Age of Wonders is a turn-based strategy game created by Triumph Studios in collaboration with Epic Megagames and published by Gathering of Developers in 1999 for Windows.
The game falls within the realm of fantasy turn-based strategy games with RPG elements, a genre that was introduced by King's Bounty in 1991, further popularized by Master of Magic in 1994, and especially by Heroes of Might and Magic in 1995. Age of Wonders solidifies this formula by reintroducing elements well-known to fans of the genre.
In the game, you control a race chosen from the classic fantasy universe, including elves, dwarves, humans, halflings, and classic villains like orcs, goblins, or undead. Your faction must establish cities and expand across the map composed of isometric cells. Resources can be moved in groups, up to 8 units simultaneously. When conflicts arise, they are resolved through turn-based combat (which can also be resolved automatically). After each battle, units gain experience and become more powerful.
Heroes play a vital role and can be hired when they randomly appear in cities. They can level up with experience, similar to traditional role-playing games, acquiring highly useful abilities, particularly the ability to cast spells, which can significantly alter the course of battles. Magic is essential, ranging from spells that can influence single battles to those that enhance units or affect the map. Some of the more powerful spells may even take several turns to cast.
All of these elements are expertly developed in Age of Wonders, with graphics and audio suitable for the period in which it was released (decidedly more advanced than mid-1990s games). Triumph's strategy game is deep and rich in exploration, offering 12 races, 50 types of heroes, numerous spells, a complex diplomacy network, and much more. Perhaps the only drawback is the limited number of maps, which an excellent map editor compensates for.
If you enjoy the genre, Age of Wonders is simply a must-play game. If you're interested, you can find the full version on GOG at a discounted price.