Distant Worlds: Universe Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 78 Ratings

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  • Summary: Distant Worlds is a vast, pausable real-time 4X space strategy game. Experience the full depth and detail of turn-based strategy, but with the simplicity and ease of real-time, and on the scale of a massively-multiplayer online game.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Jun 12, 2014
    It's a challenging and complex game packed with features that allows you to choose just how you want to play it, while accommodating a wide variety of play-styles and strategies.
  2. Jun 27, 2014
    An exceedingly complex, infinitely rewarding space strategy game. It’s made me more excited about the genre than any other game of its kind since Galactic Civilizations II.
  3. 90
    Distant Worlds: Universe is a corker. But make no mistake: while it’s not as forbidding as some Grand Strategy games, patience and a degree of head-scratching will be required. But it’s worth the effort. It’s enormous, complex and – above all – fun.
  4. Jun 18, 2014
    An already great game returns as one of the best space strategy games ever made.
  5. Jun 2, 2014
    A one-of-a-kind 4X, Distant Worlds blends epic scale and macromanagement. The Universe release doesn't bring a lot of new content, but is a nice wrap-up nonetheless.
  6. Jun 30, 2014
    While Distant Worlds may be a paragon of its style, I can only recommend it to a select few: those with beefy computers and plenty of time to really dig into the meat of this stunningly elegant and impressively wide-ranging bit of software.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 16
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 16
  3. Negative: 2 out of 16
  1. May 23, 2014
    Distant Worlds has ruined me for other space-based 4X-strategy games, which is a genre I love more than any other. I try to go back to GalCiv and MoO once in a while, but nothing matches the scale and minute level of control that Distant Worlds offers. I'll be playing this for years to come. Expand
  2. Jun 1, 2014
    Truly one of the best games out there. Warning: playing this will make you lose sleep and ruin relationships. Build your empire and prepare for the unknown, which is not kind. Expand
  3. Nov 3, 2014
    Distant Worlds Universe is a gem. It is so vast and in the same time so simple to get into. I never played a game that can adjust to player in so many ways. If you have time and will you can micromanage everything, or you could let capable AI to do it for you. Sometime I play slowly and take care of my empire on every detail. Other times I just let AI to do most of it and play it like geopolitical strategy game. This game is certainly a gem. Expand
  4. May 27, 2014
    Distant Worlds is the best 4x available today. It's combination of depth and accessibility is unmatched in this genre.

    How, you might ask,
    does it accomplish this feat? Variable micromanagement. If you want to nurture your colonies from day one, to design every strut and gravatic beam weapon on your ships, and ensure that the right espionage agent ends up on a mission to steal operations maps from your dreaded enemy, you can. On the other hand, if you want the AI to deal with all the micromanagement and to instead cruise around the galaxy in your prototype hyperdrive rocket, look at the ruins of ancient civilizations and run from giant space lobsters, you can do that instead. You can even combine the two -- more or less -- and tool around in the rocket while occasionally changing tax rates, build orders, and spy/diplomatic targets.

    Unlike most 4x games, DW is built on the back of a fairly intricate economic simulator. But wait - simulator - does that mean I can't control it??? Not directly. The civilian economy, all those little freightors, gas mining ships, and tourist vessels... that is almost entirely out of your hands. You can set up your military/industrial base to encourage good civilian use, but the civies decide for themselves whether they want to pick up a load of Cason gas and move it to where you need fuel for your next military campaign.

    DW:U brings better pathing, improved AI, and expanded mod capabilities to an already great game.

    Cons: The game resolution is set to your desktop resolution because it runs in a borderless window. Consequently, the font can be small and hard to read. If this is a problem for you, one solution is to lower your desktop resolution before launching the game.
  5. Jun 13, 2014
    Distant Worlds: Universe is an amazing "living galaxy" 4X strategy game. Thinking of it as Europa Universalis in Space comes maybe closest to describe it in one sentence. It is in real time, but can be paused ant any time. You can also freely set teh pace of the game. Its options for customization are unique: there is a vast amount of options to customize the game to your liking: size of the galaxy, aggressiveness of the enemies and pirates (which can be turned off completely), colonisation range limits ("sphere of influence"), tech progression, "age" of the galaxy and so on. I am not aware of any other game that allows for so many options.
    Basically, your goal is to expand, to colonize other planets and to rule the galaxy. But this game is so huge in scope... Simply set yourself any goal you want. You can also turn off victory conditions.
    If you want, you can control any tiny little bit of your empire: diplomacy, fleet formation, ship design, space station building, colonisation activities etc. But what makes this game so valuable and is that you can also decide to fully automate one section of your empire. You don't want to deal with ship design? Then let the AI do it for you. This freedom of choice between manual control and automatisation let's you even configure a game mode, where you automate your whole empire and just control a single fleet - play as an Admiral!) or a single ship (play as a captain!). The possibilities are endless.
    With Universe, DW has een four expansions an has reached a high level of perfection. However, it is not for everybody. You need to have time and the willingness to undergo the learning curve. I recommend to check out some Let's Plays on Youtube, to see if the game is for you. he atmosphere it creates is simply amazing.
    it is also noteworthy that the whole game is made by one guy, who gives an amazing support and is stilll patching this game with a high frequency. The community on the Matrix forums is very pleasant.
  6. Jun 20, 2014
    A couple of years ago I found this game by pure chance. After many years of playing almost every Space 4X I was desperate to find something better and luckily I found it ... Distant Worlds is best in class and it's since become my most played game. It's a huge relief to see it on Steam because it's ready for Prime Time.

    A couple of key things to keep in mind before you purchase:

    1. This is a massive game and it will take some patience to get over the initial learning curve. You can choose what to automate and what to control, so start with manual control in one or two of your favourite areas only (e.g. for me it was research and fleets) and build from there.

    2. Once over the learning curve hump, if you like this type of game, you'll probably be hooked. In time you will find more layers of the onion to peel away. My game strategies were still evolving 100's of hours later.

    3. It's a real time game but you can pause to make it feel somewhat like a turn based game and to help keep your massive empires under control. As a result don't be put off by real time if you prefer turn based games.

    4. The graphics are average. If this is your primary driver this probably isn't your game. But if you want plenty of massive battles you'll get them.

    5. There is a massive array of setup options and as a result the game has significant longevity.

    6. The Universe release has greatly expanded mod capability. I don't play with many mods but Distant Worlds has some good ones.

    7. The Developer has a long track record of providing support and patches. This game will continue to improve ...

    If this sounds like your type of game then I recommend it highly.
  7. Aug 13, 2014
    As a newcomer to the Distant Worlds series I found myself baffled at how poorly the tutorial teaches you to play the game. It is extremely unfriendly and makes this overcomplicated game an annoyance to get started with.

    Being a lifelong fan of strategy, both real time and turn based, I must say that I find this game to be very overrated and poorly executed. The concept of the game is good - I am all for space exploration, diplomacy, colonization, war and everything good that should be included in a good Sci-Fi strategy game. That being said, I find that the gameplay of Distant Worlds: Universe is simply too understimulating and the real time elements, such as combat, are a joke. I am not even going to mention the graphics.


    Distant Worlds: Universe is not worth the full price of 54,99 euros. The game is overrated and the good reviews it has received are a sign of a starving gaming community rather than a good game.

See all 16 User Reviews