When it comes to free real time strategy games, 0AD by Wildfire Games is one of those that stand out. Although under heavy development, the game is already very playable. Like other RTS games, you have to manage resources, build an army and manage an economy.

There are six civilizations: the Carthaginians, Romans, Celts, Hellenes, Persians and Iberians. Each one has strengths and weaknesses. When you play the game, the resources are displayed at the screen bottom. The mini-map is at the left. To select all units nearby, double click. You can assign units to perform tasks like building structures. Of course you can order them to attack the enemy.

Building structures is where 0AD really excels. You need to use your units to collect resources. These will be used for making different structures. But it is possible to get some civilians to help in the building. There are lots of different structures here. Players can have units perform tasks together. Everything from farms to towers can be built. Once your fortress is made, make sure there are units to protect it.

0AD has some pretty good graphics. There are particles effects, lifelike shadows and animated water complete with reflection and refraction. The game has a level editor too.

The maps are separated into provinces that units can capture. The rich resources in the province will then be yours and can be used to enhance your military. The maps in 0AD are realistic. They are set upon real locations and borders in the ancient world. There is multiplayer support.

0AD can be run on Mac OS X, Linux and Windows 2000, XP, 2003, XP64, Vista.

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