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Imperialism II: Age of Exploration is centered in the era 1500 to 1850. As the sequel to the original title, Imperialism, many of the original concepts are still in place but because of the differing time frame and the variation of resources available, gameplay has been enhanced and expanded. Unlike Imperialism which dealt with the impact of rapid industrial change, Imperialism II: Age of Exploration focuses on the development of colonialism and mercantile considerations. Exploitation of New World riches are important only insofar as they impact your nation's ability to dominate the Old World.
You control one of several colonial powers of Europe in the race for world domination in the areas of resource management, economic and military strategies, diplomacy, trade and exploration. The main objective in Imperialism II: Age of Exploration is to gain control of one-half of the Old World through military or diplomatic means, using New World technologies to best advantage where possible.
The game features an advanced AI that emulates specific diplomatic and military agendas and characteristics of Old World nations, more than 40 military, naval and civilian units, a technology tree with over 100 specific advances/discoveries and a 21-episodic tutorial. As a turn-based strategic game, turns for the first 200 years of the game (1500-1700) are the equivalent of two years each, with turns after 1700 emulating one year. Hands-on combat is optional (turn-based). The game supports multi-player action up to six players and unlimited historical and randomly generated maps are available. ~ Michael L. House, All Game Guide