The award-winning Space Empires IV Deluxe is the latest edition in the Space Empires series. A grand strategy title in the space 4X (explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate) genre, Space Empires has already found a place in the heart of strategy gamers everywhere.
User reviews:
Mostly Positive (91 reviews) - 79% of the 91 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 7, 2006

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Packages that include this game

Buy Space Empires IV and V Pack

Includes 2 items: Space Empires IV Deluxe, Space Empires V


About This Game

The award-winning Space Empires IV Deluxe is the latest edition in the Space Empires series. A grand strategy title in the space 4X (explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate) genre, Space Empires has already found a place in the heart of strategy gamers everywhere.
Research technology, design new ships, wage war on a tactical level, put down rebellions, meet and greet new species, and much more. All the level and campaign design tools are included, allowing anyone to become a part of the expansive Space Empires Mod community.

System Requirements

    Minimum: Pentium Processor; Windows XP; 128MB RAM; 800x600 screen resolution; 16bit colour; 300 MB hard drive space; DirectX 8.1 or higher, Windows Compatible Sound Card.
Helpful customer reviews
36 of 39 people (92%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
24.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 2, 2015
Micromanagement running wild

First two facts to keep in mind. First Space Empires IV is fifteen years old! Second, the game comes with a big package of Mods.

The game is a turn based 4X Space conquest game, with a lot of options, a lot of races and special "racial" technologies to discover. Systems can be quite large, since moons and planetoid belt can also be developed.

One watched me playing this game and said: "It even looks uglier, than my first impression was." He is right, it isn't a pretty, 3 D styled and streamlined game. It's virtues lie on totally different topics.

The game offers a lot, in many ways but it also has some drawbacks.

  • A huge selection of races, plus the ones in the addon packs.
  • The Systems alone are large, the universe itself, well enough room for developement.
  • Technology, Resources and Planets are dependant.
  • Several Victory conditions are possible.
  • Each planet, Belt, Moon or Sun has a flavor text.

  • The Sound is enervating, well the graphics aren't pretty - but the sound can drive you insane.
  • The Micromanagement can get you entwined in red tape, actually not a kind of fun for everyone.

Only Recommended to special audiences!

The game is old, it shows - but it should earn a piece of the heart of every 4x fan out there. It has a playing depth that is rare, the choice of the original races alone is more than enough for everyone to play for weeks, maybe months. But don't overdo it. As a game it's kind of a buerocrats dream (or nightmare...). The game grows repetetive after several playthroughs. It's more fun if you are able to play it either as a multiplayer game, or if you choose to just get one PC oponent, the AI of the computer generated races is very aggressive, and they could put you out of business in no time. Just be glad, that they even fight among themselves a lot.

Overall this game is a must have for fans of the genre. Beginners should look elsewhere, since the huge amount of information packed into this game can scare you away.
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12 of 15 people (80%) found this review helpful
1,129.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 11
General impression : 7/10 -> quality game, it does not apear on the top 100 list of best games of all time, but it still is a nice addition to have
Bug Class : A -> flawwless, no bugs
at any price <20 euro I'd say that you should buy this, and at 1.49 when at discount buying this is a no-brainer.

List of 5 most promitent Pro's and Con's :

*high ship customising, without overcomplicating things
*weapon types and variation seem all to be reasonably well balanced in size, power and range.
*good paper-scizzors-stone strategy in weapon types
*good advancement over techtree from beginning to end, every discovery is a small step forward and can be put to good use directly
*lots of terraforming options to shape the universe to your liking to suit your needs

Cons :
*unit limit is often to low for comfort and can only be changed by starting a new game
*all ai's will go permanenly to war with you, once your score exceeds 150% of the best AI player
*the ecomomy is too strong after the first 60-100 turns you never will have resource shortage again
*the ai is to weak, meaning you usually never get to USE all that neat end game terraforming tech against
*multiplayer, though possible, is limited only hotseat & take turns or by using

personal experience
Early game (turn 1-40)
The perfect game, tech came in at a steady but not to fast pace, meaning new toys to play with every few turns but not making things obsolete to fast. Resources were limited but not too limited, meaning I had to pick 2 our of 3 from epanding the warfleet, building more colonies or improving excisting colonies. Interacting with the AI gave a few that wanted alliances (giving me an income boost) and a few that went to war (giving me some small skirmishes to play with.
Midgame (turn 41-100)
Not being able to destroy or risk having my colonies destroyed because that would permanely lower a planets values, my progress stagnated expantion ran to a halt, Wars turned into "destroy every turn the units they produced this turn" without being able to take down those ship-building planets themselves. Only to have that taking a turn for the worse as suddenly every AI declared war on me, and I was starting to die from overextending. I had to cancel everything (wasting precious techpoints and resources) and go for a total war, and even than it took quite a while before I had fleets and ships of large enough size and power I could hold ground against the AI. (luckely this all people declare war on you feature can be turned out by simply changing a line of text in a .txt gamefile from = yes to =no as I did for later games)
Lategame (turn 101 and more)
While I could win the battles but not the war (I was just stretched out too thin) especially since regardless the war I kept my personal "do not destroy any colony" rule in place, to not lower their values. This stalemate was broken when I discovered i could just trade for those planets and found out the AI would only need an offer for as little as 20000-30000 of a single resource to hand you one of it's planets even when at war. Extremely cheap, as building a fleet would cost sometimes a million resources, and getting it to the frontlines where it was needed three times as much in upkeep.This made it possible to conquer the Ai very quickly, by defeating all ships and satelites in it, place an offer to buy them all, and move on to the next system. In 20 turns after I discovered this all AI's were either reduced to 1 planet or destroyed. By than the game was essentially over even with tons of tech left on the techtree. I still played on, but by than it was more playing simcity, as there was no opponent of any meaning left. (I tried modding the game so that the Ai would only accept valueble technology or ships for planets, but found that that was not possible, for all future games I simply restain from buying planets and advise you to do the same to keep the game enjoyable)
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2015
I started playing this after I played the board game space empires 4x. It's a fun little space strategy game. need a multiplayer mode though.
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94 of 102 people (92%) found this review helpful
192.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 8, 2014
Space Empires IV is like a truly complex, four course meal. The flavors are nuanced, will challenge the faint of heart, and if you trust the chef and stick with it to the end, is truly satisfying.

I spent hundreds of hours on the predecessor to SEIV, and the terrible graphics but amazing gameplay of SEIII will live in my memory forever. Space Empires IV is a worthy successor. Unlike some sequels, SEIV builds on what made SEIII great, preserving the best features and adding lovingly rendered graphics, enhanced ship design features, more technologies, bigger galaxies, better AI (although this is probably the greatest weakness of the series), and more.

If you've never played 4X games before, SEIV is a heavy entry title. It does have a steep learning curve, and only those who truly love micromanagement will ever appreciate the deep complexity at the core of this title. It's possible to play without getting bogged down in the details as a variety of assistants can be turned on to help manage minutia like build queues, research, and the like. I'm not that familiar with them as I never play with them on, but I'd imagine they would help if you're just getting in to the game.

The real brilliance of SEIV is the extensive technology tree and the infinite variations in how it can be applied. Over the many hours I've spent with this game, I've tried countless variations on technology applications, and there is no one true path to victory. Many exist, they are all fun, and contribute greatly to the near-infinite replayability of this title.

When you get tired of the base game, the second greatest feature of SEIV kicks in -- it's very open to modding, and a strong community of modders exists for the game, with simple mods like technology tree augmentations to extensive mods like Star Wars or Star Trek "mode" mods. Whatever you want, it either exists or wouldn't be hard to make.

Needless to say, I'm a big fan of this game. If you're new to 4X games, you might want to come back to this one after getting into the genre a bit more. If you're a 4X pro and want to embrace a true challenge -- this is the game for you.
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48 of 54 people (89%) found this review helpful
10 people found this review funny
43.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 1, 2015
Do you fancy 4x games? Like Civilization series? Go ahead! buy it, its totally worth 10$ or less (if you can find it on sale).
I've owned a retail disc since 2004 and probably have clocked more than 2000 hours. Its so re-playable. Even after years of gameplay, It surprises me with new things I've failed to discover earlier.

11/10 will forget engines in their first ship designs.

!! Update: For those who can't decide between SE IV or SE V !!

If you want the to experience a better game in terms of gameplay and are okay with outdated graphics and 2-D view, pick SE IV one over SE V. Not only its fast, it has a simple and neat UI and is bug free (atleast to me, havn't found a single one in 10 years).

But if you want better graphics and can tolerate occasional bugs and sluggish performance at times, go for the SE V.
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