Flash Friday: Age of War

Welcome to Flash Friday! This is where I look at some of the awesome and creative flash games you can play for free on the Internet. Today, I will be looking at Age of War. Considered a classic in the Flash game community, it’s highly unlikely you’ve never heard of it before if you’ve spent any amount of time playing Flash games between 2008-2011. But what makes it so good and is its popularity justified?

Age of War is simple and short as most flash games back then were. They seemed to give off a more casual and time-killer vibe back then instead of having lots of depth like many Flash games do today. That isn’t a bad thing of course and Age of War definitely proves that. When you first start a game, a wide but small battlefield is lain about before you, your base on one end and the enemies on the other. You are tasked with training units to attack the enemies base while building turrets to defend your own. As well as this, you have a special attack that usually helps wipe out most, if not all of the enemies on the battlefield. It seems dull at first but there’s a twist. As you kill enemies, you gain experience and once you reach a certain threshold you can ‘evolve’ and move onto the next age… of war.

It is strangely satisfying watching your primitive caveman brandishing slingshots and riding on dinosaurs eventually evolve into futuristic infantry, massive war machines and even super soldiers. Turrets are affected too. You start with chickens that shoot eggs at your enemies to explosive cannons to lasers. Your special ability also changes to fit with the age because of course, meteors raining down in the futuristic age would look quite strange compared an ion cannon. Despite not much changing throughout the game in terms of gameplay, these age changes give an illusion of progress.

Speaking of the gameplay, one of the main problems with the game is its lack of depth. Although the age changes gives a sense of change visually, the game never really changes at its core. All the new units and turrets you get simply deal more damage, can take more damage and cost more. In every age there is a cheap, melee guy, a ranged guy and an expensive power unit such as a dinosaur rider or tank. This means that after a while, the game can grow to be quite boring in longer bursts which is most apparent on the higher difficulties where taking down your foe takes quite a deal of effort and probably an age in itself.

In short bursts however, Age of War still remains a classic Flash game that is simple yet fun. It is easy to see how it got so popular when it was released over 8 years ago now. Age of War could even be credited for creating a genre of its own. The many side-scrolling war games that seem so plentiful today such as the Epic War series and Stick War series were almost non-existent before Age of War. It was one of the pioneers for the future of Flash games and for that reason alone it remains a classic.

Pros:

  • Unique concept at the time
  • Simple yet fun gameplay
  • Various levels of difficulty
  • Different ages of war concept is executed well
  • Free

Cons:

  • Short
  • Lack of depth
  • Games on harder difficulties can drag

Verdict: 7.5/10

Play it here or and on many other sites: http://www.kongregate.com/games/louissi/age-of-war

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