The Wild Age — The management age

Start up your camp, rabble the vagrants and begin establishing your settlement in The Wild Age. A pleasant blend of tower-defense and management.

A lot of your time in McMagic Productions‘ The Wild Age will see you will ride back and forth recruiting vagrants, enlisting archers, builders and farmers to your call — as you quickly build up your defenses and ready yourself for nightfall, when orcs will come and try to plunder what you’ve built.

Now this isn’t to say that The Wild Age is an intense tower defense game at all. It’s very laid back and predominantly easy-going in its nature. Once you’ve established your basic camp, maybe gotten some archers and upgrades, you’ll find you’re on the right track to victory. But, as the days go on, the attacks will become larger and more difficult to fend off. During the day it’s more of a management style of gameplay; riding back and forth and recruiting the various vagrants, gathering coins from archers who venture out in the day to hunt, or ordering trees to be cut down — establishing more walls, defenses and buildings overall.

At night, the gameplay dynamic shifts. Most of the residents of your mini-empire will retreat and hold up until daybreak. Your archers will wait at the gates or tower posts, ready to extinguish any threats. The orc attacks will slowly but surely gain momentum and start coming in larger hordes, so making sure your walls and towers are upgraded becomes essential for survival. And make sure you’re not venturing too far out of your settlement grounds at night — in case you become a victim of the orcs yourself, since you don’t really have a defense against them, other than bolting away on your horse as fast as you can.

You essentially micro-manage and gather resources during the day then defend at night. It does seem a little repetitive at times, but as you progress through various islands, the challenges do differ and the options for what you can build and upgrade to change, which affect how you manage yourself and your little kingdom. But overall the game is very easy to learn, with very basic controls to master. It would be nice to have maybe a few more features that your character can do in-game, but if you interfere with that too much you might lose the management-style vibe the game has, so it’s a bit of a delicate balance to find.

The Wild Age does have a lot of nice details sprinkled throughout the entire game as well. For a start, there’s creating your character. While at first you might not have many options in terms of customizing your character, as you progress through the islands and achieve certain feats, these options begin to open up. One nice feature of unlocking these additional options, which on the surface may only seem cosmetic, is that they have added bonuses as well. You can unlock different characters entirely, that give abilities to the people you conscript, the buildings you make or even just defenses in general. You can unlock pets, which aside from looking and feeling cool, have neat little features such as being able to automatically help gather and collect coins for you (eventually you may start earning quite a lot!) You can unlock different mounts, offering bonuses you might expect, such as speed. But, do you want to ride a tiger or bear? Or even a big fluffy bunny as you management your kingdom? Yes, please.

The Wild Age

Whilst all the islands do share one particular aspect —it’s essentially one long strip of land — which is a little frustrating. It would be nice to go around in a more circular area, but then again, maybe that’s more the style of gameplay that helps it fit in with tower defense and management, although it would provide more exploration which adds a bit more fun. Regardless of the shape of the islands themselves, the seasons play a role in your strategy, as they will eventually change and pose different challenges for survival. For example, winter is a season that you must really prepare for since you won’t be able to do as much to earn money. Although don’t worry too much, because your people don’t need to eat or use up and resources, you may experience a slowing down in productivity.

I do think The Wild Age could use a few improvements; having different island layouts, more types of people to recruit and use to your advantage, and maybe even being able to do a few more things by yourself would help improve the experience Honestly I don’t think there’s too much else to say that’s negative. I’m a big fan of management style games, and with the added bonus of tower-defense gameplay thrown in with the mix, as well as the nice and very fun unlockable mounts, characters and pets, really helps The Wild Age shine and makes you forget about the small parts I’m not so keen on.

The Wild Age

The Wild Age is a very relaxing game in my opinion. Yes, there are threats and things you need to keep on top off, but overall you can sit back and take your time. If you have enough archers and strong enough defenses, you don’t have to sweat too much. The music is lovely and fitting, and the graphics I personally find charming. There’s a lot of love thrown into it, and I do think that as long as it’s taken care of along the way it has a lot of potential as a very fun and successful little management game. As a bonus, The Wild Age is so easy to pick up and play that you may find it difficult to resist adding it to your management games library on Steam.

The Wild Age is available now for Windows PC.

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