A very underrated classic game. I originally bought this game when it was first released and it has never gotten the recognition I felt it deserved. This is a Real-time-strategy game for players who enjoy playing the civilian/production side of the RTS experience, so if you're the kind of player who wants to build a massive army and kick butt with very little regard for your work force then you should look somewhere else. But if you want to build a complex city with charming buildings and likeable workers going about their jobs, then prepare for a real treat.
-A complex city construction system. If you want to train a soldier, you must first hire a recruit, build the weapons and armor they will use, and manufacture the components used to make the weapons and armor with first. And of coarse, this process requires buildings and workers for every stage of construction. Enjoy the process! :)
-The graphics and animations are charming. They are old-school, but charming.
-Population size is only limited by food production. You can keep growing your population for as long as you have the mats, but if you don't have the food to feed them with, you will be looking at a massive starvation die-off.
-A wide variety of types of workers for doing different jobs. Builders build. Serfs carry resources to where they are needed. Farmers grow crops. Blacksmiths craft armor. etc. etc.
-The game's tech-tree is more rigid (unforgiving) than I would like. You start the game with a certain amount of resources. And if you use up a particular resource before you've built the ability to produce more, then you might as well restart the round. This is especially true of gold, which is used for hiring new people. If you run out of gold before hiring a miner to mine gold with, you're town is permanently plateued.
-Very difficult to maintain a large standing army, because you need to feed them. And every piece of food you're giving to a soldier is a piece of food you aren't giving to a worker. And you only benefit from soldiers for as long as you are fighting. Large armies can cause massive starvation die-offs if you don't manage things properly.
-The player really needs the ability to grab a worker and give him a direct order to do something NOW, instead of waiting for their Ai to get around to doing it.
-The Ai gets confused in an extremely long game. (13 hours or so) It works great for a long time, and then suddenly serfs start delivering mats to other people's cities (this works for you as much as against you), units start forgetting how to do their jobs, etc.
-Ability to command your military is a little unforgiving. Once your army meets the enemy, you won't be able to give them any commands until after they are done fighting.
This is one of my all time favorite RTS games. It's even withstood the test of time!
If I could get an RTS with this games' work force and city construction combined with Warlords Battlecry's military and hero system, I'd be in heaven. :)