Age of Empires II: Age of Kings



Strategy is key in tough real-time strategy game.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable

Some, but seen from above in a manner that does not glamorize the violence.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that strategy takes precedence over violence, which is fairly mild and seen from above. Defeated enemies do die and become skeletons. The developers made an effort to educate players about the various civilizations and their history, although the game isn't always accurate.

What's it about?

AGE OF EMPIRES II: THE AGE OF KINGS is a historically based, real-time strategy (RTS) game that allows players to found and build up one of 13 civilizations, such as the Celts, Franks, or Chinese. Players must balance exploration, economic, and building needs and battle in order to succeed in this game.

As an RTS game, the play is continuous: Both the player and opponents are active at the same time. Each civilization has special abilities, units, and heroes (historical figures including Genghis Khan and Joan of Arc). Players must gather resources and construct buildings to expand the civilization and develop more advanced units.

Is it any good?


The game offers hours of play, challenging computer artificial intelligence, and the ability to play against friends on other computers. Although the game involves military conquest, it is offered in a historical context and is not explicit. It is an excellent entertainment value. It requires complex thought about economics and strategy rather than simple action and reaction, and it makes an effort to educate about the civilizations and time periods it covers.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how this type of game helps makes history come alive. Can kids figure out in what ways the game is not historically correct?

Game details

Platforms:Windows, Mac
Available online?Not available online
Release date:January 18, 2002
Genre:Real Time Strategy (RTS)
ESRB rating:T

This review of Age of Empires II: Age of Kings was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old December 27, 2009

hypocrisy? Much?

The violence in this game is very similar to Warcraft III, and you gave that a no kids? Anyway, great game.
What other families should know
Educational value
Teen, 15 years old Written byawinnik January 15, 2011
i sleep through my world history class and i have an A because this game pretty much told me everything that happened. you also learn interesting things like Attila the Hun was not interested in wealth
What other families should know
Educational value
Teen, 14 years old Written byBub Bidderskins September 21, 2009

Excellent game for those of all ages

Excellent game, and educational, too. I actually won my school geography bee because I played this game. Serious. It really teaches medival history well, and has a section devoted to that, which you will want to read after you've played as all the characters it describes. The gameplay is excellent, and it is one of the best RTS games out there, even though it is quite old. It's great for those of any age.
What other families should know
Educational value


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