Age of Empires: Castle Siege Available Today on iOS

Microsoft Games Studios, in partnership with developer Smoking Gun Interactive, announce today that Age of Empires: Castle Siege is coming to Windows 10 and is available today globally on the App Store for iPhone 4s + and iPad 2+.

AoE Castle Siege Logo

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Need More Time.. Oh Wait!

Over the last week I’ve added yet more to my list of unplayed games.  I would normally say “I need more time”.. but I’ve now finished work, and it’s Christmas!  Though I’ll soon have to start on some projects, it means I do have a lot more free time 🙂

Today was partly spent trying to achieve a Gold Badge in the adrenaline challenge mode of Defense Grid: The Awakening.. trying, but not succeeding.  I completed the map, but didn’t score highly enough to get gold.

Earning a Gold Badge, and thereby getting the Flurry achievement was one of the objectives of Valve’s latest sale and competition: The Great Gift Pile.. collecting coal and winning prizes, with the chance to win everything on Steam via the Epic Holiday Giveaway on the 2nd Jan.  Everything on Steam.. wow.. I really wouldn’t have enough time!

Last week, I acquired Empire Earth: Gold Edition via GOG.com.. Empire Earth and expansion The Art of Conquest were being given away to anyone who came to the Good Old Games site!  Empire Earth is a real-time strategy by Stainless Steel Studios, said to be somewhat like my beloved Age of Empires, but going from the Stone Age all the way to the Space Age.  Looking forward to this one..

I previously noted that I’d won a copy of EA’s Alice: Madness Returns for the 360, through DR Gaming‘s 12 Days of Christmas giveaway on Facebook..  the game arrived this week, and better still, it came with a bonus Xbox LIVE code for the original American McGee’s Alice!  I remember playing the PC version of this game during my first Christmas together with Tim, on his recommendation 😉

Via a GameSpot UK competition, I won a Cyborg RAT 9 gaming mouse and “gaming surface” aka mousemat 😉
I’ve handed my address over and now await the postman!  Great timing too.. my mouse has been failing intermittently for a while now!  I also won a copy of Orcs Must Die! for Tim, through Day 2 of Splitkick.com’s Holiday Giveaway 2011.  Note: I’m not keeping track of the number of competitions I haven’t won 😉

Yet other new games have arrived thanks to the Humble Indie Bundle.. the contents of Bundle #3 have been added as bonus gifts for those who paid over the average!  This bundle contained Crayon Physics Deluxe, which I got from the Humble Introversion Bundle, and Lazy 8 Studios’ Cogs, which a friend gave me earlier in the year, as well as VVVVVV, Hammerfight and And Yet It Moves.

VVVVVV is a 2d platformer by Terry Cavanagh, with an interesting gravity-switching mechanic which you use to travel and avoid hazards.  I’m hopeful that this doesn’t require too much flailing at the keyboard to manage, otherwise I’ll find it more frustrating than fun.  Hammerfight, by Kranx Productions, is an aerial combat game where you control airships outfitted with hammers and swords!

The final game of the list is Broken Rules’ And Yet It Moves.  It isn’t a horror game, as I first thought when I heard the title, but a 2d puzzle where you control the orientation of the game environment as well as the player character.  This is the game I’m looking forward to most out of the three as I expect the puzzles to be quite fun!

Age of Empires Online

I used to play a lot of Age of Empires with Tim, years and years ago, mostly co-op against the AI as neither of us wanted to kill each other.  My dad also played, though lacking the internet, we weren’t able to play together.

I tried multiplayer when I first got the internet, via some Microsoft service.. and was almost immediately yelled at by randoms who determined any new player to be unworthy of joining a game.  Eventually I found a game, only to realise there was some cheating going on when my opponents appeared with cars.  Yeah.. right.  Back to the AI, then 😉

Age of Empires Online is free to play, although there is “premium content” available, adding new civilizations as well as less useful decorative items.

Each player starts off with their own Capital City, to which buildings can be added to gain new technologies and units.  You can also pick up new quests here, the first of which are all about teaching the basics of killing enemies, gathering food and building units.. this all works the same as the original Age of Empires gameplay.

The “online” part of the game consists of co-operative questing and PvP.. you can team up with other players to complete quests, though it isn’t required.

I think that it’ll be fairly difficult for people to cheat, though I don’t know what advantages the premium content will give people.. I guess we’ll have to see whether multiplayer with randoms will be worth playing.