I have finally managed to tear myself away from Age of Empires for long enough to blog. The game is fun. So far it seems that every time I start to get a little bored with it, I make a new discovery. Definitely fits Gee's discussion of maintaining interest by slowly revealing features. So far I have only been playing against the computer. Each game lasts about 4 hours or so and allows the player to earn points towards building up their home city. These points allow you to unlock new "cards," which provide for different shipments from the home city. So far I think my home city is up to a level 7 (out of 10?). When I get to 10 I think I'll begin trying out the other modes of play. I'm particularly interested in trying out the story mode.
I should also probably mention that I've been playing the beginner level of difficulty. Criticisms have pointed out that the computer opponent is predictable on the beginner level. I guess this is true, but really what I've noticed is that if you spend your time building up a ridiculously large army, you can defeat pretty much anyone. I'm wondering if this changes as you go up in difficulty level. I think I'll go check it out now . . .