User Score
6.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 396 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 91 out of 396

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  1. 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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  2. 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
  3. 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...
  4. 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!
  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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!
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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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  12. 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
  13. 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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  14. 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
  15. Apr 27, 2013
    10
    Honestly one of the best space 4x games I've ever played. The mechanics are simple, the game is deep, and it doesn't require any annoying micromanagement (unless you want to micromanage). It could use some smoothing out of rough edges, but the quality of this game is astounding when you considered it's made by one man.
  16. Apr 28, 2013
    10
    This game has all of my support. I usually never buy games, in fact, it's been about a year since I put down money for a game. This game is different. I also usually never play games longer than a hour (I have really low-tolerance) but this game kept me in for days on in game play. Even in beta, this game is fantastic! You can't really ask for more from the developers except for 2 things, and that would either be a multiplier feature (All of my friends are in on this game) and maybe additional content! Of course, it just released so I can only praise the game and support the devs to hope for more! 26.99$, worth every penny. Expand
  17. Apr 28, 2013
    10
    The game is not incomplete, it is not garbage, you do not need to sue the developer. Calm down, take a deep breath, it's just a game. Wow, folks get mighty testy over toys. Anyway, I am enjoying this new game very much. Some things I'd like to add, some I'd like to delete and a few bugs. That said, hard to remember a game that didn't have all that at release. Only near perfect games I ever purchased were from HPS, Matrix, and John Tiller. The rest took a bit of time with lots of CONSTRUCTIVE input being given and listened to by the developers. I gave it a ten 'cause it is to me and will become even better. Words like boring, not fun, DOA, etc are not helpful to folks looking to buy. Maybe plus and minus on what you EXPECTED. This is a significant effort, fun, RTS (I like turn based, actually) that THQ or EA would have charged $50 for (six months ago). Anybody, and there won't be many, who wants a recommendation; consider it done. AND yes, this is my first review mostly because I get sick of really nasty, child like comments in lieu of really well thought out critiques.. Expand
  18. May 1, 2013
    10
    A breath of fresh air, I have been waiting for a game that could help fill the void left by Masters of Orion 2 and now finally someone has actually made a game that I think could be a rightful successor.
  19. May 4, 2013
    10
    Best game since MOO2, Imperium Galaktica 2 or Bird of the Federation. I think in the moment the developer has enormous balancing problems between the diffrent weapons in the game. More different nonhuman races were desirable. For example insectoids or machines...
  20. May 9, 2013
    10
    This is my first time review, and I wonder Metacritics bad decisions. Why usually reliable Metacritic is publishing only bad reviews because there are good critic reviews. Over half of those are 7-9 out of 10!
  21. May 10, 2013
    10
    I think the game is excellent, sure it has a learning curve, but thats what I like, nothing dumbed down. Some aspects of the game may appear to be bugs but actually are not. Real bugs in the game are not really a game breaker.
  22. Dec 23, 2013
    10
    It is truly unbelievable what one man can achieve. The game is addictive right from start, well presented and is a lot of fun to play. There are still a few glitches and some potential for improvement, but Zero is putting amazing effort into this project releasing improvments almost on a daily basis. If you like 4x games, you have to grab this one!
  23. May 21, 2013
    10
    Love this game! I stumbled onto it yesterday (May 20th, 2013) and find this game a lot of fun and not to difficult to learn. I don't know if this game is completed yet, I have heard they are still working on it, but when it is I will definitely buy it. Good job guys it's hard to find a good space game like this.!
  24. Sep 4, 2013
    10
    This game is awesome! Granted there are a few rough edges, but they are far outweighed by the fun of crafting your ships and then testing your designs in combat. I'm blown away by how fun the game mechanic is of being to tweak your starships to outperform! I'm suprised, but I spend about as much time designing my ships as fighting with them! Tons of great strategies to employ and lots of replayplayability. If you like RTS and you like to design and fiddle with your starships then this is it One note, however, read up a bit on how the economy works i quick glance over the wiki site on the game explained it all for me. This is probably the best buy I've made in awhile hours of fun for a few bucks. Expand
  25. Oct 8, 2013
    10
    Is this Master of Orion 2? Not quite. However, it is very much its equal. Amazingly well done indie title. Moo2 still has many bugs that require a player work around. This title may have bugs but they are getting fixed, something you won't see with Moo2.
  26. Jan 23, 2014
    10
    I didn't give it 10 because it is perfect. Or because it is amazingly re-playable. But because for the first hundred hours it is perfectly flawed.

    Ship building is fantastic, battles are fantastic, Ai is flawed although well thought out and the levels are interesting enough to give you a different experience depending on who you spawn near.

    A perfect 100 hour game.
  27. Feb 6, 2014
    10
    I been wasting a ton of time(fun time) in fact about 365 steam record hours(not steam play throw in many more hours). I simply love this space space strategy game. its almost like old school turn base but its real time. so use pause alot when clicking on some things. reminds me of starcontrol and starcontrol two. But you can built a empire!

    Ship design is for me the heart of the game,
    ship hulls are different for different civilizations. The fun part is how you use different components into the ship design to beat the other civilizations. since they have access to the same tech research as you. seeing your superior designs destroy them!! LIke a fleet of meat into your meatgrinder!

    For example my favorite is the Kulrathi aka bearmen their ships might not be the fastest(not too many engine slots, you can put in different type of engines into that slot). but their fighter are the largest in the game. I love putting in fighter bays(they spawn fighters(free fighters)) into all my Titan ships(they are the largest hull type every civilization gets, each civilization has different sizes and shapes of that hull). I love putting in remnant shields onto the fighters and tons of weapons and no wrapdrive only thrust. They can be respawn from the carrier. Park the carrier slightly farther away from the fighting. wave after wave of fighters just destroy anything in their path.

    With many patches later they fix the Remnant quest. Also remnant tech is always the most powerful in game. There are a few mods out there but the ones that still out there is fun.
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  28. 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.
  29. 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
  30. 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
  31. 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.
  32. 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!
  33. 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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  34. 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
  35. 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
  36. 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!
  37. 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.
  38. 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
  39. 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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  40. 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!
  41. 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$
  42. 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!
  43. 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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  44. 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.
  45. 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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  46. 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
  47. 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
  48. 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.
  49. 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
  50. 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
  51. 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
  52. 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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  53. 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
  54. 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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  55. 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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  56. 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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  57. Apr 27, 2013
    9
    Great 4X. Spent 6 hours straight on it without even knowing it. This is the most enjoyable 4X I've played in a very long time. There's a bit of a learning curve but once you get that, it's uber. Game has a good community and support.

    For me, it's everything I want in a 4X game and there are lots of lazers to go pewpew!
  58. Apr 27, 2013
    9
    This game is amazing. Anyone who is a fan of Sins of a Solar Empire or Sword of The Stars will love this game. Its got depth, graphics, sound, gameplay....everything. There are somethings that need some fixing but overall a great game from a small company.
  59. Apr 28, 2013
    9
    I too was waiting for a successor to Master of Orion series. This Indy seems to have captured it, there are some bugs and the tutorial is very fixed (rather than an interactive one). Still the combat is engaging and there is loads of exploration, research and colonization options to keep you engaged. Great game hopefully patches updates will add Multi-player in the future too
  60. Apr 28, 2013
    9
    I'll give this game a 10 when the modders come out with Star Wars and Star Trek skins! This game is simply awesome and will be the best space strategy for a very long time. Zero is a genius...
  61. May 1, 2013
    9
    I decided to write a review since this game seems to have polarized effect on people:love it or hate it.And justifiy why I gave it a 9 tough it is incomplete which might sound crazy.

    The reason for this is i havent played that fun and addictive game for a long time.The ship designing with arcs of fire commanding then your engeenering efforts in battle and seeing how they do, all
    in pausable real time, the trading economy which leads to specialized planets (you see and must protect all your trading ships), researching techs for those ships, the cool little story arcs like remnants or revorans (tough they are unfinished but what is, is cool)., the really fun space opera style races, it all meshes up into a great experience.The AI isnt exceptional but with bonuses it gets on harder difficulties the game is a big challenge, which is imho what matters ultimately.

    Now the bad the core gameplay is here and its great, but all in all the game is unfinished, Like mentioned before the story arcs are unfiinished and admitted by the dev it will be expanded later.The UI is sometimes very awkward and requires you to click a lot to get things done, so it might be tiresome. Also it might be hard to learn the game for a person new to the genre, there are some tutorials and info but generally i would say the game is low on teaching a new person. The tech tree will propably be expanded., i expect some stuff rebalanced.Me personally i had a very stable experience, with one freeze and a few vanishing sound bugs in over 50 hours of gameplay, but poeple have been reporting on forums some have big problems. Also i had no such problems even on large galaxy with 7 oponents, but some reports big slowdowns then.

    So is it in part unfishined Yeah. Is it great fun as it is?Hell yeah:).

    Admiteddly i am a big fan of the 4x genre, loved Galciv 2, Endless Space, inital Master of Orion games.
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  62. Apr 28, 2013
    9
    This game takes the cake when it comes to all of the indie sci-fi 4x games that have been coming out lately. Last year we saw Endless Space, which was phenomenal, but the game seemed to lose some luster at the end. This game, however, brings back the beauty of Sins of a Solar Empire's real time space battles, while giving us an even deeper customization option for ships than what Endless Space gave us. The technology tree is deep, the variety of ships you can build is vast, and the species are quite varied. The game runs very smoothly as well, only minimal lag in late game environments. With the development continuing to be on-going post release, this game is a must have for fans of the science fiction strategy genre. Expand
  63. May 10, 2013
    9
    From a very small developer this title is great, I hope that this title grows in depth. I have spent much more on Legends of Pegasus and Endless Space and neither of those were are as fun as StarDrive in my opinion. Here are my thoughts from playing 16 hours of the released version. Including a completed large game. (+) Overall, this game does seem take MOO 2 as it's ancestry, and I like that. I don't thinks its a rip off as much as a homage to a great game that I love as one of my top games of all time.

    (+) Race customization is like MOO 2.

    (+++)The ship design is the best that I have ever seen in a 4X game, the larger ships will just blow you mind with the possibilities you get to manage everything right down to localized shields/armor to protect internal components.

    (+) giving orders and layout of ground combat is possible.

    (+) Tutorial was enough to get going.

    (+) Real Management of colony, including building projects and defense.

    (-) The tech trees are short but intact.

    (--) No Campaign

    (null) The game speed is tricky if you are used to turn based 4X games but the space bar pauses, use it when you need to:)
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  64. Apr 28, 2013
    9
    Brought into the Beta about a month before release. Played a good 60+ hours. The game is very good, i was doubtful because it is RTS but the pacing is just right and pause means you can play it just like a turn based game. Pros The 4X aspects are all there and work nicely. But the real joy is ship building, which is just great. The game is stable and runs well. Cons Only real negative is that it could do with more events etc. But i feel confident that this will be added with time and even if no new content is added to the game the current build is worthy of 9/10. With more content i can well believe it would be worth 10/10.
    If you like 4X space games buy it, it is the real deal.
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  65. Apr 28, 2013
    9
    This game really brings back a ton of the excitement that I had when playing games like StarControl and Masters of Orion. I'm a digital artist working in the games industry and I can really appreciate the detail and crafting put into the space combat.

    While there are a lot of polish points that the game could benefit from addressing (UI, planetary and fleet management, etc) I applaud
    the makers of this game for creating a really engaging (and addictive!) experience that even a more novice player such as myself can sink their teeth into.

    I look forward to playing this game a TON more and seeing what the developers come up with next be it DLC content or a new game. StarDrive is something they could build a huge franchise on and I wish them warp speed in their efforts to bring 4X strategy games back in force!
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  66. Apr 28, 2013
    9
    I played the Beta for the last month before release, and enjoyed it far more than many released big-studio games of the same Genre. Now that it is released I see the author managed to pack in several more features and upgrades in the final month, and continues to do so in direct relation to user feedback. That is just simply an awesome experience to be a part of, and it is great to see the recommendations that I have been making take shape before my very eyes.

    NOW FOR THE GAME: It's another 4x space strategy game... with a huge difference. You can design every square inch of every ship you make, and customize every fleet you field which opens up a world of unlimited possibilities. 1 well-designed ship can take on fleets of lesser technology or poorly designed ships, and a well thought out fleet of ships filling special roles can be unstoppable. This is what breaks it out of the mold of 4x games and makes it something more.

    If you like fine-tuning your research for maximum effectiveness and glorying in the mayhem as your elite fleet tears through hordes of cheap imitations, you will love this game and should buy it immediately.

    If you normally put research and diplomacy on auto, rush with a constant stream of cheap units and spam chat with how you are "Pwning everyone" then you probably won't get much out of this game.

    The only reason I didn't give it a 10 is it still has room for improvement in terms of varied and longer tech trees and overall polish. However because of the low price and truly original approach, it's really more like an 11.
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  67. May 3, 2013
    9
    This is not your typical 4x strategy game, but that is what makes it so unique and thrilling to play. A lot (and I do mean a lot) of emphasis was put on ship design and combat and it is in these categories that Stardrive achieves greatness:

    Fighters will circle one another, trying to find the best firing arc, and engage in fast paced combat; Capital ships exchange powerful volleys of
    missiles, torpedoes, or lasers while trying to fend off smaller craft with point defense weaponry; Support ships send out repair drones or resupply your fleet with ammunition during longer, extended battles; The whole thing turns into a symphony of destruction the likes of which is usually reserved for big budget scifi movies.

    Other than the combat, the ability to create ships of your own design (By design, I'm talking about the internal components and not the external "look" of the ship) is easily the most appealing aspect of the game. Design choices make a huge impact in battle too: Place a reactor core in your ship with no armor or shields around it for protection and your just asking for an enemy to land a lucky blow and send your brand new frigate to oblivion.

    There is something just so satisfying about coming up with a well thought out layout for your ship and watching it excel in combat against your enemies.

    It is certainly not perfect and like all 4x games there is a learning curve, but if you are fan of large scale space battles and deceptively deep starship design then there is nothing out there quite like StarDrive.
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  68. May 10, 2013
    9
    This game is pretty awesome, its focus is mainly on ship design and combat. The diplomacy is ok (and better than moo2 unless your on hard mode or brutal). Planet management is very similar to moo2 with some new things thrown in. All it needs is multiplayer (which is coming!). It can be really fast paced with a lot happening in the begging as you explore and search for remnants/artifacts then if you arn't at war it can be slow, but chances are someone will declare war on you if you play with 5 or more races. Sometimes it slows down towards the mid and late game but what keeps me coming back is the ship design. It is really intricate and fun and probably the most important part of this game other than straight combat strategy. If you loved SINS or MOO2 this is an awesome addition to those that is faster paced, easy to understand but hard to master. Expand
  69. Jul 28, 2013
    9
    For a game being designed by a small team, it certainly manages to be great, and while it could use some work it is a great spiritual successor to the masters of orion games. The artwork and races are both quite good, the graphics are nice, and the soundtrack is fitting. It borrows heavily from other 4x strategy games for its gameplay, but manages to stand out despite that. having spent 100 hours playing it i can honestly say that i dont regret buying it at all and hope to see more content added. if you were a fan of master of orion games then you will surely enjoy this game. Expand
  70. Sep 10, 2013
    9
    For years I've been waiting for something to come out that really feels and plays like MOO2 and so far this has been that game. After several games, I've got about 142 hours logged and I'm still looking forward to new content, mods, etc. for it.

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

    I'm crossing my fingers that the modding community and the developer keeps pushing out content for Stardrive, it really is the coolest 4X game I've played thus far, beating out Endless Space (also quite good), Sword of the Stars, Galactic Civ 1 & 2, and Sins of a Solar Empire. If you loved Masters of Orion 2, definitely give this a try.
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  71. 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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  72. 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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  73. 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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  74. 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
  75. 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
  76. 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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  77. 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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  78. 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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  79. 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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  80. 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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  81. 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
  82. 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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  83. 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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  84. 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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  85. 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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  86. Apr 27, 2013
    8
    Probably the most fun 4x game I've ever played. It currently has it's share of bugs and requires a ton of polish. However I've had more fun with this unfinished product then I did with Sins of a Solar Empire Rebellion, Endless space, and Sword of the stars(the first sots, I don't like the second) combined. The ship building as good if not better then Sots, the empire management and combat is better then Sins, and the planet/star system development is better then Endless space. Add on top of that the optional auto managing systems which make even me, the single worst macro player ever, able to fight on five fronts with nine different fleets and you have a great game. I just can't wait for future updates. Expand
  87. Apr 27, 2013
    8
    A great addition to the 4X genre, especially given the recent drought of acceptable 4X games. The realt-time with pause nature of the game feels more natural than turn based but without sacrificing strategy. The game is not yet perfect, but quite fun and enjoyable. The developer also provides great support and is working hard on polishing the rough edges. Also the game has great mod support.
  88. Apr 28, 2013
    8
    I bought Star Drive on release day and I am hooked so far I have played 24 hours and I am still learning the game. The games not perfect and could do with a few bits and bobs to cut down the micro managment a little. The game has had 3 CTD but as the game auto saves often you don't lose much. All in all a very good game.
  89. Apr 28, 2013
    8
    truly sad, i had high hopes for that game but during the end of aplha and the transition to beta and finally to the actua release version there isn't as much progress as someone might hoped. the game has the following problems: - lackluster AI and overall stability performance - the game has broken or unfinished content as the state being - very light dimplomacy mechanics - a tiny tech tree and therefor very little to actually design ships for or to build on the planets
    -jraces have besides their different ship layouts and some minor trait tweaks little differentiation besides the nonetheless good looking arts.
    - galaxy feels very empty ...there is very little to do besides waiting for the next possible planet for colonization
    - poor and unintuitive user interface
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  90. Apr 28, 2013
    8
    A fantastic game that has a new take on 4X. The shipyard is interesting and meaningful and the real time elements give the 4X genre a bit of pace.

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

    If your looking for something new in the strategy area, look no further!!
  91. Apr 28, 2013
    8
    Yes this game is what it says it is, 4x! I specifically checked for multilayer before buying and noted from their home site that it would be added after launch. I then checked that regular updates were being made. There are bugs, but compared to EA's track record, this game is perfect at launch!

    I thought Sins would be better than what it was, and was looking for a GalCIV multiplayer
    for the wife and myself (since Stardock punked out and wouldn't release one!). This game is not quite there yet but well on it's way. Thanks Zero, look forward to a long and happy relationship with this game. Expand
  92. May 23, 2013
    8
    I rather enjoy this game, and is a great game for any person with a great deal of patience. The ship designing makes for in depth combat balance potential and the overall UI is usually pretty straight forward. Up until the end game on the larger maps, the framerates tend to be quite stable and allow for fluid gameplay.

    However the game is not without it's issues. Some of the ship
    layouts are not quite symmetrical and it bugs the out of me whenever I come across it. Having to switch from auto to manual on all the planets from a race that joins with me in a federation is another bother. No Auto-fill with select armor option in ship design for those last touches can make finding that last empty slot frustrating on the Capital and Carrier ships. And then the end game lag that is experienced saps all the fun out of committing genocide against the myriad of races that were left. Having to design ships for every level of weapon and ship building tech in order to remain competitive at all points in the game is something that stands in the way of this ever being viable in a multiplayer setting and thus why I can forgive it for not having a multiplayer mode yet. Expand
  93. Apr 29, 2013
    8
    Very deep game with descent difficulty though I imagine as I improve the game will fall onto the easy side of things. I'm really looking forward to MP as the possibilities there are amazing.

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

    If you have a mind for strategy and want to wrap your brain around matches that take days to finish then its more up your alley.
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  94. Apr 29, 2013
    8
    If you've ever played AND LIKED a 4X Space Strategy Game, you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy of StarDrive. This is a worthy successor to Master of Orion II, and shows significant promise going forward.

    I've currently rated this game as an 8, but I expect this to move to 9 and higher as some of the persistent problems are fully cleaned up. There are still some issues, but none of
    them are show-stoppers for me, and the developer is HIGHLY active and engaged on resolving these issues. The game has made truly remarkable progress in even the last two weeks, which is a testament to his dedication.

    Yes, I said "his". This title is almost entirely and exclusively developed by a single individual (apparently, some of the sound and artwork may have been outsourced, but the rest is all Zero's baby.) The fact that a title of this depth could come from a single individual makes the accomplishment just that much more impressive.

    I've now logged many, many hours with the game via the open beta and into release, and here's my personal list of Pros and Cons for the game:

    Pro:
    1. Extremely powerful and versatile ship and space station design system
    2. Combat and damage are all tracked on a per-shot and per-component basis
    3. Significant performance improvements make the above workable even at large scales
    4. An AI system that learns (and uses against you in the future) your ship designs
    5. Built-in support for mods right out of the gate, helping ensure future playability and variation
    6. Fleet provisioning design a fleet, press a button, and any needed ships are automatically queued
    7. Easy "refit" for ships, to allow you to easily upgrade your designs as you progress
    8. A wide variety of technologies to research
    9. A good Diplomacy and Espionage system
    10. Excellent selection of different AI opponents that truly do feel different from each other
    11. A sense of humor in the game that aligns with my own, and hat-tips to lots of the genre
    12. Veterancy system makes keeping your ships alive worthwhile

    Cons:
    1. Some non-standard or un-intuitive UI and controls, which can take a bit of getting used-to.
    2. Better documentation needed (this could help overcome the first point greatly)
    3. Still some performance issues in the VERY late game in some instances (not game-breaker for me)
    4. Troop invasions seriously unbalanced currently, but this is being addressed
    5. Could use better notifications at startup that the game has actually launched
    6. Certain game calculations still too opaque (e.g. how your military rank vs other races is computed)
    7. A few more diplomacy options would go a long way (i.e. allow you to "claim a planet" as the AI does)

    All told, despite some problems, this is currently my favorite game by far. When I'm not playing it, I'm thinking about it in the back of my head, wondering what I'm going to do when I get back to playing it... and if that's not a testament to being a successful game title, I don't know what is.
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  95. Apr 29, 2013
    8
    So far, so good.

    No, it doesn't quite have the depth of Galactic Civilizations 2 (with the Twilight of the Arnor expansion). But it is an addictive, fast-paced 4X space strategy game. It feels like a real-time Master of Orion 2 in many ways, but has some tweaks and changes, not least of which is the ship design and combat.

    It's still getting fleshed out in places, but I've really
    enjoyed what I see (enough to buy the game on Steam). Looking forward to seeing where it goes next! Expand
  96. Apr 29, 2013
    8
    This game kicks ass. I played GalCiv2 a lot, so i was obviously hesitant when buying this game. They totally pulled it off. While it lacks sheer number of researchable techs, it still does fine. They did really well with the multiple ways to defend and capture planets. The manage planet feature is great. It is not as complex as gal civ, but still pretty close. Making ships is a little tough at first, but you can load existing templates to work off of. This is a tough game, but experience in gal civ etc will help out. Expand
  97. May 10, 2013
    8
    There's a problem with StarDrive it's so damn good, but it's just a little bit off finished; not quite polished and user-friendly. This does not stop me giving it a hearty 9/10; it could well be a 10/10 if all the bugs and UI gripes and gameplay quirks are ironed out. The important thing also is that I believe they WILL be ironed out as the developer is still there, talking directly with individual

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

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

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

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

    There are bad aspects, especially unpolished bits...

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

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

    The game feels like it was released early; like it's still a beta, so I can't honestly give what is otherwise a brilliant game a 10. The reason it keeps a 9 is because of the confidence I have in the developers to address not only its deficiencies, but also to support and expand the game over time; they seem genuinely committed to not only providing fixes for existing issues, but continuing to develop the game.
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  98. May 11, 2013
    8
    It boggles the mind to see professional game critics review this game in its current beta state, pointing out its flaws and bugs and not understanding that their lackluster review will hurt the game. I can understand user reviews, but to professionally review this game when it's not even out of beta is an insult to game development.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Either way, if space strategy is your thing; then StarDrive is certainly a worthy purchase. If your not keen on too many bugs, and not a fan of beta's then I strongly suggest to stay away until release (which some pro-critics have failed to do) to enjoy the game as it was meant to be played.
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  99. May 11, 2013
    8
    There are far more reviews available for this game than are displayed on Metacritic. I tried to post the links here, but the formatting wouldn't allow me.

    You can find more reviews, as they are published, cross-posted to this thread in the forums. I post whatever professional published material I find, regardless of its opinion of the game;


    http://www.stardrivegame.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5064
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  100. May 11, 2013
    8
    While it is still a work in progress the game itself is really fun to play. Ship customization is satisfying, and race customization allows you to build an empire that fits your style. There are still bugs to work out, but that hasn't stopped me from logging in a ton of hours with the game already. Looking forward as it progresses. Worth the buy.
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]