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DOS Games > Strategy > A > Ancient Art of War for DOS

Ancient Art of War

Genre: Strategy    |     Year: 1984    |     Publisher: Brøderbund    |     Developer: Evryware
Game Review (written by Bulgakov) Added on: 11/26/2006
Long time ago, one of the first war games I ever played was "The Ancient Art of War." It was a real-time strategy game which gave you control - you could create your own games, and set the parameters of the battle. The way to victory was either by destroying all of your opponent’s soldiers or capturing their flag (the capture the flag victory seems to be taken over by many computer games after this). Certainly the strategy of the different AI’s are simple in comparison to today's standards, but this is, in my opinion, where it began.
Where would Warcraft be if we didn't have "The Ancient Art of War"? So, this is a classic game for the influence it has had on the market more than what one can get out of it now Nostalgia, however, means we might want to play it again. As such, if you remember this game, or if you are too young to have ever played it, but you want to play a game which is an influence on the genre, here it is. Get it.
However, for as good as it was, one thing I always thought about this game is that it was inspired by Stratego. Capture the flag indeed! So, I remember one of the games I tried to make was
Ancient Art of WarAncient Art of WarAncient Art of War
a reconstruction of the Stratego board game. I tried it many times. It could never work. Try making the board like a Stratego board, and things end real quickly. You must put more thought into your game creation in order to make your own board. However, this does not mean you can't try to do what I was unable to achieve: to make a live-action Stratego board. You can do it with this software, and tell us about your success. That's because this was one of those games which did allow you to create your own war game situations. Certainly in today's standard, what you are given is limited, but for its time, I really appreciated this. You could make a game and give it to a friend to try, and vice versa. Within limits, it really was flexible. Of course, those limits today seem to be quite big. Do you care? Not if you are into the old games and remember the ingenuity it took to create them.
Were there any weaknesses to this game? You bet. This was not a perfect game, but it was a fun game. What weaknesses were there? Well, the generals were often easy to predict in how they would play. But is this anything surprising? I mean it took a long time for computers to be able to produce AIs which could become a real challenge and adapt. Indeed, many great games still don't have the proper AI.
Score: 4/5 for the time it was made.
click here to post a new comment.
Sbposey (03/31/2012)
I remember this game from a long time ago. It was a lot of fun. Several pre-built scenarios or build your own. I seem to recall an easy way to win: the game had a limit on the number of squads in the game. Keep splitting your units into squads until the limit is reached, then start building up the number of units in each squad. Once the squad limit is reached, the computer player couldn't make any more either. I played this game on a 4.77 MHz PC. My first war game.
Andrew (09/04/2008)
I couldn't believe that I can find this game again hehe. I played it before with my AT-286 computer with CGA monitor. It was my favorite game before warcraft and C&C. I love to play it again, along with the sea sequel.
I cant remember processor speeds when I played this game in the late 80s early 90s on my brother's PC. Ok the graphics quality wasn't too good - actually it was quite poor compared to some things I was used to at the Grand Prix, Wing Commander Vengeance of Kilrathi, to name but a few. However its playability was addictive. I suppose the modern equivalent is the Command and Conquer series. Its just really catchy. I really liked the words of wisdom before and after each battle. The way that you could chose your fighting units barbarians, archers knights. it all comes flooding back to me. Come to think about it I might see if i can doewnlaod it from somewhere. All in all a pretty decent game that twists the player's arm into wanting to complete it.
Toohottie (02/17/2008)
I haven't played this game in years. It is a classic.

  People that downloaded Ancient Art Of War also downloaded the following games:

Ancient Art of War at Sea, The Three Sisters Story
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Lords of The Realm 2

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 Current score:   8.35    (Total Votes:   23  ) 
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