Cracking a nut with a sledgehammer in Age of Empires IV


This diary first appeared in PC Gamer magazine issue 367 in March 2022. We do one every month, taking on new challenges and approaching our favourite games from entirely new angles – and letting you know how we got on.

Who bought PC Gamer issue 13? Hands up. The longer-lived among readers might remember the Warcraft: Orcs and Humans demo contained on one of its cover floppies. After two scenarios of jolly orc-bashing lifted from the game, the third and final (if I remember correctly, which it’s possible I don’t) level of the demo was a custom scenario (I hope) that gave you a human village surrounded by a ring of orcs, who would merrily chop their way through your tiny population and all its huts. 

It was an unwinnable scenario, a Kobayashi Maru that, instead of teaching important lessons about not violating treaties and allowing examiners to observe how a commander reacts, merely demonstrates that any village or population is vulnerable to overwhelming force.

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