From it’s pretty successful board game roots.Through the Ages transition to digital mobile game format is mainly a successful one. Think Sid Meier’s Civilisation but with cards !
From the off,there’s plenty of options to fine tune the game of your liking. To play a single player custom game,you mainly pick up to 4 AI opponents with up to 4 difficulty levels for each. Choose either the traditional board game rules or the new digital game rules (mainly a faster and more slimline experience) then start to play.. Included is a Challenges mode,where you will need to complete certain objectives from preselected card setups and an extensive Tutorial mode,that comes highly recommended if you’ve not played the game before.
Each game starts with a top row of “Era”cards that represent a certain point of history. Each players civilisation is basic at first.A farm,a mine and a temple are set out with the first task to increase your population,allocate people to work on farms for food and mines to gain resources.
Each turn soon leads to “phases”. Phase one is a “Political and Military actions”phase that allows you to play certain cards in order to form a monarchy,form a government and forge an army. These can also activate new events and new cards to appear and become available giving social and economic advantages.
The second phase is the “Civil and Military actions” phase,where from the allocated white and red buttons on the lower right of each screen.You can buy some of the “Era”cards from the top row.
Leader cards include everyone from Aristotle,Julius Caesar,Napoleon right through history up to Charlie Chaplin,Bill Gates and Sid Meier himself !! These cards work with your civilisation for a set amount of turns and grant temporary buffs for example,Caesar improving military tactics and Aristotle,technology.
When you’ve finished your phases,the game will then automatically produce your food and resources and bank them for the next round. Of course,your opponent takes their turn and will go through the same phases.Which is displayed automatically in front of you. Allowing you to carefully study and prepare tactics accordingly before your next turn.
The object of the game,is to forge a massively strong civilisation.Self sufficient and profitable and advanced in all areas of Industry,Commerce,technology,science,and with a decent army to boot.
So with advancement in history,it’s possible to use cards to upgrade your farms and mines and gain resources to advance other areas.For example a mine upgraded to Iron,allows a standard military unit to upgrade to swordsman. A printing press upgraded in order to build a library,and picking any of the “Wonders”cards (Everything from the Acropolis to the Taj Mahal) grants massive buffs to areas like science,religion and philosophy.
Importantly,the well being of your community is paramount. The wrong decisions and wrong cards can lead to uprising from disgruntled workers and even revolution!
Four eras of cards are played on the top row with the end of the final “present day”era of cards,finishing the game. The computer calculates each action and advancement and scores accordingly,with the civilisation with the highest points total declared the winner.
Overall,I found my experiences here to be generally positive. The AI opponent is particularly tight,precise and aggressive even on the lowest difficulty setting,and my peaceful community was often subjected to war by my opponent causing massive damage.
Graphically it’s not super impressive with everything looking distinctly “last gen”,but in a card game that doesn’t particularly rely on its looks but more on its mechanics. It’s not a particularly big deal here.
As much as there is a massive amount of depth and replayability included in this package. At roughly $10 for the main game and shown an expansion advert for a further $5 ,I do feel it’s slightly a bit much for what you get overall. Yes,it’s a massively well thought out game with tons of options and depth,but with its older look,complexity and immediate attention to buy the expansion…I felt slightly underwhelmed…
Needs plenty of time invested to get the most from this game.
Thanks to CGE Digital for the code