Microsoft announced in a blog post today that it will launch Age of Empires: Castle Siege for Windows 8 PCs and Windows Phone 8 mobile devices in September.
The title is a touchscreen-oriented game that makes some trade-offs compared to past Age of Empires titles. This one lets you choose from six civilizations including Britons, Teutons, and Kievan Rus. You get to fortify one castle and a surrounding city. Then you train armies and attack other players’ castles.
While it is based on Age of Empires art work, the game absorbs the simpler gameplay and fast-paced style of popular mobile titles like Supercell’s enormously popular Clash of Clans.
You’ll be able to play across platforms on Windows 8 PCs, tablets, and smartphones. The gameplay isn’t as deep as past titles in the franchise, but you can fight battles in a shorter time frame. You can drag paths on a touchscreen to command units directly in battle. You can connect with Xbox Live Friends, and try to hit the top of the leaderboards. Game progress is saved to your Gamertag.
The creator is Smoking Gun Interactive, which has built titles with Microsoft in the past such as Kinect Doodle Jump, Mars Rover Landing, and Kinect Adventures.
While Microsoft shutdown Age of Empires studio Ensemble Studios, it has periodically revisited the franchise. Last year, it released Age of Empires 2 HD Edition on Steam. A year ago, it shuttered the free-to-play online game, Age of Empires Online. Each civilization has up to six unique cultural units, as well as cavalry and trebuchets. The game has ten historical battles including the Siege of Marienburg and the Fall of Constantinople.