Age of Mythology

For this assignment I asked my husband to recommend a good, easy "starter" game for me. He dug out, and dusted off his old copy of Age of Mythology.



The game starts off with this trailer and then gives the option to watch a tutorial, which I took advantage of. The tutorial explains the games, the controls, and gives hints, such as keeping the gods happy so that they bestow their favor upon you. The good guys, the Atlantians, are blue.

For the first task you are given an army and villagers, and are given the task to explore the little town, all while defending your bay. You get attacked by some Crackens and red soliders (the enemies change from island to island). This task is a good introduction into how to play and control your armies, weapons, and townspeople. Once you've completed this level you get to start fairly fresh on a new island.

The next stage starts on the beach of an island, but the island is blacked out. It becomes clear as you explore. I learned the hard way about leaving your villagers unprotected while sending the soldiers out to explore. But, then I purchased new villagers and took better care of them. On the island you find plenty of animals for food, trees for wood, and gold for currency. You use your villagers to harvest the resources so that you can add soldiers, a temple in which to show respect to the gods in order to earn favor, build houses, and add defenses.

The controls are very simple so you don't have to worry about how to work them while trying to manage your village. You just move your mouse in whatever direction you want the screen to move. To move your villagers or soldiers you left click on the person and then right click on where you want them to go. The battles consist of identifying which soldier(s) you want and clicking on who you want them to attack.

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The favors from the gods are special powers that help you defeat the enemies, either plagues, sickness, fire bombs, etc. You gain them by building a temple and committing sufficient villagers to worshiping. The favors are very specific and you have to figure out the correct ways to use them.

This game is pretty simple in the controls and strategies. It allows time to explore, try new things, and build your resources, but puts pressure on your to hurry. The attacking armies are smart enough to get around poorly designed defenses and seem to come at you where you are weak. In order to play this game well you need to be able to manage your village, manage your temple, create and train sufficient soldiers, build defenses and defend all that you've done. Once you build up a sizeable army then you can go attack the core of the enemies army. If you have any favors from the gods then you will most likely be victorious. When I needed more information all I had to do was click on a person or building and I received information about what I could buy or use to develop them. After building fences, all I had to do was click on the fence to determine where to add a gate and how to fortify it.

The game came out in 2002 and is an offshoot of Ages of Empires. It also has an expansion packs; Titans and Heaven. Due to the age, it has multiple fan sites and a well established following. There are fan groups, sites with cheat codes, advice sites, etc. The game provides multiple locations and levels, and with the expansion packs a person could play for months. Players can find a lot of support and if they wanted to they could join players clubs. We had an issue with re-uploading our old program and one quick google search provided multiple suggestions and helpful information. I do feel that if I got more into the game then I would be joining a community of game fans.

This was a fun game to play, and when I have more time to devote to it I may try again. It teaches good skills in the critical thinking, problem solving, village management, and the probe/hypothesis/reprobe/retest theory. I liked that I knew what actions I needed to take to get food, wood or money,etc. I didn't have to go around and randomly shake things to find rewards.