Age of Wonders: Planetfall Review

"Sci-Fi Civilization"


August 5, 2019 at 7:33pm
By Jason Stettner

This is a 4x strategy game, it’s turn based and features a sci-fi style to it. You’re out there in space competing for various landmasses whether you’re working through the campaign, battling in quick custom scenarios or facing off against up to eight players online. Age of Wonders: Planetfall delivers a fairly comprehensive package, and one that you can easily spend countless hours playing.

It’s a ton of fun, and there’s quite a lot of content to it. That being said, the campaign could have had a stronger narrative element to it. It’s mostly just bits of dialogue as you work through fairly standard missions. It’s not at all bad, just not in-depth as I would have desired. There are a number of campaign missions to play, and they can take quite awhile. The standard scenario creation is where this thrives, and the place I like to play the most in these types of games.

You customize the situation, and just get playing right away. You can adjust the world size, faction types and the difficulty. There’s a lot to pick and choose, then you get right into it for possibly hours. This is the type of game that you can just stack time into and it’s great. On top of that, you can play online against others if that’s your sort of thing and it’s fantastic. It’s always a fresh time when you go to play these custom scenarios, so if you like it the gameplay can be limitless essentially.


With this being a turn based game you’re given a top down view point. You control various troops, cities and districts. The cities have options to annex nearby territories to expand, or you’ll use colonies in order to grow quicker. There are many complexities to the cities as you build structures to improve them, produce troops to defend or attack and of course rename them if you so choose. You will also research new technologies and elements of society as you progress. With troops they can be grouped together, and used in either instant or controlled battles.

The controlled battles have you going into a small arena of war for turned based combat with the troops. You’ll command them, use abilities and generally be tactical within the environments. If regular troops aren’t enough, you’ll occasionally get to use heroes that can be upgraded and modded over time. There are many smaller intricacies to the game, and it’s not too hard to get into. It feels very similar to Civilization while having its own unique style. I’ll also mention that diplomacy is present as a system to deal with other factions. I was also shocked at just how well this ran on the console. It was very surprising to see how efficient it was, the visual presentation and the controls. It handled very well, being easy for any menu type that came up.

The game was also Xbox One X enhanced with two visual options, it looked excellent and played smoothly. The visuals really were impressive, being very detailed and featuring many exciting little details. There were particle effects in action and the combat looked really cool. The general environments were varied, full of life and truly embraced the sci-fi elements. The factions are neat, many options and aliens to deal with. There’s just a lot going on in each situation, and the details really make each world you land on feel like a real place.
Age of Wonders: Planetfall Review Xbox Wallpaper Screenshot

The Conclusion

Age of Wonders: Planetfall is a perfect use of the genre on consoles, delivering countless hours of terrific turn based gameplay. It looks fantastic, plays well and truly embraces the sci-fi elements at play. It also keeps things simple enough that the sci-fi aspect doesn’t get too far out of hand. It controls beautifully on the console and it feels intuitive.

The visuals are impressive, with options on Xbox One X. I really loved the look of the worlds that were generated, all so inviting and varied. There are many ways to play this, and you can easily lose many hours. The turn based system can be very addicting when used right, and they delivered. It’s great that there’s a multiplayer option as well, that’s appreciated. I do wish that the campaign had a deeper, more developed narrative but there are many hours of content to explore there.

The game just packs a lot and is very fun to play. If you like this genre of gaming, it is certainly worth checking out. I’m just shocked at how well they translated it to the console space and it’s a lot of fun to play. I really have to monitor my time in these types of games, because when it’s done well those hours slip away. That was the case here.

Read our Halo Wars 2 Review
View our Game Hubs

Age of Wonders: Planetfall Review on Xbox One X
Review Code Provided by TriplePoint PR

Rating Overall: 8.6

Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner