Minimal PC System Requirements
* Dual Core CPU
* 1 GB RAM
* GPU with Shader Model 3 and 256 MB RAM
* Windows XP or Windows Vista
* Dual-layer compatible DVD drive, 10 GB free space on the hard drive
Optimal PC System Requirements
* Quad Core CPU
* 2 GB RAM
* Fast GPU (Geforce 8800GT/Radeon 4850 or equivalent) with Shader Model 3 and 512 or more MB RAM
* Windows XP or Windows Vista
The Age of Kings focuses on building towns, gathering resources, creating armies, and destroying enemy units and buildings. Players conquer rival towns and empires as they advance one of 13 civilizations through four "Ages": the Dark Age, the Feudal Age, the Castle Age (The Middle Ages), and the Imperial Age, reminiscent of the Renaissance—a 1000 year timeframe. Progressing to a new Age unlocks new units, structures, and technologies, but players must pay a sum of resources to advance to the next age (typically food and gold) once selected technologies are researched from their current age, and certain buildings are constructed.
Civilian units, called "villagers", are used to gather resources; they are either male or female - gender does not affect their abilities. Resources can be used to train units, construct buildings, and research technologies, among other things; for example, players can research better armour for infantry units. The game offers four types of resources: food, wood, gold, and stone. Food is obtained by hunting animals, gathering berries, harvesting livestock, farming, and fishing. Wood is gathered by chopping down trees. Gold is obtained from either gold mines, trade or using relics in a monastery, and stone is collected from stone mines. Villagers require checkpoints, typically depository buildings (town center, mining camp, mill, and lumber yard), where they can store gathered resources. Each civilization can purchase upgrades that increase the rate of gathering these resources. Players can construct a market for trade; players can either trade wood, stone, and food for gold, and use gold to buy other resources. Market prices fluctuate with every transaction. Furthermore, docks can also generate gold by using trading cogs which are used to visit ally ports; once they return to the player's port, gold is added to the stockpile. The amount of gold a trading cog earns on each trip is related to the distance it had to travel to an ally port. More gold is earned on longer trips. It is possible to trade with enemies' ports, but the player's trading vessels may be attacked or destroyed by enemy units in the process. Players do not need to keep trading manually, as once they select the port or market the trading units infinitely continue to trade.
There are five campaigns in The Age of Kings, containing historically-based scenarios such as Genghis Khan's invasion of Eurasia, Barbarossa's Crusade, or Saladin's defence of the Holy Land. In the Joan of Arc and William Wallace campaigns, the player can control a unit based on its namesake; in others, players take orders from guiding spirits representative of the army's commander.
Additional game modes are available to the player in The Age of Kings. One mode, random map, generates a plain map, with players starting in the Dark Age with a Town Center, three villagers, and a scout unit. The game can be won through military conquest, by constructing a special building known as a Wonder and keeping it standing for a certain amount of time, or by obtaining control of all relics on the map for a set amount of time. Deathmatch mode allows players to begin with large amounts of resources, creating a focus on military dominance, while in the regicide mode each player is given a king unit, winning by killing all of the other monarchs.
* Microsoft® Windows® 95/98/Me/XP/NT 4.0 with service pack 5
* PC with 166 MHz equivalent or higher processor
* 32 MB of system RAM
* 200 MB available ha