Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic PC

Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic Image
Metascore
82

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 79 Ratings

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  • Summary: Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic takes the acclaimed fantasy strategy series to new heights. This new stand-alone game enhances the series' praised fusion of empire building, role-playing and tactical combat with the eerie Shadow World and battle with races never before seen, across new andAge of Wonders: Shadow Magic takes the acclaimed fantasy strategy series to new heights. This new stand-alone game enhances the series' praised fusion of empire building, role-playing and tactical combat with the eerie Shadow World and battle with races never before seen, across new and diverse landscapes. Combined with the option of creating a totally unique environment with the map editor and rewriting the history of this world through the enhanced campaign editor, you are ensured a constant stream of completely new game experiences. [Gathering of Developers] Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. With its highly varied gameplay, mesmerizing atmosphere, gorgeous soundtrack and overall polish, Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic is a hypnotizing game so absorbing that it made the world around me dissolve away.
  2. Probably the pinnacle of turn-based strategy titles to date.
  3. Computer Gaming World
    90
    The largest maps, which have three different levels of land, can provide dozens of hours of gameplay. [Nov 2003, p.128]
  4. The new races added to Age of Wonders already fantastic fantasy world and a host of customizable campaign and level editors means that fans of turn-based strategy will never have to play the same missions twice.
  5. The focus on wizards adds far more of an edge than Heroes of Might and Magic’s army action, and the increased level of tactics puts Disciples to shame.
  6. Cheat Code Central
    80
    A random map generator will give you some decent replay value as it works great. It's almost like acquiring a new expansion pack every time you use it.
  7. The in-game graphics are as primitive as ever – simply doing their job of representing the positions of your various units around the map – and the basic turn-based concept won’t be every gamer’s cup of tea, but there’s surely enough depth and engrossing potential here to bring hardcore adventurers back for more while enticing a good number of newbies.

See all 22 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. KanaK.
    Sep 25, 2003
    10
    Very well done game in EVERY aspect! Music, sounds, graphics, (aren't top notch but they don't have to be!) gameplay and every bug Very well done game in EVERY aspect! Music, sounds, graphics, (aren't top notch but they don't have to be!) gameplay and every bug they found is squished! A perfect addition to any Strategy game fan! (it's also pretty newbie friendly. So it's easy to get in the game, but it's not easy to get good!) Expand
  2. Jan 3, 2013
    10
    This game and the original Age of Wonders are still my favorite fantasy strategy games even though it has been almost 10 years since ShadowThis game and the original Age of Wonders are still my favorite fantasy strategy games even though it has been almost 10 years since Shadow Magic came out. The variety of races, units, and spells gives the game near infinite replay value. This game has just the right blend of combat, exploration, research, and RPG elements. City management and diplomacy are quite simple but I prefer it that way. There are also many user created mods and scenarios that enhance the game. Expand
  3. Oct 25, 2011
    10
    I bought this game at launch and 8yrs later it is still played by the whole family for at least a couple of months each year. We keep goingI bought this game at launch and 8yrs later it is still played by the whole family for at least a couple of months each year. We keep going back to it and have a great time when we do. It's well balanced in the main with only a couple of exceptions and these can be countered with a thoughtfully built stack of units.
    The AI is competent, on the medium settings it can be quite challenging in the early to mid game and on the harder settings it can crush you if you allow war on more than one front. There is a great variety of playable racesunits and magic specialisation, this combined with the wealth of community made maps and the excellent map generator offer infinite re playability.
    This is without doubt the best successor to Master of Magic and a "must have" for any strategy gamer from the more casual through to total grognards.
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  4. AlK.
    Oct 1, 2005
    9
    Pinpoint graphics to the point where I can see all the individual hairs on an orc's head aren't necessary to have a good game. Pinpoint graphics to the point where I can see all the individual hairs on an orc's head aren't necessary to have a good game. Awesome units, magic, and brilliant strategy based maps are what keeps my mind coming back for more. Expand
  5. CannibalBob
    Oct 21, 2008
    9
    I LOVE this game. The amount of detail put in is astounding, both on the global and combat level. Leveling characters and looting is alsoI LOVE this game. The amount of detail put in is astounding, both on the global and combat level. Leveling characters and looting is also fun on its own. The graphics have very nice effects but sadly are not aging very well. Higher resolution sprites would most likely solve the problem. AOWSM also has a surprisingly active community.

    The game has a few flaws, such as AI being... not very smart, as well as a few bugs (movement bugs, some mouse-wheel scroll bugs etc). The flaws are pretty minor, though, as the good things in the game far outweigh the bad.
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  6. Aug 7, 2013
    9
    Anyone who likes strategy games will love this game. There is also a interesting story involving strang and terrorfying shadow-creatures fromAnyone who likes strategy games will love this game. There is also a interesting story involving strang and terrorfying shadow-creatures from a evil realm. the gameplay is great and I love turn-based strategt games like this and if you like the sound of this you should get it Expand
  7. Sep 5, 2016
    6
    Don't expect a review of the multiplayer options, the editor or the mods. I don't have time for these. I'm happy enough when I find time forDon't expect a review of the multiplayer options, the editor or the mods. I don't have time for these. I'm happy enough when I find time for playing solo. Anyway, I did notice that the game offers plenty of these options, which is a good thing if they work (you'll check that in other reviews.)

    This addition to the genre has many more features than its competitors of the day. Too many if you ask me, as it becomes perhaps overcomplicated, but what is of little interest to me is a turn on for others. In fact, in general, I like the features. It's the interface to use them that I find improperly adapted, tabs cluttered with hard to read texts and numbers, a microscopic, useless minimap, unintuitive series of clicks, and so on. Another issue of mine is that the game is very battle oriented, to the detriment of exploration.

    But let's face it: the real problem is that the graphics, as pretty as they might be, are an unclear mess when it comes to actual play. Half the time I can't see enemy units, often not even mine. I can't see bonus trees and magic bushes. I'm never sure on which hexagon I'm standing. Possibly the most annoying is that I never know if I'm going to click on my wizard or on the city. In fact I never know who is defending a city, as there is no clean garrisoning system and cities are where I lose sight of my units the most. The button for cycling is not that great a solution. I know, it doesn't help that I play in short sessions separated by weeks.

    As for the music, I turn off the annoyance, like in 90% of games. I don't lower the rating for this (I give a point when a music compels me to keep it on.) I mention it because, with the music off, I notice that the sound effects are mediocre at best. As mediocre as the animations.

    Still a decent title for strategy buffs, but I believe it requires a strong investment and long sessions.
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See all 17 User Reviews