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Games - Age of Empires - Microsoft

Age of Empires is Microsoft's strategy game of ancient world conquest. It combines features of two earlier favorites -- Civilization and Warcraft plus a few innovations of its own to produce an intriguing and highly addictive game. The game is also available for the MacIntosh platform. Full information is available from Microsoft, and Ensemble Studios

Microsoft followed the success of Age of Empires with an expansion set -- The Rise of Rome, which adds a number of new technologies and unit types to the original game. Microsoft and Ensemble have more details on their web sites. The original AoE and The Rise of Rome expansion pack are available as the Age of Empires Gold Edition.


The sequel to AoE -- Age of Empires II : The Age of Kings (Fall 1999) takes the game from the ancient world into the middle ages, with all new weapons and technologies. News, updates, and downloads can be found at at Microsoft, and Ensemble

As with the original Age, Microsoft released and expansion set The Conquerors, with new civilizations, technologies, and AI improvements and a combined set Age of Empires II Gold. Again, details are avialble from Microsoft, and Ensemble.


Now scheduled for release "in the second half of 2005" (before Christmas?), Age of Empires III promises to be another triumph for Microsoft and Ensemble. The latest installment of the Age of Empires series will be set in the Age of Discovery -- about 1500 to 1800 A.D. There will be new units and technologies as always, as well as some significant improvements to unit AI and game-play realism.

Age of Empires III is currently being playtested. You might get an early glimpse by applying as a playtester. (Check "Strategy Games"). We anticipate that Amazon.com will accept advance orders well before the actual release date, so the link above should provide early adopters with an edge.


Downloads

The convenient links below will download the indicated trial version software directly from Microsoft. If you are particularly security-conscious, you can cut and paste the URLs following them to your browser instead of clicking the link.

  • Age of Empires Trial Version : (MSAoE.exe 24.7 MB)
    • http://download.microsoft.com/download/aoe/Trial/1.0/WIN98/EN-US/MSAoE.exe
  • Rise of Rome Trial Version : (msaoex.exe 20.7 MB)
    • http://download.microsoft.com/download/aoeror/Trial/1.0/WIN98/EN-US/msaoex.exe
  • Age of Empires II Trial Version : (AoE2demo.exe 47 MB)
    • http://download.microsoft.com/download/aoeaok/Trial/1.0/WIN98/EN-US/AoE2demo.exe
  • The Conquerors Trial Version : (Age2XTrial.exe 38MB)
    • http://download.microsoft.com/download/ageIIConquerers/Trial/1.0b/W9X2KMe/EN-US/Age2XTrial.exe


Multi-player Games Online

AoE and its derivatives can be played by up to eight players on IPX LAN's or online. For more details about online play consult The Gaming Zone. Follow their instructions, and you should be able to join multi-player games online at no cost. (You will probably need to download and install some software, sign up and get a password, etc.) It's easy, but takes some time.


Usenet Newsgroups

There are several active Age of Empires newsgroups. If you are not familiar with newsgroups, PLEASE read the FAQ before posting to any groups!

alt.games.microsoft.age-of-empires
alt.games.microsoft.rise-of-rome
alt.games.microsoft.age-of-kings
alt.games.microsoft.zone
microsoft.public.ageofempires
microsoft.public.games.zone.strategy

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