Deciding how to spend your limited gaming time these days can be tough, with so many great games competing for your attention. Recently I’ve been exploring two contenders in the strategy genre – Forge of Empires and Age of Empires. At first glance, they seem pretty similar – building empires across historical ages.
Granted, Age of Empires is the by far the more successful one. And the more “classic”.
And if you look closer, you’ll notice some definite distinctions. When weighing Forge of Empires vs Age of Empires, it really comes down to the type of gaming experience you enjoy.
Are you into intense, fast-paced competitive play against others? Or do you prefer thoughtful long-term planning and construction? Does rich historical realism appeal to you more than fictional realms? Checking out each game’s strengths helps choose the best match for your interests and playstyle.
For instance, Age of Empires has those heart-pounding real-time battles that get your adrenaline pumping as you strategize and maneuver against others – I love that!
Forge of Empires, on the other hand, offers more relaxed long-term economy and resource management gameplay. Different strokes for different folks!
For Intense Competitive Play – Age of Empires
Age of Empires shines when it comes to action-packed competitive gameplay. The Real Time Strategy (RTS) roots enable thrilling battles, resource management under pressure, and outwitting human opponents. Multiplayer matches reward rapid reaction times, strategic unit positioning, and ability to adapt on the fly to evolving conditions.
Once you’ve mastered build order efficiency, amassed armies of units like knights and trebuchets, and optimized rushes to sacker opponents, the high stakes competition against others is exhilarating. With sparse resources, precious seconds count. The phrase “the thrill of victory and agony of defeat” encapsulates the Age of Empires multiplayer experience. Coordinated team games add camaraderie.
The solo campaign also provides dose of story-driven real time challenges versus AI foes across ages. But multiplayer is where Age of Empires becomes an intense game of wits and reflexes. Play this game for white-knuckle battles that test your resourcefulness under fire.
For Long-Term Empire Building – Forge of Empires
Where Age of Empires favors fast-paced competition, Forge of Empires excels as a long play empire building and management game. Here the focus is less on split-second decisions, more on big picture planning. This is a civilization simulation writ large across eras of human advancement. The scope is staggering.
Meticulously laying roads in your early Bronze Age settlement will ease access issues seen centuries down the line in your Industrial revolution cities. Maximizing supplies today allows rapid expansion tomorrow. The smallest planning oversight can have cascading impacts. Playing the long game optimizing production chains, storage, and expansion is key.
This grand campaign structure promotes strategic thinking where actions today reverberate for generations. There’s time to step back and perfect imperial infrastructure and economy. Multiplayer elements add cooperative depth, but this remains primarily a solo experience. Play Forge of Empires to rule over centuries, not seconds.
For Deep Community Play – Forge of Empires
Interaction and competition with others is where Forge of Empires distinguishes itself. After establishing your capital, you quickly realize rival players are eying your resources. Joining active guilds unlocks social play and collaborative benefits. Guild battles, shared resources, and messaging foster real camaraderie.
Having allies to trade supplies with or send soldiers to help defend your city provides a safety net and shared victory. Contributing materials to help guildmates upgrade buildings shows good faith. The depth of community interaction enhances immersion in your empire builder role. And being able to call upon allies brings wars and expansion to life.
Age of Empires multiplayer scratches a short-term competitive itch, but Forge of Empires encourages deeper communal play. If you enjoy working toward shared goals with others, joining forums, and lending aid, the social fabric of Forge of Empires weaves you into an interconnected world. The relationships formed feel meaningful.
For Historical Immersion – Age of Empires
When it comes to celebrating history, Age of Empires takes the crown. Each entry in the series dives deep into a major historical period like the Middle Ages, Classical Rome, and Feudal Japan. Campaigns offer real historical insight through narration and scenarios amidst the fiction.
Researching era-appropriate technologies like fletching, coinage, and gunpowder unlocks units and abilities used throughout our past. Building iconic structures like the Colosseum and Hanging Gardens brings a sense of authenticity. Playing William Wallace and Joan of Arc in campaigns links to real figures. Age of Empires uses history as a canvas for gameplay.
By contrast, Forge of Empires crafts a fictional setting. Technologies have fantastical names. Architecture draws from disparate periods. Historical accuracy is secondary to gameplay. If you want an ability to immerse yourself in historical context, Age of Empires provides that richness.
For Strategic Freedom – Forge of Empires
While Age of Empires slants historic, Forge of Empires embraces creative possibilities. Unconstrained from any set period, it interweaves buildings, technologies, and styles across all of human history. This frees players to experiment and blend eras how they see fit.
Maybe your city sports futuristic robot assembly lines but retains cobbled roads to retain old town charm. Or combines medieval castles with colonial cannons for unique defenses. Mixing and matching technologies and styles unlocks new strategic opportunities and customization.
Forge of Empires gives you the keys to craft a historically eclectic empire. Combined with readily available guides on optimal build and research orders, you control your city’s evolutionary path. Players wanting freedom to imprint their personality and playstyle on a civilization will appreciate Forge of Empires open canvas.
Choosing Your Empire
In the end, insatiable strategy fans may want to experience both Forge of Empires and Age of Empires for the unique offerings of each. But for players seeking to scratch a specific itch, identifying which game aligns closer to your preferences makes sense.
Do you crave fast-paced competition against others? Prefer grand strategic planning over decades? Enjoy socializing and collaborating? Wish to immerse in historical context? Your leanings guide which game becomes the ideal empire building experience.
While comparisons show distinction, there’s no denying both are exemplars of the strategy genre. Let the eras of history come alive through your chosen game. Build your empire, write your legacy, and enjoy the journey. What new dawn awaits on the horizon once your civilization emerges victorious? The time is now to find out.
Forge of Empires vs Age of Empires FAQ
Q: What are the core gameplay differences between Forge of Empires and Age of Empires?
A: Forge of Empires focuses more on long-term strategy and city building, while Age of Empires is faster paced with real-time combat and battles. Forge of Empires is a marathon while Age of Empires is a sprint.
Q: Which game has better graphics and art style?
A: Overall, Age of Empires has more realistic detailed graphics befitting its historic settings. Forge of Empires uses more stylized, cartoonish art but provides depth via city animations.
Q: Are both games free-to-play?
A: Yes, core content in both Forge of Empires and Age of Empires is free. Optional microtransactions provide some boosts and accelerated progression.
Q: Which game is better for competitive multiplayer?
A: Age of Empires is designed for competitive real-time matches against other players. Forge of Empires incorporates PvP but focuses more on cooperative gameplay.
Q: Can you play both games on mobile devices?
A: Forge of Empires was designed browser-based for cross-platform access, including mobile. Age of Empires is available on mobiles via remastered editions.
Q: Which game has more replay value in the late game?
A: Forge of Empires provides regular content updates and seasonal events for established players. Age of Empires’ campaigns have fixed endpoints.
Q: Which game does history better?
A: Age of Empires takes true historical inspiration from eras like Rome and Japan. Forge of Empires crafts a fictional setting with technologies spanning all periods.
Q: Is one game more complex than the other?
A: Age of Empires has simpler base building but intricate real-time strategy combat. Forge of Empires has deeper long-term planning complexity for city growth.
Q: Can you play both games casually?
A: Yes, you can progress at your own pace. Forge of Empires may cater slightly better to intermittent play with its persistent cities.
Q: Which game has more civilizations and cultures to play as?
A: Age of Empires provides a wider range of distinct civilizations across history to choose from, like the Britons, Aztecs, Chinese, and more. Forge of Empires allows you to name your empire but has no set cultures to pick from.
Q: How does research compare between the two games?
A: Age of Empires has technology research focused specifically on military units and economic upgrades. Forge of Empires has a wider technology tree that unlocks new building types, resource production chains, and decorative elements.
Q: Which game has more terrain diversity?
A: Age of Empires generates random maps with a variety of forests, hills, water sources and more to influence strategy. Forge of Empires has preset terrain patterns for each region that provide some variability.
Q: How important are alliances in each game?
A: Forming alliances with teammates is central to multiplayer in both games. Age of Empires alliances are temporary while Forge of Empires encourages deeper guild cooperation.
Q: How does combat differ between the games?
A: Combat in Age of Empires is real-time with micro-managing units. Forge of Empires has broader turn-based war simulations focused on army composition over control.
Q: Which game provides more content for advanced/expert players?
A: Forge of Empires continually adds late-game content and complex lore. Age of Empires focuses on refining skills for highly competitive matches.
Q: How does the pace of gameplay compare between the two games?
A: Age of Empires encourages fast-paced gameplay with matches sometimes ending within an hour. Forge of Empires is designed for slower, incremental growth over days and weeks.
Q: Which game relies more on micro vs macro management?
A: Age of Empires requires more real-time micro-managing of individual units in battle. Forge of Empires focuses more on big picture macro city planning and resource management.
Q: Which game provides more content for solo players?
A: Forge of Empires caters well to solo play with hours of persistent city building content. Age of Empires mostly encourages multiplayer matches once campaigns are complete.
Q: How important is economics in each of the games?
A: Managing resources and efficient production is crucial in both. Forge of Empires goes further with complex trade systems and population needs.
Q: Which game has more natural environments represented?
A: Age of Empires shows diverse environments from deserts to forests that impact gameplay. Forge of Empires visuals focus more on city structures and people.
Q: What art styles are represented in each game?
A: Age of Empires strives for immersive historical realism. Forge of Empires uses bright colors and exaggerated features for a more fantastical style.
Q: Which game is easier for newcomers to pick up and play?
A: Forge of Empires has a gentle early era learning curve perfect for beginners. Age of Empires multiplayer demands existing RTS skills.
Q: What are the target demographics for each game?
A: Age of Empires skews toward a more hardcore, competitive audience of experienced RTS gamers looking for high-skill gameplay. Forge of Empires appeals to a more casual demographic interested in accessible, long-form gameplay.
Q: What ages and genders play each game most?
A: Age of Empires seems to attract more male players in their late teens to 30s. Forge of Empires has more gender parity and ages ranging from kids to retirees.
Q: Which game requires more gaming skill and experience?
A: Age of Empires has a high skill ceiling requiring quick thinking and strategic mastery. Forge of Empires can be enjoyed by total beginners and pros alike.
Q: Who has more disposable income, Forge of Empires or Age of Empires players?
A: Since it targets older demographics, Forge of Empires players likely have more disposable income on average to spend on microtransactions.