Monday, January 23, 2017

Stars in Shadow Gameplay Review

I'm playing Stars in Shadow, a turn-based 4X space strategy game by Ashdar Games and Iceberg Interactive.

The game features reasonable varied factions and randomized maps supporting up to 12 players. The mechanics are standard for a 4X game: explore new systems, colonize suitable planets, place buildings to produce resources, construct a fleet of ships, and attack the enemies. Some minor differences: Food must be transported to colonies that lack it, and large quantities of metal (extracted from mines) is required to build ships. Also, each planet can only support a small number of resource-producing structures (based on physical size), so specialization is key to long-term success. A fairly open-ended technology tree allows for many research paths to be taken, and custom ship designs are possible. Diplomatic options are typical; influence is used to purchase agreements. Turn-based tactical battles arise when factions clash, and the AI plays well enough at the game to make it a decent challenge, though it could provide more meaningful feedback on diplomatic trades. Stars in Shadow is a fine 4X game that neither stands out nor has detrimental features.