Thursday, July 25, 2019

Interstellar Space: Genesis Gameplay Initial Impressions

These are early impressions of Interstellar Space: Genesis, a turn-based space 4X strategy game.
The game includes robust game customization, including randomized tech trees and custom factions. The most striking thing is very slow initial production (your first colony ship can take upwards of 70 turns), so you must invest in exploration and upgrading your starting world first. It takes about 100 turns before things really get going production-wise.  Production at a colony can be allocated between improving infrastructure (which improves production), planet quality, and construction of buildings and ships. Outposts can be built at asteroid belts (for production, trade, or research bonuses) or dead stars (for strategic resources, research, and income). Systems can be surveys using ships or remote exploration, a neat game mechanic where you designate an area of the map and after several turns, the area is explored more thoroughly. The research tree can be randomized, and additional techs in the same group and level are more expensive (requiring you to pick and choose, another neat mechanic). There are also space culture upgrades (like a culture tech tree in Civ), which is the primary way of getting ships early in the game. Straightforward diplomatic options are available with other factions. The budget is easy: just allocate a percentage of your income to research and space culture, and the rest goes into your coffers. Tax rate can also be increased, at the detriment to production. Custom ships can be designed, and there is combat between opposing ships. Leaders can be assigned to planets or ships, and they occasionally make requests. Random events also pop up every once in a while. The interface is good, providing a list of targets for expansion and your ships, and including extensive tool-tips, although sometimes things don’t update (like ship locations / destinations when changing orders during a turn). Interstellar Space: Genesis has a number of unique gameplay features and is recommended so far to fans of 4X games.