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Age of Empires: The Age of Kings ds Game Reviews
Age of Empires: The Age of Kings
Critic Score
Metascore: 80 Metascore out of 100
User Score  
7.8 out of 10
based on 38 reviews
Read critic reviews
How did we calculate this?
based on 42 votes
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Rate this game

Age of Empires: The Age of Kings boasts turn-based strategy gameplay – a first for the franchise – as players move from the Dark Ages through the Middle Ages with one goal in mind: domination of the known world. Command one of five different civilizations: the Britons, Franks, Mongols, Saracens, or Japanese; Control special 'hero' units such as Richard the Lionheart, Robin Hood, Joan of Arc and Genghis Khan, whose special 'hero' powers affect the entire battlefield; Lead over 45 different types of units into battle -- from bowmen and monks to hand cannoneers, mercenaries and samurai; Players' can construct and upgrade buildings to help their units learn new skills and create resources for their civilizations; Research over 50 different technologies like chemistry, ballistics, siege craft and spying to advance civilization into the next age; A new Combat Advisor offers advice on certain campaign strategies and provides an assessment of the battle's outcome; Multi-player scenarios allow up to four players to wirelessly battle each other; By gaining Empire Points, players can unlock maps and units to improve their Emperor Rank. [Majesco]

PUBLISHER: Majesco Games
DEVELOPER: Digital Eclipse
GENRE(S): Real-Time Strategy, Turn-Based Strategy
ESRB RATING: E10+ (Everyone 10 and Older)
RELEASE DATE: February 14, 2006

What The Critics Said

All critic scores are converted to a 100-point scale. If a critic does not indicate a score, we assign a score based on the general impression given by the text of the review. Learn more...

Cheat Code Central
One of the smartest games on the DS. It's highly recommended for gamers of all ages and intelligence.
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Digital Entertainment News
The only way this game could be any better is if it were WiFi compatible.
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This really is a wonderful game that has been fitted perfectly to a new combat style and handheld gaming model, setting the bar pretty high for anyone attempting something similar in the future.
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A somewhat unique experience to portable turn-based strategy gamers, and may actually be the best strategy title on the Nintendo DS to date, given the added complexities over other popular series.
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Game Chronicles
A completely overhauled and redesigned reiteration of the classic PC game. It’s a turn based strategy game that is similar to Nintendo’s Advanced Wars. This is different because the original was a real-time strategy game.
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Worth Playing
Age of Kings' endless tactical calculations more than compensate for slightly fuzzy graphics and logical curiosities, and reward patient engagement with countless hours of empire-scale strategic combat.
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The New York Times
Missions are quite interesting, as you seek out holy relics or protect besieged cities. They can also be very difficult, and there were times when after an hour of desperately trying to wipe out the enemy my army would be decimated and my general slain, forcing me to start over with a fresh approach. Fortunately, the varied strategic choices can make a mission play out quite differently a second time.
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Gamer 2.0
The most engaging and deep strategy gaming yet seen to the DS. While certainly not as immersive as PC strategy titles, this game certainly provides more bang than any available strategy RPGs for the DS or GBA.
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Like the other awesome turn-based strategy game for the DS, Advance Wars Dual Strike, Age of Empires provides the deep, addictive balance of strategy and action that should keep you toting that wee silver clam around with you for weeks.
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Gamers' Temple
The dawn of a new age of strategy gaming on the go.
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Pelit (Finland)
A great game that challenges even the mighty Advance Wars. The AI should be much better, though. [Jan 2007]
NGamer UK
I can be pretty demanding and, at times, intimidating, but Age of Emipres is still and incredible achievement - and a great strategy game. [Nov 2006, p.69]
Armchair Empire
This makes practically every other strategy game on the market feels like child's play.
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Electronic Gaming Monthly
The strategy's here, as are some squint-inducing graphics; just be prepared for the long-term commitment. [Mar 2006, p.110]
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Everything flows from turn to turn, and the objectives are nicely outlined. The characters are quite unique which allows you to have free rein over the level of strategy you wish to use to conquer your opponents.
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The hit PC real-time strategy series goes turn-based in this well-designed and addictive translation, which packs a surprising amount of historic battles into a small package.
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Not many games have been able to do what Age of Empires has done. Age of Kings takes everything great from the previous Age of Empires PC series, and creates a new world based on those fundamentals. The DS version retains every major aspect of the PC game, while delivering the gameplay in a whole new way.
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Game Informer
Although it is not real-time based like its PC brother (instead opting for turns), anyone who's played an empire builder/recource gathering title will know what they are getting here. [Mar 2006, p.116]
Nintendo Power
If you've got the patience to wrangle units, Age of Kings is a most worthy addition to your game library. [Mar 2006, p.85]
Age of Empires: The Age of Kings beautifully leverages the DS's unique strength--its interactive touchscreen--to create a truly worthwhile handheld strategy game. With any luck, we're looking at the dawn of a golden age in DS strategy games.
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Games Radar
A great game, and a fantastic addition to your collection that nicely compliments the more cartoony, fantasy world of Advance Wars.
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More than worth the time invested -- annoying interface and all. There's simply so much stuff to play with, so many maps to battle over, strategy to ponder, and campaigns to fight that the game's defects are simply unfortunate blemishes on what should be the start of a new turn-based strategy powerhouse franchise.
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Computer Games Magazine
"Advance Wars" is well and good, but this is a more mature, varied, and sophisticated strategy game, arguably as deep as you'll see on a handheld. [Apr 2006, p.93]
With its lengthy campaigns, replayability, and solid multiplayer, strategy fans will keep coming back to this one.
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Gaming Target
The developers did something rare in gaming today, they covered their bases and made sure to execute the most core aspects of the genre successfully.
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Pocket Gamer UK
An engrossing strategy game with a rich array of units, excellent replay value and a history lesson thrown in.
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The mighty AoE RTS gets ported to the DS, and manages to retains much of the classic's gameplay charms in this much addictive turn-based game.
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Jolt Online Gaming UK
While Age of Empires has been stripped of its frills, the core still shines brightly. Ignoring the ‘limitations’ of its chosen format entirely, The Age of Kings is as competent and enjoyable as any strategy title out there.
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An excellent example of what a great adaptation from PC to DS can achieve. Age of Empires: Age of Kings delivers fun strategy gaming that you should be happy to carry with you for quite some time.
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The main issue I have with the game is that the units, even with their team colours, lack individuality.
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Game Over Online
Merely adequate. There's some pretty glaring problems that simply overshadow the good areas of the game. Hopefully a sequel will straighten these out, because there is the potential for a truly great game here.
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Edge Magazine
Much to its credit, Backbone Vancouver has done a masterful job in taking the complexity of Ensemble’s original and stripping it to its bare essentials for portable play. [Apr 2006, p.95]
If nothing else, Age of Empires DS provides a title that will appeal to those Discovery Channel Dads who picked up the stylus for Brain Training, and proves that Nintendo's flip-top toy can supply grown-up depth as well as giddy frivolity.
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While it may lack the charm of Advance Wars and its complete appreciation of the format’s unique potential, there is much to overcome, saviour and keep you engaged until the next strategic release arrives.
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A noble, if distinctly old fashioned, effort to capture the magic of a classic series in the palm of your hand. Amazingly, it even gives the sublime Advance Wars Dual Strike a run for its strategy money.
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Great strategy game becomes an average one on the DS.
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Play Magazine
Immediacy gets lost in translation as the PC's empire building real-time strategy "Age of Empires" moves to the Nintendo DS, where it takes up residence as a turn-based game [Mar 2006, p.50]
My Gamer
The game also has a number of bugs that freeze the game up during battles or when you save.
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What Our Users Said

Vote Now! The average user rating for this game is 7.8 (out of 10) based on 42 User Votes
Note: User votes are NOT included in the Metascore calculation.

Nate M. gave it a10:
I played the first 2 AOE games and loved them.This ranks right up there with them. Complex gameplay, many twists and turns, and good graphics for a DS game combine for an excellent product.

D M. gave it a1:
Killer bug is a major problem. I'm on my 3rd game - they all gave me the blue screen of death.

Mitch K. gave it a10:
Age on empires, age of kings is a brilliant strategy game which requires allot of thought. At the start it is quite hard to 'pick up and play' but after time this game will grow on you.

The play Master gave it an8:
The play is really good, but there's many bugs. E.G the game freeze. If the bugs don't was there, i'll give the game 9.

E Z gave it a9:
Superb game. Not for young kids requires a bit of thought. Lovely Medievil illustrations. Quite different from the pc game.

Jacob H. gave it an8:
Boring at first. But then the day after I did empire map instead of campaign. Goog idea! You can build your village without all the interuptions from Campaign mode. The glitches screw you up sometimes so always save before you end the day. The turn base can get annoying. I own the 1st AOE so I'm used to real time AOE. Anyways, I give this game an 8 because of great gameplay, but glitches and the boring multiplayer mode. For multi-player, who would want to wait for somebody to end their turn (I take long turns) witch may be long ones, and play empire mode without the fast computer generated moves? Not me.

Kalin F. gave it a10:
This game rocks. It is very easy to understand how to play with barley reading the insructions.

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