Triumph not only keeps it real with the graphics, but also with the gameplay. Turn-based strategy is the name of the game here, and this game lands its style in the top of its class. This time around, Merlin the Wizard is trapped in an alternate dimension, and he is calling on all of the outcast wizards to aid him in bringing peace to the land.
Each Campaign map gives you control of a specific wizard, opposing the minions of the Emperor Phobius as they wreak havoc across the land. Fans of the previous games will be glad to know that the same enthralling gameplay is offered here, gameplay that not only includes deep city building, but also the researching of arcane spells, commanding armies to do your bidding, diving into diplomacy and at the end of it all, crushing your enemies.
Though it may be turn based, Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic gives you two different options to play with. Sequential turns as well as simultaneous turns are offered, each giving a different feel to the game. The choice is yours, and both do well to satisfy different play types.
Most of the time, you will be moving your forces around a vast map, collecting resources, fighting rival armies, and meeting independent armies that you can hire to your cause. Heroes will join your cause, and they, as well as your main wizard, can be upgraded and outfitted with various weapons and artifacts.
However, there are also dungeons to explore, as well as a whole new dimension, the Shadow Realm, a place where your wizard can send your troops to fight the forces of darkness. This adds a whole new experience to the game, one that can be used to your advantage if you have the skills.
An incredibly deep single player game is not the only thing offered in Shadow Magic. The Multi-player experience is also an option well worth any fan's time. Here, you can play over the internet or opt to partake in a game by e-mail. Since Campaigns can take a considerable amount of time to complete, fighting against one of your friends over a period of weeks is not only a good decision, but also a hell of a lot of fun.