The Venn diagram connecting fans of 4X games and Dungeons & Dragons fans contains quite a bit of overlap, which is where the Age of Wonders series comfortably resides. There’s a new chapter in the works, too: Paradox has announced that the Age of Wonders 4 release date is set for May 2, so fans won’t have to wait for 11 years this time.
Age of Wonders 4, like its predecessors, is a fantasy spin on Civilization. Players command a fantasy kingdom, pursuing the eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate directives of the genre in order to win.
This latest entry in the series brings some fresh new ideas: you’ll be able to custom-build your followers by cobbling together various body forms, social traits, and magic powers. There are countless possibilities that range from cannibal hobbits to elves who worship the moon, and this is just a starting point – using tomes of magic, you’ll be able to physically morph your followers into either angelic beings or twisted demons in battle.
Something Age of Wonders adds to the Civilization format is turn-based tactical battles that break out whenever units clash on the world map. Age of Wonders 4 will indeed feature these as well, with fights against wandering monsters and massive castle sieges all part of the mix.
If the past entries in the series are any indication, Age of Wonders 4 will be a strong candidate for inclusion on the best strategy games of 2023 list, but have a look at the rest of those excellent games if you’re in need of strategic distraction in the meantime.