Age of Empires: Castle Siege [Windows Phone, iOS]
Developer: Smoking Gun
Price model: Freemium
Microsoft’s Age of Empires: Castle Siege has been available on Windows Phone and Windows 8.1 for some time but Smoking Gun, the developer behind the game, has just released the title on iOS as well. Available on both the iPhone and the iPad, Castle Siege brings the F2P Age of Empires experience to Apple’s devices and the best thing about it is that it supports cross-platform play in every single one of the supported platforms.
If this is the first time you are seeing the game, allow me to explain some things about it. First of all, this is not the Age of Empires you may remember from the first trilogy. It is far closer to the Age of Empires: Online title that Microsoft released in 2011, both in terms of the art style and the gameplay itself. This is a freemium title through and through which means there are in-app purchases, something that many AoE players may not take kindly to.
Apart from that, however, this is a very solid title with a myriad of things to do. There is a fully fleshed-out single player campaign with several civilizations to choose from including the Britons, Teutons and Kievan Rus. You will start a civilization from scratch and slowly upgrade everything, including your city and fortress. Getting into a clan is one of the best ways to ensure prosperity, especially in the long-term. It is also a very fun aspect as you can communicate with players around the world, regardless of the platform they are playing on.
Smoking Gun’s John Johnson has repeatedly stated that Age of Empires: Castle Siege is a complex game at heart but it is very easy for new players to learn the ropes. Many have already compared it with Clash of Clans as the immensely popular mobile game is not available on Windows Phone and Castle Siege was considered to be Microsoft’s answer to that title. That comparison, however, is quite unfair and this AoE game warrants a try at the very least.