With the massive disappointment of Master Of Orion III, the ears of 4X space strategy fans (Explore, Expand, Exploit, Exterminate) will have pricked up upon hearing of this title from US strategy specialists Matrix Games, creating an army of Spock-a-like galactic ruler wannabes.
But before we all rush out and proclaim this to be the new 4X messiah like a scene from Frank Herbert's Dune, let's take a moment to examine some of the crucial failings of this charmingly low-budget release. First up graphics. Verdict: rubbish. But you know what? We don't care. They'll do.
Second, and finally, the interface. Verdict: overly complicated. Yes, it's that age-old bugbear: the horrendous, clunky, clumsy interface. We say interface, but what we are describing is effectively a row of pull-down menus at the top of the screen. Very little pointing and clicking, no context sensitive cursor, and no two mouse-button system of note either.
All of which manages to ruin a game that actually has much to offer in terms of strategy and sheer "I'm seeing the galaxy for the first time" joy. Seven races, tons of random events, plenty of research options, weapon systems and ship designs to tinker with. Things run in real time, though there's a pause every time a ship, space station or construction yard needs telling what to do. This works well initially, guiding you through unfolding events, but when you've got a universe full of people asking for orders, it becomes a disorientating headache. And the less said about the baffling ship-to-ship combat system the better.
A good effort, but one that will frustrate and thwart even the hardened 4X
Download Starships Unlimited
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP