Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri Image
Metascore
92

Universal acclaim - based on 19 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 223 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: Legendary designer Sid Meier presents the next evolution in strategy games, with the most addictive, compelling gameplay yet. Explore the alien planet that is your new home and uncover its myriad mysteries. Discover over 75 extraordinary technologies. Build over 60 base upgrades andLegendary designer Sid Meier presents the next evolution in strategy games, with the most addictive, compelling gameplay yet. Explore the alien planet that is your new home and uncover its myriad mysteries. Discover over 75 extraordinary technologies. Build over 60 base upgrades and large-scale secret projects for your empire. Conquer your enemies with a war machine that you design from over 32,000 possible unit types. [Firaxis] Expand
Buy On
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 19
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 19
  3. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. 100
    Its brilliance is in a seamless and convincing storytelling that begins with the opening cinematic and never stops unfolding, developing, and engaging. With each new expansion, each contact, crisis, and step closer to ultimate resolution, Alpha Centauri is a hell of a yarn.
  2. Strategy gamers, the Holy Grail hath been found.
  3. 95
    Remarkable. Alpha Centauri is a better game than "Civilization II"; it's deep, rich, rewarding, thought-provoking in almost every way.
  4. Combining all the best features of a genre AND adding evolutionary improvement to them is in fact, revolutionary...The clean interface, astounding gameplay depth, and narcotic addictiveness of SMAC all prove that it deserves one of our highest ratings.
  5. It is, by all accounts, one of the best turn-based strategy games ever made and perhaps the best ever of its kind.
  6. Make no mistake about it, this is the game most Civilization lovers have been longing for.
  7. The unoriginality in unit appearance kind of killed the game for me and the good soundtrack that overshadows the game can get on your last nerve depending on how long you've been playing. It just continually loops.

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 44 out of 45
  2. Negative: 0 out of 45
  1. Feb 11, 2013
    10
    Simply the best turn based strategy I've ever played. It's been almost 14 years the game hit the shelves, yet I still play it from time toSimply the best turn based strategy I've ever played. It's been almost 14 years the game hit the shelves, yet I still play it from time to time. This is what I expect from a masterpiece TBS game, replayability. In every new game, you still find something to keep you playing in my case, it was the stories I made up myself while playing through ).
    The story: Mankind had just finished the race for space and launched its first colonization craft to the nearest habitable star system, before it fails as a race and destroys both itself and almost the planet. The 80.000 colonists have it tough for years until they reach their objective. Then the captain of the ship was murdered, and it didn't take long for the colonists to unite between factions representing ideals, a new bitter conflict had started...
    Factions: You play as one of the seven factions, Peacekeepers( Similar to the UN Spartans( Militarists, survival of the fittest Hive( Strength in Unity, brutal police state Gaians( Nature's attendants, ecologists (My all time favorite)), Morganites( Free market economists, money is power), Believers( Fundamentalists University( Science before everything else). Each faction has their distinct modifiers, ups and downs but not as much as limiting their playstyle to a single viable option. For example, Gaians can capture and use mind worms( the planets native life form) in combat while spartans gain +2 morale(experience) upgrade. It is clear that each faction is worked on and been given life beautifully.
    Gameplay: Not so different from Civilization2, although somewhat more detailed and diversified. You still found bases( cities build city improvements, wonders and units, do research, engage in politics( politics aspect is far better compared to any of its predecessor), terraform the planet, engage in social engineering( instead of governments and so on. There are several ways to victory, almost all factions possess a route better suited for them compared to others. Units gain experience as they fight and survive, improving their combat prowess, and another beautiful aspect of the game, can be created for specific needs, with the unit editor. You need to combat mind worms? Add empath song to the unit. Unit support is becoming a problem? Add clean reactor. So many options are available and it's a blast to experiment with unit types. The wonder cutscenes are gorgeous, way ahead of anything when they were created(in 99). Research tree is immense, always a plus for me. In addition to all that, the game world is so rich that you stand in awe. Brian Reynolds( The game's lead designer, despite the fact that it's branded as a Sid Meier game) had a dual degree in Software Engineering/Philosophy, and the philosophy is masterfully integrated in the game as research descriptions, diplomatic responses and faction profiles. They are too rich and beautiful to ignore. I can find only a single thing to criticize, even in the TRANSCEND difficulty, the game is too easy with certain factions. Iron Man option( Save/Load restricted) adds some challenge though. My last game was an Iron Man Transcend with Believers( The weakest faction in my opinion, maybe my playstyle is not suited for believers) was a good run.
    Audio/Visuals: While the only thing that may have kept me from giving this game a solid 10 would be the audio, the visuals are good. Granted, visual perfection and eye candy couldn't hurt, the current level is more than enough for what I seek in a solid TBS game. Audio is meh, the music is somewhat irritating at times, though it has its moments. The sound effects are adequate.
    Multiplayer: An option, but a pain to play multiplayer. Not that it's the game's fault, on large and huge maps with several factions, the amount of time needed is too much. It couldn't have been any other way though.
    Overall: Best TBS I've ever played( Maybe Dominions 3 would come close It's 2013 now and there's a reason I still install and play Alpha Centauri and its expansion SMACX( Alien Crossfire because no other game could gave me such satisfaction and feeling of accomplishment, in the following years since SMAC had been launched.
    Brian Reynolds is my favorite game designer, sad to see him working for Zynga now, but I can't bring myself to accuse him( Man's gotta eat, and pc strategy gaming hasn't been rewarding as far as I can tell but it would be my dream come true if Reynolds said this what the hell am I doing here? I should be doing master strategy games! and announces a sequel to Alpha Centauri.

    Final words: If you're into strategy gaming. This game is a must. You can get it without a second thought.
    Expand
  2. ElliotN.
    Apr 25, 2006
    10
    It's a very good game. Some may complain it is complicating, but it captures many elements of civilization, government.
  3. Jan 18, 2014
    10
    It is terrifying that this 15-year-old game is still one of the best games I have ever played.

    The only downside is its graphics and age,
    It is terrifying that this 15-year-old game is still one of the best games I have ever played.

    The only downside is its graphics and age, which can't be controlled. If anything deserves a 10, it is this game.

    I'd kill for a sequel.
    Expand
  4. Sep 1, 2016
    10
    One of the best turn based strategy games of all time. Honestly, would be awesome if they left this game as it is, and just did a graphicalOne of the best turn based strategy games of all time. Honestly, would be awesome if they left this game as it is, and just did a graphical remake to bring it into 2016. Expand
  5. Jun 24, 2013
    10
    #1 on my list since it was released. Without any question, hesitation or doubt whatsoever: the best game I have ever played. I've invested#1 on my list since it was released. Without any question, hesitation or doubt whatsoever: the best game I have ever played. I've invested more time into this game than all other games I've ever played combined.

    Sid Meier please make a sequel.
    Expand
  6. Jun 18, 2013
    10
    A masterpiece that shouldn't be missed by anyone who likes playing strategic games. It has a very good diplomacy which is quite rare in newerA masterpiece that shouldn't be missed by anyone who likes playing strategic games. It has a very good diplomacy which is quite rare in newer strategic games. Expand
  7. Mar 7, 2011
    6
    Fun, but broken six ways from side-ways. compared to Civ II-IV, this was an ambitious but ultimately failed attempt at a strategic game.Fun, but broken six ways from side-ways. compared to Civ II-IV, this was an ambitious but ultimately failed attempt at a strategic game. Worth exploring to find all the ways you can break it at least... Expand

See all 45 User Reviews

Related Articles

  1. Ranked: Best and Worst Computer Strategy Games

    Ranked: Best and Worst Computer Strategy Games Image
    Published: July 26, 2010
    How good must the new "StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty" be to crack our list of the best PC strategy games of all time? Here's how our top ten list currently stands.