Age of Empires
Age of Empires (often abbreviated to AoE), is a history-based real-time strategy computer game released in 1997. Developed by Ensemble Studios and published by Microsoft, the game uses the Genie, a 2D sprite based game engine. The game allows the user to act as the leader of an ancient civilization by advancing it through four ages, (Stone Age, Tool Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age) gaining access to new and improved units with each advance.
Originally touted as Civilization meets Warcraft, some reviewers felt that the game failed to live up to these expectations when it was released. Despite this, it received generally good reviews, and an expansion pack, Age of Empires: The Rise of Rome Expansion was released in 1998. Both the original Age of Empires and the expansion pack were later released as "the Gold Edition".