Game Freebies: Age of Empires

Introduction: Since jkOnTheRun pointed it out, I’ve been having a bit of a rummage through the freebes on offer at the Windows Marketplace, including quite a few free games. They’re mostly demo versions, with just the first few levels, or racing games with just one type of car and track, but they’re generally small enough to download (takes a while on dial-up, but still do-able), and if you’re not really into gaming much (I’m not), the first few levels might be enough for you. Many of the games are quite old, but if you don’t have the latest PC specc’d up for gaming, they might be as much as you can run anyway.

What Is It?

Age of Empires is along similar lines to the Command & Conquer series of games, which I like. One of the first games I got into on the PC was Dune 2, the predecessor to C&C. Microsoft have tried to give it a slightly educational edge, by mixing in bits of history, but it’s 99% game, 1% education. The freebie is only a trial version, with a short series of campaigns to play through, but it’s good for a couple of hours of entertainment, and not at all bad for free.

This is the first in the AoE series, so the graphics and such are pretty poor by modern standards. On the plus side, though, it should play well enough even on a fairly low-spec PC.

Worth Downloading?

I had fun with it, and it was worth the effort to me. It won’t occupy you for long, but it’s a couple of hours of free entertainment.