User Score
6.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 398 Ratings

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

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  1. Aug 29, 2014
    4
    This game could have been awesome. Instead, the developer half-baked this game, took the money and ran off to build a sequel with even less content. The game remains unoptimized for even the best computers, has numerous computer-crashing bugs/glitches, and an unfinished quest line.

    Like many early access games, this one failed to deliver what it promised.
  2. Jul 31, 2014
    2
    After finding the amount of high ratings on this site I had to write a review on this game. Simply put, it could have been great. The developer promised so many great things for the game as an early access supporter. When the game launched, it was really just a flop. It was really just the beta but with a higher price tag, and the developer decided that he would use your wasted $30.00 to fund a sequel that had all of his features that he promised originally. Don't buy this game, don't support this developer, and go buy Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion. At least I can actually enjoy that game... One more note, I know that it was a single person developer, but that doesn't mean he can just stop supporting his games and make empty promises. Intrusion 2 was created by a single developer, and that game is extremely better than the mere 2 hours I put into the release of Stardrive. It took the single developer 3 years to create Intrusion 2. Why can't this developer have the same perseverance and drive that the Intrusion 2 developer has? Just because you don't like a product that you have created doesn't mean you have to abandon it and make a new game. Think about that the next time you want to disappoint people. Expand
  3. Jun 29, 2014
    0
    DO NOT GET THIS GAME. I paid full retail and the Dev just gave up and wont even give the second one for those who supported the first. The forums are HEAVILY moderated by The Doctor and the Dev lied SO much during this interview its amazing. Nothing he said was true. He promised multiplayer but deleted all references to that promise to save his own skin. I had bought the game during the alpha and its amazing how the Dev twisted his own words and promises to walk away with the money of so many people. If multiple people are saying this (Which they are) its not just someone being angry or trolling, its the truth. Stay away from this game and this developer. Support other trustworthy third parties who are making similar games or simply buy a finished product of this genre from a company with ethics and whom supports their customers unlike this unethical developer and his team of tyrannical forum moderators. The only reason someone would give a good score was because it was done before the recent drop of the first game by the Dev. Expand
  4. Vas
    Jun 29, 2014
    2
    Really, I just couldn't stand the game. It was almost an exact copy of Star Ruler, but it was worse. The UI was a bit dull and boring, and at times caused me to accidently click or unclick things and have to redo stuff. 5 hours in a normal game and I still couldn't really do anything at all. Meh, I just can't find a single good thing to say about the game, other than a slightly unique diplomacy system. Expand
  5. Jun 27, 2014
    0
    Represents the bad side of indie development/early access etc. Dev takes everyone's money, and then decides to make a new game before the original is feature-complete or even remotely fixed. He then plays the victim when the community calls him out on his BS as he silences everyone who disagrees and even deletes his own promise-filled posts from the past.

    I don't think any of these
    people go into a project intending to rip everyone off, they are just in over their heads and a large-scale scam is the result. Please avoid Stardrive 2, these type of unscrupulous people are just as cancerous to gaming as are companies like EA - just on a smaller scale. Expand
  6. Jun 9, 2014
    0
    PAID REVIEWERS> Go check all the high scores. See that 95% of them are done on Apr 26th. The release date. Do you often play a game and go review it the very same day? Do you think every single person who liked the game said "Hey, I'm going to go review this game RIGHT NOW because I JUST bought it and owned it for all of an hour or two but I have to rush off and review it. Literally, when it's THIS OBVIOUS you have paid reviewers to review your game right on release date. Go look it up. Pick one at random, it will be release date Apr 26th. If you complain or ask questions on Steam forums, you will get banned and attacked by the forum moderator. AND NOW he is releasing star drive 2, which is another game he will sell on Steam and NOT FINISH. Expand
  7. Apr 29, 2014
    3
    Incomplete game and Dev has already moved on.. took our money from early access so he could fund his new game without finishing the multiplayer after it was already promised.

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

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

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

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

    After a few wins.. never went back since this is a dead game and wont ever receive multiplayer. I think this could have been a fun game if I had actual people to play with or against.
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  8. Apr 1, 2014
    8
    I played the game a lot. is not great but its well worth getting on sale if you like what it has to offer.
    But one of the things that i really dig is code modding the game. Learning C# and seeing my changes in the game... priceless.
    Its great to change some parts of the game that frustrate me and i get to learn how to code better. Win/Win.

    you can check the code mod effort here. I
    would highly recommend using this mod in a vanilla game or in combination with other mods.

    I did a lot of work to get the troop management easier and rework how spies are used and a whole lot of carrier enhancements/ fixes.
    http://www.stardrivegame.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=8737#p62391
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  9. 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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  10. 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.
  11. Jan 19, 2014
    5
    I left a review when this game was in beta talking about what great promise it had and how, with polish, it could be fantastic. Around that time, for whatever reason, the developers decided it was a finished product and priced it accordingly. It's unfortunate that this game will never see it's full potential. Regardless, It's still pretty fun.

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

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

    The full price is steep considering the lack of depth compared to other, similar strategy games, but the assertion that there's nothing good to be found here is simply not true.
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  12. Jan 10, 2014
    0
    This is an updated review of stardrive. I originally did a review in april 2013 and said, like many others, that this game had alot of potential. What happened is, the developer took the money and ran and never completed the game.

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


    Never ever buy a zerosum game or anything related to this developer again. He should be shunned and banished from game making forever.
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  13. Dec 23, 2013
    0
    Do yourself a favor and stay far far away from this pile of garbage. Please understand me when I say I am absolutely not the type to give games a zero score out of spite. In this case, however, StarDrive deserves nothing more. The developer is known to have blatantly abandoned development before actually completing the game (but not before making obscene amounts of money from early adopters who made the mistake of expecting to one day have a completed game). What little the developer has said on the matter seems to suggest that the issue is general incompetence in terms of game-design resources. In other words, he's hit some brick walls in the development process and doesn't know how to progress beyond them. Many customers who paid full price were lured in with various promises from the developer of multiplayer and a bunch of other features which were dropped. Even that wouldn't necessarily be a show-stopper if the game could actually be played from start to finish under most circumstances. As things stand now, if the "out of memory" errors don't get you, the glaring holes in crucial game-play elements will. What the developer has done in this case is nothing short of completely unscrupulous.

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

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

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

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

    I didn't believe it until now, but there were rumors about how supposedly fake posters were going around submitting favorable reviews for this game on various rating sites... Well now I believe this to be 100% true, because I can think of no reason which adequately explains ProfessionalGuy's review (specifically the score of 10 and the statement that the game's development is active and not in fact abandoned). It's not just him either. There are many such review all over the internet which are flat-out lies. Don't believe it. Do not give ZeroSum Games or Iceberg Interactive any more money.
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  14. 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!
  15. Dec 20, 2013
    4
    This is a game that I really wanted to be good. It has a lot of good features but the bugs make it almost impossible to enjoy. The game lag gets so bad towards end game it becomes unplayable. Game ending crashing if battles get to big. This is not a finished product.
  16. Dec 9, 2013
    4
    This game had potential but the end game gets boring and there must be some memory problems because my new laptop can hardly run it near the end of the game. This game should be listed as an early release. However, it appears the developer abandoned it after promising for months to keep working on the game.
  17. Nov 1, 2013
    0
    [quote="Zero"][quote="Murundi"]Hmmmm, strange.... I seem to remember someone, somewhere saying that it was IMPOSSIBLE to fix the OOM errors. How odd, the great and mighty can make mistakes? I must have imagined it.[/quote]

    So what's the point of this comment? It's just trolling. I put in some serious homework time to try and fix this OOM error and I get for it? What do you want
    from me?[/quote]

    This sums up what you will get into if you purchase this game. The Developer gets enraged when called on either lies, or if not lies, then conclusions that he has come too that may or may not be fact. He says something, dismisses it, goes onto something new, then is shown that it maybe is possible if you just look at it in a different more experienced way.... since you are brand new to this Job and doing it all by yourself you should know that you may just not know everything.

    Saying things are impossible, then retracting because everyone is having OOM issues with a game that has been deemed "finished product" because you are "Happy" with it. I don't think you are "Happy" with it, I think you realize that you have been caught 2x saying something now and then flip flopping on it because you know it is a concern of more than just a "Vocal Minority".

    Fix your first game so it is playable before you start construction on your second game, period.
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  18. Oct 25, 2013
    4
    Yes, StarDrive is beautiful... the graphics aren't academy award winning, yet compelling, and yes, breath taking to some degree. However if you are going to try and be the next guy to try and take a stab at writing the next MoO4 do it with some effort, don't toss in a scant few tech trees and leave the storyline half finished with enough plot holes to sink the Titanic!

    Considering that
    it's painfully obvious the developer was trying to be THAT guy who created a true MoO4, yeah, I was less than impressed. The tech trees are NOT finished, that and I'm clueless to the significance of the later story line (I wouldn't even contemplate spoiling it... seriously, a three year old could do that for you.) I mean, some of the tech even pointed to future advances, yet.... I bought a game which sort of c*ck blocked me tech wise. That as far as I can tell all of the races really have the same tech potential.... just stupid looking ships (unless you played as Human, we rock.)

    I can't move on yet, I should gripe and grumble about how annoying planetary assaults are and how useless the transport ships seem to be, however.... the tech! You see... this is 2013, almost 2014... if you are going to have tech you better have a lot of it. I mean, I think of the tech in this game and two thoughts come to mind... number 1, I miss MoO2 all of a sudden, and number 2? Meh, soggy cereal meh. I need Viagra meh. I and probably quite a few die hard MoO fans probably expected a better showing of tech considering that graphically and mechanically StarDrive is as damned close to the play style of MoO, and yet.... someone dropped the ball.

    Me is an alien! You kill me... now you get.... some poop tech and that's it.

    Yeah, so far two or three tech advances from an alien race that is like the Borg on crack, meth and gods know what else... you'd think there would be more, but, nah. 90% of that alien race apparently operated on generic pixie dust or something. And is it me... or is tech thus far really the problem, or lack of tech thereof? The spy tech is really short, like mini-me short. Ugh... tech problems, must keep writing yet getting bored!

    Let's take a breather.... the map crashed way too much, I have yet to find an option to delete save files and for some odd reason all new games carry old ship designs to new games when appropriate ship tech is researched, which ends up being a massive mess... worse? I at least can't find an option to delete ship designs, so yeah, you end up with too many designs. And OH MY GODS! That largest ship.... it takes me at least an HOUR to place weapons and such in those REALLY small boxes on that ENORMOUSLY LARGE ship! I'm not even exaggerating! My eyes were nearly bleeding afterward...

    Okay, yeah.... that ship editor, dem boxes. Dat whole hour... and realizing time passed you by and the game has all of a sudden given you a MAJOR headache. Death by ship design! Now, let's discuss artifacts.... discussion done. You can win without them, in fact... aside from being a bit annoying to acquire, they are nothing more than well... I dunno, honestly I never had any will power to mess with them... pretty much man handled every race in a maxed race game, took a dump on them during diplomacy and shoved my warships down their throats. So... artifacts, yeah.

    As for the planets, well... they also seemed to need more tech, in fact I sort of wish the planet scape wasn't so small... I mean, no matter how large the planet you still always have the same amount of map space, which itself well... somehow represents an entire planet of people. I'm guessing the developer is the dude who thought our planet was square back in the day, cause the planets in this game are very square, sort of. On the space map, we see planets! But on the management screen, squares, MORE friggin squares! Arg...

    Okay, I know... you want some positivity dontcha? The Terran ships looks cool, that and apparently the dev loves Cthu'lhu, and who doesn't? The game mechanics are actually simple after you spend a hour or two playing, you do have to balance research and trade... but...

    The ship design system is... painful. Yes, it is comprehensive, but the largest ship can mess up your eyes (eye strain). The tech is limp, sorry, but it is. The aliens are sociopaths... their hot and their cold, yes and then no.... you get the idea.

    "Oh mergerd you landered on the planet I wanted firsted!"

    Seriously, as if I knew... and then I made them my.... expletive. Final words, no, I'm not going to rate this anything more than a 4, and that's me being a nice guy. I'm not saying the game is dog turd, but it ain't entirely MoO either. Game like this will never improve until consumers as a whole bring out their beat sticks and spank some dev butt.... as for StarDrive? Meh.
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  19. Oct 11, 2013
    0
    Game is incomplete, and the developer has said he's spending most of his time porting the game over to a new project based on the game that buyers of this one would have to pay again for. DO NOT BUY. It's a sad case of an indie developer taking the money, calling the game "complete" and running.
  20. Oct 10, 2013
    0
    Honestly this game, is the reason i vowed never to purchase any indie games in alpha/beta mode. Never buy a game on its potential, because what do you get for buying it unfinished? Nothing except the risk of a bad game that never delivers, that's why from now on I'm waiting till release, so i don't buy broken promises.

    If you want tangible reasons not to buy this game then, firstly the
    game was unfinished at release, ships were missing, the game crashes often, freighters don't work properly, multiplayer wasn't implemented as promised and the developer looks like he has pretty much given up on this game and letting community modders fix his unfinished problems. Which are the people who have posted all the great reviews here for the game...

    I've seen this game go on sale multiple times shortly after "release" when it was still marred with bugs and problems, sorry to say it looked like a quick money grab. Which is made worse by the fact that any critical threads warning people about the game get deleted, further proving the point.

    I was banned from the steam community discussion of this game because i expressed my opinion that this game wasn't worth the price...

    Would i recommend this game to anyone? No.
    Simply because i feel conned for buying this game, user comments are deleted which are critical of the game... Sorry that's the last straw for me.
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  21. Oct 9, 2013
    0
    I had to give it a Zero. The game had great potential, but development has stopped completely now that ZeroSum has "made enough money to move onto other projects". The small development team has been the excuse for slow development, and empty promises were repeatedly made, but its officially been canned by the developer and he's even stated that a discount or free copy of the sequel for people who purchased the broken unfinished original will in no way be an option. Have a problem w/it? don't post on his forums, he'll just delete it and ban you but hey he warns you up front that he will and says you should just log out of his forum and never come back.
    VaporWare that should be avoided, and previous ratings should be revisited and re evaluated. Poor game is dead.
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  22. 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.
  23. Sep 27, 2013
    5
    Most likely abandonware. The developer announced that he is done with this game in its (unfinished) state.
    To quote him (Zero) I think StarDrive vanilla is a fine game. I'm happy with it. I'll be patching it here and there as my whims take me. If you feel cheated by StarDrive, kindly scroll up to the upper right portion of your browser screen and click the "Logout" button. I don't want
    to hear it."
    So promised features are missing and most likely wont be delivered.
    However even without being completely finished, the game is not BAD.
    If you just need your small 4x fix you get nicely done graphics, good music and some quite enjoyable game mechanics.
    If you can bear with the existing memory leak and lag in late game and dont care about it not being feature complete you might even have a great time.
    ...and then you might consider to re buy the game in its new incarnation, it has been announced it will be basically redone on a new engine (full price for everyone). Yay?
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  24. Sep 26, 2013
    0
    It was promising what had been promised, but what promises had been there, have been broken. The developer of this game admitted the engine in use is broken and so, it will never get finished. Any word on the forum, being even slightly critical about his decision to move on and start another project, is being deleted. The game is a blast to play, but sadly it is never going to be anything but an abandoned alpha version sold completly overprized. Expand
  25. Sep 23, 2013
    0
    I really wanted to love this game. It had the potential to be a great game. However, my poor rating is based on the fact that it is beta software with significant bugs and missing features and the fact that these are now not likely to ever be fixed. If you read the game's forum, it appears the developer is working on a new version of the game which would have to be purchased again, and does not appear to believe completing the current version of the game is a priority.

    Meanwhile, the game continues to available for sale, and at a significant price point. To me, the whole development process indicates that, at best, the developer lacks focus. I would avoid this game in its current state (check out the discussions on the forum to see the issues for yourself).
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  26. Sep 16, 2013
    7
    This game is a blatant MOO (Master of Orion) clone and it doesn't hide it (why would it, the first 2 MOOs are the best space 4X games ever). It took everything MOO did right (oh moving those little men from one assignement to another) while introducing interesting ideas (for example Store/Import/Export options), operational area for ships... But it lacks in improving some things: ship design is horrible (even MOO2 had a better interface for ship design), fleet creation/management is buggy, space map interface is buggy and lacking features (limited zoom, very hard to tell what's going on when full zoomed out...). This is a good game but somewhat still looks unfinished. I bought it when it was on Alpha, then passed to Beta, then to Release without very much changes and still some known bugs unfixed.

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

    Still looking for a game that can rival with MOO2.
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  27. 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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  28. 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
  29. Aug 17, 2013
    1
    I simply MUST respond to what is blatant rating bombing. Ive been watching this game since pre-release, and must admit there is ALOT of potential here, love the ship design feature and the diplomacy windows are very well done. However the game is still in beta. SO many bugs and issues that are yet to be resolved. I experience frequent crashes, and whenever i feel brave enough to start a new game, i end up giving up within 1-2 hours due to all the remaining frustrating bugs and issues IF I dont CTD first.

    As I said, lotsa potential, but its an unfinished and I would argue UNPLAYABLE game.
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  30. Aug 10, 2013
    4
    This game had potential. I really do wish it worked out as it is so beautiful; but alas the game is so unintuitive and riddled with bugs that I regret wasting my money on it. When compared to a similar title, such as distant worlds it just doesn't hold up.
  31. 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
  32. Jul 28, 2013
    6
    Game isn't bad but it's not great either. It's an RTS 4X game which I'm not a huge fan of to begin with, but the slow speed of ships to go places, even when cranked up to x5 speed, is just too much. Sure, you can crank the speed up to absurd levels, ie 50x, but the game starts to stutter a bit. By far the best aspect of StarDrive is the ability to build ships. At first glance it looks just like every other space 4x game with this mechanic, but it has an added layer of depth. If you make a huge, heavily weaponized cruiser but fail to armor the ship's power source, you just created some expensive space scrap. Unfortunately, the RTS approach again undermines this. The speed at which you can unlock new technologies (the tree is much smaller than other 4x games) often means you've unlocked a couple new upgrades by the time your ships get to where they need to be for combat. Not a bad game but I found it less fun than other games like Endless Space. Worth grabbing on sale if you enjoy RTS/4x. Expand
  33. Jul 26, 2013
    4
    At first I thought it was a Remake of Star Con 3, but after playing it and paying for it id rather play the original star con series any day. Its sad when a remake of a 15 year old game is crappy in story, game play is a dull mash of weapon spray... Dialogue and creative design for the characters and types of aliens is poor, starship customization is probably the best feature of this game but all in all I would rather have my money back than own this game. Expand
  34. Jul 20, 2013
    0
    Ui needs lots of work, Game is buggy, research tec is boring as hell. The world seems bit dead to me, start was okay, but after that it dropped ball. Its shame that i wasted money on this game, even it was on the sale it was not worth the price.
  35. Jul 14, 2013
    3
    Nice graphics and game mechanics, the research fields seem sparse though.

    The UI needs work BADLY, beta release badly. This game should NOT have been in the steam summer sale.
  36. Jul 14, 2013
    1
    this game uses QWERTY keyboard and it doesn't allow you to change key binding. I can't believe a game can go out without this option in 2013, it's a hell to play for azerty keyboard users
  37. Jul 12, 2013
    7
    This is just a fun game! This is a game where you can have little experience with RTS games and still have fun. Though the tutorials could use some work. But it can play very deep for those veteran RTS gamers. Ship customizing can be a little meh at first, but later on, you can have some fun building some devastating ships!
  38. Jun 27, 2013
    4
    I really have mixed feelings about this. Ok, here we go. The good: 1. Building is made rather fun, with a steady pace of economics and nice system that can dispense wealth and resources to your worlds. 2. The graphics are quite nice. 3. The RTS part is done well enough, the pace is not too fast, not too slow. The bad: 1. Technologies aren't varied or imaginative. They're simple and there's too little of them for a proper 4x game.
    2. Map controls are bad every time I zoom out or load the game the zoom focuses on some dust speck in space, and I have to click around to actually notice any star systems even when I click in the right place on the minimap. It's mildly annoying.
    3. Ship design system is the worst I have seen in ANY 4x game. It's bad. It's awful. It's atrocious. It's positively tedious, feels like you're sitting in work in your cubicle and have to finish a project. You can't save a design which has even one field not filled. And later designs have HUNDREDS of them. You can't modify or upgrade designs? Actually, ANY 4x game had a better system. Master of Orion 1-2, Sword of the Stars, Endless Space, Gratuitous Space Battles, etc. etc. etc. This... thing... spoils a reasonably nice game immensely. If this was improved, I'd give the game a solid 8.

    I mean, if a serious part of the game has less fun than counting finances in Excel, that's wrong, dude.
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  39. 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.
  40. Ndi
    Jun 23, 2013
    6
    Like many other reviewers, I agree that the game has potential, but it is poorly implemented and executed. No tutorial to shake a stick at, no gradual introduction, nothing. Opens a screen with 4 million controls and only a hint and away we go.

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

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

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

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

    It could be a great game, but it's not. I see absolutely no reason to take this game up when SoaSE is out.
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  41. Jun 15, 2013
    2
    This game, with out question, is some of the most unmitigated garbage I have ever had the displeasure of purchasing. The game itself is brutally buggy, with above average BSOD rates, and numerous crashes. A considerable amount of players are simply unable to even start the game without confusing fixes, or mods. The game itself is flat and uninteresting, with little difference between the races, and NO difference between how they react to you. The AI itself can only be described as "Game Ruining." It is intensely brutal, and utterly unforgiving in the most unpleasant way. (It also doesn't have to use the game's horrific GUI and exceedingly tedious ship design mechanics).

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

    DO. NOT. BUY. THIS. GAME.
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  42. Jun 6, 2013
    5
    You go into this game with a lot of hopes for indie innovation, but eventually discover that the game is incomplete, which is massively disappointing for the price tag. The side missions are broken and the games don't seem to end for hours after you've solidified your lead and win.

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

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

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

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

    It still needs work or at the very least to be fixed and have some UI improvements and then individualising the AI would also make games more dynamic. Otherwise you might as well just play geometry wars.
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  43. Jun 4, 2013
    7
    I think basically there is said the most to the game in all the reviews. But I would like to point the focus more to the circumstances of the development that has been done. So in general this game was developed by one person. If course sounds and graphics are a product of more than one developer but the code behind starring is basically a one man show.

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

    So for further development I hope the game gets more balancing and more end game experience.
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  44. Jun 3, 2013
    2
    Trite, shallow and derivative. On anything but the easiest settings the AI simply swarms you the moment you try to expand or colonize at all with massive rushes of ships boasting heavily researched weapons, while also managing lots of successful colonies. Any two of those may be somewhat possible, definitely not all three at once. I had expected quite a bit more perhaps something other than mindless pop-rushing of batches of ships. A bit of strategy and management would be nice. As far as I can tell, it's a 1x strategy game, not a 4x, unless you manage to trick the computer into letting you survive until late game, when management becomes something of an issue. Expand
  45. Jun 2, 2013
    3
    Real time for "Master of Orion2" games bad idea. Tried to like it, but failed. User interface is not very convenient, science tree is small. "Endless space" liked more.
  46. 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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  47. May 27, 2013
    7
    Honestly. I don't know how this game has such a low score for critics. Its not the most innovative space strategy game to hit the market in recent years but that doesn't mean its not fun. It has its fair share of bugs and flaws but overall its a good game. The game does provide tutorials but it is still hard to get the hang of. The ship builder is hard to get the hang of (for me anyway) The game does disappoint in some areas but it's nothing like i expected it to be. I bought this game because of its moddability, which i love to do. Modding is a great bonus, for any game. Also, the sound the ships makes when they enter FTL is very satisfying, as are the diplomacy animations. Until the bugs and performance issues are ironed out, a 7 will do. Expand
  48. May 24, 2013
    7
    I have played every single Space game for pc and I have to say i was impressed with Star-drive, the ability to "create" custom ships and customize which direction they fire is a well thought out idea BUT.... the downside to this is they are made it look like Mine-Craft in the creation area and haven't really made it easy to use.

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

    I gave this game a 7, it isn't worthy of an 8 because of the bugs and lack of features BUT it does have allot of potential with an active hardworking dev at the helm..
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  49. 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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  50. 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
  51. May 23, 2013
    7
    Stardrive is a solid 4x space strategy game. It doesn't bring anything new to the genre, but does incoporate some tried and true functions in interesting ways. The fully customizable shipyard was one of my favorite parts of the game, though others find it dreadfully complicated. Basically, if you're a fan of 4x space strategy games, you'll probably enjoy Stardrive.
  52. 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.!
  53. May 20, 2013
    7
    This Game clearly needs some work but its still fun, and still worth getting. Reviewers like Polygon and ign (who gave simcity a 95) are Morons and clearly have not played the game or are not getting payed for good reviews.
    i.imgur.com/1kV469G.gif
  54. May 16, 2013
    0
    The game as it exists currently, and for the forseeable future, is a scam on the level of Legends of Pegasus and Sword of the Stars 2.

    There is a framework for a great game in StarDrive, but that framework has lingered for over a year of development and testing that has gone nowhere. Content is barebones three weeks after release there is ONE boring victory condition, an AI that
    struggles to provide any meaningful challenge, and multiplayer is nowhere on the horizon. The project lead and primary programmer spends his time on the internet emulating Derek Smart, attacking reviewers who mention the horrendous stability and low content of the game, rather than fixing it. It has been over a year since he has talked publically about his intentions for the game questions about the multiplayer go unanswered, and old brain-storming ideas are ambiguously repeated as potentials.

    I am not scoring this game 0 in some effort to lower the grossly inflated user score I am scoring it 0 because the game is simply not worth the price of admission. I have never seen a game with worse stability than this one. Three weeks after release, the game has memory leaks and unoptimized code that make 'normal' matches almost impossible to finish on my eight-core processor. The developer hassled with Steam for months about putting the 'finished' game up for a release date, and he has missed that date by years. Please do not reward this developer for trying to pull a wool over your eyes.
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  55. May 15, 2013
    8
    I enjoy 4x games and have been wanting a new space game for a while. StarDrive is a nice space 4x game that does a lot well and need improvement. It is the closest modern game to Master Of Orion (the first one) than anything I have seen. I mean it is literally MOO with graphics upgrades and real time. The battles are nice, ship design is fun, diplomacy works well and the AI isn't completely retarded.

    Down sides is there isn't a way to easily upgrade your ships, gameplay is slow at times and trying to quickly find a ship or base in the empire list is like trying to find a needle in a stack of needles.

    Some polishing issues aside, if MOO was fun for you then you will really enjoy this and it is a fun little game.
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  56. May 12, 2013
    8
    Basic comment would be: I fully enjoy stardrive.

    That said it took some time to get there. At the start I was in need, from the user-group, to get this game started as felt this had a weary steep learning curve. As I progressed and learned all the hidden features of the game it simply grew on me. The lack of multi-player is sad as I enjoyed this in Sins of a solar empire.
  57. 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.
  58. 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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  59. 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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  60. 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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  61. 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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  62. 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
  63. 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.
  64. May 9, 2013
    3
    This game just doesn't work. It tries to marry RTS with 4X aspects, and comes off as too complicated in RTS micromanaging aspects, and yet too simple to enjoy the 4X aspects due to the need for a short tech tree and reliance on AI control in order to maintain output. Reminds me of MOO3, in how it tries to do something new, but that something just doesn't work.
  65. 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!
  66. May 8, 2013
    4
    Looking at all the previews, this was a highly anticipated game for me. The images looked awesome, the characters and ships had an awesome design and in general the customization options looked amazing.
    It's amazing how every single point above could still be true on release and still the game is simply unplayable.
    > You start the game and get immediately lost, there is no story and the
    tutorials suck. A couple of them have videos but the rest is running text.
    > You eventually get past that and start you colony, the UI sucks. You can't control your ships effectively, it's hard to click them and you'll be lucky to even find your ships in the universe. Adding to that, there is no highlighting of your units or plants so good luck trying to understand what's going on.
    > I'm one of the guys that likes to micromanage but it's practically impossible to do so in this game since you get overwhelmed I then found i had a couple of options to let the AI automatically build roads and send goods and population to my new colonies but that just simply turns off that part of the game, everything is created for you and you never need to look at it again. Your planets will build ships apparently randomly to fill some AI purpose which is an odd solution.
    > Customizing your ship is nice but it has pointless components. Sometimes you build a great ship and then find you forgot to but enough power in it... or there is no ammo so it doesn't really fire...
    > I also found some game mechanics were crap and should be removed, like you can control a single ship with WASD in a battle but it's so strange that you never will.
    > Also in the middle of the game all my ships stopped moving suddenly, i thought there was a problem with the game, restarted and they were still all stopped... after a while i noticed a text on the screen saying Hyperspace Flux and came to the conclusion the developers added a random universe event that blocks the game for 5 minutes, how nice.
    > You then start exploring and start your to want to fight. I had a perk with a better than average mega space ship, i gathered 5 more fighters and the first random neutral ship i find kills all my ships, because it has like a million shield points when i don't even know what shields are yet. These neutral guys exist randomly in a lot of systems and for some unknown reason are ultra hard to kill, they are not even players mind you, they are neutral ships roaming the universe randomly just to kill your game experience.
    I got frustrated, created a fleet of 20 fighters and tried again, only to be decimated in under a minute by the same neutral ship.

    At this point i decided the game wasn't polished and balanced enough to be playable and never picked it up again. What's sad is that with probably little effort and a couple of changed game mechanics this could be one of the years greatest hits in 4X strategy games.

    Golgothar
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  67. May 7, 2013
    7
    StarDrive has fantastic space combat mechanics. Its really cool when fast fleets clash together. Combined with the fully customizable ship editor its a game to remember. Also positive is that you can create your personal version of one of the standard races of the game. But the game has its dark sides. When to invade invade a planet with ground troops (only 2 troops types per race!) the preparation for it is a lousy click-orgy. To be a really great game there should be more of everything... more tech, more ship types, more troops types, more races, more graphics a larger galaxy. Expand
  68. May 6, 2013
    5
    I absolutely loved this game. It's great fun, and is a real breath of fresh air. At the start.
    As many other people have said here, it just doesn't feel like a finished game. I noticed today my playtime has hit almost 40 hours on this, and yet not once have I ever played past midgame. Everything all happens at the start, all the fun of customising your species, choosing a direction,
    getting the tech and building your own ships, it's really enjoyable at the start of a match, but by midway there's just nothing to do. The few tech options there are past midgame are really just rehashes of the starting stuff, the quest lines are broken and don't go anywhere, and even the AI just seems to give up; while at the start it fights tooth and nail for star systems, alliances are forged, distrust is sewn, but by midway it sort of just doesn't seem to care, and never grows or changes past it's initial few moves. So you're just left to grind away down all these star systems till you've won, with the excitement you felt at the start a thing of the past.
    I'd really love to see this as a full game, but I'm getting sick and tired of all these full price releases marketed as a full game when they're clearly just not finished.
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  69. May 6, 2013
    0
    (Sorry for my English. I am not a native speaker).
    !Metacritics deleting negative user reviews! Save your review!
    An unfinished and extremely bugged game like Stardrive deserves so bad raiting! We can't play this game!!!

    Don't buy Star Drive! This 1.07B release version is an early alpha version! After mid game: extreme fps drop and you can't finish a game, Game crashes and freezes. AI
    is dumb and cheating (on hard/brutal). UI is absolutely awful and confusing. You can't even change graphic settings (only resolution). At this stage this game is absolutely unfinished.
    There are two games that are 100 times better than Star Drive and have the same prize!!!!
    1) Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion (Release 2012) this is a real-time strategy (like Homeworld). This game has very nice 3D graphic (10x time better than Star Drive will ever have). It has no bugs and runs smooth.
    2) Endless Space (Release 2012) buy this game if you like turned based strategy. It has no bugs and runs smooth.
    These two games are 100 times better than Star Drive. Compare these games with Star Drive and wait for PC Game Reviews (PC Magazines)! Wait for AMAZON Reviews!
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  70. 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.
  71. May 5, 2013
    3
    The game has potential, and is quite enjoyable, but I'm giving this a bad rating because the game has been 'released' in an unfinished state. A lot of the issues I thought would be ironed out by 'release' are still in the game, including quests that don't actually work, strange AI that gives up after a while, the game juddering in lategame, and a clunky UI.

    I know it's coded by one guy
    and I'm impressed but you can't just release an unfinished game. Expand
  72. May 5, 2013
    5
    I bought this game right after release. It has some very nice moments, but everything feels unbalanced and unfinished. I can't help feeling I was tricked into pre-ordering and getting a beta version, instead of buying a completed product. Don't get me wrong, as a beta it would be amazing, but that's not what I expected.
  73. May 4, 2013
    7
    StarDrive is a 4x space strategy game played out in real time. These kind of games rely heavily on their AI, Ship Combat, Universe Lore, and Random Events to spice up the game. StarDrive understand this and attempts to deliver on this premise.

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

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

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

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

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

    Conclusion StarDrive is a pretty good game. If you're a fan of 4x Real Time Strategy then StarDrive is a pretty good game for you. I personally feel that StarDrive should be sold at the $20 mark as while all of it's core mechanics hold up... it's a complete miss on the universal lore and random event packages. As such, StarDrive is a good game a content pack away from a great game. If you're looking for a new RTS game of empire building it's not a bad choice.
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  74. 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...
  75. May 3, 2013
    4
    According to Steam the game has been released. According to the official website, it has not. And it really hasn't. It's a beta. The UI is a clusterf***k. It doesn't scale up with resolution well. You can't even pick a planet from a planet list. Everything is tiny. It's very hard to pick ships, because you can barely see them if you zoom out. The tutorial consists of few videos and bunch of text. I have to say music and art design of alien races are the most memorable part of this game. Everything else is unpolished, forgettable or just meh, because it's unfinished game. However, that's a huge achievement for a single guy developing the game. But is it worth $29? No. Maybe 6 months down the road, when it gets patched. Expand
  76. 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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  77. May 2, 2013
    0
    Before you buy this ignore all the positive spam reviews made by fanboys and relatives of the developer, this is a beta, overpriced game full of bugs that wants to fool you that it was made by a professional studio.
    Just for the record, at it's launch the game sells with 30 euro You can buy a 10x better game with half of that money (endless space or sins of a solar empire) It's like a
    lite, copied version of those games, but with less than half of the options and content. Expand
  78. May 2, 2013
    2
    "this game has potential but..."
    It's still in beta form, terrible user interface, very poor tutorial, micromanagment, no explanation of Hotkeys, etc. I have no idea why so many give it such a high score. Maybe it will be patched into a good game, but it still needs work.
  79. May 2, 2013
    0
    I can not understand the 9's and 10's being thrown out here. This game is unfinished and being sold as if ti is a AA title for USD$30. Unacceptable. Developer asks fans to come to metacritic and game the system.

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

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

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

    I liken this game to a pyramid scheme. The early adopters are pumping it with their 9 and 10 ratings in the hopes more people will purchase it, keeping the development going as long a they can. I admit I was a sucker and fell for it.
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  80. May 1, 2013
    2
    Pros: • Combat is good. • Designing a ship is fun initially. • AI uses your own designs against you. • Actively involved developer. • Lots of potential down the road. • Graphics and sound are good. Cons: • Exploration is uninspired. • Buggy/late game frame rate issues. • Not polished. • Major notifications are lacking. (ie: when planets are idle, ships reaching destination, etc)
    • No rally point for ship building.
    • Needs more research.
    • Ship design becomes tedious.
    • Low replayability.
    Overall:
    Rather bland 4X game but has lots of potential especially from modders. Although the developer is active it’s still a small team. There is some concern that significant needed improvements might take a while to be released. Hold off for now but keep an eye on this one. Time will tell.
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  81. 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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  82. 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.
  83. 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!
  84. Apr 30, 2013
    7
    StarDrive is an ambitious project from an independent developer that's in fact just 1 guy! In light of that, it's quite an accomplishment. Pros: Great artwork, especially in the diplomacy interface You can design your own starships from the ground up Robust planet management interface Solid 4X game, and there aren't many of these Comprehensive faction creation process that allows you to choose the bonuses and issues your civilization will have.

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

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

    Overall, it's well worth the price, and I do not regret the $26 I put down to play it.
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  85. 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
  86. Apr 29, 2013
    6
    StarDrive strikes me as a game with a lot of potential that at the same time doesn't quite get there. The artwork is superb and I love the fact that each race is given both a unique character as well as specific dialogue options to that race. The quirk of being able to use the diplomacy interface to actually just chat with the ambassador is nice and makes it feel a little like Star Control 2 and the like that its more than just business, but also exploration of the variety of a universe. The addition of the occasional dialogue event on discovery of a new planet adds to this as well, as does the Remnant subplot.

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

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

    The other problem is that the content that is there is like a preview of some bigger game that has yet to manifest itself. The dialogue option to find out about the various races is a neat touch, but there's really only one such option per race. The planetary discovery event is neat, but there's only the one (and its not completely implemented). The tech tree is very short and is kind of front-loaded (it takes a long time to the get the first few techs, then suddenly you're getting new techs every few minutes).
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  87. 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
  88. 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
  89. Apr 29, 2013
    7
    This game is thoroughly mediocre with one really great aspect. All technical issues aside it feels lacking in content. Just open up the game creation options menu and you will be greeted by a complete lack of customizability that you normally find in a 4X game The research tree does not have much depth. There are not a very large number of ship classes. The weapons, equipment and planetary upgrades are adequate but not very interesting .

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

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

    I'm not sure StarDrive is worth $25-30. I would say grab it in the bargain bin unless you are a huge fan of the genre. Hopefully mods can address the lack of content.
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  90. 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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  91. Apr 29, 2013
    5
    This game isn't really perfect. at least not in its current "beta" form.

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

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

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

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

    i hope they refine the AI greatly cause atm its only making me go "WTF" over and over and over...
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  92. Apr 29, 2013
    7
    This is the best 4x game since Master of Orion II. That being said, Moo2 still sits upon the throne.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    All in all, a very worthy effort. I'm glad I purchased it, and I will spend many, many hours on this one. I'm also glad I got it at a discount, because I feel like it comes up a little bit short of true greatness. Unless they spend a little more time fixing these issues, in 10 years, people will still be comparing 4x games to MOO2, not this one.
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  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
    7
    Star Drive is a real time 4x game with many similarities to the turn based Galactic Civilizations. It is still in its Beta phase so expect balancing issues, bugs and some unfinished features. It is hard to predict how good the game will be once it's released as there are still many issues that need to be adressed, mostly concerning the ground combat, performance and AI.

    The economic
    side of the game is pretty simple, each planet has a population cap and base food and production multipliers and can be enhanced by building improvements. Unlike in GC there is no happiness and it does not cost money to produce ressources and food, instead the taxrate takes a share of all the production and research credits, making the economic system much simpler. The core focus of the game lies in rapid expansion, logistics and combat.

    The Shipyard, the tool to design your own ships, is the most unique feature of the game. The shiphulls have slots for different components laid out on a 2D plane, more then 1000 for some of the largest ships and only 10 for the smallest. The components placed on the ship don't simply add up to a total HP, defense and firepower rating like in Galactic Civilizations, their position plays a great role in combat. Shots hitting the components damage until destruction and are then taken out of combat until they are repaired, generators cause secondary explosions that damage surrounding components and when the last bridge component is destroyed the whole ship fails clever ship design makes a huge difference, good designs can be vastly superior to the designs the AI uses, at least once frigates and cruisers become available.

    This also makes the different races with their individual ship designs fundamentally different, the Vulfen Imperium for example has pretty small ships that can be turned into cheap heavy hitting, but weak destroyers whereas the Opteris have huge ships with many slots for armor plates that can't be used for guns, making them last for a long time under heavy fire, but slow, hard to miss and less firepower for the money.

    The downside to the shipyard is that it is possible to build vastly superior ships compared to the AI. Larger groups of cheap Vulfen frigates equipped with low tech weapons can have enough firepower to destroy everything the AI may have to offer during late game, and thanks to the possibility to adapt to the designs the AI usually uses even before a war starts gives human players a huge advantage, regardless of how good their designs are. Currently there is a serious lack of challenge in the game once you survive the early stage.

    Another thing that reduces the difficulty is the lack of declining productivity increases with larger empires like in civilization where happiness is a serious issue. There is absolutely no reason not to colonize a planet; the worst that can happen is that you simply won't get anything out of it.

    Conclusion: This games core mechanics have a huge potential, but are also part of its biggest weakness players can systematically outsmart the AI. Other then that it's a lot of fun developing strategies and ship designs. Assuming most of the current issues get solved and a multiplayer mode implemented this could become a great multiplayers game, and I'm really looking forward to its final release. If you like the Genre, but don't want to be part of a closed beta (and don't trust the developer to properly finish the game) you should keep an eye on this game and wait for its release.
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  95. Apr 29, 2013
    6
    I preordered the game two month ago and I was really surprised by it. However the longer I played the more flaws I have discovered.
    Some people praise the ability to design own ships. Yes, it sounds cool. But how come noone mentiones that you have to fill in EVERY SINGLE space on your ship. I mean wtf? What if I do not want to? Why do I have to have more expensive and heavier ship? How
    come noone mentiones the total luck of an upgrade possibility? You have a new weapon researched? Cool. Now go to the ship design and replace EVERY SINGLE one manually. You must be kidding. I would accept this in beta, but not in a full version. But wait, full version is just a renamed beta. Oh, nevermind then.
    Now we go to AI. First let me tell you that AI can not design its own ships. Yes, you hear right. It can use preset designs and designs you created, but it can not make it own ones. Quite a flaw in a space strategy, do not you agree? Diplomatic AI also needs to be tweaked more. It has the same flaw as most cheap AIs. Are you weak? To the hell with you, we declare war. And what if someone wants to play peacefully? I am rich, I am technologicaly advanced, but just because I do not build thousands of ships like a moron I am bad? And even if I manage not to angry anyone by my small military, I will definitely make them angry by travelling through their space. And I do nto mean their systems, but the game has a thing called subspace projector which allows your ships to travel faster. But by some strange logic a space around it is considered a race territory. And as the AI spams these projectors like crazy, later int the game you simply have to cross their space. The most funny thing is that I consider this a total useless technology and I have never build a single one projector.
    Speaking of technologies, the technology tree is really and I mean really short. It does not take long and you have researched everything. I was hoping that in a full version it would be enlarged. But as I mentioned, full version is just the beta with a changed name.
    As some others mentioned here, the game is on a good way, but richt now it simply lacks the depth. And it became really boring for me after a short time. There are no events in the galaxy (only really stupid subspace flux preventing all war travel and happening way too often). In the end it ends up with you spamming ships like crazy because it is what everyone else is doing. No way to win otherwise. Which is quite sad. Even in Master of Orion 2 you could win by wiping out Antarean homeworld and to do that you did not need the strongest military. So my recommendation is wait. Wait a few months to see if the game is improved. Right now you would be buying a beta version for a price of a full version.
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  96. 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
  97. 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
  98. 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!!
  99. Apr 28, 2013
    6
    To put it simply, the game is not done. I bought the beta version on steam and have enjoyed the product. I cannot tolerate that the game is being marketed as a "finished" product now that the release date has passed. Some races have yet to receive their full ship line ups and it is obvious that the game is just not done. While I have no problem pre-purchasing a game to get access to a beta I expect a released product to be finished. The release date should have been pushed back or some outside help brought in to finish the game up if the April 26th release date was really that important.
    Overall the game has a nice concept but the execution seems a bit lacking. I would still recommend this game to any space or 4x fan but be warned, it is definitely not a finished product.
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  100. 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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  101. Apr 26, 2013
    0
    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! Collapse
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]