Through The Ages is something fairly unique as far as mobile games go; it’s a mobile version of a board game. Not only that, it manages to actually be fun.
Through The Ages takes the very popular Through The Ages: A Story of Civilization board game from over ten years ago and bring it onto the mobile marketplace. Many times this has been attempted with varying results, but most players of mobile versions of board games can likely tell you, it never goes well.
Most board games are too complicated or rely too much on the other players being literally in front of you to work properly. It often means the mobile version falls short or is just plain not fun.
Not so for Through The Ages, thankfully. The game may be small for a simple mobile phone screen, but the gameplay and strategy is fully realized from the board game version. There is very little lost from the transition, other than making the mundane calculations required from the boardgame obsolete by doing it for you.
There is very little lost from the transition, other than making the mundane calculations required from the boardgame obsolete by doing it for you.
As in any board game, learning the rules is the biggest hurdle; some games require the player to read a length manual, others attempt to play test games. Through The Ages has the player work with a charming, honestly funny narrator who explains everything in simple terms with an actual narrative to help make the rules go down easier.
The tutorial does not hold your hand or coddle you overwhelmingly; it frequently trusts you to complete action with a little guidance, all with a few well placed jokes sprinkled in. At no point do you feel patronized, only a tiny bit overwhelmed by the rules.
This sheer density of rules is to expected from a board game turned mobile game, but it is easy to imagine that some players might get turned away from Through The Ages due to its very in-depth tutorial, even despite its witty humor and intelligent writing.
Assuming that a player can get through learning about the game however, they will be presented with brilliant music, both atmospheric and classical, as well as a rich and detailed strategy game that will leave you both piteously raging at being defeated and desperate to play again and win.
... a rich and detailed strategy game that will leave you both piteously raging at being defeated and desperate to play again and win.
The game manages to meld the mechanics of many resource management board games with the construction and worker allocation of a Civilization game. The game is consistently satisfying and enjoyable to play, even if rather complicated.
It is rare to see a board game turned into a mobile game actually be improved by the transition. Through The Ages manages to cultivate true, in-depth strategy, a brilliant ascetic inspired by the original artwork and a multiplayer community that truly works, allowing players to play their favourite board game not just online, but from the comfort of their phones.
If only more board games took the risk that Through The Ages has made, the worlds of both mobile and board gaming would be vastly improved.
|the play is fully realized from the board game version||-|