The turn-based strategy genre is rooted in classics like Warlords, Master of Magic, and King's Bounty, and it remains alive today thanks to the efforts of developers like Triumph Studios. The company's previous game, Age of Wonders II, featured a huge amount of new content and improved graphics when compared with its predecessor, as well as a sizable single-player campaign and loads of single scenario maps. However, rank beginners found the game to be too difficult in parts, while veterans complained about the game's lack of a random mission generator. Triumph Studios has attempted to address both of these concerns with Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic. Though this stand-alone game reuses graphics and sound from Age of Wonders II, it has a far better tutorial, a random map generator, and plenty of other great additions to keep turn-based strategy fans playing till the break of dawn.
The syrons are one of three new playable races in the rebalanced roster.
Triumph Studios' considerable experience in crafting turn-based strategy games is evident in Shadow Magic, since the game offers polished, well-balanced gameplay and an interesting story. The saga of the wizards Merlin, Julia, and Meandor continues in the new game, and it helps introduce the three new playable factions and the new playable units in the original 12 races. Apparently, a dimensional rift has opened into a mysterious new plane of existence known as the Shadow Realm, which bears a distinct resemblance to the plane of Myrror from the classic strategy game Master of Magic.
And as you play through the many scenarios of the game's single-player campaign, you'll see that Triumph Studios paid a great deal of attention to its fans. Like in other, similar games, in Shadow Magic, you'll begin the game aligned with a single fantasy race (though you may eventually recruit followers from other races, depending on the situation), start from a home base of operations, and explore colorful overland and underground areas with assorted armies of monsters led by powerful hero characters, until you conquer the entire map, either by wiping out your enemies in their castles single-handedly or winning an allied victory.
Yet the series' fans have demanded more balance among the armies and abilities of Age of Wonders II's fantasy races, so many units in the new game have had their individual strengths and weaknesses, as well as their production costs, tweaked so they stack up better against rival races and remain more useful over the course of the game. In addition, the game's new races represent interesting and distinctive new playing styles--especially since two of the three can travel quickly through the Shadow Realm (in which several campaign and scenario maps take place), and the third, the nomads, are an exceptionally mobile race with the ability to pick up entire fortresses and move them to new locations.