Pandora: First Contact PC

User Score
7.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 50 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 50
  2. Negative: 7 out of 50

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  1. Dec 22, 2013
    3
    Pandora FC has the shallowest gameplay of any 4x TBS game I have ever played, and I have pretty much played them all. Both the tech tree and city development options are the sparsest I have seen in any 4x TBS game, and there is no depth to any of the areas of Pandora FC that you'd normally expect to find depth in 4x TBS games. Yes you can design your own units, but again the variety ofPandora FC has the shallowest gameplay of any 4x TBS game I have ever played, and I have pretty much played them all. Both the tech tree and city development options are the sparsest I have seen in any 4x TBS game, and there is no depth to any of the areas of Pandora FC that you'd normally expect to find depth in 4x TBS games. Yes you can design your own units, but again the variety of building-block options are limited to the extreme.

    For example in the Civ series you can take the decision to invest time and effort into building a wonder in the hope your investment will bring rewards later in the game. There is nothing like that in Pandora FC. NOTHING.

    This is the only 4x TBS game I have played where it is literally pointless thinking ahead as it is just a needless waste of effort. There is nothing to think about because the player simply isn't given any options to think about because the amount of meaningful decisions you can make are pitiful. Plus there are no decisions to take that require any sort of forward planning.

    As another example (there are many I could choose from) at some point the planet's lifeforms start attacking you, but you don't need to amass a sizeable force to deal with this in advance because you are literally given a warning before it happens, and then you simply amass a sizable force in preparation for "the day the plaent attacks you". I mean just how stupid is that? And don't think you need a sizeable force on hand to defend against the other factions because in the dozen games I played they can't offer you non-aggression facts fast enough. I only built a normal number (2) of defenders for each city and apparently I had far and away the most powerful military force on the planet that had the other factions begging for my friendship.

    It's not a total exaggeration to say that Pandora FC is close to being a linear game that has about as much strategic depth as your average platformer.

    If you are a fan of 4x TBS games then please avoid Pandora FC. And if you are a fan of SMAC then please AVOID Pandora FC at all costs. You will get no any enjoyment out of Pandora FC and you will only wish you had played SMAC instead. And as an added bonus you won't be left with the horrible memory of having played Pandora FC that I now have.

    So my advice is to save your money and if you want to play a 4x TBS game then just play one of your favourite 4x TBS games instead, because you will have far more fun by doing that and I know this to be true because this is exactly what I wish I had done instead of buying and playing Pandora FC for 20+ hours, and I only played it that long in a desperate attempt to find something to like abut the game (and to try in vane to get my monies worth before chucking it forever).

    tl;dr Pandora FC is a genuine candidate for the worst 4x TBS game ever. it might look nice and is pretty stable (and that's why I rated it a 3 rather than a 1), but the gameplay is incredibly shallow and simplistic, and gameplay is the single most important part of any TBS game, so if you don't get that right then the whole game suffers as a result (and Pandora FC got it very wrong)

    (comments based on v.1.1.2)
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  2. Feb 6, 2014
    3
    As a general rule, Slitherine & Matrix Games publish some of the finest (usually historically based) strategy games available. Pandora is reminiscent of Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (AC) a turn-based strategy game I enjoyed many years ago. I was hopeful that Pandora would be a strong competitor to AC, particularly given that AC was released quite a long time back and the creators of PandoraAs a general rule, Slitherine & Matrix Games publish some of the finest (usually historically based) strategy games available. Pandora is reminiscent of Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (AC) a turn-based strategy game I enjoyed many years ago. I was hopeful that Pandora would be a strong competitor to AC, particularly given that AC was released quite a long time back and the creators of Pandora had a solid concept to build from. While Pandora does look much better than AC, much is missing in game depth, documentation is weak and there are issues with game balance. While I see a foundation of a game here, a lot of work will be needed to make Pandora a solid, enjoyable strategy game, much less bring it anywhere close to AC. There is a continuing effort to patch and update Pandora (which I greatly respect), and I hope in time it will be a worthy successor to AC. Expand
Metascore
68

Mixed or average reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 12
  2. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. 80
    Pandora offers a stiff challenge, and will keep space-faring strategists happy until Civilization: Beyond Earth breaches the event horizon later this year.
  2. Apr 27, 2014
    68
    Inspired by the classic Alpha Centauri, it looks like a modern version at first glance, but lacks the depth and long term motivation.
  3. Pelit (Finland)
    Feb 13, 2014
    78
    Pandora: First Contact delivers very decent spiritual successor to Alpha Centauri, but it unfortunately falls short on some aspects. It needs more focus on the story, diplomacy and the endgame in general. [Jan 2014]