Planetfall is the fifth in the long-running Age of Wonders series and is currently available for $49.99 on GOG.com and Steam. You’ll explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate (or get exterminated, your mileage may vary) in a game that feels new and familiar at the same time.
Planetfall brings the Age of Wonders gameplay into the science fiction genre. That means it's a turn-based game combining grand strategy aspects, like managing cities, shaping the society of your chosen faction, and exploring the world to find new people (and sometimes kill them), with a robust tactical combat system with near infinite options available, thanks to modular, customizable units and destructible environments.
As usual for Age of Wonders, Planetfall will include a robust single player campaign, where you get to piece together the history of a fallen empire, the Star Union, and discover its dirty little - and not so little - secrets, hidden among the ruins of broken megacities, endless wastelands, and wild forests growing over ancient battle sites. All at the head of six very unique factions.
Now, while Planetfall is downloading, let's look back on the road that brought us Planetfall, a long running series that began as a spiritual sequel to Master of Magic.
Age of Wonders
Laying the groundwork for the turn-based gameplay that defines the series, Age of Wonders was released in 1999/2000 (North America/EU), as a collaboration between the Dutch Triumph studios and Epic Megagames (which needs no introduction). Combining elements of strategy games and RPGs, it featured a dozen races - both staples of the fantasy genre live Elves and Goblins, as well as more unique options, like Azracs - each with its own alignment and attitude towards each other, adding complexity to politics and strategic management.
Age of Wonders II: The Wizard’s Throne
Released in 2002, The Wizard’s Throne was an overall upgrade, introducing more complexity to the game with more races – including everyone’s favorite, the feline Tigrans – subquests from gods, more build and unit options, and a tighter tactical combat experience. It also introduced a more RPG approach to developing leaders: Class now dictated what skills would become available at level-up, replacing the more freeform approach of the previous game.
Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic
A direct sequel to The Wizard’s Throne, following in its wake in 2003, Shadow Magic was essentially a standalone expansion pack, combining the mechanics of the previous game with new units for existing races and three whole new races, a random map generator, and a new campaign. It was the last title in the series for over ten years. Together with its predecessors, it also languished as abandonware for years, until the entire series was re-released in the run-up to Age of Wonders III.
Age of Wonders III
Released in 2014, eleven years after Shadow Magic and fifteen after Age of Wonders, the fourth game in the series continued the high fantasy setting and further developed the RPG mechanics defined by previous games in the series. Leader class, and the interplay between it and the race they command became a core element of the gameplay, potentially drastically changing the gameplay. Age of Wonders III was successful enough to earn two expansion packs adding additional depth to the gameplay, as well as leading to Planetfall.
Michal's a wiki manager, writer, and a happily married husband and father. Video games are a big part of his life ever since the first shot fired in Wolfenstein 3D. Almost as big as books and history (don't get him started on it, though, or he'll talk your ears off).