I've just tried Age of Empires III expecting to get something as rewarding an experience as it was with Struggle of Empires.
Not at all!!!
The game seemed just a zombie compared to lively, action-packed SoE. I mean there was nothing about Empires or Age in it. Just a ton of plastic figures which were supposed to be moved according some abstract rules, all of which resembled of some games, I've seen (managing here, managing there...) All it was like an exercise in combinatorics.. Where's the fun factor???
Can anybody post similar experiences with the games, which are alike in some ways (here it's theme probably and in some ways approach to graphic design) and with one game being fun, the other being dead on arrival?
That was my exact feelings about comparing these games.
I actually wrote AoE review year+ ago which tells exactly the same thing:
Another example is Caylus vs all other worker placement games. The newer games might be more fluid even somewhat funnier (more easy-going) at times but all of them (Pillars, Stone Age, Agricola, Leonardo, dozens of others) severely lack the tension and challenge Caulys provides which makes Caylus ultimately superior game.