Thursday, May 04, 2017

Dawn of Andromeda Gameplay Review

I'm playing Dawn of Andromeda, a real-time 4X space strategy game by Grey Wolf Entertainment and Iceberg Interactive.

The game features a number of scenarios on pre-designed maps and custom games in randomized galaxies. Each race has slightly different attributes that may alter the general strategy of each match. The interface is a mess: ship and planet lists are both full-screen, making it entirely too difficult to select and issue orders quickly. In addition, there are too many pop-up notifications (the frequency of which cannot be customized), no main screen indication of idle ships (and the ship list says vessels are idle when in fact they may be colonizing or mining), and auto-exploration of two separate ships is uncoordinated. Step one is to explore the galaxy with scouts, revealing colonizable planets, items that can be surveyed (like in Stellaris!), and mining locations. Planet management is almost entirely automated: simply choose which fields (food, population cap, research, defenses, production) to invest extra cash into, and the stats improve on their own. Characters can be assigned to the council for empire-wide bonuses (like in Stellaris!) or to specific worlds as a governor. Policies can be adapted as well. Technologies, artifacts, and foreigners can be studied (like in Stellaris!) through research, and trade of valuable goods can bring in extra money. Diplomatic options are typical, but features vague feedback on why a deal was not accepted. The AI is passable, but combat is uninteresting once war is declared. Dawn of Andromeda is held back by its woeful interface and features stolen from better games.