9 Colonies iOS

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  • Summary: 9 Colonies is a turn-based science-fiction strategy game that puts you in control of one of the 9 colonies of our solar system.  Humanity has colonized the solar system in the name of scientific exploration, but old rivalries, nationalistic zeal, and the remnants of earth-based feuds9 Colonies is a turn-based science-fiction strategy game that puts you in control of one of the 9 colonies of our solar system.  Humanity has colonized the solar system in the name of scientific exploration, but old rivalries, nationalistic zeal, and the remnants of earth-based feuds have once again sprung to life. What started as a beautiful dream for a unified solar system has deteriorated into total war.  Your task is to unite the colonies under one banner, so that peace and reason may be restored, now and for the rest of ages!You tell your colonies how to focus their effort, whether by researching new and better technologies, constructing infrastructural improvements to the colony, or building war-fleets and conquering new colonies.  The choice is yours, but choose wisely - the other colonies' rulers will be waiting to attack when your colony looks ripe for the taking! Expand
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  1. May 23, 2011
    50
    A shallow turn-based strategy with an admirable level of backstory, but poorly thought-out game design.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. May 27, 2013
    7
    Fundamentally, XOR's 9 Colonies is a fairly thin riff on the 4X (explore, expand, exploit, exterminate) genre of games. Unfortunately, the endFundamentally, XOR's 9 Colonies is a fairly thin riff on the 4X (explore, expand, exploit, exterminate) genre of games. Unfortunately, the end result is more misses than hits. So let's take a look. On the positive side, there's an acceptable level of backstory narrative, a good tech tree to work your way up, and the turn-based approach used creates a game that actually benefits from not being a real-time strategy. Instead, it's more like "space chess," where it's not a matter of building better ships so much as picking your time and thinking ahead. With only nine possible colony worlds, it makes for a confined gamespace and, thus, puts a greater emphasis on strategy. Unfortunately, the game mechanics hamstring what could be a great bit of entertainment. Most glaringly, there are no differences among the colonies, and if all players are absolutely equal, then you've eliminated any play style strategies; rather than having better researchers, better warriors, and so forth, you've smeared it all into one even layer. In a game like that, it's almost always going to devolve into a footrace...up the tech tree, building ships, whatever...and becomes less about strategy and more about just grinding through the turns. Combat mechanics are flimsy at best, and any technical advantage you may have gained through research emphasis has little effect; the winner of any given battle is almost always the side that fires first, and with only a few exceptions, that's determined randomly. Furthermore, since combat is resolved on a very simple series of equations, unless you send a truly massive fleet, any numerical advantage is nearly worthless. If you lose the initiative coin toss, you lose the battle and all ships involved. So unless it's 30-against-1, you're just burning through ships. Finally, graphics are badly, badly lagging. The game was designed for an iPhone but is marketed as a universal app. Unlike many iPhone universal apps, the UI and other graphics generally don't scale up well, leaving almost everything looking pixelated and jaggy. (The devs did source their planet graphics from none other than JPL, so those look great at any zoom level.) In the final analysis, 9 Colonies is kinda like golf; if you get a good lie, it's a fun game, but if you get stuck with a bad lie, the whole game is just going to annoy you. (The typical run is that out of 9 colonies, of which you have one, the rest ultimately battle down to a single AI-run faction that then dogpiles you.) All of this might only be worth a couple points down, but it's three points off because this is NOT a free game. In fact, 9 Colonies is actually pretty expensive as these games go. A free or 99cent game could get away with these shortcomings, but a $3 game simply cannot get away with this. So, it's going to be a 7 for 9 Colonies, a game that could've been a good turn-based 4X, but ultimately just turned into a coin toss game with a better looking front end. Expand