--If you're expecting Master of Orion 2, skip this title
. Ship designs and combat are lacking, and turns take too long.
--If you're expecting Sid Meier's Civilization: In Space, get this title
. There are more likenesses to Civilization than any other game I can think of.Long version:
I put over 20 hours into this game, and played three games. I picked it up after checking the resoundingly positive reviews, hoping it'd be something it wasn't.
-A well made game. This is not some Flash or iPhone game that got ported. A lot of work and love was put into its creation.
-Diverse techtree and upgrade paths let you pick which way you want to develop.
-Multiple win conditions, (even though it eventually veers towards enemy battleships coming to take you down when the game tells on you for being close to victory)
-Steep learning curve, laden with pages upon pages of text in tutorials that overwhelm the new player with information they are unlikely to remember or make use of when it is explained.
-Game prone to freezes and crashes.
-Game ends before you're ready. "Oh, you captured MOST of the population. we'll just take it as read that you won. Good game! Have a title screen!"
-Nuances of combat can be incredibly frustrating. "Enemy fleet occupying your system, and you want to make them run? Attack! Oh. They retreated? That's cool, too. ... ... but why are they still in my system? >_>" This can go on for several turns before you figure out what's causing it, or how to stop it.
-Combat is too simple, and you don't even get to play it. You pick three "cards" for three phases of combat, then sit back and watch it play out (Or more realistically, Auto through it).
-Balance in combat leaves a bit to be desired. "Pack 9001 beams onto a ship, and use cards that amplify beam efficacy" tends to trump a diversely equipped spaceship.
-Race picks for custom races are oddly specific, and awkwardly costed. "The Price of Beauty" does not automatically spark in my brain "Oh, that must
mean "increased ship costs", right? And the 30 point pick (nearly half your base pick points), Tolerant, is a pick designed to allow for quick expansion before necessary colonizing techs have been researched, but the morale drawbacks quickly overpower that bonus. However, the 10 point cost "Optimistic" gives a system wide morale bonus, which directly translates into more resources, both early and late.