Ah yes, Age of Wonders. It’s one of those classic turn-based strategy series which, while heavily inspired by the gameplay model found in the likes of King’s Bounty and Heroes of Might and Magic, creatively expand upon this blueprint and introduce a lot of elements of their own, making the mix more unique.
The Age of Wonders franchise consists of six games:
- Age of Wonders (1999)
- Age of Wonders II: The Wizard’s Throne (2002)
- Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic (2003)
- Age of Wonders III (2014)
- Age of Wonders: Planetfall (2019)
- Age of Wonders 4 (2023)
Starting with the 2014 installment, the series saw a shift towards 4X games and the focus on building empires. Planetfall is a radical departure from the high fantasy theme, as it is a science fiction title instead.
What were our criteria here? First off, the gameplay model based on the following elements: maintaining and upgrading a single city which generates resources, produces units and so on; exploring the map using heroes who command their own armies; defeating monsters and acquiring treasures scattered across the land; conquering enemy capitals and defeating their heroes.
Some of these games might also include elements found in RPGs.
Since the series turned towards 4X, we’ve also included a bunch of titles in this vein. Naturally, they all stick to the high fantasy theme, so don’t expect any historical or science fiction-style strategies on this list (although you might not be aware of this, but Heroes of Might and Magic is in fact sci-fi in disguise – the more you know…).
Alright, let’s take a look at our picks of games like AoW, shall we?
|Brigandine The Legend Of Runersia||2022-05-11||Strategy||Happinet||30%|
|Sid Meiers Civilization VI||2016-10-20||Economy||Firaxis Games||93%|
|Ozymandias Bronze Age Empire Sim||2022-10-11||4X Strategy||The Secret Games Company||93%|
|Old World||2022-05-19||4X Strategy||Mohawk Games||51%|
|Warlock 2 The Exiled||2014-04-10||Strategy||Ino-Co Plus||90%|
|Endless Legend Definitive Edition||2014-09-19||Strategy||Amplitude Studios||81%|
|Spellforce Conquest Of Eo||2023-02-03||Strategy||Owned by Gravity||64%|
|Master Of Magic||2022-12-13||Strategy||MuHa Games||58%|
|Fallen Enchantress Legendary Heroes||2013-05-22||Indie||Stardock Entertainment||89%|
|Heroes Of Might Magic III Hd Edition||2015-01-29||RPG||DotEmu||74%|
Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes
The titular villain is coming. Do you have what it takes to stop her?
Of course, this will take a lot of kingdom-building. You will have to establish new cities, train armies and recruit heroes to lead them, and forge powerful alliances that will help you save the world from the Fallen Enchantress.
One interesting thing about the game is that you don’t seek out Champions, they seek you out instead. For that, you will need to gain enough Fame. Leveling up is done through a skill tree which lets you plan a development path for each of the heroes. The Legendary Edition comes with even more upgrades, including a new graphics engine, more spells to use, revamped battle mechanics, and so on. It’s one heck of a game to try out!
Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Restoration of Erathia
|Developer:||New World Computing|
Now, it might be hard to call Heroes of Might & Magic III a game like Age of Wonders, since it’s actually the other way around, but we simply couldn’t leave out such a classic from this list.
It’s a game you probably heard of already. It’s this famous turn-based strategy where you build up your city and order your heroes and their armies around a complex map filled with monsters, treasures, and other secrets and wonders to discover. Sounds daunting? It shouldn’t. The interface and rules are so simple that you’ll grasp them quickly. Them legendary hot seat parties are only a matter of time!
The game received an HD update in 2015 and is fully playable on modern computers. This means that new generations of gamers can be introduced to this timeless masterpiece of a turn-based strategy.
Master of Magic
A loving remake of a 1994 classic, Master of Magic deserves a place on this list, even if it’s more along the lines of Civilization or Master of Orion than the Age of Wonders series.
Master of Magic puts you in the shoes of a powerful wizard who seeks to establish dominance over two linked realms: Arcanus and Myrror, the latter being more magical in nature and featuring elements and resources not found on the former. To do so, you need to expand your kingdom by building new cities, defeating monsters, and recruiting more powerful heroes in order to be ready to conquer other kingdoms ruled by AI-controlled wizards.
Each new session takes place on a randomly-generated map, meaning that no single playthrough will ever be the same. It’s definitely a great pick, but remember: it does not feature a multiplayer mode.
Eador: Genesis is yet another game inspired by King’s Bounty, Heroes of Might and Magic, and the Disciples franchises. It’s also one of the better imitators available on the market.
Gameplay-wise, Eador is a mixture of the above-mentioned games, so it might not sound like something very original, but it’s a very good mix nevertheless. You play as a Master seeking to conquer the world of Eador and the astral plane. For that, you will need to expand your kingdom and train powerful heroes who will essentially win the war for you.
All in all, it’s a very good blend of turn-based strategy, tactical game, and RPG, with lovely old-school visuals, to boot. You can also grab its successor, Eador: Masters of the Broken World, released in 2013; however, its reception was worse than Genesis’.
Endless Legend is a yet another fantasy-themed 4X game on this list where you seek to build a thriving magical kingdom capable of surviving harsh conditions on the world of Auriga. Yeah, this realm is plagued with apocalyptic events and only the strongest nations will persevere.
You can choose from one of the eight different civilizations or even create your custom one. Next, you will embark on a quest for survival. And only the fittest will do that. You will need to expand your kingdom, recruit new heroes, discover new technologies and assimilate lesser races to build an unstoppable nation, a force to be reckoned with. It’s a great strategy game that can be played either solo or with friends. Random generation of quests to complete and worlds to explore ensure countless hours of fun.
Naturally, this is merely a fraction of games like the Age of Wonders series. There are far more titles that you can check out, ranging from the famous Disciples franchise to some free-to-play releases. But it’s best if you start with these five picks. You can’t go wrong with them! Have fun!