Credit: Ensemble Studios and Microsoft Studios
Age of Empires conquered your PC. Now the hugely popular real-time-strategy videogame series aims to conquer your Windows Phone and Windows 8 devices this September with Age of Empires: Castle Siege.
Like other titles in the Age of Empires series, Castle Siege will let players build a city, defend it from attacks and raise armies to attack other castles. Pricing has not yet been announced, but developers say Castle Siege will feature some in-app purchases.
The Age of Empires series simulates historical periods with great accuracy. Age of Empires: Castle Siege is set in Europe and the Middle East during medieval times and will let players take control of a number of different "civilizations," including the "Britons" (i.e., the English), Byzantines, Franks, Kievan Rus, Saracens (Arabs and other Muslims) and the Teutonic Order.
The game takes a top-down perspective, letting players navigate castles and battlefields and manage units by tapping on a device's touchscreen. Part of the game involves gathering and using resources such as wood, stone and food.
The game's graphics are more cartoonish than other Age of Empires games, but the trailer still showcases a variety of architectural styles, from wooden motte-and-bailey castles to Eastern domed structures to stone Romanesque towers.
Castle Siege will feature Hero characters, a longtime staple of Age of Empires games. Hero characters are usually special units that represent important historical figures, like Richard the Lionheart or Saladin. Players will be able to recreate 10 famous historical battles, including the Siege of Marienburg and the Fall of Constantinople (presumably the second one, in 1453).
In a possible departure from other Age of Empires games, however, it appears that Castle Siege will have a brisker pace compared to the rest of the series. Screenshots show a timer hovering over several battles. Castle Siege also bears strong similarities to Clash of Clans, a popular freemium strategy game for iOS and Android.
Though the game launches on Windows Phone and Windows 8, it will also have some connectivity to Xbox Live, according to the Age of Empires blog.
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Jill Scharr is a staff writer for Tom's Guide, where she regularly covers security, 3D printing and video games. You can follow Jill on Twitter @JillScharr and on Google+. Follow us @tomsguide, on Facebook and on Google+.