User Score
7.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 387 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 84 out of 387

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  1. Apr 30, 2013
    9
    Great game i am enjoying it. It is way more fun from Endless Space which has an awful card-battle system and it feels like a better 4x title compared to Sins of a Solar Empire which does not have any deepness beyond big battles
  2. Jul 28, 2013
    6
    Game isn't bad but it's not great either. It's an RTS 4X game which I'm not a huge fan of to begin with, but the slow speed of ships to go places, even when cranked up to x5 speed, is just too much. Sure, you can crank the speed up to absurd levels, ie 50x, but the game starts to stutter a bit. By far the best aspect of StarDrive is the ability to build ships. At first glance it looks just like every other space 4x game with this mechanic, but it has an added layer of depth. If you make a huge, heavily weaponized cruiser but fail to armor the ship's power source, you just created some expensive space scrap. Unfortunately, the RTS approach again undermines this. The speed at which you can unlock new technologies (the tree is much smaller than other 4x games) often means you've unlocked a couple new upgrades by the time your ships get to where they need to be for combat. Not a bad game but I found it less fun than other games like Endless Space. Worth grabbing on sale if you enjoy RTS/4x. Expand
  3. Apr 28, 2013
    8
    Finally a real time game. I've been disappointed by the sheer number of MoO clones lately. The graphics looks surprisingly great, the alien graphics is adorable. The gameplay mechanics is good and the detailed ship design is sound. Unfortunately, the UI still not as good as it should be, certain management tasks are (still) tedious. Yes, there are still bugs and awkward behavior in it. I would give a total rating of 7.5 (Disclaimer: I supported the Kickstarter campaign and participated in testing from very early on.) Expand
  4. Ndi
    Jun 23, 2013
    6
    Like many other reviewers, I agree that the game has potential, but it is poorly implemented and executed. No tutorial to shake a stick at, no gradual introduction, nothing. Opens a screen with 4 million controls and only a hint and away we go.

    As a result, I wander around, looking for friends. You find powerful friends, you're set. You don't, it's hard and sweaty.

    Ship design is a
    chore. No templates. Lets you design a ship then refuses to accept it. Components are red but doesn't tell you why.

    Game is slow enough to be boring, but no slow enough to give you excellent tactics (a la TBS). Base design took 30 minutes to understand. Resources are limited, meaning you can just let loose and have fun.

    Basically, this game expects me to already know exactly what to do, but offers no insight to get me started.

    It could be a great game, but it's not. I see absolutely no reason to take this game up when SoaSE is out.
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  5. May 5, 2013
    5
    I bought this game right after release. It has some very nice moments, but everything feels unbalanced and unfinished. I can't help feeling I was tricked into pre-ordering and getting a beta version, instead of buying a completed product. Don't get me wrong, as a beta it would be amazing, but that's not what I expected.
  6. Apr 27, 2013
    3
    I have no idea why so many people rate the game so high. It does look shady when an indie title get more reviews than top AAA titles by huge companies that spend millions of dollars for promotion. Just by reading the comments one can easily see that those reviews are written by the long time game followers and beta participants and it is the fanboy's zeal and not the high quality of the product that causes all those prises. To be honest there is not much to prise. By reading those comments I learned that the game was made by one or two guys and it is really impressive...but they charge for their product like it was made by a professional studio so there is no reason why this game should not be reviewed in line with other 4x games out there. But sadly it does not stand a chance in comparison to contemporary rulers of space 4X genre like Sins of Solar Empire or Endless Space. I do have a problem to understand who is this game actually for? It is not aimed on the hardcore 4x fans, because for those it will be waaaaay oversimplified in every single of its 4X aspects. It does no come close to the "epicness" of SoSE space battles, it does not give you any actual control over the fleet during combat, the resources management is shallow like a puddle after morning drizzle limiting the game to 3 sliders..., the colony building aspect is a lackluster copy-paste of GalCiv approach. Tech tree is short and uninspiring. On top of that the game get some random fps-slowdowns and is prone to crashes. Veterans of 4X space games will be bored after 15 minutes with this game. The only innovative thing here is the approach to the race's diversity which is really solidly done and does not end at the different perks sets for every race but seems to expand to the different AI algorithms. All others 4X concepts are really poorly executed and the game itself is in the best case a younger brother of MoO serie and them alike titles, suitable rather for my kid than for me. Assuming that it will be patched and stops crashing that is. Expand
  7. Apr 27, 2013
    5
    This game gets a 10/10 for letting me design a fleet of ships that will shred the enemy fleets to space debris... The problem is: THere is no documentation (everything is guessing and trial&error, AI uses your ship designs but has no clue what it is doing), and the game is terrible when you try to wipe out another civilization or conquer their planets becuase of the way ground combat is organized.
    The idea of the game is absolutely great. But everything besides the ship design, ship combat part pretty much sucks.
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  8. Jun 27, 2013
    4
    I really have mixed feelings about this. Ok, here we go. The good: 1. Building is made rather fun, with a steady pace of economics and nice system that can dispense wealth and resources to your worlds. 2. The graphics are quite nice. 3. The RTS part is done well enough, the pace is not too fast, not too slow. The bad: 1. Technologies aren't varied or imaginative. They're simple and there's too little of them for a proper 4x game.
    2. Map controls are bad every time I zoom out or load the game the zoom focuses on some dust speck in space, and I have to click around to actually notice any star systems even when I click in the right place on the minimap. It's mildly annoying.
    3. Ship design system is the worst I have seen in ANY 4x game. It's bad. It's awful. It's atrocious. It's positively tedious, feels like you're sitting in work in your cubicle and have to finish a project. You can't save a design which has even one field not filled. And later designs have HUNDREDS of them. You can't modify or upgrade designs? Actually, ANY 4x game had a better system. Master of Orion 1-2, Sword of the Stars, Endless Space, Gratuitous Space Battles, etc. etc. etc. This... thing... spoils a reasonably nice game immensely. If this was improved, I'd give the game a solid 8.

    I mean, if a serious part of the game has less fun than counting finances in Excel, that's wrong, dude.
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  9. May 31, 2013
    8
    StarDrive is a 4x strategy game that I have beta tested and played a few mods on top of that. Here is a summary of what I have noted: Positives: +Customization is amazing. You design everything in regards to your ships. +Galaxies can be gigantic or small depending on your preference. Combat in empty space (away from solar systems) is rare in a 4x. +Direct control and massive fleets. Direction and speed are a factor and you can take control of a single ship even while a massive fleet follows behind your flagship.
    +AI acts like a unique race. Certain races are cowardly, others will betray you in a heartbeat, others are focused on honor and will declare war on you if you are caught using a spy network.
    +AI uses custom designs. As someone who has designed AI before, I find this incredibly badass.
    +Game favors modability. This insures that the game will continue to improve.

    Negatives:
    -Late game is slow. AI will not surrender even after you have beat them into the dirt (even if you have 1000 ships and they have none).
    -Bugs. Orders reset after you load a saved game. Some systems slow down in the late game. Game crashes.
    -Default ship designs are inefficient, making initial AI weak.
    -No multiplayer. Would love this. Unfortunately, the developer has stated no intention of adding multiplayer without selling it as some sort of DLC.
    -Planet management is limited in comparison to most other 4x (such as Hegemonia or Endless Space, from my experience). This is more obvious the longer you play the game. After awhile planetary management becomes a choir that must be completed before the awesome space battles can take place.

    Overall, I recommend it. Especially if it goes on sale. If it had multiplayer or good planet management, I would love it. As is, it shows promise but I don't find myself wanting to keep playing after beating the game once.
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  10. Jun 6, 2013
    5
    You go into this game with a lot of hopes for indie innovation, but eventually discover that the game is incomplete, which is massively disappointing for the price tag. The side missions are broken and the games don't seem to end for hours after you've solidified your lead and win.

    Most of the fun comes from building your ships and seeing them in action, but you can't make the most of
    that fact until you unlock the technologies and chassis's, which is tediously slow to do because the economy consolidates research in with production and food. You need food to increase and maintain population and production to build things like your fleets or planet improvements, so research is always an after thought after keeping your empire stable. This makes playing small and medium maps very tedious as you wont get economies strong enough to take advantage of most of what the game really has to offer.

    Recommend your first game for each empire be set to easy and drag it out so that you can create your ship designs with an easily acquired and maintained economy, ready for more competitive games later. Replay value is limited to a couple games per empire until you're doing the same thing over and over with no real buzz that you might otherwise find in other games regardless of repetitiveness. This could be largely improved by allowing a customisation of chassis's with perhaps a limiting frame to maintain some empire specificness.

    Overall the game was fun, but each time i found myself eventually enjoying myself i would be stumped by a tedious mechanic. First it was an economy i couldn't stabilise until i had 7 moderately sourced and fully upgraded planets that could export. Scarey threats from AI that had no business making threats. Spies which remain a relatively hidden aspect of the game as well, a complicating mechanic i'd like to have an option to disable, not least because it's a needless nuisance to the economy for a game you'll buy largely for the combat.

    I feel like i've jumped from topic to topic haphazardly, but that's how the game feels, so many aspects affect other aspects of the game in a compromising way. Things that get in the way of what attracts you to it in the first place. Building your ships and sending them into battle. It's like they made the game and thought of 20 mechanics to prevent you from getting to what makes it so interesting.

    It still needs work or at the very least to be fixed and have some UI improvements and then individualising the AI would also make games more dynamic. Otherwise you might as well just play geometry wars.
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  11. Apr 29, 2013
    5
    This game isn't really perfect. at least not in its current "beta" form.

    Economy is badly explained and for the new player it becomes near impossible to balance industry vs research as industry often gives more tax income then research(especially on richer planets) causing it to be very difficult to squeeze the best bit of research unless you have poor planets where research is
    profitable. it becomes a juggling mess

    The worst part however is the dreadful A.I.
    Initial behaviour is ok. it expands, it keeps to its nature (they get random "goals" like military,expansion and such), however once you get to the inevitable part of War the A.I's behave erratic and infuriating and im not talking about the one you are engaging with (their troop movement tends to get delayed reactions as the ai is apparently unable to cancel a earlier order, result is they failing at defence, but that's it), No its the factions surrounding the ones you are invading that gets annoying. The moment you clear a planet and it starts changing to your control EVERY single empire nearby IMMEDIATELY sends a Colony ship to that planet and if the planet's production isn't fast enough to build a colony before a colony ship arrives it gets stolen, worst is that when it does get "kill-stolen" and your forces are occupying that planet they declare war claiming "you are attacking our system". i didn't pay attention and i got declared war by half the galaxy cause they all are unnaturally greedy.... WTF?!? apparently i have to have a colony ship at my intended target and one at every planet in that system cause if i don't 5 colony ships appear and hang around like vultures.

    The last problem is the huge list of Incomplete features, For example "Open borders" doesn't mean Squat. they are still gonna parade around your system anyway and happily steal one of your systems (while if you do the same they go "HOW DARE YOU" and continuously call dibs on everything). another broken feature is the interaction with the "pre-space civilization" which is apparently incomplete.

    The game has potential. the graphics are awesome, the ship designing is a nice and challenging feature (fleet has little importance tough), but underneath the hood where it matters it comes over as buggy and mediocre. and although they may claim its still "BETA" it is NOT defined as such on steam so i feel lied too having played this game.

    i hope they refine the AI greatly cause atm its only making me go "WTF" over and over and over...
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  12. Sep 16, 2013
    7
    This game is a blatant MOO (Master of Orion) clone and it doesn't hide it (why would it, the first 2 MOOs are the best space 4X games ever). It took everything MOO did right (oh moving those little men from one assignement to another) while introducing interesting ideas (for example Store/Import/Export options), operational area for ships... But it lacks in improving some things: ship design is horrible (even MOO2 had a better interface for ship design), fleet creation/management is buggy, space map interface is buggy and lacking features (limited zoom, very hard to tell what's going on when full zoomed out...). This is a good game but somewhat still looks unfinished. I bought it when it was on Alpha, then passed to Beta, then to Release without very much changes and still some known bugs unfixed.

    I understand a very small company made this, but this doesn't excuse charging 30$ for a clearly unfinished game. I would have loved to wait more in Beta and see these issues fixed.

    Still looking for a game that can rival with MOO2.
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  13. Apr 28, 2013
    10
    ver 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 t… Expand
  14. Apr 29, 2013
    6
    I preordered the game two month ago and I was really surprised by it. However the longer I played the more flaws I have discovered.
    Some people praise the ability to design own ships. Yes, it sounds cool. But how come noone mentiones that you have to fill in EVERY SINGLE space on your ship. I mean wtf? What if I do not want to? Why do I have to have more expensive and heavier ship? How
    come noone mentiones the total luck of an upgrade possibility? You have a new weapon researched? Cool. Now go to the ship design and replace EVERY SINGLE one manually. You must be kidding. I would accept this in beta, but not in a full version. But wait, full version is just a renamed beta. Oh, nevermind then.
    Now we go to AI. First let me tell you that AI can not design its own ships. Yes, you hear right. It can use preset designs and designs you created, but it can not make it own ones. Quite a flaw in a space strategy, do not you agree? Diplomatic AI also needs to be tweaked more. It has the same flaw as most cheap AIs. Are you weak? To the hell with you, we declare war. And what if someone wants to play peacefully? I am rich, I am technologicaly advanced, but just because I do not build thousands of ships like a moron I am bad? And even if I manage not to angry anyone by my small military, I will definitely make them angry by travelling through their space. And I do nto mean their systems, but the game has a thing called subspace projector which allows your ships to travel faster. But by some strange logic a space around it is considered a race territory. And as the AI spams these projectors like crazy, later int the game you simply have to cross their space. The most funny thing is that I consider this a total useless technology and I have never build a single one projector.
    Speaking of technologies, the technology tree is really and I mean really short. It does not take long and you have researched everything. I was hoping that in a full version it would be enlarged. But as I mentioned, full version is just the beta with a changed name.
    As some others mentioned here, the game is on a good way, but richt now it simply lacks the depth. And it became really boring for me after a short time. There are no events in the galaxy (only really stupid subspace flux preventing all war travel and happening way too often). In the end it ends up with you spamming ships like crazy because it is what everyone else is doing. No way to win otherwise. Which is quite sad. Even in Master of Orion 2 you could win by wiping out Antarean homeworld and to do that you did not need the strongest military. So my recommendation is wait. Wait a few months to see if the game is improved. Right now you would be buying a beta version for a price of a full version.
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  15. May 23, 2013
    7
    Stardrive is a solid 4x space strategy game. It doesn't bring anything new to the genre, but does incoporate some tried and true functions in interesting ways. The fully customizable shipyard was one of my favorite parts of the game, though others find it dreadfully complicated. Basically, if you're a fan of 4x space strategy games, you'll probably enjoy Stardrive.
  16. Jun 23, 2013
    9
    i would normally give it an 8 but im astonished that it was developed by a single developer (also paid an artworker for art but its all on his own) gameplay is good, interface needs improvement and love the shipbuilding of it.
  17. Apr 26, 2013
    7
    I'm giving this a 9 until some things are fixed. Let me be clear about this, the game has some problems. However, for all the 4x fans out there thinking about SOTS or legends of pegasus, STOP! The 4x curse is not going to get this one. All of the problems are actively being fixed. There is a patch a day most of the time and Zero (the dev) has said on the forums that he just hired another programmer to help out. Buy it now or buy it in a few weeks, but ALL 4x fans are going to want to pick this one up. The game is very playable at this point and new features are on the way. Oh and mods are actively supported by Zero (sometimes even helping out directly). Expand
  18. May 11, 2013
    8
    It boggles the mind to see professional game critics review this game in its current beta state, pointing out its flaws and bugs and not understanding that their lackluster review will hurt the game. I can understand user reviews, but to professionally review this game when it's not even out of beta is an insult to game development.

    StarDrive is a gem, but it isn't perfect. This game in
    it's current state must be judged fairly and the bigger picture needs to be looked at. To see the potential that this game has you would have to witness it yourself and don't rely on the flimsy so-called professional critics who get paid to understand this but fail to do so when writing up their reviews.

    Not since GalCiv2, Space Empires IV and Distant Worlds have I been this excited for some new blood to come into the space strategy scene. My only major gripe with StarDrive is that it isn't turn based, and I'm still holding out hope for a turn based optional feature later on, if it's possible. Strangely enough though, the real-time mechanic works really well with StarDrive, and I find myself wondering how the other mechanics could work in a turn based environment.

    As it stands, StarDrive is bursting with potential and juicy features that have yet to be fully implemented. The AI itself and diplomacy is perhaps the weakest part of StarDrive so far along with its light tech trees that are not fully fleshed out as of yet. However, when your playing StarDrive, interacting with the AI and seeing it in action, you can definitely see the evolution in its design. If you played any of the earlier buggier releases, only then could you appreciate how far it has come and see where it is going.

    AI in a game like this is very important, and sometimes a developer can take the back burner with AI development. Thankfully this isn't the case here, as I believe Zero is well aware of the AI shortcomings and development is constantly evolving and ongoing. Lets not forget that the game is highly moddable and as such, improvements with AI in this regard are to be expected. GalCiv 2 showed how a game with excellent AI can have a lasting appeal. Thankfully Zero promised multiplayer functionality on release and refinement of the single-player experience, so we can at least expect some competitive human play along with the AI.

    My favorite aspect of StarDrive has to be its Ship Designer. I cannot express enough how much I love this mechanic. Trust me when I say I've tried them all.
    Space Empires IV had a very similar designer based on the same principle of module sprite placement, but was nowhere as complex as what you get in StarDrive.
    Distant Worlds had a decent enough mechanic, similar too, but in the end too much restraint was placed on the player and limited choice of ships.
    GalCiv 2 achieved absolute freedom in style and cosmetic ship design, but the technical details of your ship, power and weapon systems mattered not; it was essentially a style creative editor.
    Star Ruler seemed like it had the best designer of them all, with its near limitless freedom in ship design, only hampered by the lack of sprites and perhaps no restraints whatsoever on building a gigantic ship that could make a giant star look like a small pea.

    None of these can shine a light to StarDrives ship designer. Sure, you don't get the cosmetic style freedom you got in GalCiv2, but everything matters! Every module you place down matters, where it's at, the purpose of the module and to how you arrange the power lines; are they efficient? Can I fit something else in there and place my power lines elsewhere? Maybe I shouldn't leave my so exposed? These are questions you wouldn't bother asking yourself on any other designer. The other positive aspect of the designer is that it's highly moddable. Already there's ship mods out there that you can install, my favorite being the battlestar galactica mod. Gotta love those vipers! Lets not forget that this is a beta, and I'm sure Zero has plans to expand the designer to even more greatness.

    Another neat little feature that this game has, is it's ability to automate several functions of the game to the AI. That's assuming you trust the AI, for the moment I wouldn't... But it's there for a player to utilize. Automating your freighters is probably one of the safe things you can do that the AI will not mess up.

    As for galaxy size and sandbox options, there are several options to choose from. I prefer to play on the biggest ones, and I do get the impression that the biggest map could be perhaps 'bigger', but maybe that's just the perspective that I have when zoomed out on the map.

    Either way, if space strategy is your thing; then StarDrive is certainly a worthy purchase. If your not keen on too many bugs, and not a fan of beta's then I strongly suggest to stay away until release (which some pro-critics have failed to do) to enjoy the game as it was meant to be played.
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  19. Apr 26, 2013
    10
    The best game i have played yet this year and its only 30 BUcks!!!! Stardrive will keep your brain imersed in galatic stratagy....This game has amazing gameplay/graphics/replayability...It is quite hard to imagine that only a single person wrote all the code for this...I will be playing this game all through the year before i get sick of it...
  20. Jun 15, 2013
    2
    This game, with out question, is some of the most unmitigated garbage I have ever had the displeasure of purchasing. The game itself is brutally buggy, with above average BSOD rates, and numerous crashes. A considerable amount of players are simply unable to even start the game without confusing fixes, or mods. The game itself is flat and uninteresting, with little difference between the races, and NO difference between how they react to you. The AI itself can only be described as "Game Ruining." It is intensely brutal, and utterly unforgiving in the most unpleasant way. (It also doesn't have to use the game's horrific GUI and exceedingly tedious ship design mechanics).

    The ONLY saving grace of this game is the modding community, and a plethora of rabid, active fans who are eager to apologize for their dev putting out trash, and selling it for 30$.

    DO. NOT. BUY. THIS. GAME.
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  21. Jan 10, 2014
    0
    This is an updated review of stardrive. I originally did a review in april 2013 and said, like many others, that this game had alot of potential. What happened is, the developer took the money and ran and never completed the game.

    This means the promises made to people who paid $25 like me were never fulfilled. Worse, the end game is unplayable because of crippling memory problems.


    Never ever buy a zerosum game or anything related to this developer again. He should be shunned and banished from game making forever.
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  22. May 7, 2013
    7
    StarDrive has fantastic space combat mechanics. Its really cool when fast fleets clash together. Combined with the fully customizable ship editor its a game to remember. Also positive is that you can create your personal version of one of the standard races of the game. But the game has its dark sides. When to invade invade a planet with ground troops (only 2 troops types per race!) the preparation for it is a lousy click-orgy. To be a really great game there should be more of everything... more tech, more ship types, more troops types, more races, more graphics a larger galaxy. Expand
  23. Apr 28, 2013
    9
    A bit buggy at present, but once those are fixed, this will be the best 4x space since Masters of Orion 2. The ship design and experimentation is engrossing game in itself.
  24. Apr 26, 2013
    8
    Fantastic vision of a new developing 4x! Done practically by one man lets hope he has some cash for a small team now.
    Having played around 28 hours during various beta builds, what gripped me was the potential, after various jaded experiences with other recent 4x/turn based games of its kind.

    Not a perfect game has quite a few things to expand upon namely its progression, random
    encounters, planetary troops, ship templates, and A.i. All show signs of improving.

    This is not your Sins of the Solar Empire (as much as I loved Sins Fleets system) Stardrives should be even better with time.
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  25. Jan 19, 2014
    5
    I left a review when this game was in beta talking about what great promise it had and how, with polish, it could be fantastic. Around that time, for whatever reason, the developers decided it was a finished product and priced it accordingly. It's unfortunate that this game will never see it's full potential. Regardless, It's still pretty fun.

    Some of the high points of this game
    include:
    -The inclusion of real time pausing management, allowing it to be played as an RTS or turn-based game
    -Ship design
    -The race design, allowing you to pick custom perks and detriments to your civilization
    -Large scale space battles
    The last of these being the game's real strong suit.

    If you are a fan of 4x strategy games, you will likely be disappointment by the lack of depth. The UI is poor, resource management the same, and ground combat is pathetic (and required). All these issues serve to detract from the overall game experience, which begins to feel like an RTS with some 4X elements tacked on.

    The full price is steep considering the lack of depth compared to other, similar strategy games, but the assertion that there's nothing good to be found here is simply not true.
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  26. Apr 27, 2013
    5
    I got this game one day before it came out of beta, because I have been looking for a game like this for a while, and did not find anything that I really liked. This game has hit the spot. I have sunk 12 hours in, and can't wait to lose another 100. There is still some bugs in this game, some performance issues and some problems with the ordering of ships refusing to go where you want. This frustrated me a little, but it did not break the game, nor take away from my enjoyment of it too much.

    If you are looking for a solid 4x space game, with nice graphics, good audio, then this is it. The modular design is what you will be spending a lot of your time on, so if you think that this would annoy you, be forewarned. Have not looked at any mods yet, but if there is a solid set of tools, hopefully some great mods will appear soon too.
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  27. Jun 4, 2013
    7
    I think basically there is said the most to the game in all the reviews. But I would like to point the focus more to the circumstances of the development that has been done. So in general this game was developed by one person. If course sounds and graphics are a product of more than one developer but the code behind starring is basically a one man show.

    And for this I cannot say this
    game isn't a success.
    For me it had from the start more funny elements than all other x4 games I have ever played until know. Beginning at the kind of how you navigate through the spaces and ending by the way you can design your fleets. All real innovative and great but yet no bug free features.
    Of course the balance is not perfect so the AI in my opinion starts much to aggressive. If you don't have suitable planets near your home planet it will be very hard to expand due to the aggressive au will fight for every useful planet.
    So for the rest it might be that after midgame you will end farming the planets. But until you get to the point this game really is much fun to play.

    So for further development I hope the game gets more balancing and more end game experience.
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  28. Apr 26, 2013
    10
    Already have more than 40+ hours logged into my game.Quite the amazing game ;-). I joined the beta testing back in January, dying to play some good 4x games. Now, onto the finer details: what does this game have? 1. beautiful diplomacy screens you are entranced by them and sometimes don't want to close them, don't be deluded by the certain woman sitting on the chair...(you will know once you play the game)

    2. amazing races, each is distinct,diplomacy screen makes them even seem more real

    3. fantastic ship customization, you literally can make a ship loaded with weaponry that might be destroyed in a few missile hits, or a shielded beast that can withstand punishment, perhaps you want to have a frigate with marine teams to take over the enemy ships-the choice is yours

    4.planetary combat deploy your battalions from your core planets to invade the enemy planets,
    gives you the armchair general feeling of successfully distracting the enemy at certain points while taking over their planet

    5. mods lots and lots of mods enhance its play-ability, I'm sure many of you have seen how Arma II, and Skyrim have become popular thanks to mods,-well Stardrive as well!- it already has a few mods from the beta version.

    6.combat you build your ship, now, for most games that would result in hit-points and so being counted up, but not in Stardrive, in Stardrive where you place your armour, weaponry, power station,and shielding is important. If you have weak shielding or armour to your aft, the enemy could easily puncture the hull there and destroy your power station. If you have no shields for your weaponry, they could disable all your weaponry. If your ship is facing quick enemies, you need to be sure your ships are equipped with combat thrusters.

    7.events still in the early stages, however, there are lots of events in this game, such as warp being disabled momentarily, or getting into contact with an early pre-space race

    8. music Stardrive has its unique style of music, just check out the diplomacy screens!

    9.planet development you can develop every planet you own, or set an governor to handle the 'economic' issues while you go far onto the front-lines to battle the enemies

    Like many games out there, there is room for improvement!
    However,if you are a 4x fan, or like to customize every ship, this is the game to get.
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  29. Apr 26, 2013
    9
    I have been playing the beta for a few weeks now, first thing I have to say is that I got my money's worth. I had a lot of fun (still do as a matter of fact). The art is very good and immersive, very nice diplomacy screens The gameplay elements are pretty solid, ship design is highly innovative, combat is fun (though not as tactical as say SotS2), I even tend to use spies which is something I rarely do in other 4x.

    The game suffers from some problems, like troop rush, faulty freighter ai and performance issues (thought I have not experienced those myself).

    I justify giving it such a high score, because the game is very fun for me and none of the issues was a deal breaker.. it is also worth mentioning that Stardrive is quite moddable (allows adding new tech, weapons etc). Zero is also actively supporting the modding section, which is quite awesome IMO.

    This game has a nice MoO2 feel, can only recommend it
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  30. Aug 17, 2013
    1
    I simply MUST respond to what is blatant rating bombing. Ive been watching this game since pre-release, and must admit there is ALOT of potential here, love the ship design feature and the diplomacy windows are very well done. However the game is still in beta. SO many bugs and issues that are yet to be resolved. I experience frequent crashes, and whenever i feel brave enough to start a new game, i end up giving up within 1-2 hours due to all the remaining frustrating bugs and issues IF I dont CTD first.

    As I said, lotsa potential, but its an unfinished and I would argue UNPLAYABLE game.
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  31. Apr 29, 2013
    6
    StarDrive strikes me as a game with a lot of potential that at the same time doesn't quite get there. The artwork is superb and I love the fact that each race is given both a unique character as well as specific dialogue options to that race. The quirk of being able to use the diplomacy interface to actually just chat with the ambassador is nice and makes it feel a little like Star Control 2 and the like that its more than just business, but also exploration of the variety of a universe. The addition of the occasional dialogue event on discovery of a new planet adds to this as well, as does the Remnant subplot.

    The ship designer is this game's most complex feature. When working with big hulls you have an incredible amount of customization that can be done. Furthermore, the AI learns from your designs, which is a very nice touch. Since damage happens per-module and is spatially accurate, there are subtleties of the system in placement of everything up to the ship's wiring. This is StarDrive's true contribution to the genre a feature that I don't think I've seen in any other such game.

    My complaints with the game are more to do with the actual mechanics of play. Managing the economy and planets feels punishingly micro in a realtime game where you already have many things vying for limited attention. The fact that fleets have a tendency to not arrive at the same time also contributes to this problem, as well as the lack of ship pathing that is aware of system gravity wells (so ships sometimes just get slowed down on the way to a fight because they didn't take a slight detour). I don't really think the realtime adds anything to the game, but it costs it a lot.

    The other problem is that the content that is there is like a preview of some bigger game that has yet to manifest itself. The dialogue option to find out about the various races is a neat touch, but there's really only one such option per race. The planetary discovery event is neat, but there's only the one (and its not completely implemented). The tech tree is very short and is kind of front-loaded (it takes a long time to the get the first few techs, then suddenly you're getting new techs every few minutes).
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  32. Apr 27, 2013
    9
    This game is going to be a cult hit. Zero has said that he will keep updating the game to smooth out the technical issues and add depth. Serious modding is a given. The game is instantly familiar and enjoyable, right out of the box, to a 4X strategy veteran. The highlights of the game for me are the intricate shipyard (ship designer screen) with a ridiculous amount of replayability, and the diverse ways that the different AI opponents act towards you. Combat itself is interesting and varied due to the uniqueness of every ship design. Expand
  33. Apr 30, 2013
    7
    StarDrive is an ambitious project from an independent developer that's in fact just 1 guy! In light of that, it's quite an accomplishment. Pros: Great artwork, especially in the diplomacy interface You can design your own starships from the ground up Robust planet management interface Solid 4X game, and there aren't many of these Comprehensive faction creation process that allows you to choose the bonuses and issues your civilization will have.

    Cons
    Some UI (such as game speed, pausing) is missing
    Diplomacy is oddly limited, economic prosperity alone doesn't mean anything. You have to have things like artifacts, technology or colonies to trade to make other civs like you more.
    late game slow downs which really impact performance/enjoyment of the game

    As others have mentioned, it's stellar for an indie game and it has a lot of playability. Once the lategame stability issues are fixed and if people start modding it, it'll have a really long lifespan and a bright future. I'm also hoping for some sort of multiplayer mode (the kickstarter mentioned some sort of DOTA/MOBA/tabletop inspired game where you compete in quick matches with prebulit fleets)

    Overall, it's well worth the price, and I do not regret the $26 I put down to play it.
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  34. May 6, 2013
    5
    I absolutely loved this game. It's great fun, and is a real breath of fresh air. At the start.
    As many other people have said here, it just doesn't feel like a finished game. I noticed today my playtime has hit almost 40 hours on this, and yet not once have I ever played past midgame. Everything all happens at the start, all the fun of customising your species, choosing a direction,
    getting the tech and building your own ships, it's really enjoyable at the start of a match, but by midway there's just nothing to do. The few tech options there are past midgame are really just rehashes of the starting stuff, the quest lines are broken and don't go anywhere, and even the AI just seems to give up; while at the start it fights tooth and nail for star systems, alliances are forged, distrust is sewn, but by midway it sort of just doesn't seem to care, and never grows or changes past it's initial few moves. So you're just left to grind away down all these star systems till you've won, with the excitement you felt at the start a thing of the past.
    I'd really love to see this as a full game, but I'm getting sick and tired of all these full price releases marketed as a full game when they're clearly just not finished.
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  35. May 3, 2013
    4
    According to Steam the game has been released. According to the official website, it has not. And it really hasn't. It's a beta. The UI is a clusterf***k. It doesn't scale up with resolution well. You can't even pick a planet from a planet list. Everything is tiny. It's very hard to pick ships, because you can barely see them if you zoom out. The tutorial consists of few videos and bunch of text. I have to say music and art design of alien races are the most memorable part of this game. Everything else is unpolished, forgettable or just meh, because it's unfinished game. However, that's a huge achievement for a single guy developing the game. But is it worth $29? No. Maybe 6 months down the road, when it gets patched. Expand
  36. May 2, 2013
    0
    I can not understand the 9's and 10's being thrown out here. This game is unfinished and being sold as if ti is a AA title for USD$30. Unacceptable. Developer asks fans to come to metacritic and game the system.

    Professional reviewers are afraid to touch it in fear of angering the fans.

    This game as the concept and potential to be the best 4x space game ever. Poorly implemented UI,
    idiotic AI and rampant bugs make the game very difficult to play. Even the planetary elements stolen from Galactic Civilizations (which were likely stolen from other games) were not implemented well.

    Perhaps in 6 months this game will achieve greatness. I expect that bugfixes and updates will cease as the general public realizes the game will never be finished and people stop buying the game.

    I liken this game to a pyramid scheme. The early adopters are pumping it with their 9 and 10 ratings in the hopes more people will purchase it, keeping the development going as long a they can. I admit I was a sucker and fell for it.
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  37. saz
    Apr 28, 2013
    5
    I'm a big fan of 4x games. It's impressive there's only one person on the project. Sadly, you can tell. It needs more cooks in the kitchen. In it's current state, it's more of a fringe game. Most players will find the UI frustrating and incomplete. Many features like a scroll out button or hotkeys to take you to your home planet are just missing. I wasn't interested in building custom ships and there is a bad gap for included ship designs. If you research a new tech, you'll have to create a design to use it.He's doing an in service to his game and to those purchasing it, by keeping it all the work and inspiration in house. These games really need big teams. Hopefully not that it's gone retail, he can add some staff. Expand
  38. Apr 28, 2013
    8
    A fantastic game that has a new take on 4X. The shipyard is interesting and meaningful and the real time elements give the 4X genre a bit of pace.

    The low price and the developer's commitment elevate this to an 8.

    If your looking for something new in the strategy area, look no further!!
  39. May 4, 2013
    10
    Best game since MOO2, Imperium Galaktica 2 or Bird of the Federation. I think in the moment the developer has enormous balancing problems between the diffrent weapons in the game. More different nonhuman races were desirable. For example insectoids or machines...
  40. Dec 23, 2013
    10
    It is truly unbelievable what one man can achieve. The game is addictive right from start, well presented and is a lot of fun to play. There are still a few glitches and some potential for improvement, but Zero is putting amazing effort into this project releasing improvments almost on a daily basis. If you like 4x games, you have to grab this one!
  41. Jul 20, 2013
    0
    Ui needs lots of work, Game is buggy, research tec is boring as hell. The world seems bit dead to me, start was okay, but after that it dropped ball. Its shame that i wasted money on this game, even it was on the sale it was not worth the price.
  42. Jul 26, 2013
    4
    At first I thought it was a Remake of Star Con 3, but after playing it and paying for it id rather play the original star con series any day. Its sad when a remake of a 15 year old game is crappy in story, game play is a dull mash of weapon spray... Dialogue and creative design for the characters and types of aliens is poor, starship customization is probably the best feature of this game but all in all I would rather have my money back than own this game. Expand
  43. Jul 28, 2013
    9
    For a game being designed by a small team, it certainly manages to be great, and while it could use some work it is a great spiritual successor to the masters of orion games. The artwork and races are both quite good, the graphics are nice, and the soundtrack is fitting. It borrows heavily from other 4x strategy games for its gameplay, but manages to stand out despite that. having spent 100 hours playing it i can honestly say that i dont regret buying it at all and hope to see more content added. if you were a fan of master of orion games then you will surely enjoy this game. Expand
  44. May 6, 2013
    9
    I haven't come across all that much in the way of bugs, and while it isn't perfect I'm confident that many of the issues will be fixed soon. Even as is though, I've had a lot of fun and have certainly got value for money out of the game, so I'd happily recommend it.
  45. May 24, 2013
    8
    This game is not the best in the world, but then again, it may be the only recognizable 4x REAL-TIME space game that I haven't seen in the market in a long time. However many people posted negative reviews over the memory leakages or the cost of the game, but in all honesty it is foolish to rate it anything below a 6 or anything above an 8. This game was made by a kickstarter developed by a staff of 1 person, literally 1 person, so it is obvious it was priced at $29 to not only pay back investors, but to also return the cost to the developer.

    In the current form of the game, it is single player playable, but lacks multiplayer. On the good news the Developer has promised to continue patching and updating the game in the future, which grants optimism into expecting multiplayer, but in the current state it does not have multiplayer. The game also has had before patch 1.11b multiple instances of memory leakages in late game and is still be patched because of that reason. Options menu doesn't give many choices... or much at all.
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  46. May 4, 2013
    7
    StarDrive is a 4x space strategy game played out in real time. These kind of games rely heavily on their AI, Ship Combat, Universe Lore, and Random Events to spice up the game. StarDrive understand this and attempts to deliver on this premise.

    AI The AI in StarDrive is both well made and full of horrible flaws. For example, the AI is great at building fleets, attacking and defending
    its worlds, and has a good diplomacy system. You wont find the AI flipping between war and peace randomly in this game. Nor will you find it hiding from a fight. The problems begin to turn up when the player doesn't do what the developer expected. For example, it's a completely valid strategy for the player to build no military what so ever and go straight for the most expensive Titan class of ship... and still win. This comes from the AI not recognizing your extreme weakness in military affairs. If you don't "cheese" the AI it's a fun game. Just be aware it's not brilliant.

    Ship Design StarDrive has some of the best ship customization I've seen in a while. Want to build a ship full of shield generators and layers of armor around one BIG gun? Go for it. Or a ship with minimal shields, no armor, and stacks and stacks of phaser banks on it? Yeah you can do that as well. Designing ships is a lot of fun. Expect to spend quite a bit of time placing each module, determining where to put your power plants (which explode and take out nearby subsystems!), shield generators, weapons, and armor. If customization of your fleet sounds like fun this is your game.

    Ship Combat Ship combat is a largely hands off affair. Your fleet vs Their fleet. Expect to give the general "Attack!" order and then watch your ships fight bravely until one side is eliminated. Watching your ships catch fire as they take damage. Observe as enemy ships shields fail and their weapons start to go offline, is always fun. Their are many different types of weapons that each have their own specific usage. The ship combat is fun.

    Planet Invasion Grab your space marines and land them on the planet.. and just wait for your side or their side to get wiped out. It's a completely hands off approach where you just wait for one side to win. You can also just bombard the enemy population and re-colonize the planet if you so desire.

    Lore & Random Events Both of these are completely missing from the game. Random events DO exist but they never change the outcome of the game. Remember how in GalCiv 2 the Dread Lord could return and kill everyone? Don't expect that here. Also, the lore of the game is sadly lacking. Beyond some very basic single line bits of text nothing is ever explained about "who these people are" or what their motivations are. Also missing is flavor text about the shiny new weapon you've just unlocked.

    Conclusion StarDrive is a pretty good game. If you're a fan of 4x Real Time Strategy then StarDrive is a pretty good game for you. I personally feel that StarDrive should be sold at the $20 mark as while all of it's core mechanics hold up... it's a complete miss on the universal lore and random event packages. As such, StarDrive is a good game a content pack away from a great game. If you're looking for a new RTS game of empire building it's not a bad choice.
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  47. Apr 28, 2013
    5
    What is this games unique selling point? It's ship and fleet editor, far more powerful than any other similar game on the genre at the cost of high complexity, forgivable considering the niche that likes this is the games target audience. But where the let down comes is in the question- How is this unique selling point implemented? how does it reward me for skilled use of it? how does it punish me for poor use of it?

    Respectively the answers are badly, no reward and no or next to no punishment.

    Only total failure at ship design is punished by the game, insufficient powerlack of an engineNo shield etc these tend to leave your ship crippled or easily crippled, partial failure is easily overcome, build a second ship of the same class and outnumber your foes in battle.

    Success in designing a ship that can go toe to toe with three ships gives you the reward of not clicking 2 more times on the build order. Your empires economy rides roughshod over any reward or punishment the design system when it ought to be the other way round, empire management is not this games key feature.

    The ship and fleet design system rates an 8 on its own and I would have no qualms giving that if the system had a payback. The game is desperate for a mode featuring a simulated battle on a tactical level rather than strategic level akin to a Tabletop Warhammer match you and a friend or you against the AI with 1000 point fleets a pre-fight design period then the combat where design skill then ship deployment is rewarded with success.
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  48. Apr 28, 2013
    9
    Played this for almost 7 hours now and I think this Indie game comes closest to the addictive gameplay of Master of Orion 2 as any other 4X game ever did! There are still some rough edges around the interface/gameplay but other than that a new 4X game to play for a long time!
  49. May 5, 2013
    3
    The game has potential, and is quite enjoyable, but I'm giving this a bad rating because the game has been 'released' in an unfinished state. A lot of the issues I thought would be ironed out by 'release' are still in the game, including quests that don't actually work, strange AI that gives up after a while, the game juddering in lategame, and a clunky UI.

    I know it's coded by one guy
    and I'm impressed but you can't just release an unfinished game. Expand
  50. Apr 28, 2013
    5
    This game for the first hour of play, looks smooth and nice, you design ships, they fight, colonize worlds, everything you want. Then once you actually start playing the game you realize how important UI is. There are no good shortcuts to get to different areas. The ship building (and saving design) screen is insane. It makes you want to rip your face off. I want to update my ship with the latest tech and ...argh nevermind I don't want to play the game anymore.... I want to all all my planets and make sure they are about to be attacks, oh that's really hard too.. just so much going on... oh wait look all my production has been being dumped into space and wasted.
    The ship combat is great to watch and fun, but the game won't let you watch it because if you stick around to watch a fleet combat, your entire empire will crumble around you. (one turn should be a lot longer than 5 seconds, as fleet combats don't matter when you can build 6 fleets of the same size over again by the time your first fleet combat has finished. (and that's just from your homeworld, wait til you try and manage an empire?
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  51. Apr 29, 2013
    7
    This game is thoroughly mediocre with one really great aspect. All technical issues aside it feels lacking in content. Just open up the game creation options menu and you will be greeted by a complete lack of customizability that you normally find in a 4X game The research tree does not have much depth. There are not a very large number of ship classes. The weapons, equipment and planetary upgrades are adequate but not very interesting .

    StarDrive is mostly patterned after MOO2. With Galaxy sizes fairly small compared to a game like Star Ruler or Space Empires. Played at normal 1x speed it is real time but paced very very slowly. Many people will end up increasing game speed.

    Again it is adequate if not great in all areas except one. That is shipbuilding. Shipbuilding is one of the greatest strengths of StarDrive. No you don't have cosmetic control like Galcriv where you can build your ship out of 3D parts. But you do have a great deal of control over the actual abilities of the ship. The locations, facings and firing arcs of everything you place actually matters and is modeled in in-game combat.

    I'm not sure StarDrive is worth $25-30. I would say grab it in the bargain bin unless you are a huge fan of the genre. Hopefully mods can address the lack of content.
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  52. Apr 26, 2013
    10
    I would recommend Stardrive to people who are new to the genre because the empire management is not too complicated and many areas can be automated.

    And for 4X veterans there is plenty of depth still, and turning off the automation will allow you to optimize your worlds and your trade routes even more.

    The empire management system will be very familiar to people who have played GCII
    and its not hard to grasp.

    The research tree is not as big as those in other 4X games, BUT every tech is meaningful and important and effects the game strongly, it is well thought out and exciting.

    Artifacts are fun, similar in many ways to anomalies etc in other 4X games, but they are more engaging because you will have to explore worlds to find them and sometimes fight monster, but once you have them they give you a variety of unique bonuses and treasures, even if your lucky alien ships and technology.

    The Spy system is good, it is both simple and powerful.

    Now onto the really GREAT parts of the game...

    1. Alien races and diplomacy
    Absolutely amazing, as good as MoOII, the races are interesting have their own character, and way of speaking, you will get to know them and get to like them or hate them, and even go on crusades to destroy them and vaporize their worlds and grind them to dus.. Ahem and want to make friends with them.

    2. Trading
    This might seem an odd one to include as a great feature, but I love the fact you can customise and build every freighter individually, you can automate this but its fun to design your own "Q" ship, or or a faster armoured freighter that needs to take food urgently to a blockaded world.
    And every freight ship will remove goods from one planet and will place them at another planet when it arrives, and freighters are responsible for transporting colonists too.

    3. Ship design
    This is simply the best ship design system I've ever seen, some people have said they don't want to spend hours here designing ships, thats fine the default designs are reasonable, and if you want better its very quick simple to adjust current designs to your preference.
    However I have easily spent the majority of my game time designing the ships because its just fun.
    There are many different things you have to balance to get a great design, from mas to thrust and power generation and armour and shielding and ammo storage and weapons and warp speed etc etc, but best of all WHERE you place you components has a massive impact on how the ship performs.
    Also the AI will use YOUR designs against you, if you win your first game, play as a different race next time and you will be facing some of your own ships.

    4. Combat
    Combat is brilliant! if you want an idea download "Battleships Forever" a free 2D space combat game that has a lot of similarities to Stardrive combat, one difference though is that the ships here are vastly more detailed and complex, but the combat is just as fun, more so when its your designs and you see them failing or succeeding. overall strategy is vital too, outmaneuvering the enemy makes a big difference and if your left with just one ship against hopeless odds, you can always take control of your last ship directly and give it a last stand to be proud of, even when your ship dies it can do some damage!

    5. Mods and the future
    This game was designed to be modded, and even now that are many great mods for it, with even more on the way, you name it is coming.. even Blake Seven !
    And if you fancy having a go yourself its very straight forward to do and there are many tutorials and tools already available.
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  53. Apr 26, 2013
    10
    I've been keeping my eye on this game for very long time. Reading about it, everything sounded too good to be true, so when I started the game for the 1st time I had very big expectations. Despite my expectations the game managed to surprise me very pleasantly. I've been longing for this type of game for years (endless space and galciv and sins and sots aren't exactly my cup of tea) and I'm very excited it has arrived. Not only that but the game looks graphically stunning.
    All of my friends who saw me playing it, bought it the next day.

    A perfect heir to the crown of Master of Orion.
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  54. Apr 26, 2013
    9
    Awesome! This game is awesome!

    I played the beta for ~100h and if there is still some minors bugs, in its actual state the game is good, very good! The most annoying problem for now is the frame rate problem in endgame, but the dev are aware and solving the issue (if not already solved).

    Awesome game!
  55. Apr 26, 2013
    10
    Amazing game. Everything you want in an empire builder. While the economic and diplomatic elements aren't as deep as say gal civ or civ5, you still have control over what kind of empire you want to create. Managing colonies is simple and easy, letting you focus on the RTS elements like fleet building and space battles. The only gripe I have with this game is that in the later stages the AI doesn't come close to competing with any decent player but im sure zero will tweak this in the future Expand
  56. May 9, 2013
    3
    This game just doesn't work. It tries to marry RTS with 4X aspects, and comes off as too complicated in RTS micromanaging aspects, and yet too simple to enjoy the 4X aspects due to the need for a short tech tree and reliance on AI control in order to maintain output. Reminds me of MOO3, in how it tries to do something new, but that something just doesn't work.
  57. May 10, 2013
    8
    There's a problem with StarDrive it's so damn good, but it's just a little bit off finished; not quite polished and user-friendly. This does not stop me giving it a hearty 9/10; it could well be a 10/10 if all the bugs and UI gripes and gameplay quirks are ironed out. The important thing also is that I believe they WILL be ironed out as the developer is still there, talking directly with individual

    What makes this game special then? A few things spring to mind. The level of player-control of fleets and ships is truly magnificent; to the point where the ship designing and combat is a game within the game itself.

    The ship designing isn't just like GalCiv where you put on x modules and that gives you a set of numerical attack and defence ratings for some horrific rock-paper-scissors system. No; the ship design is what-you-see-is-what-you-get. The design of your ships is simulated in real-time in front of you when you see the screenshots of people fitting shields and weapons to a ship hull, those weapon types and locations are actually there in the 3D game firing, and damage to ships is entirely locational and interactive a salvo of torpedoes to unshielded engines will leave you dead in the water; a shot punching through to a reactor will detonate it, potentially causing a chain reaction if you haven't got internal bulkheads to dampen the blast. If you want to survive a salvo of anti-frigate missiles, you'll need point defences, and their arcs of fire will need to be carefully aligned so that you have proper coverage. Basically, the ship design isn't just a set of auto-combat numbers; it's an entirely real, fully-simulated system.

    The implementation of structures platforms and stations; orbital and deep space; for numerous different purposes is brilliant, and uses the same ship designer. The Economy is relatively simple, but functional and non-intrusive; the player doesn't regularly have to worry about going and tweaking things constantly. It has room for future expansion; but the best thing is that we know this is already on the drawing board for the Devs, and the game is entirely open to modding.

    And that's another important point modding isn't only allowed; modding isn't only supported; modding is actively *encouraged*. The lead developer himself frequently has stepped into the modding boards to lend support to individual modders having problems, and the game itself includes a mod manager and is easily accessible. There are areas that are not yet moddable; but this is not by design, and they are being opened up in future.

    There are bad aspects, especially unpolished bits...

    The UI is good in some areas (with some excellent automation options), but awful in others (the inability to mass-control behaviours or orders on grouped ships such as scrapping), and can be generally a bit painful and unrefined, such as with mis-aligned text occasionally depending on the resolution the game is run at. It does need a lot of love and better user-friendliness for getting around the game.

    There are still many little bugs and lack of options that were raised in beta and not yet fixed or implemented; proper game settings, certain interface issues, some gameplay quirks that have been known about for a while. And whilst these bugs are being fixed, certain *needed* features for a released game are being relegated to second place whilst bug-fixing occurs.

    The game feels like it was released early; like it's still a beta, so I can't honestly give what is otherwise a brilliant game a 10. The reason it keeps a 9 is because of the confidence I have in the developers to address not only its deficiencies, but also to support and expand the game over time; they seem genuinely committed to not only providing fixes for existing issues, but continuing to develop the game.
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  58. May 20, 2013
    7
    This Game clearly needs some work but its still fun, and still worth getting. Reviewers like Polygon and ign (who gave simcity a 95) are Morons and clearly have not played the game or are not getting payed for good reviews.
    i.imgur.com/1kV469G.gif
  59. Dec 9, 2013
    4
    This game had potential but the end game gets boring and there must be some memory problems because my new laptop can hardly run it near the end of the game. This game should be listed as an early release. However, it appears the developer abandoned it after promising for months to keep working on the game.
  60. Apr 26, 2013
    5
    This game has all the micromanaging of a classic 4x game, but none of the depth. I felt like the authors mainly wanted to make a starship combat simulator and just happened to put it in a 4x wrapper in order to try and sell it. The ship building is pretty fleshed out. It reminds me a lot of galactic civ II in that half the game seems to be about building ships with your new tech, not going out and stomping heads. Everything else is just weak. If it were a $10-15 game it would be forgivable, but they're asking $30 for it. Expand
  61. Apr 27, 2013
    7
    This game is a bit of a mixed bag but I'd defiantly say I got my moneys worth on the purchase. I've enjoyed every minute I've played the game and I've played for about 100 hours so far so at this point I payed about 25 cents per hour of game play, which is pretty good for me these days. However, the game is far from perfect and is certainly incomplete. Usually I would never give 7/10 to a game that is incomplete but honestly, the core features of the game are so enjoyable and are enough to save the game. If the developer, which from what I can tell is basically one guy, keeps all the promises he has made about future support for the game then I will have to revisit this review and bump up the score.

    If you are a fan of the 4x space genre and enjoyed games like Master of Orion, Sword of the Stars and Galactic Civilizations then this game is right up your alley. I've found the ship design aspect of the game to be absolutely superb. It takes a little while to figure out how to put together a good ship but it's such a rewarding experience that it all felt well worth it. Seeing the improvement from my early more flawed designs to my later more efficient and effective designs was a very gratifying experience. I was also pleasantly surprised to see the computer utilize some of my ship and fleet designs as well. If you make sure to delete your early screw up designs and keep your save file filled with good designs you will get to experience an added level of challenge to the game when you come up against your own intelligence by facing your own designs in combat.

    The game's macro level colony and economy management is simple to understand once it is explained to you. Unfortunately unless you look up the specifics you are going to have to learn by trial and error. The game only has four main resources to care about production, credits, food and science. Your credit income which is used for espionage and rushing production is completely based on taxes which mainly come from production so those two resources are very closely linked. Production, science and food are all managed by sliders and are direct trade offs, in that the more you focus on one the less you will have of the others. I think the system works and is understandable once you figure it out. I've never found micromanaging resources to be very fun and this game made it fairly easy so I think this part of the game is great.

    Combat is pretty enjoyable in this game. It's really where you get to see your ship designs shine. The ships are designed with blocks on them that you place modules on. Each module has hit points and can be hit by enemy fire. If the module runs out of hit points it explodes. Fairly simple in concept but this adds so much to the design aspect of the game. There are lots of things to think about when balancing a ship for combat, for instance ammo storage, fire power, speed and maneuverability, warp speed, armor, shields, energy storage, ect... A huge part design will be placing your power reactors because when they blow they take a fair portion of your ship with them. Placing them where they are protected and can still provide power to the ship is a challenging and fun.

    The game is unfortunately incomplete. Some races don't have as many hull designs as they should and some of the scripted events are unfinished. At it's core everything you need for an enjoyable experience is there but a lot of finishing touches and polish isn't there. The game definitely seems like it could use more variety in terms of events as at the moment there are really only two complete ones and several incomplete ones.

    Summary

    Goods
    Solid 4x experience at the core of this game
    Ship design is excellent
    Combat is fun to watch
    Macro management of planets is understandable and simple yet important
    Features AI to takeover tasks you'd rather not handle for things like scouting, managing freighters or even colonizing planets (especially good while you are learning as it lets you tackle these concepts when you are ready rather than all at once)
    Unique and customizable races
    This game is really what you make of it
    Built in Mod support The developer has made a lot of promises about this. The mods I've tried so far are basic but do change things up a noticeably.

    Bads
    Incomplete The game still needs some things to be added and a fair amount of polish
    Learning curve This game has no instructions or tutorial so you have to learn on your own or by watching others (plenty of youtube videos out there.). Makes it a very bad starting game for those new to the genre.
    Gets tedious toward the end You'll win the war long before you finish conquering an enemy race. Would be nice if you could just force them to surrender after you destroyed all their ships and take their capital and good planets.
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  62. Apr 29, 2013
    7
    This is the best 4x game since Master of Orion II. That being said, Moo2 still sits upon the throne.

    StarDrive is a worthy heir. Obviously a labor of love, this indie gem was developed by a small crew with very little money behind them, and the result is a perfectly gorgeous 4x game. It feels like this is what master of Orion 3 was trying to be.

    The RTS aspect is engaging, but you
    can also pause to fine-tune your build queues. The universe is an exciting place to explore you can find artifacts that permanently improve your racial abilities, and even make first-contact with an industrial-level civilization. Like any good 4x game, a variety of strategies will lead you to victory. The artwork is gorgeous.

    One thing I appreciate about the design is that the game remains challenging throughout. As your empire grows and absorbs other empires, alien races do the same, usually remaining at roughly the same size as yours. Also, in MOO2, at a certain level of technology, a single player designed ship could easily massacre 10 computer-designed ships of the same tech level. Not so in StarDrive.

    The game is deeply engaging, and once you've mastered the controls (which, by the way, the game doesn't help you with. They are not intuitive.) it's immensely fun to play.

    In some ways, it might be easiest to describe where the game falls short:

    -The User Interface, as other reviewers have noted, can feel desperately clunky at times. It seems the designers could've taken a few cues from RTS games that get it right. The most obvious example would be using Starcraft's "ctrl-click" to select all ships of one type in the vicinity.

    Another example, you can tell a freighter to "Trade Production" meaning it will collect production from planets you told to export, and deliver it to planets you've told to import. But there doesn't seem to be a way to tell the the ship to "go to earth, pick up 15 production, and deliver it to Venus." If the AI decides it would rather take the production to another "importing" planet 15 light years away, there doesn't seem to be a way to tell it otherwise.

    -Diplomacy is simultaneously better and worse than other 4x's. Better because you have the option of folding a friendly empire into a federation with your own. This makes it feel like your relationship may be going somewhere, as opposed to forestalling the inevitable war. Worse, because it seems that a lot of fairly basic diplomacy options have been overlooked. (Really? I can't trade energy credits with another empire?)

    -Lovers of Master of Orion will have to adjust to allowing large amounts of automation to keep their empire going. The universe is expansive, and you simply can't keep track of thousands of ships and hundreds of colonies in the end game.

    -The graphics are missing some BASIC, KEY options. How about some lower-polygon models? reduced effects? Thank goodness my video card allows me to deactivate anti-aliasing for the application, because you sure can't do it in-game. I bought this laptop 2 months ago, and its fairly high-powered. I run Starcraft with max video options, Planetside 2 with medium. Until I figured out how to adjust the display through my video card, this game was starting to look like a slideshow.

    -The tech tree is not very deep. For instance, no matter how much you research, once you've put lasers and shields on your fighter craft, they will never improve for the rest of the game, because there are no other energy weapons, engines, or shields small enough to fit on them. In fact, often times it seems like you've got all this room to load cool devices on your brand new ship hull, but not a lot of cool devices to fill up all that space with...

    All in all, a very worthy effort. I'm glad I purchased it, and I will spend many, many hours on this one. I'm also glad I got it at a discount, because I feel like it comes up a little bit short of true greatness. Unless they spend a little more time fixing these issues, in 10 years, people will still be comparing 4x games to MOO2, not this one.
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  63. Sep 27, 2013
    5
    Most likely abandonware. The developer announced that he is done with this game in its (unfinished) state.
    To quote him (Zero) I think StarDrive vanilla is a fine game. I'm happy with it. I'll be patching it here and there as my whims take me. If you feel cheated by StarDrive, kindly scroll up to the upper right portion of your browser screen and click the "Logout" button. I don't want
    to hear it."
    So promised features are missing and most likely wont be delivered.
    However even without being completely finished, the game is not BAD.
    If you just need your small 4x fix you get nicely done graphics, good music and some quite enjoyable game mechanics.
    If you can bear with the existing memory leak and lag in late game and dont care about it not being feature complete you might even have a great time.
    ...and then you might consider to re buy the game in its new incarnation, it has been announced it will be basically redone on a new engine (full price for everyone). Yay?
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  64. Apr 27, 2013
    7
    First, the bad: StarDrive is a good game, but it was not ready for launch day. In my opinion it should have been delayed another few weeks. Echoing the other comments I see here, the biggest issue right now is the game instability and the late game slow down/lag. This alone is a reason to keep it in beta. I understand games these days are fluid with the ability to patch and update on the fly, however there is a certain standard of stability and reliability I think is expected of an officially launched title, and this game does not meet that criteria.

    The second troubling issue is that while the mechanics are sound, the game itself lacks depth. The research trees need to be broadened, diplomacy needs to be deeper, and there needs to be more weapons/ship components. It reminds me a lot of a game called Star Ruler, which was fun but needed some additional polish which in time was added both by Mods and the developers themselves.

    That all being said, the developer has shown to be an extremely dedicated and motivated individual, and I have no doubt in my mind that these things WILL be added, in time.

    The game itself has excellent core content, the concepts are well designed, economy makes sense, and combat is fantastic. Modding is built in right from the beginning, and multi-player is on the horizon. If anything, this game has some great potential. I hope it does not become another Star Ruler, where it was not financially viable to create another expansion/continue updating.
    If I had to do it all over again, I would still buy this game again today.
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  65. Aug 10, 2013
    4
    This game had potential. I really do wish it worked out as it is so beautiful; but alas the game is so unintuitive and riddled with bugs that I regret wasting my money on it. When compared to a similar title, such as distant worlds it just doesn't hold up.
  66. 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...
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  67. 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.
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  68. Apr 27, 2013
    10
    It's impossible to please everybody when making a game, but I am rather shocked that 6 people find the game to be so poor? I started playing StarDrive while it was in beta and it has been a lot of fun playing this game and watching it grow to become what i consider to be one of the best space strategy games of all time. I can't really think of any game which has been without its share of problems and yes there are problems with StarDrive which need to be sorted out and these will be fixed soon; the problems are fixed on almost a daily basis and at this stage the problems are minor and pose no real problems. What I like the most is that players are able to come forward on the forum to voice their ideas to make improvements and in turn some ideas are taken to make these improvements. It's nice to know that players have a voice and are able to make a difference and that there is full support to come out with patches often and not to simply abandon the game after release like so many other games have been.

    Bottom line, is if you enjoy strategy gaming, then this game is well worth the money as you will be getting a great game and even if you must wait for the multiplayer option, then so be it as it will be well worth the wait. Don't dismiss this game on a few negative reviews and if in doubt, then at least look on Youtube for a review of the gameplay so that you will have a better idea of just what you will be getting.

    Enjoy
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  69. Apr 27, 2013
    9
    Great 4X. Spent 6 hours straight on it without even knowing it. This is the most enjoyable 4X I've played in a very long time. There's a bit of a learning curve but once you get that, it's uber. Game has a good community and support.

    For me, it's everything I want in a 4X game and there are lots of lazers to go pewpew!
  70. Apr 27, 2013
    8
    Probably the most fun 4x game I've ever played. It currently has it's share of bugs and requires a ton of polish. However I've had more fun with this unfinished product then I did with Sins of a Solar Empire Rebellion, Endless space, and Sword of the stars(the first sots, I don't like the second) combined. The ship building as good if not better then Sots, the empire management and combat is better then Sins, and the planet/star system development is better then Endless space. Add on top of that the optional auto managing systems which make even me, the single worst macro player ever, able to fight on five fronts with nine different fleets and you have a great game. I just can't wait for future updates. Expand
  71. Apr 27, 2013
    2
    I had to create a profile so I could review this game amidst the obvious rating bombing this game is getting for positive reviews it doesnt deserve.

    The game suffers from FAR too much micromangagement, bad user interface to make it happen, bad pacing, and the problem of attempting a realistic space sim but losing playability in the process.

    I have played all the classics, I am the
    target audience, and I found this game terrible. For reference I have completed games of Space empires, and that is about as hardcore as it gets for 4x games. One of the biggest problems of this game is the scale, and the scroll speed, the fact you constantly have to bounce between system and 'galaxy' view but at a slow rate. To explain, consider a game like master of orion, it took place in a galaxy view, you saw all your stars, and it was clear, you could click on a star and it went INSTANTLY to system view, you saw planets, and could click on it. This game is nightmarish, it it almost a literal size ration of a system to a small section of a galaxy, meaning you have to zoom out...zoom out...oh theres one planet...zoom out...30 seconds later you FINALLY can see the stars. It is literally this bad.

    I understand the game was going for this cool thing where your ships are flying around the system from different sides, dropping in from warp...but it is just so hard to control meaningfully. Systems are HUGE and ships are nearly life size...meaning invisible. No big icons at all. Multiple times I clicked on the ships icon and could not find my ship despite being in the middle of the screen. The stars that are part of the background are not obviously different from system stars, so it was annoying trying to find actual systems.

    So beyond the massive scaling problem (and terrible scroll speed) the pacing is bad. It is real time, but basically the only way to really play is a 'turn based' style of pausing, issuing orders, playing at 4x speed until new orders...pause...repeat. What I hate is how slow your ships move in a system, again it was as if he was going for a realistic sim, at the heavy cost of gameplay.

    The user interface for ships and colonies is terrible. You can have a list of colonies (good) but not actually click on them to go to them (very bad) I mean how obvious of a feature was this to include? Every space game I've played from the 90s on let you click from a list to actually GO TO the planet.

    Last...ship design. It is not good. You have a whole bunch of squares, and you throw stuff in it (imagine space empires if you played it) but the problem is you have a LOT of stuff to throw in, and very little difference. You have a gun that does 15 damage and cost 500 or a gun that does 14 damage and cost 460 and does the exact same effect, woah such depth. You have the annoyance of placing power plants and then connecting wiring to all your stuff. If I wanted to be WIRING my ships I would have gone into engineering. There is no auto complete, and whats worse is there are certain areas that you cant place stuff in. Ship design in normally fun, or at least not a chore, it is very very annoying in this game. There is not a good info screen or anything either to decide if your ship is even good or has good stats.

    In closing there are some things that need improving like scroll speed, but that is a little thing that could get patched, but real things like the far too complex ship design, VERY bad pacing, very bad scaling of ships to systems to stars, and generally not fun because it isnt clear what is even happening makes this a game not recommendable, and this is from someone thats played a lot of them.
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  72. Apr 29, 2013
    8
    Very deep game with descent difficulty though I imagine as I improve the game will fall onto the easy side of things. I'm really looking forward to MP as the possibilities there are amazing.

    Its got a somewhat steep learning curve and it does require a bit of micromanagement so be prepared for that. But managing everything is part of the fun. If you just want a game you can jump into
    and start blowing things up its probably not for you.

    If you have a mind for strategy and want to wrap your brain around matches that take days to finish then its more up your alley.
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  73. May 24, 2013
    7
    I have played every single Space game for pc and I have to say i was impressed with Star-drive, the ability to "create" custom ships and customize which direction they fire is a well thought out idea BUT.... the downside to this is they are made it look like Mine-Craft in the creation area and haven't really made it easy to use.

    The battles are amazing BUT it lags up if the battles get
    to big... sometimes I can even finish a game because there is to much going on (reason I registered here to review this)

    I gave this game a 7, it isn't worthy of an 8 because of the bugs and lack of features BUT it does have allot of potential with an active hardworking dev at the helm..
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  74. Dec 20, 2013
    4
    This is a game that I really wanted to be good. It has a lot of good features but the bugs make it almost impossible to enjoy. The game lag gets so bad towards end game it becomes unplayable. Game ending crashing if battles get to big. This is not a finished product.
  75. Oct 11, 2013
    0
    Game is incomplete, and the developer has said he's spending most of his time porting the game over to a new project based on the game that buyers of this one would have to pay again for. DO NOT BUY. It's a sad case of an indie developer taking the money, calling the game "complete" and running.
  76. Sep 10, 2013
    9
    For years I've been waiting for something to come out that really feels and plays like MOO2 and so far this has been that game. After several games, I've got about 142 hours logged and I'm still looking forward to new content, mods, etc. for it.

    Designing your own ships, colonizing new solar systems, and the real time space combat is awesome. The colony micro-management is barely even
    existent with the governor AI's, it's actually easier to manage a space empire than it is in MOO2, and definitely easier than other similar 4X space games. The tech tree is a little more limited than I would like, but much better than other similar games, with creative sci-fi technology and cool weapons and systems to load up your ship with.

    I'm crossing my fingers that the modding community and the developer keeps pushing out content for Stardrive, it really is the coolest 4X game I've played thus far, beating out Endless Space (also quite good), Sword of the Stars, Galactic Civ 1 & 2, and Sins of a Solar Empire. If you loved Masters of Orion 2, definitely give this a try.
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  77. Dec 23, 2013
    0
    Do yourself a favor and stay far far away from this pile of garbage. Please understand me when I say I am absolutely not the type to give games a zero score out of spite. In this case, however, StarDrive deserves nothing more. The developer is known to have blatantly abandoned development before actually completing the game (but not before making obscene amounts of money from early adopters who made the mistake of expecting to one day have a completed game). What little the developer has said on the matter seems to suggest that the issue is general incompetence in terms of game-design resources. In other words, he's hit some brick walls in the development process and doesn't know how to progress beyond them. Many customers who paid full price were lured in with various promises from the developer of multiplayer and a bunch of other features which were dropped. Even that wouldn't necessarily be a show-stopper if the game could actually be played from start to finish under most circumstances. As things stand now, if the "out of memory" errors don't get you, the glaring holes in crucial game-play elements will. What the developer has done in this case is nothing short of completely unscrupulous.

    Being as he abandoned StarDrive, you may be glad to know that he's now decided to call StarDrive "StarDrive Vanilla" whilst he develops a remake on an alternate engine. He has stated that the snubbed adopters of so-called "StarDrive Vanilla" are welcome to purchase the remake (at full price of course barf).

    Actually, instead of simply avoiding StarDrive, you might want to also avoid any titles produced by ZeroSum Games and Iceberg Interactive. The fiasco that is StarDrive has revealed that both the developer and publisher are not at all concerned with the sentiment inferred by this review, which is ***EXTREMELY*** wide-spread, I assure you (check the Steam forums for this game if Zero hasn't deleted the relevant posts, that is).

    Only consider purchasing this most-of-a-game if you have no intention of ever seeing it in a completed state. Also, be prepared to encounter game-killing bugs, a complete and utter lack of any gameplay elements which go even slightly beyond the absolute bare-minimum, and a developer who not only openly declares himself "unconcerned" with customers' (quite valid) problems, but actually goes out of his way to publicly censor or scorn anyone who dares bring any such things up.

    ***IMPORTANT***
    Do not believe the people making recent posts about how the game is being "updated on a daily basis" or anyone who says it's being worked on at all. This has been discussed to death on the Steam & official forums... The game has been abandoned by the developer. Anyone saying otherwise is LYING. Case in point, "ProfessionalGuy". He posted this very day, talking about how the game is constantly being improved & updated "almost on a daily basis". This is simply not true. There has not been any meaningful update in... I can't even remember when the last *REAL* update was made/distributed.

    I didn't believe it until now, but there were rumors about how supposedly fake posters were going around submitting favorable reviews for this game on various rating sites... Well now I believe this to be 100% true, because I can think of no reason which adequately explains ProfessionalGuy's review (specifically the score of 10 and the statement that the game's development is active and not in fact abandoned). It's not just him either. There are many such review all over the internet which are flat-out lies. Don't believe it. Do not give ZeroSum Games or Iceberg Interactive any more money.
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  78. Apr 30, 2013
    10
    Very awesome 4x space action game!

    If you like Master of Orion, Galactic Civilizations, Endless Space, etc. pick this bad boy up asap.
    Some bugs on launch day, but quickly being patched out by the devs. Fantastically fun game play.

    Samurai space bears ftw o_O!
  79. 101
    Apr 27, 2013
    9
    An really satisfactory 4x game. Tho it still has a few bug (just give it few weeks). it is impressive that this game is created by one guy.
    All in all is a wonderful 4x experience
  80. Apr 26, 2013
    9
    I've enjoyed the game a lot during the beta phase with all the bugs and everything. The final release version is up in about 2 hours according to Steam, so I'm still playing with beta 1.70A. If you loved Master of Orion or any game like that, this one is for you. I don't know if I believe one guy made this game, it has way too much detail for me to buy this is a one man operation.

    As
    for Youngblood-52, here we have yet another person, blowing off a game because of beta issues. It's called beta for a reason, so people in beta can try to get rid of the bugs. And I don't know what beta version he was playing with but nearly everything he mentions I personally did not experience with the last beta version.

    Is the game perfect? Show me a perfect game and I'll show you a game that's in someones fantasy world and not this world. And I forgot, you can mod the hell out of this game, it's part of the design. I don't know anything about modding, but I can't wait for someone to do a Babylon 5 mod or Star Trek mod. If this is the work of one man, I bow before his dedication because this would have to be a crazy project for just one man to pull off.
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  81. Apr 26, 2013
    10
    TL;DR version first! This is easily the best 4x space game in years. It's not the most perfect 4x space game ever, yet, but by far the most pure fun. I could go on, and on, but to try and cut down what's good about it, I'll stick to the 4 standout parts. 1. It remembers when 4x's were FUN Do you remember when 4x games bothered with things like "fun", "charm" or "wit"? When you could assume that by "4x" they would try to make each of those "X"s was it's own fun thing to do rather than some set of chores? When there was any concept of "gameplay" beyond managing unending tedious lists of supplies, or fighting to understand some abstracted-far-too-far funsucking interpretation of space combat?

    OK, well, Stardrive remembers what 4x games used to be like. It remembers Star Control 2, it remembers Master of Orion 2, it remembers Escape Velocity. Not simply that it's a game like them, in the same genre, but something like they were like. It's some relic from a time when people made strategy games that were any fun at all, only with gigantic 3d spaceships firing dozens upon dozens of multibarrel chainguns, torpedos and Freespace 2 style beams at each other in 3d, rather than little sprites. It even recalls a time when it might have been considered fun if the player could aim and shoot something occasionally! Everything you build can be controlled, either as a lone wolf, a squad or with literally every ship you have maintaining formation with you.

    2. Personality -

    Easily the best and most inventive collection of frenemy races in a 4x game since Alpha Centauri. Every race gets assigned Civ4/5 style behavioural traits per-game on top of their race characteristics. Every one can be interrogated about the other, and have a dozen or so responses to questions and proposals based on how they feel and how things have historically gone down. They're also absolutely beautiful to look at, and their animated "portraits" ooze personality. It's a 4x game where someone would bother to write lines and lines of detailed, in-character flavour text: how much of a throwback is that? I know right?! But it adds so much and it's so great they did it.

    3. Ship building and COMBAT -

    This part is awesome. It's not the usual mess of, "oh, I upgraded my tech to lasers 4, so now I'll put 3 laser 4s on rather than 5 laser 3s", etc, etc, zzz, zzz. Nothing like that. Combat is realtime pausable and RTS-like, with configurable AI formations, and configurable behaviours down to a point where you can specify what any one ship in a fleet of hundreds should be doing on 6 different behaviour sliders. Ship design is an epic balancing act, every component has a different physical size in the ship, power draw, health, facing, range, etc. Loads of different and specific weapon types too: ion guns to drain power from unshielded ships (and it's not that ships are "shielded" or not individual shields can be knocked out and you can zap anything exposed!). Chainguns. Huge long lance torpedos. Point defence guns. EMP lasers. Boarding parties on shuttles and counter-boarding barracks. Ships that have onboard factories to make loads of little escort combat ships. There's just so much sheer STUFF, and the Lego-like ship builder is very easy to use. The game hits this part so far out of the park it's not funny. And of course you actually get to fly anything you build around, and blow stuff up with it. Simply awesome, awesome, awesome.

    4. Developer "gets it" -

    This guy has a lot of the right answers to things modding? "of course you can mod it, I made it pitifully easy and everything sits in xml". Or "I saw you guys wanted feature X this morning so I spent the afternoon putting it in the game". In the couple of weeks I've had the beta, performance and stability has massively increased from where it was to begin with, and the dude was throwing out multiple updates per day. So, so good to see a developer care whether you are enjoying the game, let alone enough to do something about it immediately!

    I mentioned it's not the perfect game, and it's unfortunately true that it could really use a large rebalance and annoyance-cleanup in things like the UI, AI, and other elements. It's not showstoppingly horrible by any means, or some new SOTS2/Pegasus style disaster. But, fact is, when you have a lot of elements of the game that are outstanding, it really makes the few parts that are ordinary look a lot worse.

    All up though I played the crashiest, worst performing, inexplicably weird version of the game, for a couple of weeks, and spend around 90 hours on it. For the most part, having an absolute blast. When the core game is actually fun to play, the other stuff fades into the background. Even in mutant beta form this has been one of the best games I've played all year.
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  82. Apr 26, 2013
    8
    Great game. Have spent a considerable amount of time playing it over the last few weeks. The game has a few bugs but the Dev releases patches almost daily. The game takes the best parts of similar games from this genre and meshes them together. It allows for modding and has many available on the forums.

    Game has a lot of potential but it is somewhat incomplete. Looking forward to the
    content in future updates. Definitely worth the $30 price on steam. Expand
  83. Apr 26, 2013
    8
    So I got this game on a whim because a preview on IGN, and I love it. Now with that said it is not perfect. The game has alot of really interesting ideas behind it, for example the ship creation is just plain fun you no longer have to worry about another race heaving better ships then you. you can load pre-designed ship and customize them how ever you want, or start one from nothing. but it's not perfect angling firing arc's is a pain, and acccidently removing stuff while trying to move the ship is all kinds of frustrating. and that's how I would explain this game to anyone "Fun but not perfect" The Dev is really active on the forums and responds to bugs and request alike and that was a big plus for me.

    In short, If you love 4X games and you are looking for a new one there is alot of fun to be had with StarDrive. but this is not a game for someone who is looking to try 4X out.
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  84. Apr 26, 2013
    8
    This game is a lot of fun, regardless of any problems it may have. A few weeks ago, the rumors about performance issues were actually true, but i still managed to sink 30 hours into the game and had fun every minute of it despite them. But that was a few weeks ago, the developer has since put a lot of time into ironing out those issues (where performance would dip drastically once you got 4-5 hours into a game with lots of ships on the screen) and it shows.

    Now that we have that behind us, let's talk about the actual game. It's your basic 4x game setup. You start in your home planet, research technology to improve your agricultural and industrial capabilities, and eventually reach out to colonize a new world. Worlds are rated on three aspects, how many people they can support, how much food per person they can produce, and how much production per person they can produce. You need food to feed people and you need people to produce starships, buildings, research for new technology, and more food.

    At the start of the game your options are limited. You might be fielding some junky, tiny armored fighters and not even be able to kill off some pirates that will threaten your empire unless you pay them off. But soon enough, you will find yourself terraforming barren worlds and building starships with a dozen laser beam batteries or maybe missiles or railguns or energy cannons depending on what route of research you have taken), hangars to launch fighters, high tech armor, and shields.

    Ship building and combat is where the game truly shines. It's similar to Gratuitous Space battles in some ways. Incoming projectiles from enemies will hit precise spots of your ship. You need to have shields and armor protecting your power reactors because they may explode catastrophically if destroyed. You also need power from those reactors for all the weapons on your ship so you will have to run power cables to more remote parts of your ship. You can choose between different types of weapons, armor, engines, power sources, etc. You choose to have a fleet of ships that are very quick but lightly armored, behemoths that take forever to get anywhere but can take a beating, glass cannon ships armed with a million guns but barely any protection, or a mix between anything you want because you get to design these ships literally piece by piece.

    The only weaknesses to the actual game mechanics are that diplomacy options are functional but a little limited. You also start to fly through tech trees rapidly once you reach the late game because you may have a dozen or more worlds all researching. If this was a stagnant, done game, I would score it a bit lower. However, the game is very much a "living" product in that the developer is not going to just drop it and start working on a sequel like it's an installment of Call of Duty, the same way Minecraft is a completely different game than it was when it was first "released". There are also modding tools that the developer has encouraged people to use and quite a few mods already to add more research, guns, and ships.

    Overall, this game is really a bundle of fun. It has some problems in that there could be more weapon or research options, however the developer has not put the game away and there are ample modding tools to add on to it. The game is great as it is and only stands to be improved later on.
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  85. Apr 26, 2013
    9
    After playing the beta for a good bit now I can say that this game is very worth the money. The dev is constantly working to fix any grievances that users have, and the game has stolen dozens of hours of my time.

    On the downside, there are still many bugs that can occur and there can be some performance issues, though they are mainly solved.
  86. Apr 26, 2013
    7
    This game is awesome. This game will also be much more awesome once it is Ironed out and more feature complete.

    The one man dev team in Zero is very good and talented, but couldn't deliver a finished product in time for release. Even then the what has been completed shows how much passion went into this game, and even at this form it is a must buy.

    Aside from a few crashes and bugs,
    the worst thing in this game is the late game slowdown, that happens when the galaxy is fully populated with a couple thousand fighters.

    The good things are the Races, which are pretty funny. The Shipyard, that lets you build your own ships, which is awesome. And the freedom to manage your colonies and your fleets.

    It needs a few upgrades but the dedication of the dev is impressive, and gives safety that issues will be ironed out.
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  87. 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! Expand
  88. Apr 26, 2013
    9
    Awesome Space RTS game with a lot of (working!) great ideas and concepts. It's the first game since SoasE, which fascinated me enough, to play it more than 80 hours. But it has to be mentioned, that Stardrive is updated every few days and has reached release status just today(!) Moreover the communication and feedback between programers and community is extremely good! :)

    What I liked
    the most about Stardrive, besides the typical game play things like RTS and 4X elements, are the innovative new concepts for ship designing and fleet battles. It is possible to build all kind of ships, with a loadout, that I know from SciFi movies, games and books. (But not the look I'm sure, there will be graphic mods soon)
    - ST Federation Ships: Strong Shields, 360°Phasors and Torpedos
    - ST Klingon Ships: Fast Birds of Prey with strong forward disruptors
    - Star Wars: Star Destroyers with strong 360° slow firing plasma weapons (relying on fighter crafts to engange small crafts)
    - BSG: Carrier Ships with many fighter crafts (loadout can be individual, too), strong armor and close range point defense guns
    - Stargate: Atlantis style star bases with shield/armor ignoring projectiles.
    - Freelancer: Galaxy wide warp-enhancing "autobahn" network buildable similar to the jump gates routes in the game.

    Other cool features:
    - Ships need a lot of power generators or power cells to fly with FTL speed. (My first designed ship could only warp 3 seconds and fell out of FTL! ^_^)
    - Boarding parties can caputure/defend ships
    - EMP and energy depleting weapons
    - Repair and resupply modules to assist other ships
    - Warp Speed inside of Solar Systems can be limited/disabled in the game options, making planetary and orbital defenses more effective
    - Weapon angles can be adjusted manually, which makes broadside attacks possible
    - "TAB"-key shows volatile subsytems and weaknesses of all ships, making precision attacks with fighters possible.
    - cute Owlwoks :)

    Negative points, that prevented me from giving 10 points :
    - Language localization is not available at the moment.
    - Cloaking devices are missing. :(
    - It is possible to conquer well defended planets with 10-15 ground troops. Planetary shields, orbital defense stations or fleets don't prevent invasion troops from landing.
    - Ships can fly around in the whole galaxy from the beginning. No outposts, supply bases or technologies are needed, to extend the ship range.

    Stardrive is definetly one of the few gems in my huge collection of mostly average Space RTS and 4X games. Ad unlike some other games in the last years, Stardrive didn't let me down. (Yes, I'm directly looking at you, Legend of P...!)
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  89. Apr 26, 2013
    10
    Anyone who loves customization will love this game. It is well developed and has a developer that actually cares and actively responds to their forum. It is a great game overall, and some features are still being implemented, so it's getting even better!
  90. Apr 26, 2013
    9
    Very cool indie 4X game. It's still got rough edges, but the core components, economic development, ship design, fleet deployment and combat are great and the AI is not too shabby.

    Warmly recommended!
  91. Apr 27, 2013
    5
    This game is by no means a 10 (yet) or a 0. I have beta tested this game for a few weeks and it is somewhat incomplete for being released. I have not had the crash problems many users have had lucky. As of now, this game almost feels like a kit, mod to your own tastes.
    Time will determine how this game ends up, for good or bad.
  92. Apr 26, 2013
    9
    Great game. If you enjoy 4X games then you are bound to love stardrive, the rumored performance issues are more or less fixed in the latest patches but some minor annoyances with UI,etc remain but since the dev is extremely talented and devoted i wouldn't be amazed if core game reaches near perfection in a week or two.. surely worth 25$
  93. Apr 26, 2013
    9
    It is truly unbelievable what one man can achieve. The game is addictive right from start, well presented and is a lot of fun to play. There are still a few glitches and some potential for improvement, but Zero is putting amazing effort into this project releasing improvments almost on a daily basis. If you like 4x games, you have to grab this one!
  94. Apr 26, 2013
    9
    This is the most wonderful and fun game I've ever not been able to play due to bugs. I've been playing the beta for a few weeks now.

    Long story short: the developer is extremely hands-on and responsive to the community and has made an extremely ridiculously awesome game. It's basically like if Master of Orion II had made a love child with Jesus Christ.

    Assuming you don't have
    launch/crash issues like me, then you'll have the time of your life.

    The reason why I'm still giving it a 9 rating is that I expect the release version to be debugged shortly. Like I said, the developer is extremely hands-on and has been making serious progress throughout the beta.
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  95. Apr 26, 2013
    10
    StarDrive is a great game, it doesn't waste time with the trivialities that some game companies waste millions of dollars on but focused on gameplay. performance, and features. I cant stress enough how good this game is nor how directly involved with the community the developer is with constant feedback and almost on-the-fly fixes and updates.

    The game is still developing but I would
    buy this game today and everyday after because it is that good, it's been so long since I've truly been sucked into a game so completely and enjoyed myself on so many levels. Expand
  96. Apr 26, 2013
    9
    This is an amazing game. I got the pre-order beta 4 days ago and have already played 28 hours. The only reason I did not put a 10 is because of a couple small bugs (half of which were fixed with yesterday's update). I really suggest that you try this game out, it is definitely worth it.

    It has really good Ship Designer and allows for tons of customization and specialization. The fleet
    mechanics are great too, one of my favorite features of the game. The combination of managing your empire, it's research, and it's military is in the the top tier of 4X games. If you don't like managing everything in the game though you can automate governing, construction, scouting, and ground combat.

    The developer is really quick with updates and fixes too, you can expect an update for the game every week. He is also active on the forums and plans to add even more features in the near future.
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  97. Apr 27, 2013
    8
    Overall this is a great 4x strategy space game that is very well done and has a lot of replayability. When the custom designed ships of your main battle fleet come out of warp into the enemy solar system and begin firing off missile and energy beam salvos at the defending enemy fleet lying in wait, it’s an experience that few other strategy games out there can really match.

    For a quick
    overview of the game, it is a 4x space strategy game where you start with one planet and a few ships, and expand your empire through colonization, diplomacy and war until you have gained dominance over the galaxy.

    The game takes a lot of inspiration from past space 4x games, however, there are a number of ways where it differs from its forebears. Fortunately, most of these differences work to its advantage. First of all, it is played in real-time instead of being turned based. However, don’t let that fool you, it is much more in the vein of turn based strategy games such as Galactic Civilizations or Endless Space than real time games such as Sins of a Solar Empire. You manage your planets, create trade routes, and engage in diplomacy as you would in a turn based game, and you are able to pause the action at any time. Being able to guide your ships in real time as they engage the enemy fleet, however, is a definite plus.

    The game’s largest drawback is probably the lack of intuitiveness of some the game menu screens. For example, right clicking in many of the menu screens will close it and return to the galaxy map. This makes navigating through the different overview screens easy and streamlined when it works. However, this doesn’t work with some screens, such as the fleet design screen, where you have to either press the “escape” key or click on the “x” button in the upper right corner to get back to the action.

    Additionally, some information isn’t accessible from certain screens where it intuitively should be. For example, the ship customization screen only allows you to create new designs. If you want to update an existing design, you have to go to the planet management screen first.

    One of the game’s biggest strengths are the innovative gameplay mechanics that it brings to the genre. However, this also ends up being one of its greatest drawbacks as it often doesn’t do an effective job of explaining the new systems to you. A more fleshed out interactive tutorial would do wonders to improve the initial game experience. For example, the planet automation system is a vital aspect of gameplay but it is poorly explained. It took me a while to figure out that managing a space empire in Stardrive is all about having a few major planets that you manually control, and then delegating the rest of your planets as specialized food, production, or research planets. Once I got a handle on this system the game became much more enjoyable and my empire started to hum along much more smoothly.

    Trade ships are another innovative gameplay mechanic that isn’t properly introduced to the player. Trade ships are the lifeblood of your empire and ferry food, production, and colonists between planets in your empire that need them. Automating trade ships is an important game feature that allows the AI to automatically create and manage trade ships as needed, instead of the player having to constantly make sure there’s an adequate number. Again, once I figured out how important automating them was, not having to micromanage them improved my gameplay experience considerably.

    Lastly, bugs are still a minor issue as the game leaves beta. The only serious bug I encountered was that at a certain point in the game, the sound effects during space battles became too much for my audio card to handle, and all sound would shut off until I restarted the game. I eventually changed some audio settings on my computer to resolve the problem. Aside from some occasion slowdown in large battles, however, this was the only bug I encountered.

    Overall, Stardrive is one of the most engrossing 4x space strategy games I have played. Diplomacy is fun and interesting due to the fleshed out personalities and well-crafted race animations. Ship design adds a great level of depth as each of the weapon systems have advantages and disadvantages, and each race has unique base ship layouts which encourages experimentation. Unexplored worlds can potentially yield relics with potent empire wide bonuses and a number of additional minor factions such as pirates make exploration consistently interesting from game to game.

    Stardrive is an extremely well-crafted game and I’m going to give it an 8. It’s something the 4x space genre has been needing for a long time, and if it wasn’t for the issues mentioned above it would deserve a near perfect score. It’s the most fun I’ve had playing a 4x strategy game in a while, and if you can get past the sometimes clunky interface and a slightly less than intuitive learning curve, I highly recommend it.
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  98. Apr 26, 2013
    10
    This game is awesome. I've played the beta for four weeks. Not since MOO2 and Ascendancy have I been as excited for a 4X game. The ship building is brilliant. I eagerly await to see how this game evolves over time as the developer and modders continue. Don't worry about what others say about crashes and such, that's pretty much gone now. For the first time in a long time, I see a game with true potential to stay a permanent installation on my hard drive. Nothing Since the original Civ and Warlords 2 have been worthy. That guy Withering can just look me up on the forums to see if I'm real or not. All these guys are. That's because we're a passionate group of core gamers that know when something is fun.

    Support this guy Zero. Buy the game. Now. It's a steal at the price point.
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  99. Apr 26, 2013
    8
    I beta tested this game for almost 2 months, from early march until the official release, I've Played nearly 300 hours so far, and I do not regret it one bit. The game has a very dedicated single developer, he has worked very hard to iron out this game for release, but could have used more time. Most of the bugs, and performance issues have been wiped out, but the game still needs work. It's missing some features, and the UI is still a bit clunky. There is no multiplayer yet, but it has been promised for the future.

    All in all this game is very fun, and worth the purchase price. The game-play is fun, especially designing ships, and letting them loose on your enemies. You constantly learn, and upgrade your designs to optimize their effectiveness, and you get rewarded for it. The graphics are pretty, and the artwork has made some fans request merchandise.

    I registered on here just today to rate this game. I rate it 8/10, it would be worthy of a 9 or 10, but truthfully the beta could have lasted a month or two longer, it's just not polished enough to be worthy of a 9 or 10.
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  100. Apr 26, 2013
    9
    This is the game that i have been waiting for, for a long long time and if you are a fan of space and want a slight challenge then i recommend this game. The default game unfortunately is extremely easy even on the hardest difficulty because of some exploits with marines and bombing but if you play it with gravity wells or even with 0 faster than light travel till you leave the hole system giving it a sins of the solar feel then in my opinion the game is amazing it still has a bit fleshing out to do and the creator Zero who is a one man team genius IMO is generally on most bugs when reported like a flash and i have no doubt that he will flesh out the research tree and add a bit more life to the game but for what it is atm i am extremely happy with it. For thoughts with worrying thoughts with the the highly negative reports coming in all i would say is look at the forum or even you tube videos out there and decide from what you see from that i think people are to quick once they see one or two negative things with the recent 4x failures out that to just say well nice try yet another failure and i think that is a very unfair judging to this game dose it have flaws yes but i highly believe with my over 200 hours of play that it has amazing potential and if you don't like to wait for it to get better than give the game maybe 2 more month and look at more videos and give it a second look then. In closing Zero has done an amazing job with giving a space rts game a new feel with strategy with its non lane warp system and amazing ship modifications and the fact this game was designed with modding in mind makes me looking forward into the future with this title. Expand
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]