Age of Empires is a real-time strategy game launched in 1997. In the game, players act as the head of an ancient civilization. The civilization must make it through the Stone Age, Tool Age, Bronze Age, and the Iron Age in order to complete the game. The player can choose from 12 civilizations to improve. Some of these include Greeks, Persians, Shang, Yamato, Assyrians, and more. Each of the available civilizations has their own strengths and weaknesses. As a leader, the player must gather enough resources to build structures and pay for units. Research must also be done to advance to the next Age.
One of the main objectives of the game is to upgrade civilian and military units. Villagers gather resources (wood, gold, and food), while military units defeat enemies. An important element in the game is the Town Center. This is where players can research in order to advance to the next Age. The Town Center also provides support for units.
In single-player mode, there are objectives that players must complete. Completing objectives brings rewards to the player. Age of Empires can also be played in multiplayer mode wherein up to eight players can play the game simultaneously.
Age of Empires has an online version that can be played free of charge.