Monday, April 13, 2015

StarDrive 2 Gameplay Review

I'm playing StarDrive 2, a 4X turn-based strategy game by Zero Sum Games and Iceberg Interactive.

The single-player game offers a campaign against other races, vying for supremacy in the galaxy. The interface offers a useful empire management screen and a pleasing zoomed-out view, but needs automated exploration. Each colony’s population can be allocated towards food, production, or research; colonies can construct ships or buildings. Freighters will automatically shuttle food to colonies that need it; they are also used to invade enemy planets or trade with other factions. Ships have a finite amount of fuel that is diminished outside of friendly territory, limiting surprise attacks on far-away systems. Ships can be customized with different weapons, defenses, and systems in the shipyard, and a command point limit serves as a population cap. Research allows one tech choice per level; the others must be traded for. Diplomactic options include trading treaties, technologies, colonies, and cold, hard cash; diplomatic tolerance prevents making multiple deals in quick succession. Real-time space and land battles are too simplistic, but the strategic AI has a good handle on the game rules. StarDrive 2 has a couple of nice ideas in a polished 4X game.