Been hankering for some real old-school RTS strategy, where you channel the spirit of warring medieval times and sinister sorcerers? Then there's something special for you this Christmas, as Lords of Magic and Lords of the Realm are now available on Steam.
SteamDB picked up the release early this morning, with the creation of a bundle of a Lords of Magic: Special Edition bundle that contains the aforementioned game, along with the Legends of Urak quest pack, as well as the Lords of the Realm trilogy.
The entire package is available for $15.07 right now, although if you just want to pick up Lords of Magic on its own it'll cost you $5.79. (All prices are converted to Australian dollars, in case you're wondering.)
Lords of Magic has been available on Good Old Games for a while but the build was beset by a beta patch applied to the package that resulted in AI opponents getting instantly flogged by supremely powerful units right out of the gate. It was still infinitely more stable than Lords of Magic's initial release though, which was notoriously and sometimes hilariously buggy.
While Lords of Magic might best be described as a Heroes of Might and Magic-esque (sorry if there's a bit too much magic to keep up with) game with RTS elements, Lords of the Realm is more of the type of strategy that the 1990's was littered with. The first game shipped in 1994 and was as much about negotiation and management, bartering with merchants to get the necessary resources so you can fill out your army with something other than farmers and their pitchforks.
Lords of the Realm 3 is the most hated of the franchise; it removed the turn-based elements of the earlier games and, as a result, you wouldn't be faulted for giving it a hard pass (although if you're the type who took enjoyment out of games like Total Annihilation: Kingdoms, I think you'd probably have a bit of fun with it).
Either way, the entire bundle is a better offering than what you can get from Good Old Games right now. It's also nice to see while there isn't a massive rush of RTS titles or even action-RTS games (such as the Dawn of War series), the presence of the classics is a nice alternative. (And let's not forget some of the excellent remasters currently available, like Homeworld and the Age of Empires series.)