Metascore
61

Mixed or average reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 26
  2. Negative: 2 out of 26
  1. Feb 10, 2014
    60
    If you like games in the vein of Stars! or Master of Orion, you can sink into Stardrive for long hours. [02/2014, p.73]
  2. Dec 9, 2013
    70
    Zero Sum Games has created a worthy addition to the 4X genre. What is more - modders are already creating more and more cool modifications for StarDrive. Ergonomics and gameplay rules should be more user-friendly, but the game itself is far from boring or tiresome. 4X fans will be pleased.
  3. 60
    For your first and second time, StarDrive brings a refreshing experience resembling Master of Orion. However, as soon as you understand its basic rules, the game is gone like through a Black Hole. [Issue#232]
  4. Aug 19, 2013
    70
    It is not a bad game, it just is not a very good one.
  5. Jul 11, 2013
    78
    Some omissions and flaws, but balanced by excellent alien races and ship design. A welcome addition to the crew.
  6. Jun 13, 2013
    78
    Star Drive is a good start for a great 4X space imperium game. It just needs more flesh to all of the bones, something like Galactic Council from Master of Orion to give the game a focus. And please, mr Zero, do not go to the bottomless black hole of multiplayer development until the single player is as great as it has all the promises of being. [June 2013]
  7. Jun 8, 2013
    60
    It looks like StarDrive isn't completely finished at this time. The game is addictive and can keep you busy for hours and hours. Despite that, StarDrive lacks some features to really shine. If Zer0 Sum Games manages to fix these flaws, StarDrive can become a star in the sky.
  8. Jun 7, 2013
    50
    I love SciFi. And I can’t get enough of games like Sins of a Solar Empire. And that leaves me frustrated when I look an StarDrive and its’ wasted potential. It is ambitious, but fails to deliver on too many levels.
  9. 80
    In short, Stardrive is the best descendant/clone of Master of Orion 2. Its theme and mood might be derived more from the Star Trek school, but the philosophy that runs through its spine is, undoubtedly, from the amazing Microprose title, the king of the 4x genre of the nineties- along with a pinch of Galactic Civilizations and Sins. [June 2013]
  10. Jun 3, 2013
    60
    A very ambitious undertaking, StarDrive has a lot of promise. There’s a lot the developer hopes to add, and he plans on supporting the game for the foreseeable future, but the package as it stands is a bit of a hard sell to all but the most patient and driven 4X fans.
  11. Jun 2, 2013
    50
    Hours in, I was a believer in StarDrive. I saw a hundreds of hours potentially flying by as I came up with genius new ship designs and fleet formations that would make the difference in sprawling, climactic battles. But none of that ever happened. I spent a lot of time getting attached to ships that would ultimately just be grains in a sandstorm. And once that disappointment had truly settled in, there was nothing left but a bunch of menus, and a cold, empty galaxy expanding endlessly around me.
  12. May 28, 2013
    70
    If you’re a fan of RTS and strategy games, you can get a few good evenings out of StarDrive, just don’t expect the endless addiction and spotless interface of Civilization.
  13. May 27, 2013
    66
    Star Drive is still a lot of potential.
  14. May 24, 2013
    55
    It doesn't add anything drastically new to the genre, and thus there isn't much reason why you should get it when titles like Galactic Civilization II are better and cheaper, or the contemporary Endless Space -- for all its flaws -- offers a more unique take on the 4X experience.
  15. May 20, 2013
    60
    A solid foundation, and an addictive experience at times, but the game needs more meat. This is especially true in the late game, where things get quite predictable.
  16. May 17, 2013
    62
    It’s hard to justify recommending Stardrive over Galactic Civilizations 2, Sins of a Solar Empire: Trinity, or AI War: Fleet Command when those games offer more content for less money. If you’re a big fan of space-themed 4X games, and find it on sale, I’d say you should pick it up. But everybody else is better off leaving this one for the space-bears.
  17. May 14, 2013
    60
    StarDrive is a collection of solid ideas and features waiting to be unified by the necessary finishing touches.
  18. May 14, 2013
    60
    This 4x space strategy game could have been something special, if it were finished.
  19. May 13, 2013
    45
    Behind its nice alien species graphics, there's little more than a collection of bland, samey gameplay regardless of what race you play as, tedious ship customization, and an AI that seems set to galactic griefer mode. You're better off setting out to conquer an alternate 4X universe.
  20. May 13, 2013
    62
    Not the deepest 4x title out there, StarDrive regains complexity through real time space combat and well implemented ship customization. Oddly the launch version of the game is incomplete, full of glitches and needs urgent updates.
  21. May 10, 2013
    75
    Even with its foibles, StarDrive is a rare treat for those with the fortitude to marshal past its rough spots; invest the time it takes to understand, and the galaxy has a lot to offer.
  22. May 9, 2013
    60
    Stardrive boasts a no-compromise approach to 4X strategy that is interesting enough. Its relatively simple in terms of management mechanics, but still requires the player to pay attention, since every element has a major impact on his game. On the contrary, the deep customization system of the ships needs to be studied meticulously to be handled with efficiency, on a per-case basis, because the economy doesn't really allow massive aramadas. All these make for a solid basis of a game but a lot still requires refinement (AI, interface, graphics optimisation...).
  23. May 9, 2013
    50
    StarDrive is not a bad a game, per se--but it's a lot like the games that came before it, and does little to differentiate itself from the pack. It has character, sure--what game with samurai bears wouldn’t?
  24. May 8, 2013
    40
    Beyond the technical problems — which are significant — in its current state, StarDrive is a collection of neat systems and cool ideas that fail to form a cohesive game.
  25. 65
    Wait for a better discount, or wait until they’ve made some improvements to it. As it stands, there are bigger and better titles to be excited about.
  26. May 6, 2013
    60
    A number of features aim for the stars (sorry) but don’t always reach the target. So if you’re risk averse and want to settle into something mainstream, you’d best look elsewhere as you’re likely to see the rough edges instead of the potential for growth.
User Score
6.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 398 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 56 out of 213
  1. Apr 26, 2013
    9
    Ever since Master of Orion 2 was released, there hasn't really been a worthy successor. MoO3 was garbage, and several imitators have come along trying to capture the magic of the franchise. StarDrive manages to reinvigorate the 4x genre and is a hell of a lot of fun.

    I would give it a 10, but there are still some bugs that need to be ironed out. This game is definitely an indie gem that fans of 4x strategy games need to check out ASAP!
    Full Review »
  2. Apr 28, 2013
    0
    The amazing numbers of positive reviews have forced me to write a review of this game.

    This game is priced like a game coming from a decent
    studio, and sadly it was released like a game coming from a major studio. What I mean is that the game is still in a beta stage, and it appears to be an early beta at that.

    I understand the game is being designed by a really small team (maybe 1 guy) but that doesn't excuse charging $30 for a game that can not be played. I have tried putting in roughly 6 hours since the "launch" about 18 hours ago. The "launch" consisted of an updated from 1.07 to 1.07b I'm honestly not sure what the update did. The game crashes for me on startup, at race selection, when I zoom out to fast, when I try to colonize a planet the list continues.

    I have started about 10 games, the longest game I have been able to play was roughly 2 hours. This game has done what every major studio has done that has caused me to despise them. It made a promise of a great game, and delivered a beta. If I had been offered a demo I would have tried it and known not to buy this game.

    Wait 6 months then go check the forums to figure out if this game has been fixed yet. Or better yet, send the developer an email and let him know you want a demo before you buy it given how this release has been.

    Given this was an indie title I would have been willing to overlook so many things, but if the bug forum is still bursting at the seams with people unable to play then clearly your game is not ready it is likely not even out of alpha tbh...

    Zero (the developer) releasing this game in this state screams of a cash grab to me. I would not be surprised if in 6 months this game is still unfinished and patches have become few and far between ...

    Ok, so all that being said, what's good? The ship building is really cool all the other stuff you expect from a 4x game has been simplified to make the game "real time". Basically each turn takes 5 real time seconds, but you can pause the game at any time to issue orders or do whatever else. This makes the game feel conflicted to me. Sure, it might trim down the amount of time it takes to finish a game compared to GalCiv or Master of Orion, but the experience is equally diminished. I expect that if this game is ever finished serious 4x fans might get maybe 10-20 hours out of the game before getting bored and returning to the classics. RTS fans may do the same thing, but will eventually return to Sins of a Solar Empire.

    If this game had been released complete I would have rated it in the 5-7 range, but if a game is released as a finished product when it is, in fact, still in beta I have to give the game a 0. That is clearly false advertising and a cash grab by the developer & publisher...
    Full Review »
  3. MFT
    Apr 26, 2013
    6
    There is no way around clichéd "this game has potential but..."

    Because this game clearly has potential: artwork is superb, graphics are
    decent, music is fine, gameplay can be both challenging and engaging at times but unfortunately there many issues and drawbacks (due to the fact that the game is budgeted on 17000$ and made by two people) that drag this game into mediocrity.

    There are no proper sorting options for ships, bases and parts. This results in cluttered, slow, glitchy and unresponsive UI.

    You can't delete or upgrade stock ship designs like construction and colonization. In Distant Worlds, for example, AI automatically upgraded those ships with best available parts and here you can't even do it manually.

    You can't save unfinished designs because you have to fill out every single square on a ship. Designing a ship/station becomes a chore, especially at late stages when ships get huge. In fact you'll spend most of your time just designing and re-designing ships... unless you just fill them out randomly. What's even worse they won't automatically upgrade with latest parts so you will have to revisit your designs over and over again to do it manually. Ships are also asymmetrical and there are no "clone" or "mirror" buttons which makes it even more frustrating.

    There are crashes and notable slowdowns in late game but this is common among all 4X strategy games.

    Its not as deep as Distant Worlds. Its not as polished as Endless Space and you can't compare it to Sins or GalCiv because they are in completely different leagues.

    Overall this game lacks polish, proper UI, better ship designing options and even in-game tutorial but it can be fun, especially when spiced up with mods of which there are plenty.
    Full Review »