User Score
6.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 398 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 93 out of 398

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  1. 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.
  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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
  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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
  8. 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
  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. 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
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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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  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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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  17. 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
  18. 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.
  19. 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
  20. 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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  21. 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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  22. 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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  23. 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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  24. 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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  25. 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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  26. 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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  27. 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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  28. 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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  29. 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
  30. 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
  31. 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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  32. 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...
  33. 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!
  34. 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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  35. Jun 9, 2014
    0
    PAID REVIEWERS> Go check all the high scores. See that 95% of them are done on Apr 26th. The release date. Do you often play a game and go review it the very same day? Do you think every single person who liked the game said "Hey, I'm going to go review this game RIGHT NOW because I JUST bought it and owned it for all of an hour or two but I have to rush off and review it. Literally, when it's THIS OBVIOUS you have paid reviewers to review your game right on release date. Go look it up. Pick one at random, it will be release date Apr 26th. If you complain or ask questions on Steam forums, you will get banned and attacked by the forum moderator. AND NOW he is releasing star drive 2, which is another game he will sell on Steam and NOT FINISH. Expand
  36. 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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  37. 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.
  38. 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
  39. 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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  40. 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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  41. 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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  42. 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!
  43. 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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  44. Apr 29, 2014
    3
    Incomplete game and Dev has already moved on.. took our money from early access so he could fund his new game without finishing the multiplayer after it was already promised.

    Wish this game had a map generater so I didnt have to play the same galaxy every time.

    Pritty much all you do is set the computer to auto govern all your planets and just mass a large fleet and all the AI wants
    to be your friend. Can't be friends unless you already number 1 or 2 top player already so what's the point in alliances when I can already destroy the other AI players?

    Game is pretty annoying at times also.. I spent a lot of time and resources to gain the friendship of another race just to lose it in a split second. I was invading a world with foot soldiers while bombing it from space and the AI just decided to colonize it while I was already attacking the planet and it declared hostility on me on the first auto attack that wasn't even in my control to stop.

    Another annoying part of the game is the AI declares a planet theirs and for you to leave it alone even when its on the other side of the galaxy. Try building alliances when you need to expand and every ally you have is getting upset that your colonizing their intended planets!

    After a few wins.. never went back since this is a dead game and wont ever receive multiplayer. I think this could have been a fun game if I had actual people to play with or against.
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  45. Jun 27, 2014
    0
    Represents the bad side of indie development/early access etc. Dev takes everyone's money, and then decides to make a new game before the original is feature-complete or even remotely fixed. He then plays the victim when the community calls him out on his BS as he silences everyone who disagrees and even deletes his own promise-filled posts from the past.

    I don't think any of these
    people go into a project intending to rip everyone off, they are just in over their heads and a large-scale scam is the result. Please avoid Stardrive 2, these type of unscrupulous people are just as cancerous to gaming as are companies like EA - just on a smaller scale. Expand
  46. 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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  47. 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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  48. 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.
  49. 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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  50. 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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  51. 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
  52. 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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  53. 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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  54. 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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  55. 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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  56. 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
  57. 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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  58. 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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  59. 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!
  60. 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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  61. 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.
  62. 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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  63. 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
  64. 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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  65. 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!
  66. 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!
  67. 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.
  68. 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$
  69. 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!
  70. 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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  71. 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
  72. 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
  73. 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.
  74. 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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  75. 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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  76. 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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  77. 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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  78. 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
  79. Apr 26, 2013
    9
    The game performs great and has lots of character not seen in most 4x games. I look forward to seeing what the developer has in store for this game in future expansion packs. Diplomacy and alliances could use some fleshing out along with random events and flavor added to the experience but other than that it's much better than most offerings in this genre. This game stands tall with awesome space strategy titles like GalCiv2 and Distant Worlds. Expand
  80. Apr 26, 2013
    9
    Been beta-testing this game and I have to say, it's a good old-school style 4x with simple and extensive mod capability. I don't usually bother with modding (what can I say I'm lazy), but it was so simple I started before the game was even officially released.
  81. Apr 26, 2013
    8
    I absolutely love this game and I can't wait for the continued support it will receive. For me-it has the perfect blend of autonomy required to reduce micro-management while at the same time allowing you to personalize your empire.

    Zero has been a great dev-very in touch with his community-even releasing several bugfixes in one day!

    The game itself plays like any 4X game, but
    features the most intricate and AWESOME combat system I have ever seen. Every ship is lovingly crafted from single modules, ranging from armor plating, to guns, to nuclear reactors. Each one of these components can be damaged in combat resulting in loss off function-what happens if you're ship has a poorly defended reactor that gets hit by a volley of flack?

    You'd think this system would only be in place for a single RPG style game, but no-you have tons of these custom designed ships flying around, engaging in simulated warfare that puts your designs to the test. Does your ship have a blindspot? Well it will definitely show in combat.

    Among other things-I love the atmosphere of the game. Each race is lovingly crafted and has it's own unique personality.

    The game needs a little bit more polish, many people want balancing for troop mechanics and a few other things, but that will come in time. I know Zero won't let this hang.

    In terms of my own opinions, all I want is more content! More guns, more research, more races, more modules. That's really it-as well as some minor changes to design UI.

    Well worth its money, I've played a sleuth of 4X games like Elemental, Civ, SOASE, and a few more but so far I have to say this is my favourite.
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  82. Apr 26, 2013
    8
    I love this game, these are the kinds of fun games big developers never make because they don't appeal to everyone. It definantly has some flaws but more than makes up for them. If you like grand strategy, space fleets you'll like this game. The ship designer allows a huge amount of flexibility and has allowed me to recreate my favorite ships from various sci fi ip's. There are a couple flaws with the game I wish the ii was a little more polished it's hard to keep track of all your planets and what's going on with them. For example the game always floods you with information that's not pertinent for your empire. The game also has a steep learning curb for most people. Expand
  83. Apr 26, 2013
    9
    I grew up playing MOO and MOO2. Those games set the stage for my whole gaming life. What Zero has done here is the same for the next generation. Simple to learn, yet deep and fulfilling. The races really "feel" different from each other, and each random galaxy plays completely different from the last. The ship design is what we all drool over, and min/maxers really find their niche in this game. Before you delve in, the research trees can seem pretty minimal, but in practice, they do last till deep into the game. There are some late game frame rate issues, but with such an attentive game designer, and such a supportive and wowed community, I am sure these will work themselves out. One other fantastic selling point: Early beta mod accessibility. At game release, there were at least 15 working mods, and that just scratched the surface. This game is going to be playable and replayable for a very long time. Zero is the man, buy this game if you like happiness... Expand
  84. Apr 26, 2013
    8
    StarDrive is breathing new life into the otherwise flagging 4X genre.

    For me, this game is solid in almost all the right places. There are some things that need work, but updates are being pushed out with impressive speed.

    First off, let's look at sight and sound. It has a terrific amount of visual polish for a game with a one-man development team. You read correctly it's one guy.
    Each race has a unique ship "look," with its own body plans and color palettes. The soundtrack sets the tone well with expansive and moody tracks, but it's a bit limited at the moment and can get repetitive over many hours of play. There are some minor graphical hitches, but I found these to be few and far between.

    For most players, the real meat of this game will be found in the Shipyard. The game encourages you to design your own warships, scouts and freighters to suit your own tactical needs. When I first tried this game, I just knew I wouldn't enjoy designing my own ships... and then I DID. IMMENSELY. What's more, if you have played as one race and designed custom ships for it, the AI just might use those designs against you in future games. A note here as well: some ship designs aren't symmetrical, but this is being tackled in updates.

    Where this game falls a bit short for me is in Diplomacy and ground combat. I'll address Diplomacy first.

    Each race has its own set of "personality" behaviors. Some will be ruthlessly aggressive, and this feels just like it should. However, it seems a bit too easy to dominate the game using Agents, and the AI is easily conned into giving away endless war concessions. These issues are, thankfully, known and being worked on.

    Ground combat (planetary assault) feels a bit too shallow. Default game rules allow for brainless troop rushes by all sides, and the game misses a tactical element it might have added here. That said, there are currently several in-game options that let you mitigate this. The problem is that they create new irritations, and feel a bit tacked-on.

    In closing, general thoughts. The art style is just what I was hoping to see, and the music is quite nice, if a bit repetitive. Ship designing really does shine, and watching your designs in action is just so satisfying. Empire management can get a bit tedious, but doesn't demand too much attention for very long. The game will feel too hard at first, and then a bit too easy once you find your feet. If you can overlook the small faults until they're buffed out, you just might find a new game to love. Multiplayer will one day be included, so there's that to look forward to as well.
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  85. Apr 27, 2013
    9
    StarDrive is an interesting game indeed. SD is a real-time space 4X nodding back to the good old days of Master of Orion 2. The game features exploration, exploitation, diplomacy, design, construction & finally destruction.

    At the beginning of each game you must choose a race, this will decide what hulls you get to use during play (more on that later). It will also allocate some preset
    traits for you. Traits give you both bonuses and deficiencies. You are given so many points to spend on traits and it is up to the player to balance them accordingly with negative and positive modifiers. Once you have decided on the race and traits you get the standard options of galaxy size, opponents & AI difficulty. Launching the match is as simple as pressing "Engage!" Once ingame things may appear a little daunting. You are occupying a little planet with no more than a small handful of ships. But in time, you will slowly explore and locate newer and better planets expanding your empire as the game progresses. During play you will come across both friendly and less-friendly forces, as well as anomalies you will need to investigate with troops. Eventually you will end up in a war, and then you will find yourself engaged in this games' spectacular combat. It is the main draw of StarDrive. This may be a negative thing for some players. For as much of a diplomatic game it can be, it often ends in war. It *is* possible to win by assimilating other races into your Federation, but war is often outright unavoidable. So this means combat is at the end of the day, StarDrive's main focus. Thankfully it does it amazingly! You will need to research technology such as missiles, cannons, lasers, new hulls and so on. You will then need to open the Shipyard and actually design the ships yourself (the game does have some pre-designed ships that become available as tech progresses, but where is the fun in that!). This is where StarDrive excels ship design! Placement matters. You need to put armor in the right places, bulkheads around reactors, set the arcs on your turrets and tell your ship what way to face when engaged. It is brilliant. Damage is directional and critical systems can easily be knocked out in combat. Essentially, when thinking about combat this game plays like an infinitely bigger and better version of Sins of a Solar Empire where you design your own fleet and pray it proves effective! We all knew the comparison had to come up eventually. Let's move onto the races and AI. The races themselves are astonishingly beautiful and are all animated. They loop naturally, but it is great! They also each have background music/noise. The haunting theme that plays in the background when dealing with the Draylocks always comes to mind when thinking of this game. Each race speaks to you uniquely and has their own personality. Diplomacy itself is certainly there and certainly important, it's just it isn't utilized as much as you might like. Once war breaks out (which it will), diplomacy matters little. Outside of war you can trade technology, make alliances, engage in trade treaties and more. After long enough, a race may be willing to join your federation meaning you get all of their planets and units. Some races require you to defeat a major enemy before joining, others may need you to show military dominance. Others simply just need time and trust. You can also partake in espionage to steal technology, sabotage planets and even incite rebellion. All up diplomacy could be worked on, but it is much better than what you get in a game like Civilization V. AI unfortunately can be rather aggressive even on easy. If you have a weak military, there is a good chance a race will declare war on you. This can occur even moments after you meet them (Opteris are often very aggressive). This could do with some adjustments particularly on the lower difficulty settings so as to avoid scaring newer and less confident players away. During war itself the AI can be quite dangerous sometimes. This is amplified by AI using your past ship designs from previous games... the designs that were effective! The soundtrack is nice but not "in-your-face" and does a good job of conveying atmosphere. The controls are logical and get the job done effectively. On smaller maps the game can be played as a large RTS able to be beaten in an evening of warfare, or it can be played on a huge map where longer term planning is needed and it becomes like a true 4X of old! Considering StarDrive was developed by a single man, this game is just unbelievable! He had help with art and sound assets, but the core game was coded by him alone. StarDrive has incredible polish, particularly when compared to recent installments in the genre. Think of this as a cross between Master of Orion 2 and Sins of a Solar Empire focused on ship design and combat and you will get an idea of what the game entails. This game is brilliant, and is worth both my time and yours! Expand
  86. Apr 26, 2013
    9
    I am generally not a fan of 4X games, however I found that Star Drive was more of a 4X/hybrid, solving many problems that plague 4X games, such as inability to control game speed and complete lack of any real diplomatic options. Star Drive does have an emphasis on its combat and modular ship building, while other areas such as Diplomacy or Tech are still Robust, but not quite as deep. The presentation and feel of the game are excellent, in particular the art assets for the Alien races. Like most 4X games, the game takes a bit of learning before you've got a grasp on whats really going on, but that just comes with this type of game. Expand
  87. Apr 27, 2013
    8
    This is a great, real-time 4X game. It is a bit like real time Master of Orion II. The game has several interesting and varied races. The main feature of this game is highly modular ship design with components and their placement affecting function. It is a lot like a 2D version of Galactic Civilisations ship editor, only with more of a focus on functional rather than aesthetic design.

    The release day version is great. A lot of content in there.

    Negatives are really bugs and the fact that the developer has not had time to flesh out some of the secrets. A few minor pieces of incidental events sidequests are incomplete and there are not many events secrets.

    It is like a 4X Space Game equivalent of Vampire Bloodlines. It is great, innovative but could do with some polish and content. Even so, like Vampire is still deserves a solid 8/10.
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  88. May 6, 2013
    0
    (Sorry for my English. I am not a native speaker).
    !Metacritics deleting negative user reviews! Save your review!
    An unfinished and extremely bugged game like Stardrive deserves so bad raiting! We can't play this game!!!

    Don't buy Star Drive! This 1.07B release version is an early alpha version! After mid game: extreme fps drop and you can't finish a game, Game crashes and freezes. AI
    is dumb and cheating (on hard/brutal). UI is absolutely awful and confusing. You can't even change graphic settings (only resolution). At this stage this game is absolutely unfinished.
    There are two games that are 100 times better than Star Drive and have the same prize!!!!
    1) Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion (Release 2012) this is a real-time strategy (like Homeworld). This game has very nice 3D graphic (10x time better than Star Drive will ever have). It has no bugs and runs smooth.
    2) Endless Space (Release 2012) buy this game if you like turned based strategy. It has no bugs and runs smooth.
    These two games are 100 times better than Star Drive. Compare these games with Star Drive and wait for PC Game Reviews (PC Magazines)! Wait for AMAZON Reviews!
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  89. Apr 27, 2013
    10
    I played this game since the beta-access (over 80 hours) and I love it! Of course, it has its problems, bugs and so on... but have to give 10 points, because I spend so much time enjoying it.

    This game is done by one developer and it is awesome! The feeling, the battle, the idea behind this game is so nice, you will love it. If you are not sure about buying this game, check some "lets
    plays" on youtube. There are good previews which can help you with your decision. Expand
  90. Apr 27, 2013
    9
    I've spent a great deal of time (wayyy more than I should have) both playing and modding this game. Space strategy games like Master of Orion and Sins of a Solar Empire are immensely enjoyable for me so this was right up my alley. For a one-man dev team on a tiny budget, the game is amazingly well-done.

    Neutral:
    Overall game difficulty 1 being Easy 10 being Hard 6 or 7 IMHO


    Pros:
    Easily modded, even for low-knowledge users
    Aggresive and interesting AI (with caveats)
    Fun with lasting replayability
    Wonderfully executed 4x hybrid concept
    A worthy successor to the magic of the Master of Orion franchise

    Cons:
    Lack of content. More importantly, amount of unmodifiable assets. That which is availible to be modded are easily modified but things that lack content (Ex: randomly generated events, sounds, Space hazards, unique planets, music, pirates, bonus modifiers, more interesting artifacts) are not open to user-created content.
    No space-dangers: Fly into a sun or explore the galaxy without worry of a single negative outcome.
    Performance/crash issues
    Lack of music variety
    Military strength calculations!!!
    Unique resources
    Racial differentiation or diversity
    Lack of fluff nothing interesting to see or explore
    Short-tech trees
    No multiplayer
    Low complexity AI ships

    In conclusion: High potential but currently low content. Still loving the game.
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  91. 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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  92. Apr 27, 2013
    8
    This is a nice little 4x space game that is definitely worth trying out. If you have enjoyed games like Master of Orion or similar you are likely to enjoy Stardrive. As the amount of ship designs increase over time the game should get even better. I'd suggest ignoring the negative reviews, mainly due to this game being not particularly expensive and being produced by a small team (one guy apparently). In fact the speed with which he sorted out problems including shifting to multi threading during the beta days was astounding to say the least.

    There will of course be the odd dodgy decision by the AI's and the occasional crash but I would definitely recommend this game as a good example of the genre.
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  93. Apr 27, 2013
    2
    I have been playing this game since it was in beta and it is STILL in beta. Some aspects are a lot of fun. Designing your ship is cool and the combat can be interesting to watch. Despite that, the game is absolutely not complete. If you venture over to the forums you will see the devs asking people to review this game on Metacritic. That isn't necessarily a bad thing in of itself, but there is a reason this has so many reviews and so many of them are positive. There is an active and engaged community on the forums.

    Seriously do not buy this game yet. It has tons of potential, but right now it is an absolute waste of money.
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  94. Apr 27, 2013
    6
    The Good

    This game is a ship designer's paradise! If you've ever dreamed of designing armadas of spaceships and carriers and disposable destroyers to protect them, and then command them in battle; or, if you've always wanted to build a flying fortress armed to the teeth just to see how long it will last, then this game is for you!

    Some of the other reviewers have criticized the ship
    designing as a tedious task. And it's true that you can spend an hour or more in the middle of the game designing ships, but I love every minute of it! The big payoff of seeing your ship designs in action is by far the most fun aspect of this game, and this aspect leaves all previous ship-designing games in the dust.

    The meh

    The 4x gameplay isn't as involved or as interesting as, say, a civ game. But it hits on the basic blocking and tackling, and is fun enough to propel the game along between technology upgrades, and more importantly, new ship-designing opportunities.

    The bad

    The game lacks feature polish. While all of the core elements are in place, some features are head-scratchingly absent. For example, the autosave occurs every 30 minutes, and there is no mechanism to adjust this interval. There is no ctrl-s or quicksave option. There are some keyboard shortcuts, but nobody knows what they are because they aren't published.

    On play control, there is no way to deselect a unit from your group. Ctrl-dragging to add a group of units to your group accidentally picks up freighters and shipyards. And my favorite is when I force-move my in-combat group a planet, sometimes they don't go, sometimes they go, and sometimes they go and then come right back into battle.

    Additionally, the game is riddled with crashes and freezes. I can expect my game to crash or freeze at least twice during a play session, which means I have to save often, and the aforementioned lack of features to help save quickly or effortlessly, makes this a tedious chore. To their credit, the developers appear to be addressing the crashes as fast as possible, but that just means they have little time left over to add the much-needed polish to the game.

    Bottom Line

    Very fun game, but comes with a bit of suffering.
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  95. Apr 27, 2013
    9
    I'm playing this wonderful game since early march, and I'm still blasted away. It's been a long time since the last addictive 4X game (the last I played so excessive was Master of Orion 2). So, for all space faring conquerors, it's one of the most interesting titles out there. Different, customizable races, a full functioning ship yard with different unique ship designs for every race, nice to look space battles, ground battles and enough micromanagement for your colonies to feel a feedback. Sure, there a a few things that I still miss (otherwise it would be a 10 rating). First, I miss a bigger tech-tree. There is enough room for more. Second, it lacks a multiplayer part (but development is underway). So, when this two points are changed, it gets a 10 Expand
  96. Apr 27, 2013
    9
    Quick to get into, Graphically good for the genre. Good atmosphere, Great soundtrack, Fast to play for a 4x and lots of potential...( its a sandbox game and you get from sandbox titles what you choose as a rule).

    This is an Indie title so it does have a way to go but the developers are very dedicated. Expect it to get a lot better.

    'Stardrive' may ruffle some feathers because its
    a breath of fresh air in the 4x genre.

    Customer support is excellent contrary to some previous reviews.
    Go to the Stardrive website and drop the developer a PM or post a problem or bug report and you are likely to get a personal reply....extremely rare these days
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  97. Apr 27, 2013
    10
    This game is extremely entertaining, the colony management, diplomacy, and exploration is up there with civilization. The races/factions are diverse and entertaining. However, where this game pulls ahead like no other is ship design and combat. Every module on a ship is placed into a hull by you, and then in combat, the ship takes damage realistically. Place armor between incoming fire and your reactors if you want to live. Expand
  98. Apr 27, 2013
    8
    Been playing the beta of this game for the last month, and in that time i've seen the dev Zero push out test branch beta patches almost daily at times. This game is certainly not finished, however the gameplay feels very good, and has that promise of more waiting. Zero seems to have a good grasp of how it should feel to set up distant colonies, and once the basics of the systems he has in place work better (freighter scheduling/zoning) nothing will feel more satisfying then having a well regulated intergalactic trade/economy set up. Ship combat feels very nice so far, the fleet system is quite innovative and lets you stop micromanaging every colony to assemble a fleet, go in and drop in your designed ships onto a grid, you can save the fleet design for the future, and then just click the "order fleet" button, and it gets split among your best colonies to build it all at once. making a true "fleet" also feels very satisfying (big battlship with many forward facing beams, being screened by anti-fighter support frigates, possibly some missile cruisers, dont forget point defences!

    It is one of those games like kerbal space center it promises endless fun, and the promise of so much more.
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  99. Apr 27, 2013
    9
    Note: this review is long, there is a TL;DR

    Simpy said, this game is what I've been waiting for in a space 4x game. There are many positive things, and the few negatives are not overwhelming at all. I will quickly get out of the way that this game has great asthetics. The art is great, the UI overall is clean, and the races are well designed. All of this is done well in many other
    games, but barely has any bearing on the gameplay. It is done well in StarDrive, and that is all that needs to be said about aesthetics.

    First, some positives. In terms of development, I noticed the developer (who goes by the moniker Zero) interacts with the community to a huge extent, squashing bugs, responding to feedback, and just plain joking around. While this is not directly related to the gameplay, it does mean that he is listening, he is working on the game, and that the game will get even better than it already is. This means that the game will be getting new content, new patches, new modes of play, new new new. It will continually evolve so I will always have a reason to come back and play.

    As for the gameplay, there are many good things as well.

    My favourite is the fleet and ship design. Designing a ship can take as much or as little time as you want, and ships can be specialized in many different ways. Stardrive takes this module system to a new level, but there are some temporary negatives which I will discuss later.

    Fleets and designing fleets are fun too. There are many different parameters you can set on ships in your fleet, and you can give different ships different behaviours in combat allowing for very dynamic battles. Though the design screen could be more robust (and it will be in the coming months I'm sure) the way fleets are done in StarDrive are FAR better than any game I have played yet. Many have tried, but I always felt that the fleet systems left something to be desired, that they were not fun or missing something.

    Expansion in StarDrive is easy, with colony ships being mostly automated, and an easy to use planets window and colonize button to select which planets you want colonize first. One thing I like about the way expansion in StarDrive works is that the AI does not consistently outpace you in colonization. In many 4X games, I found that the AI could somehow make a gigantic empire early on with no negative repercussions. This is not necessarily the case in StarDrive.

    There are some minor negatives to take note of however.

    Some UI windows could use some polish. That is not to say they don't work or are not complete, but they could be further optimized for clarity and ease of use. Fleets and the fleet window are simultaneously the best feature, and the worst UI interface of the game (although it is not terrible, it is simply not the best among even better windows in the same game).

    There are numerous balance issues, but this is more because of the newness of the game rather than a core flaw. Most games upon release are unbalanced and take time to fine tune for a larger audience.

    There are sadly, still some framerate drops that exist in the game, but this is due to the huge complexity of behaviours and effects that are occurring at the same time. Through the beta this has been vastly improved and is often only seen in scenarios involving massive fleets and battles that would not be the norm. Unfortunately, I am one of those people that likes to just build a thousand ships and watch them smash my enemies into smithereens, and then watch my ships obliterate those smithereens.

    This leads me into my final point that I LOVE about StarDrive. The combat.

    There may be purists out there who demand for combat to be like Masters of Orion 2, individual commanding and firing the weapons of ships. That combat was awesome, fun, tactical, and interesting. It was also tedious, time consuming, and a little bit silly at times. The combat in StarDrive is fantastic. Damage is applied to shields, modules, destruction of internal parts can cause chain reactions and rip a ship apart. If one side is less shielded concentrated fire will break through and begin hitting armor and components. If you have a large slow ship with only forward facing weapons, lighter faster ships can move around out of the firing arcs and pound away. The feeling of watching your fleet drop out of Warp, and open fire with volleys of missiles, cannon fire, and laser beams to begin shredding your enemies is amazing.

    This game deserves your money, it deserves your attention, and it may very well dethrone the current (in my opinion) king of space 4X games Masters of Orion 2 (which was released in 1996 and I still go back to). This game is already amazing, and there are so many things planned for the future of it, that I expect to be playing this over and over in the next decade.

    TL;DR-

    Developer interacts with Community,
    4X's are solid in the game,
    Combat is solid.
    Still needs Polish
    More content is coming.
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  100. Apr 27, 2013
    9
    129 hours clocked since beta and a good 10 hours since official steam release. Havent regretted one minute i've spent with it.

    Level of polish in audiovisual terms is amazing, good in gameplay terms. One of the most active developers i have seen in my two full decades of gaming history with devotion to his product rarely seen.

    Minor amount of bugs, much less than you'd expect from
    indies in general and stellarly better than most major publishers with a turnaround time for fixes to issues being measured in days not weeks or months.

    While it might sound a bit corny to some i'll take the risk regardless, this could very well shape to be the second coming of jesus (spiritual successor to MoO2).

    Easy enough to learn basics, yet decent amount of depth and expanding all the time. Recommended for scifi buffs of all stripes, strategy gamers usually but not for faint of heart looking for a quick casual fling.
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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]