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