User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 152 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 152

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  1. Jan 27, 2013
    10
    This is my favorite Civ style game of all time. The gameplay is near perfect and the back story is incredible. I love reading through all of the details on each technology that is developed, and playing through as different factions with entirely different strategies never gets old for me. Even now, more than a decade after its release I still occasionally come back for more, and otherThis is my favorite Civ style game of all time. The gameplay is near perfect and the back story is incredible. I love reading through all of the details on each technology that is developed, and playing through as different factions with entirely different strategies never gets old for me. Even now, more than a decade after its release I still occasionally come back for more, and other modern Civ titles only keep me interested in them for a few months after their release before I come back to this gem.

    Every future empire building game should strive toward imitating the excellent design of this title.
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  2. Aug 2, 2011
    10
    Alpha Centauri dominates the competition and marks out the stakes for engaging, civilization building. Here's why...

    1. Cultural Philosophy is embodied in the different factions. Ridded of the heavy baggage accompanying past factions (egyptians, americans), factions are boilded town to philosophical embodiments including relgious fundamentalism and scientific anarchism. 2. Tech tree has
    Alpha Centauri dominates the competition and marks out the stakes for engaging, civilization building. Here's why...

    1. Cultural Philosophy is embodied in the different factions. Ridded of the heavy baggage accompanying past factions (egyptians, americans), factions are boilded town to philosophical embodiments including relgious fundamentalism and scientific anarchism. 2. Tech tree has actually been thought out. From the quotes from famous literary figures to the theoretical nature of the discoveries, the tech tree makes you actually stop and read. That never happens in other games of this genre.

    3. "Planet" is a living breathing player in the game. Not only in the storyline, but also in mindworm opposition, Alpha Centauri gounds civilization in the environment, and forces an amount of eco-friendliness from it's technological business. 4. The graphics and music are wonderous. They effectively immerse your consciousness into the game itself, drawing you in, and bringing you to this planet at the far reaches of space. Absolutely beautiful.

    This game makes the "Civilization" series boring and inconsequential.
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  3. Aug 24, 2014
    10
    Years later and I still love this game. The backstory is rich and involving, the game mechanics intelligent and fun, the AI some of the best I have ever seen and the overall experience something that stays with you. The AI deserves special mention. In the game you find pods that do various things, one of them being setting of an earthquake that can raise or lower land. In one game, theYears later and I still love this game. The backstory is rich and involving, the game mechanics intelligent and fun, the AI some of the best I have ever seen and the overall experience something that stays with you. The AI deserves special mention. In the game you find pods that do various things, one of them being setting of an earthquake that can raise or lower land. In one game, the drone faction, my allies suddenly broke off their alliance then soon after attacked; it turns out they had accidentally created a land bridge to my continent, presumably making invasion and expansion viable and so changing the AI's game plan. The AI then astounded me when I hammered their ground forces with air by developing ground troops with anti-air capability (presumably using the 'design your own unit' capability that hasn't been used since but is a brilliant innovation), swatting my air force. The game, well over a decade old, felt like I was playing against a human and I have not seen that very often. An astonishing work. Expand
  4. Jun 18, 2013
    10
    A masterpiece that shouldn't be missed by anyone who likes playing strategic games. It has a very good diplomacy which is quite rare in newer strategic games.
  5. Jun 14, 2013
    10
    This game introduced me to a wide swath of ideas that inspired and excited me. I enjoyed the game too, but it is really the ideas that I still treasure some 10 years later.
  6. Jan 18, 2014
    10
    It is terrifying that this 15-year-old game is still one of the best games I have ever played.

    The only downside is its graphics and age, which can't be controlled. If anything deserves a 10, it is this game.

    I'd kill for a sequel.
  7. Nov 26, 2010
    10
    Liked a lot, one of the MASTER PIECES of it's time, technology tree was superb and you could play it as a leader of one of the 3 clans after a trip to another galaxy. Simply another MUST HAVE
  8. Mar 15, 2011
    10
    Better than any of the Civilization games, in almost every aspect..

    There are useful features in this game that I'm still discovering, even after having played it extensively on three computers. I can't say that for any other game. Two particularly annoying aspects of Civilization are repeated here. The first is the world generator. The player gets one chance a day to start a "good" new
    Better than any of the Civilization games, in almost every aspect..

    There are useful features in this game that I'm still discovering, even after having played it extensively on three computers. I can't say that for any other game. Two particularly annoying aspects of Civilization are repeated here. The first is the world generator. The player gets one chance a day to start a "good" new world/game. Repeated tries generate worlds that are often barren and unplayable. The other issue is that if the human player "gets too far ahead", the computer players go into overdrive -- enemy units becoming nearly invincible. Even more annoying, if the computer has decided some faction must die (to make way for another computer player who can challenge you), no amount of money or military units given to the "loser" will save them. They do practically nothing to defend themselves and crumble without warning..
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  9. Dec 5, 2010
    10
    More or less the single best turn-based strategy game ever made, excelling in absolutely every area. Even now, nearly twelve years later, very few games can stand up to its incredible charm and addictiveness. I could play it for months and months.
  10. Sep 1, 2011
    10
    Brilliant game. SMAC is probably the apex of Turn-Based Strategy gaming even 13 years after its release. The amount of Philosophy, imagination, new technological trends that was poured into it was amazing at the time. I got to pick up this game for the first time in 2004, some 6 years after its release, and I was blown out of the water by its staggering depth and possibilities. The limitBrilliant game. SMAC is probably the apex of Turn-Based Strategy gaming even 13 years after its release. The amount of Philosophy, imagination, new technological trends that was poured into it was amazing at the time. I got to pick up this game for the first time in 2004, some 6 years after its release, and I was blown out of the water by its staggering depth and possibilities. The limit is really your skill and imagination on playing it. You can play it through a myriad of different playstyles following which faction you choose to play with. Each game will feel completely different from another one as the strategies that must be pursued are completely different. Highly recommendable game which you can now buy, updated, through GOG.com for only 5 USD. Really worthwhile. You do not need a high end rig to play it. Its pure strategy gaming directly in your veins. Expand
  11. Mar 30, 2011
    10
    if you even remotely liked any of the civ games, buy this. graphics aren't phenomenal but the presentation and depth are. the amount of choices at your disposal is overwhelming. the civ series never became stale for me, but if it did for anyone, this game will likely freshen up the experience. similar structure, different atmosphere and world. the thought provoking quotes never fail toif you even remotely liked any of the civ games, buy this. graphics aren't phenomenal but the presentation and depth are. the amount of choices at your disposal is overwhelming. the civ series never became stale for me, but if it did for anyone, this game will likely freshen up the experience. similar structure, different atmosphere and world. the thought provoking quotes never fail to disappoint either. Expand
  12. May 29, 2011
    10
    It's a fantastic game with an very large scope, and takes it all in it's stride. The technology is all scientifically correct, and the descriptions explain a lot, and the quotes interesting. Also, customization of units is a great touch, that I am sad to see has not been continued in later games. The best part about it, for me, were the faction leaders, each with their own distinctIt's a fantastic game with an very large scope, and takes it all in it's stride. The technology is all scientifically correct, and the descriptions explain a lot, and the quotes interesting. Also, customization of units is a great touch, that I am sad to see has not been continued in later games. The best part about it, for me, were the faction leaders, each with their own distinct personality and viewpoints, all of them humanly flawed, and easy to emphasise with, and see the various pros and cons of their worldview. It has a varied set of win conditions, and the planetary council is a joy. It's one of the best games I've ever played, and I would recommend it to everyone. It's a rare game that makes you truly think about what you are doing. Expand
  13. Jun 17, 2011
    10
    Still one of the most amazing game of its category. SMAC was fascinating when it came out and it is my belief that it has yet to be surpassed on the depth and interest of its setting for a realist Sci-Fi strategy video game. The gameplay is surprisingly smooth, maintaining your interest and your control despite the great complexity of the game mechanics. With an almost infiniteStill one of the most amazing game of its category. SMAC was fascinating when it came out and it is my belief that it has yet to be surpassed on the depth and interest of its setting for a realist Sci-Fi strategy video game. The gameplay is surprisingly smooth, maintaining your interest and your control despite the great complexity of the game mechanics. With an almost infinite replayability potential SMAC is still played today while plenty of other popular games in its category have disappeared after a short (comparatively) time.

    One of the most interesting Civ-like opus.
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  14. Nov 8, 2011
    10
    This is the definitive masterpiece of the strategy genre. Never have I seen a game invest so much effort into building up the lore of the setting. Gameplay is intuitive, easy to learn, and exciting.Factions are varied and diverse, ensuring that players of all stripes have something to suit their styles of play. Multiple paths to victory and engaging multiplayer cement the re-playability ofThis is the definitive masterpiece of the strategy genre. Never have I seen a game invest so much effort into building up the lore of the setting. Gameplay is intuitive, easy to learn, and exciting.Factions are varied and diverse, ensuring that players of all stripes have something to suit their styles of play. Multiple paths to victory and engaging multiplayer cement the re-playability of this game.

    If you are a fan of either science fiction or strategy games in general, I highly suggest that you give this game a try.
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  15. Mar 11, 2013
    10
    The gameplay from the Civilization series is adapted for an engaging sci-fi experience. The real genius of the game, and what ensures its immortality, is the compelling and dynamic world it creates through a series of excellently voice-acted quotes. Each will have you thinking, and feeling, and longing for more.
  16. Ndi
    May 28, 2013
    10
    Without a doubt the best game I ever played.

    Better than Civ series, with a more natural and dynamic diplomacy, much better story, much better terraforming, and the level of detail put in every aspect of the game is unbelievable. Custom units, psy combat, water combat, air combat, bombardment, espionage, the planet itself turning against you and, frankly, the first turn based game I
    Without a doubt the best game I ever played.

    Better than Civ series, with a more natural and dynamic diplomacy, much better story, much better terraforming, and the level of detail put in every aspect of the game is unbelievable.

    Custom units, psy combat, water combat, air combat, bombardment, espionage, the planet itself turning against you and, frankly, the first turn based game I liked. There's so much to do you never feel it's turn based. Units fight back, pull out, defenses fire, it feels dynamic.

    And the research quotes and customizing ability is beyond impressive.

    Best. Game. Ever. Oh, and, works in W7 x64 just fine, 14 years later. Scenario editor, too. Custom factions. too. This is how a game should be.
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  17. Jun 24, 2013
    10
    #1 on my list since it was released. Without any question, hesitation or doubt whatsoever: the best game I have ever played. I've invested more time into this game than all other games I've ever played combined.

    Sid Meier please make a sequel.
  18. Mar 24, 2011
    10
    I played this game years ago when I was just a wee tyke,. I got civ5 and got nostalgic so I dug up my old copy. Still so much fun.. The story. The depth.. Man... They really don't make them like they used to.. Have we gotten stupider?
  19. Feb 11, 2013
    10
    Simply the best turn based strategy I've ever played. It's been almost 14 years the game hit the shelves, yet I still play it from time to time. This is what I expect from a masterpiece TBS game, replayability. In every new game, you still find something to keep you playing in my case, it was the stories I made up myself while playing through ).
    The story: Mankind had just finished the
    Simply the best turn based strategy I've ever played. It's been almost 14 years the game hit the shelves, yet I still play it from time to time. This is what I expect from a masterpiece TBS game, replayability. In every new game, you still find something to keep you playing in my case, it was the stories I made up myself while playing through ).
    The story: Mankind had just finished the race for space and launched its first colonization craft to the nearest habitable star system, before it fails as a race and destroys both itself and almost the planet. The 80.000 colonists have it tough for years until they reach their objective. Then the captain of the ship was murdered, and it didn't take long for the colonists to unite between factions representing ideals, a new bitter conflict had started...
    Factions: You play as one of the seven factions, Peacekeepers( Similar to the UN Spartans( Militarists, survival of the fittest Hive( Strength in Unity, brutal police state Gaians( Nature's attendants, ecologists (My all time favorite)), Morganites( Free market economists, money is power), Believers( Fundamentalists University( Science before everything else). Each faction has their distinct modifiers, ups and downs but not as much as limiting their playstyle to a single viable option. For example, Gaians can capture and use mind worms( the planets native life form) in combat while spartans gain +2 morale(experience) upgrade. It is clear that each faction is worked on and been given life beautifully.
    Gameplay: Not so different from Civilization2, although somewhat more detailed and diversified. You still found bases( cities build city improvements, wonders and units, do research, engage in politics( politics aspect is far better compared to any of its predecessor), terraform the planet, engage in social engineering( instead of governments and so on. There are several ways to victory, almost all factions possess a route better suited for them compared to others. Units gain experience as they fight and survive, improving their combat prowess, and another beautiful aspect of the game, can be created for specific needs, with the unit editor. You need to combat mind worms? Add empath song to the unit. Unit support is becoming a problem? Add clean reactor. So many options are available and it's a blast to experiment with unit types. The wonder cutscenes are gorgeous, way ahead of anything when they were created(in 99). Research tree is immense, always a plus for me. In addition to all that, the game world is so rich that you stand in awe. Brian Reynolds( The game's lead designer, despite the fact that it's branded as a Sid Meier game) had a dual degree in Software Engineering/Philosophy, and the philosophy is masterfully integrated in the game as research descriptions, diplomatic responses and faction profiles. They are too rich and beautiful to ignore. I can find only a single thing to criticize, even in the TRANSCEND difficulty, the game is too easy with certain factions. Iron Man option( Save/Load restricted) adds some challenge though. My last game was an Iron Man Transcend with Believers( The weakest faction in my opinion, maybe my playstyle is not suited for believers) was a good run.
    Audio/Visuals: While the only thing that may have kept me from giving this game a solid 10 would be the audio, the visuals are good. Granted, visual perfection and eye candy couldn't hurt, the current level is more than enough for what I seek in a solid TBS game. Audio is meh, the music is somewhat irritating at times, though it has its moments. The sound effects are adequate.
    Multiplayer: An option, but a pain to play multiplayer. Not that it's the game's fault, on large and huge maps with several factions, the amount of time needed is too much. It couldn't have been any other way though.
    Overall: Best TBS I've ever played( Maybe Dominions 3 would come close It's 2013 now and there's a reason I still install and play Alpha Centauri and its expansion SMACX( Alien Crossfire because no other game could gave me such satisfaction and feeling of accomplishment, in the following years since SMAC had been launched.
    Brian Reynolds is my favorite game designer, sad to see him working for Zynga now, but I can't bring myself to accuse him( Man's gotta eat, and pc strategy gaming hasn't been rewarding as far as I can tell but it would be my dream come true if Reynolds said this what the hell am I doing here? I should be doing master strategy games! and announces a sequel to Alpha Centauri.

    Final words: If you're into strategy gaming. This game is a must. You can get it without a second thought.
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  20. Aug 15, 2014
    10
    The smartest, most playable, and most finely honed game I've ever played. This game is a masterpiece that evokes the best of science fiction and storytelling and is the penultimate Sid Meier game.
  21. Jun 10, 2014
    9
    So addictive, so deep and engrossing... Days lost... Amazing game. The best parts are the beginning and mid-game... by late game the knife's edge tension has gone and you are usually either winning by a mile or just stuck in mediocrity. Still, really fun to play.
  22. Nov 8, 2011
    0
    This is the definitive masterpiece of the strategy genre. Never have I seen a game invest so much effort into building up the lore of the setting. Gameplay is intuitive, easy to learn, and exciting.Factions are varied and diverse, ensuring that players of all stripes have something to suit their styles of play. Multiple paths to victory and engaging multiplayer cement the re-playability ofThis is the definitive masterpiece of the strategy genre. Never have I seen a game invest so much effort into building up the lore of the setting. Gameplay is intuitive, easy to learn, and exciting.Factions are varied and diverse, ensuring that players of all stripes have something to suit their styles of play. Multiple paths to victory and engaging multiplayer cement the re-playability of this game.

    If you are a fan of either science fiction or strategy games in general, I highly suggest that you give this game a try.
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Metascore
92

Universal acclaim - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 19
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 19
  3. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. It might sit a little short of Transcendence, but at four o'clock in the morning you probably won't even notice.
  2. The unoriginality in unit appearance kind of killed the game for me and the good soundtrack that overshadows the game can get on your last nerve depending on how long you've been playing. It just continually loops.
  3. Another one of those games that can make hours pass like minutes...With its top-notch diplomacy, civilization building, and wargame elements, Alpha Centauri is the new pinnacle of turn-based strategy games.