I remember when I was a kid and my Mum got us our first computer. It was a giant cream coloured beast. I was so excited because I could play the copy of “Age of Empires” that was the prize in a box of Corn Flakes.
I’m pretty sure I still have it somewhere.
After installing it and starting a new Blue civilisation, everything went downhill. I was so happy hoarding resources, I forgot I had an opponent to defeat.
Within a few ages, the Reds descended upon me. It was a massacre. Luckily, a few innocent Blues managed to escape the carnage. With all the food, wood, gold and stone I’d collected before the first downfall of my empire I rebuilt stronger and with new determination. My new purpose was to crush my foe.
This was difficult with a population cap of just 50, but my small legion of builders made me an army that made my Red opposition tremble.
With a tide of horses and archers, I rained fiery Blue vengeance on those tiny red pixel people.
“You Are Victorious” flashed on to the screen, and I had my first taste of video game victory. This innocuous silver disc, pulled from a box of cereal is what I remember as my first real video game.
It started a love affair not only with the RTS genre of gaming, but could be responsible for my drive to write about games. I have fond memories of other games, but none have the nostalgia that AoE does.
I’ve got AoE games that follow that first game, but none draw me in like Age of Empires 1. They’re still fun, but they don’t hold a candle to the woo-loo-looo of AoE 1.