Game Review: Age of Mythology

Graphics: Not as good as my computer is capable of, but reasonable.

Ease of play: The tutorial could have been a bit longer. About half way through my first campaign I noticed I’d run out of peasants, merely because I hadn’t figured that they spawn from a particular building which must be clicked on to release them into the world. I kept waiting for them to wander in from off screen like they do in Children of the Nile. Interestingly I couldn’t figure out how to exit the game. Developers! Hello! This is not the way to hook a person into playing a game.
Storyline & Background: It seemed tacked on. I’m not sure if there is a better way to work a storyline into a game like this. What is really missing from these games is a connection with any particular characters. All the characters on the screen are little tiny personalityless people. (Children of the Nile did a good job of giving individual personalities to the game characters) And everyone knows that in a real story, the hero never dies, except maybe at the end of the story.
Educational Value: close to nil. 95% of your time will be spent shuffling little people on the screen around. You might get excited about mythology from playing the game and go read up on the ancient gods, but you won’t learn much from the game.
Time: The game is a massive time sink, just like Hamurabi (that I played a million years ago). This is both a good and bad sign. If the game doesn’t catch one’s interest, then it is a waste of money. If it really catches your interest, then a few hours dissappear and all you have to show for it is a bunch of starving, undefended greek peasants.

Price: There is a free trial version available for download, which includes more than enough game play than a lot of people have time for.

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