Age of Wonders: Planetfall is the new strategy game from Triumph Studios, creators of the critically acclaimed Age of Wonders series, bringing all the exciting tactical turn-based combat and in-depth empire building of its predecessors to space in an all-new, sci-fi setting.
You will hardly find a more elaborate sci-fi 4X turn-based strategy. Functional diplomacy, solid AI and brilliant battles are further supported by a highly modular approach to hero and unit customization.
My overall experience with the mechanics of Planetfall is that their complexity brings the worlds to life, but the mechanics described above may be too much for beginners, even with the comprehensive tutorial system. That said, I really hope that Triumph Studios takes some design decisions for future fantasy installments.
Age of Wonders: Planetfall is a large, ambitious strategy game that succeeds in many ways but falters ever so slightly in its grand scale. If you can grapple with the scope it's well worth the purchase and time, offering a great sandbox that could be played for hours on end. Newcomers to the genre might want to try one of the earlier Age of Wonders games before seeing if they should truly take the dive into this massive commitment. Those who do won't be disappointed.
Age of Wonders: Planetfall is an imaginative sci-fi strategy game that adds some interesting new layers to the series’ empire management and combat mechanics, but, ultimately, the game falls just short of greatness. Combat needs to be a touch deeper and standard 4X ingredients like trading, religion, and government policies are missed. Planetfall is certainly worth exploring, but not all strategy fans are going to want to set up permanent residence.
Of course, this mix-and-match approach will only be as good as the imagination that goes into its parts. Paradox tried something similar with Stellaris, using a set of opposing attributes. But that game’s spreadsheet-dry sci-fi doesn’t have room for the kind of glee, personality, and interactivity that drives Planetfall. Stellaris is the rasp of pages turning in a ledger. Run your index finger across the paper, along the row and then down the column, find a number that supposedly suggests the high-concept sci-fi in one of those dull classics you felt obligated to read and even more obligated to pretend to like. But Planetfall is a shelf of old sci-fi dime store novels in the back of a tiny bookstore inexplicably still in business. Pick the lurid title that calls out to you best. Pull it out and delight at the splash of imaginative cover art. This is your story for today.
Age of Wonders: Planetfall takes several turns to get moving, and newcomers might feel overwhelmed until they gain their bearings, but Triumph Studios’ newest strategy offering is full of fun, creative ideas and each faction is worth taking for a spin at least once. Building a sustainable empire and managing a happy populous takes some grunt work, but they are really just stepping stones to Age of Wonders: Planetfall’s epic firefights.
a satisfying strategy experience with a ton of replayability, and factions that feel truly distinct. Its randomly generated maps can feel so organic you might think they were hand-crafted. It has a bevy of minor issues, however, like a cumbersome UI and stilted animations, and its lack of tactical depth on the battle map leaves it feeling like a game from a decade ago.
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