Age of Wonders 3: Eternal Lords

Game review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
Age of Wonders 3: Eternal Lords Game Poster Image
Spooky addition extends life of complex strategy game.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Players determine positivity or negativity. Can be merciful, making kingdoms full of happy people, or can rampage across the land destroying cultures. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Entirely up to the player. Morality system allows players to be benevolent rulers or tyrannical despots. 

Ease of Play

Veterans of Age of Wonders 3 will have an easier time than newcomers. Introduces many concepts that are hard to understand without some basic previous knowledge. 


Combat is frequent but not graphic. Art is cartoon-like; on-screen characters are tiny so when injured or die in combat, they simply crumple and fall over. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Age of Wonders 3: Eternal Lords is a downloadable expansion to a complex turn-based strategy game. Despite the game's cartoon fantasy look, it's a difficult title that takes considerable time to learn how to play, making it a good fit for hard-core or dedicated strategy fans. It also contains references to violence and many combat sequences in which humanoids and animals are killed, but fight sequences can be skipped using the automatic combat mode. The new Necromancer class enables players to turn entire populations into ghouls, but combat isn't gory or bloody; in fact, the cartoonish art style and small character models limit the impact of violence. Players will be able to determine whether they're a positive or negative influence on their world thanks to the game's morality system. It also has serious privacy and safety concerns because of unmoderated multiplayer.

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What's it about?

AGE OF WONDERS 3: ETERNAL LORDS is the second expansion for the Age of Wonders 3 strategy game. The story mode tells the tale of Arvik, the scion of a noble Frostling family. Tasked with restoring his family's fortunes, he sets out to beat out his rivals and marry the all-powerful Snow Queen. But to take on his rivals, he has to use forbidden necromantic powers. The expansion adds two new races to the games, dozens of units, and a new race governance system, which affects how citizens of different groups react to your political and combat affairs. Players also gain new moral champions for good, neutral, and evil play styles, as well as random game events that affect the strategy of each game session.

Is it any good?

Eternal Lords gives Age of Wonders 3 a much-needed shot in the arm. Not only does it add a powerful new hero class, it changes the way the whole game is played, representing an evolution of the franchise. The most obvious additions to the game are the two new races -- the Frostlings and the Tigrans -- and the new Necromancer class. The Frostlings are a race of snow-and-ice-loving people, while the Tigrans are a race of desert-dwelling cat people. The new Necromancer could very well be the coolest class in the game now, since it lets players bring razed cities back to life, access cool new units, and turn entire populations into undead ghouls. With all this, Eternal Lords also adds a new win condition and a new morality system that enable players to win using diplomacy rather than war and to create paradoxical leaders such as evil Theocrats and benevolent Necromancers.

There also are new Frostling and Tigran scenarios and new maps, both full of new hidden treasures and monsters. The only downside here is that though the expansion adds plenty, it doesn't do anything to address existing problems such as interface issues (for instance, clumsy unit selection) or the steepness of the game's overall learning curve. Still, Age of Wonders 3: Eternal Lords is a quality expansion that's well worth the money. Its new class, systems, and story content go a long way to change the game as a whole and on their own are good for hours of strategy-based fun.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about political conflicts such as the ones found in Age of Wonders 3: Eternal Lords. Why do nations and people go to war? Is there ever a "good" reason for war?

  • Talk about how different terrain affects the development of empires. What would be important to a desert empire or to one set in an icy climate? 

  • Discuss the game's morality system. Is it possible to be a good monster? If so, name one. 

  • Talk about the combat in the game. The option for automatic combat lessens the impact of the game's violence; is that more appropriate for younger gamers? How does the violence compare to that in other strategy titles?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love strategy

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