Microsoft is to take on Facebook phenomenon Farmville with a new twist on its classic franchise Age of Empires.

Although the new game won't actually feature on Facebook, gamers will be able to enjoy and create a living, growing online world, shared with friends and friendly rivals around the globe, just like the Facebook smash hit.

"Begin the journey with your own Greek civilisation, and watch as it progresses from a village to an empire. Embark on quests along the way, alone or with friends, and immerse yourself in epic tales, quirky characters, adventure, history and strategy", says Microsoft, clearly hoping to suck your life dry after playing for days and weeks.

The new game promises to merge new features with iconic gameplay to "offer something for long-time fans, newcomers and everyone in between.

That means a persistent online capital city that lives and grows even when you’re offline, Cooperative multiplayer quests, trading and a level-based system that lets you progress at your own pace, and Free-to-play experiences via Games for Windows Live.
Yes you'll be excited, but it's one to approach at your own peril.