I have to say, this game is the end all, be all for turn based strategy games for me. As a long time fan of Heroes of Might and Magic 3, as well as other less well received TBS games, this one continues to shine and take up space on my hard drive. This purchase marks the 3rd time that I've bought the game. One hard copy, once on GOG, and now the steam version, almost soley so that I can review this bad boy. First of all, forget the campaigns. Games like these were MADE for the random maps. The campaigns, while entertaining, are really just long tutorials to ready you for the random map generator, which is where this game shines. 12 races, multiple combinations of magi, and a multitude of play styles lay before you. That enemy city before you just a little too tough to take? Scorch their lands and transform them to deserts and watch their populace riot from their discontent at their new, inhospitable world. A mountainrange in your way? Level the terrain and march your troops across it, backdooring your opponent into new depths of discontent. That being said, play it with your friends to elevate this game to the height that it deserves. This is the ultimate multiplayer strategy game. Get your friends together and LAN this game. You won't regret it.
After purchasing AOW III, I have to admit, while that game IS awesome, I still make time in my day to go back to Shadow Magic. It's well worth the time. Every ♥♥♥♥ing time. Stop reading this now and go buy this game. If you're a turn based strategy person, or just a strategy gamer at all, you owe it to yourself to play this game. Good luck, and may your wizard towers provide you all the spell range you require!
Disclaimer: I have literally played hundreds (and I don't mean one or two) of hours of this game and expect to play hundreds more. Buy it. you won't regret it.