Age of Wonders: Planetfall, by Triumph Studios, is a game that takes its series to an entirely new level. We all know Age of Wonders as a fantasy series, but Age of Wonders: Planetfall strives to bring us in a sci-fi, unique world with lots of planets and a rather intricate story.
The idea here is that a cataclysm destroyed the Star Union and now all the factions in this part of the universe are trying to dominate one another.
At first, the game starts with 6 factions, but more are added gradually. Each one of the factions has specific abilities and features. So no faction will play the same. They also tend to have bonuses too, which is very exciting. You play as the commander, and you will need to explore that planet, spy on enemies, acquire resources, declare war or focus on diplomacy. You are free to choose whatever system suits your needs however you need to be very careful, as every faction is dangerous and you don’t really know what to expect and what situations you are dealing with at this particular point.
In order to increase the replay value, Age of Wonders: Planetfall offers only procedurally generated maps. But each map has 2 biomes and you can harness resources from that. You can also boost the expectations via placing landmarks and expand your cities as you go along.
It’s also nice to see that the game is very similar to the Civilization series. That’s not a bad thing at all. It shares some common grounds, but the sci-fi experience is very well done here and you will notice hostile camps, neutral factions and so on. The skill tree does allow you to unlock a weapon of mass destruction, and that might ultimately help you win the game. That being said, you still have the top ground perspective that’s so iconic for this type of game and you also have grazing, a new mechanic where the missed shots land some damage anyway.
Of course you can upgrade your units. You will have all kinds of new equipment and modes that they can use to improve their skills and eventually become a lot better at what they are doing. Diplomacy is a very important part of the game, as the players do end up getting to explore all kinds of options to control others and keep things afloat. It really ends up being very demanding and a great challenge, to the point where you will find yourself tackling all kinds of situations in a meaningful and powerful way.
Overall, I believe that Age of Wonders: Planetfall is a very good game. It’s not at all what you would expect from Age of Wonders as a series, but it functions and it definitely has a lot of character. It won’t take you a lot of time to get used to it and, in the end, it’s just a very rewarding, yet quite challenging 4x turn-based strategy game. If you like this type of games, you will not be disappointed.