Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
Buy On
  1. One of the smartest games on the DS. It's highly recommended for gamers of all ages and intelligence.
  2. The only way this game could be any better is if it were WiFi compatible.
  3. AceGamez
    This really is a wonderful game that has been fitted perfectly to a new combat style and handheld gaming model, setting the bar pretty high for anyone attempting something similar in the future.
  4. A somewhat unique experience to portable turn-based strategy gamers, and may actually be the best strategy title on the Nintendo DS to date, given the added complexities over other popular series.
  5. A completely overhauled and redesigned reiteration of the classic PC game. It’s a turn based strategy game that is similar to Nintendo’s Advanced Wars. This is different because the original was a real-time strategy game.
  6. Missions are quite interesting, as you seek out holy relics or protect besieged cities. They can also be very difficult, and there were times when after an hour of desperately trying to wipe out the enemy my army would be decimated and my general slain, forcing me to start over with a fresh approach. Fortunately, the varied strategic choices can make a mission play out quite differently a second time.
  7. The most engaging and deep strategy gaming yet seen to the DS. While certainly not as immersive as PC strategy titles, this game certainly provides more bang than any available strategy RPGs for the DS or GBA.
  8. Age of Kings' endless tactical calculations more than compensate for slightly fuzzy graphics and logical curiosities, and reward patient engagement with countless hours of empire-scale strategic combat.
  9. 85
    Like the other awesome turn-based strategy game for the DS, Advance Wars Dual Strike, Age of Empires provides the deep, addictive balance of strategy and action that should keep you toting that wee silver clam around with you for weeks.
  10. The dawn of a new age of strategy gaming on the go.
  11. Pelit (Finland)
    A great game that challenges even the mighty Advance Wars. The AI should be much better, though. [Jan 2007]
  12. The strategy's here, as are some squint-inducing graphics; just be prepared for the long-term commitment. [Mar 2006, p.110]
  13. Everything flows from turn to turn, and the objectives are nicely outlined. The characters are quite unique which allows you to have free rein over the level of strategy you wish to use to conquer your opponents.
  14. This makes practically every other strategy game on the market feels like child's play.
  15. Nintendo Gamer
    I can be pretty demanding and, at times, intimidating, but Age of Emipres is still and incredible achievement - and a great strategy game. [Nov 2006, p.69]
  16. 82
    Not many games have been able to do what Age of Empires has done. Age of Kings takes everything great from the previous Age of Empires PC series, and creates a new world based on those fundamentals. The DS version retains every major aspect of the PC game, while delivering the gameplay in a whole new way.
  17. The hit PC real-time strategy series goes turn-based in this well-designed and addictive translation, which packs a surprising amount of historic battles into a small package.
  18. Nintendo Power
    If you've got the patience to wrangle units, Age of Kings is a most worthy addition to your game library. [Mar 2006, p.85]
  19. 80
    Age of Empires: The Age of Kings beautifully leverages the DS's unique strength--its interactive touchscreen--to create a truly worthwhile handheld strategy game. With any luck, we're looking at the dawn of a golden age in DS strategy games.
  20. Game Informer
    Although it is not real-time based like its PC brother (instead opting for turns), anyone who's played an empire builder/recource gathering title will know what they are getting here. [Mar 2006, p.116]
  21. 80
    More than worth the time invested -- annoying interface and all. There's simply so much stuff to play with, so many maps to battle over, strategy to ponder, and campaigns to fight that the game's defects are simply unfortunate blemishes on what should be the start of a new turn-based strategy powerhouse franchise.
  22. Computer Games Magazine
    "Advance Wars" is well and good, but this is a more mature, varied, and sophisticated strategy game, arguably as deep as you'll see on a handheld. [Apr 2006, p.93]
  23. A great game, and a fantastic addition to your collection that nicely compliments the more cartoony, fantasy world of Advance Wars.
  24. 80
    With its lengthy campaigns, replayability, and solid multiplayer, strategy fans will keep coming back to this one.
  25. The developers did something rare in gaming today, they covered their bases and made sure to execute the most core aspects of the genre successfully.
  26. An engrossing strategy game with a rich array of units, excellent replay value and a history lesson thrown in.
  27. The mighty AoE RTS gets ported to the DS, and manages to retains much of the classic's gameplay charms in this much addictive turn-based game.
  28. While Age of Empires has been stripped of its frills, the core still shines brightly. Ignoring the ‘limitations’ of its chosen format entirely, The Age of Kings is as competent and enjoyable as any strategy title out there.
  29. 80
    An excellent example of what a great adaptation from PC to DS can achieve. Age of Empires: Age of Kings delivers fun strategy gaming that you should be happy to carry with you for quite some time.
  30. The main issue I have with the game is that the units, even with their team colours, lack individuality.
  31. Merely adequate. There's some pretty glaring problems that simply overshadow the good areas of the game. Hopefully a sequel will straighten these out, because there is the potential for a truly great game here.
  32. Play Magazine
    Immediacy gets lost in translation as the PC's empire building real-time strategy "Age of Empires" moves to the Nintendo DS, where it takes up residence as a turn-based game [Mar 2006, p.50]
  33. Edge Magazine
    Much to its credit, Backbone Vancouver has done a masterful job in taking the complexity of Ensemble’s original and stripping it to its bare essentials for portable play. [Apr 2006, p.95]
  34. Great strategy game becomes an average one on the DS.
  35. A noble, if distinctly old fashioned, effort to capture the magic of a classic series in the palm of your hand. Amazingly, it even gives the sublime Advance Wars Dual Strike a run for its strategy money.
  36. If nothing else, Age of Empires DS provides a title that will appeal to those Discovery Channel Dads who picked up the stylus for Brain Training, and proves that Nintendo's flip-top toy can supply grown-up depth as well as giddy frivolity.
  37. While it may lack the charm of Advance Wars and its complete appreciation of the format’s unique potential, there is much to overcome, saviour and keep you engaged until the next strategic release arrives.
  38. The game also has a number of bugs that freeze the game up during battles or when you save.

Awards & Rankings

#14 Most Discussed DS Game of 2006
#21 Most Shared DS Game of 2006
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 64 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 51 out of 64
  2. Negative: 8 out of 64
  1. Mar 20, 2011
    i love this game and i still play it the battles are awsome the campaign modes are fun to play and challenging and it is a great time killer ii love this game and i still play it the battles are awsome the campaign modes are fun to play and challenging and it is a great time killer i cannot think of any thing bad to say about it Full Review »
  2. JimiK.
    Jul 1, 2008
    This is a fun game that requires thought. I don't think that the touch screen works as well as the control buttons but use a combination This is a fun game that requires thought. I don't think that the touch screen works as well as the control buttons but use a combination of the two methods that works for me. The bug isn't bad; make sure you have more than 3 letters to your name and save often. It would be a ten if the touch screen was easier to navigate (it can be a pain in the butt trying to activate the character you want when they are grouped) and if there were no bug at all. Full Review »
  3. NateM.
    Mar 4, 2008
    I played the first 2 AOE games and loved them.This ranks right up there with them. Complex gameplay, many twists and turns, and good graphics I played the first 2 AOE games and loved them.This ranks right up there with them. Complex gameplay, many twists and turns, and good graphics for a DS game combine for an excellent product. Full Review »