Dark Age Wars is a browser-based strategy game with the typical military theme around the 13th century. It places you into the role of Squire just back from the Crusade who is assigned the task of developing a village for the king. Manage resources, administer the construction and prepare for the war – you have a lot work to do.
Dark Age Wars starts with the conventional tutorial stage where an advisor explains the basics of core elements and the structure of the interface. Following the tutorial, you can quickly grasp the gaming structure and receive some resources as reward at the same time. The interface is old-school and 2D with dark colored backdrop and graphic which is passable and practical.
The bulk of gameplay consists of the basic concepts of most strategy games. Construct and upgrade an increasing number of structures, take quests to win resources and facilitate the growth of the village, produce and loot resources for further growth, unlock and gain military units and weapons at different buildings, level up university to unlock different empowering researches, and attack rebel villages and real-player enemies for territory. There is nothing special in terms of the core elements. But you need more time to set up a developed village than you do in other similar titles.
You will realize the great difference in the gaming pace that sets the game apart. It’s snail-slow. Firstly, it’s time-consuming to get enough resources required in construction and upgrading; and then, it takes long time, increasing in a sharp curve with level up, for the completion of a project, which is compounded by the limited two building slots. It starts slowly from the ground up, and only becomes slower at high levels. That may account for the low player base to certain extent. You can speed up almost every activity by spending gold, the hard currency, though.
If you happen to like the short-burst gameplay, you will see your patience and time pay off. You will gradually build a strong kingdom with abundant resources and powerful army, get a diverse cast of units and facilities, defeat surrounding territories and take on the six super-cities in the center, and make your alliances the most influential over the vast land. With a bigger village to lead, you will need to use your strategy more. Whether it’s to supply your army with food or to send the suitable units into battles, tactics and calculation play crucial roles in victory.
Dark Age Wars is a conventional strategy game. It’s slow-paced so best enjoyed when you play in short periods. It has its own features in minor aspects, but it doesn’t have unique identity on the whole.