User Score
6.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 397 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 92 out of 397

Review this game

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. Apr 26, 2013
    9
    Ever since Master of Orion 2 was released, there hasn't really been a worthy successor. MoO3 was garbage, and several imitators have come along trying to capture the magic of the franchise. StarDrive manages to reinvigorate the 4x genre and is a hell of a lot of fun.

    I would give it a 10, but there are still some bugs that need to be ironed out. This game is definitely an indie gem
    that fans of 4x strategy games need to check out ASAP! Expand
  2. 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.
    Expand
  3. 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$
  4. 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!
  5. 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!
  6. 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.
    Expand
  7. 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!
  8. 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.
    Expand
  9. 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.
    Expand
  10. 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
    Expand
  11. 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!
  12. 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.
  13. 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
    Expand
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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.
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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...
  21. 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.
    Expand
  22. 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...!)
    Expand
  23. 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.
    Expand
  24. 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.
    Expand
  25. 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
  26. 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
  27. 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.
    Expand
  28. 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
  29. 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
  30. 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.
    Expand
Metascore
61

Mixed or average reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 26
  2. Negative: 2 out of 26
  1. Feb 10, 2014
    60
    If you like games in the vein of Stars! or Master of Orion, you can sink into Stardrive for long hours. [02/2014, p.73]
  2. Dec 9, 2013
    70
    Zero Sum Games has created a worthy addition to the 4X genre. What is more - modders are already creating more and more cool modifications for StarDrive. Ergonomics and gameplay rules should be more user-friendly, but the game itself is far from boring or tiresome. 4X fans will be pleased.
  3. 60
    For your first and second time, StarDrive brings a refreshing experience resembling Master of Orion. However, as soon as you understand its basic rules, the game is gone like through a Black Hole. [Issue#232]