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July 24th, 2007, 04:34
Age Of Wonders: Shadow Magic is excellent. I don't recall what the demo covered but it's fairly easy to pick up and play.

The Civilization games are great. I'm currently torn on whether I like IV better than III.

The Anno games are solid, 1701 is the best of the bunch I think (you can get the demo here

For city builders, the last year saw three Roman titles released - Glory Of The Roman Empire, Caesar IV and CivCity: Rome. Glory is the most accessable and the most casual of the three, CivCity is pretty solid with nice graphics and good mechanics, and Caesar IV is the most in-depth but the hardest on system requirements and a bit convoluted in it's interface.
The Impressions city builders like Caesar III and Pharaoh are superb as well. I highly recommend those.

The Stronghold games aren't bad either, but haven't managed to really captivate me.

While not being turn-based, Knights Of Honour is a solid, in-depth medieval strategy game. It's real-time but has a very slow pace and plays more like a traditional grand strategy game rather than your typical RTS.

You could also look at the Europa Universalis series (III is the most recent) or other Paradox games like Victoria: Empire Under The Sun which is an empire game in the Victorian period and Crusader Kings which focuses more on building your medieval dynasty. Unfortunately Paradox isn't great about releasing demos.

I'll post more if/when I think of them!
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