Get the complete GalCiv II saga including Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords, the expansion pack Dark Avatar, and the newest expansion pack Twilight of the Arnor!
User reviews:
Recent:
Mixed (10 reviews) - 60% of the 10 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Mostly Positive (826 reviews) - 74% of the 826 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Dec 2, 2011

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Packages that include this game

Buy Galactic Civilizations I and II Pack

Includes 2 items: Galactic Civilizations® I: Ultimate Edition, Galactic Civilizations® II: Ultimate Edition

Buy Stardock Legends Pack

Includes 7 items: Dead Man's Draw, Demigod, Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes, Galactic Civilizations® I: Ultimate Edition, Galactic Civilizations® II: Ultimate Edition, Sins of a Solar Empire®: Trinity, The Corporate Machine

 

About This Game

Get the complete Galactic Civilizations II saga including the acclaimed PC strategy game of the year Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords, the award winning expansion pack Dark Avatar, and the newest expansion pack Twilight of the Arnor!

Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords: Galactic Civilizations II is the sequel to 2003's hit turn-based strategy game of the same name. The player takes on the role of the leader of a space-faring civilization and must guide its expansion in a hostile galaxy. Gamers must balance their economic, technological, diplomatic, cultural, and military power to forge alliances, fight wars, and ultimately dominate the galaxy. The game is single-player and allows the player to play randomly generated galactic maps or play through a multi-mission campaign that tells the story of an ancient enemy called the Dread Lords.

Galactic Civilizations II: Dark Avatar: The expansion pack for Stardock's award-winning hit strategy game, Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords. This expansion pack not only adds the usual content that expansion packs tend to do such as new opponents, new units and a new campaign. It also greatly expands the game play of Galactic Civilizations II. New features include asteroid belts on the map that can be mined for resources, unique planets that require special technologies to colonize, spies to conduct sabotage and destabilization (or used to protect your worlds from the same), new types of diplomatic treaties, an enhanced artificial intelligence engine, and much more!

Galactic Civilizations II: Twilight of the Arnor: The year is 2227 and the fire of war is consuming the galaxy thanks to the manipulations of the evil Dread Lords. But the remaining factions, led by the humans, have a plan to rid the galaxy of the Dread Lords once and for all.

Expand the Galactic Civilizations II universe with Terror Stars, unique technology trees per civilization, Map editors, Custom Scenario makers, campaign editors, new types of ships, new planetary improvements, and much more!

Key features:

  • Beautiful 3D engine brings planets, stars, asteroids and ship battles to life.
  • Create custom 3D ships piece-by-piece with your Shipyard.
  • Play as any of a dozen unique civilizations or create your own.
  • Multiple paths to victory: Military conquest, cultural domination, political alliance, technological supremacy or ascension.
  • Addictive gameplay: Dynamic galaxies ranging from tiny to gigantic.
  • Superior multi-threaded artificial intelligence enables computer players to provide a challenge without having to cheat.
  • Put your scores online via the Metaverse and compete with players from around the world.
  • Fully moddable design enables players to create unique opponents, graphics and scenarios.
  • Advanced diplomacy enables players to trade, make treaties, alliances and more.

System Requirements

    • Operating system: Windows® XP SP3 / Vista™ SP2 / Windows® 7 / 8.1 / 10
    • Processor: Intel® Pentium® III 1 GHz (or AMD equivalent)
    • Memory: 512 MB (1 GB for Windows 7 / Vista)
    • Hard disk space: 2 GB
    • Video:64 MB DirectX 9.0c Compatible Video Card
    • Sound: DirectX® 9.0c Compatible Sound Card
    • DirectX®: DirectX® 9.0c

    • Other Requirements: Broadband Internet connection, also to activate this game you must create a Stardock account while launching the game on Steam.
Customer reviews
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Recent:
Mixed (10 reviews)
Overall:
Mostly Positive (826 reviews)
Recently Posted
Lassious
0.7 hrs
Posted: August 28
not what i expected
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Maverati
6.5 hrs
Posted: August 27
Think Total War but set in space, and you can design your own ships too.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
1.0 hrs
Posted: August 23
I love hearts of iron 3 - compared to HOI3 this game was confusing and complex.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
IIIPANTHERIII
24.8 hrs
Posted: August 22
It took me a while to focus on the game. The learning curve I thought would be huge and it seemed daunting. However, over the past few days I have stuck to it and find this game to be one of the best I have played. I only have about 12 hours into it but it is so rewarding and very complex. I chose this over the sequel as I heard this had some great features. Really want to try the sequel now.

The perks in the game are great and are well worth looking into. Also research can be slow but there are perks to get a better research ability. The ship design is difficult for me but may be easier for others.

Overall this is an amazing game well worth the price.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
BadassFreeman
24.7 hrs
Posted: August 19
Have you ever played Civilizations IV or V? Well, this is quite a similar deal but in space. I actually had this game in retail form but the CD got so f#cked over the years that it wouldn't play ever again, and with the constant price drops and sales in Steam, why not just buy it here? However, as usual, I will start explaining the bad things of the game to then move to the reasons why you should buy it as well:

First and foremost, the random events. If you don’t yet know much about the game, f#cking turn them off. There are a few that will completely ruin games, and I ain’t even joking. One of them, for example, spawns a max level alien race that will seek out other puny races and will start destroying ANYTHING ANYONE HAS, with a ship so broken, you might even lose a few units trying to kill it in LATE-GAME. WHICH CAN SPAWN IN THE BEGINNING OF THE GAME. It’s as game-breaking as it sounds.

Second, the story. The devs did put some effort into putting a story behind all the crazy sh#t that happens in these games but… Jesus anal f#ck christ, is it boring. Seriously, just ignore the story mode. It’s like story on porn, you expect it to be there, but it ain’t important in any sort of way.

Also, the game has the option for you to make your own ships, which is COOL AS F#CK, however that editor is quite difficult to understand. There’s no tutorial or anything on it, so good luck getting the ropes on what the f#ck you’re doing with it.

Lastly, the races already set on the game already have a set way of playing by default instead of being somewhat random. Because of this, they'll try the same bullsh#t in every match and they might get extremely repetitive. Specially when only one or two of them are more pacifist and the rest will constantly wait for a chance to start a pointless war against you.

Getting that crap out of the way, what do we got left? An interesting alternative to classic Civilizations. While the races themselves are nowhere as interesting and can come as cliched and one dimensional, a decent effort was put to make them.

Something that I totally love is how colonizing works. There’s a f#ck-load of planets out there, but as with real life, not all of them are good to live in. You couldn’t live on f#cking Jupiter, however you can study some weird technologies and make some of those damn planets habitable later on. How good the planets are is quite randomized and some of them are nearly useless by how small they are, but it's good enough.

Trading and doing crap with other Civs is also fun enough. You can force them to give you crap like a damn mafia boss, trade normally or even give stuff away for free, and all of that will change how they see you.

Another good detail on the game is the karma system, which works similarly to the previous point. At random times, the game will give you some details on crap going on and you can choose what to do with it, usually just being the “nice guy” option, the “neutral” option and the “F#CK ALL OF YOU SIDEWAYS” option. All civs have a different karma, so it makes them all very unique.

The game also lets you create civilizations, not only your own, but to fight against, which is great, and offers decent modding support... Although the modding community is a bit dead, as after all this is an old game and a sequel already came out.

Finally, even though I’ve already ♥♥♥♥ a bit on top of the ship creator tools, I will however say that I’ve seen some serious sh#t on them. Like, seriously, you should look out for crap that people have done.

Do I recommend this game? If you're a fan of strategic games similar to CivV, then yes. However, ignore the sequel, Galactic Civilizations 3. For all I know, it's average at best. This one is still fairly superior, even if it's old as sh#t. A solid pick on a sale, and a game that will last you hours and hours.

TL;DR Edition: Fun take on the Civilizations style games by setting everything on space with weird aliens and ♥♥♥♥. Fun gameplay, overall good game on a sale.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Froku
289.6 hrs
Posted: August 14
Oh yeah, a really nice 4x game!


In this game you have a big variance of races, technological, building and politics.

But the biggest point I like is the Modular construction of unites.

Only the ki is a little bit stupide, but hey I´m an extreme player and for me are the most Civ ki stupid too! :D
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Chatner
45.7 hrs
Posted: August 10
I can totally see why a lot of people really like this game and I would love to be one of those people, but there are a few issues that ultimately make me not recommend GalCiv2. The good stuff about this game is mentioned in all the other reviews, so I'll just focus on the things I have problems with:

Combat:
Yeah it's nice that you can design your own ships (even though that part isn't nearly as good as it could be) but the combat itself is 100% automated, You cannot manually take control in any way (unlike in Master of Orion 2 for example). And once you realized that only a handful of stats are relevant to the actual combat you also realize that the ship designer stuff really is pretty damn shallow.

Tech Trees:
Yes, the tech trees are rather extensive, but a lot of the techs are just incremental improvements of previous ones. It feels like they artificially expanded the tech trees to extend the time it takes to get through them. Just because it's big doesn't mean it's good. Or easy to find specific techs, which brings me to:

The UI:
Oh my god. How much time did I spend searching stuff. 'Oh there was this one planet that had that one thingy.... erm... well... it's here somewhere...'
In particular I hate the UI for the shipyards. How many freaking times did I click on the wrong button by accident, not because I'm an idiot but because it's so very non-intuitive.

The Alt-Tab:
Yeah some games hate alt-tabbing. I tend to alt tab very often because I got other stuff going on in the background. This is one of those games that really like to crash on alt-tabbing. And sometimes just randomly for good measure. Usually it ends with a black screen and I can't even open the taskmanager to kill the process. (I'm on Windows 10 btw.)

There's more, but those are my main problems with this game.
If you like this kind of genre I'd say give it a try, obviously a lot of people really REALLY like this game. But I just cannot in good concience recommend this title. :(
Helpful? Yes No Funny
PengoPaddy
0.2 hrs
Posted: August 9
A great 4x. An older game that has aged well. It's economy is more complex than say Endless Space but not for the better, for example you can get loans from the space bank (with three different repayment rates to choose from) and it has sliders to endlessly tweak. Disregard my hours played, I've had the game from other sources.

If you're a 4x fan then give it a try, on sale its pretty cheap. Be sure to get all expansions.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
.K.A.V.
12.6 hrs
Posted: August 7
I had this game many years ago on CD. I played for hours, and hours, and then it was five in the morning, wait, when I checked the clock it only said midnight! This game sucked so many hours of life from me. I have to say it is NOT like civilization, it is a 4X game of it's own accord.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
chrisbeale2010
4.7 hrs
Posted: July 6
had Galactic civ 2 on disc for years so ignore the hours played. Galactic Civ 2 is still the best civilization game set in a sci fi universe, it is not perfect, it has flaws but the ultimate addition is kinda the closest thing we have to a star trek civ or star wars civ.

This game is addictive and will likely have you playing for hours...on hours...on hours...until your late for work....the following week.

it does have flaws, bugs and other bits and pieces but far less than the newer civ 3 and this game is far cheaper and more complete....i actually advise buying this over the 3rd game

Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
13 of 16 people (81%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Recommended
24.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 19
Have you ever played Civilizations IV or V? Well, this is quite a similar deal but in space. I actually had this game in retail form but the CD got so f#cked over the years that it wouldn't play ever again, and with the constant price drops and sales in Steam, why not just buy it here? However, as usual, I will start explaining the bad things of the game to then move to the reasons why you should buy it as well:

First and foremost, the random events. If you don’t yet know much about the game, f#cking turn them off. There are a few that will completely ruin games, and I ain’t even joking. One of them, for example, spawns a max level alien race that will seek out other puny races and will start destroying ANYTHING ANYONE HAS, with a ship so broken, you might even lose a few units trying to kill it in LATE-GAME. WHICH CAN SPAWN IN THE BEGINNING OF THE GAME. It’s as game-breaking as it sounds.

Second, the story. The devs did put some effort into putting a story behind all the crazy sh#t that happens in these games but… Jesus anal f#ck christ, is it boring. Seriously, just ignore the story mode. It’s like story on porn, you expect it to be there, but it ain’t important in any sort of way.

Also, the game has the option for you to make your own ships, which is COOL AS F#CK, however that editor is quite difficult to understand. There’s no tutorial or anything on it, so good luck getting the ropes on what the f#ck you’re doing with it.

Lastly, the races already set on the game already have a set way of playing by default instead of being somewhat random. Because of this, they'll try the same bullsh#t in every match and they might get extremely repetitive. Specially when only one or two of them are more pacifist and the rest will constantly wait for a chance to start a pointless war against you.

Getting that crap out of the way, what do we got left? An interesting alternative to classic Civilizations. While the races themselves are nowhere as interesting and can come as cliched and one dimensional, a decent effort was put to make them.

Something that I totally love is how colonizing works. There’s a f#ck-load of planets out there, but as with real life, not all of them are good to live in. You couldn’t live on f#cking Jupiter, however you can study some weird technologies and make some of those damn planets habitable later on. How good the planets are is quite randomized and some of them are nearly useless by how small they are, but it's good enough.

Trading and doing crap with other Civs is also fun enough. You can force them to give you crap like a damn mafia boss, trade normally or even give stuff away for free, and all of that will change how they see you.

Another good detail on the game is the karma system, which works similarly to the previous point. At random times, the game will give you some details on crap going on and you can choose what to do with it, usually just being the “nice guy” option, the “neutral” option and the “F#CK ALL OF YOU SIDEWAYS” option. All civs have a different karma, so it makes them all very unique.

The game also lets you create civilizations, not only your own, but to fight against, which is great, and offers decent modding support... Although the modding community is a bit dead, as after all this is an old game and a sequel already came out.

Finally, even though I’ve already ♥♥♥♥ a bit on top of the ship creator tools, I will however say that I’ve seen some serious sh#t on them. Like, seriously, you should look out for crap that people have done.

Do I recommend this game? If you're a fan of strategic games similar to CivV, then yes. However, ignore the sequel, Galactic Civilizations 3. For all I know, it's average at best. This one is still fairly superior, even if it's old as sh#t. A solid pick on a sale, and a game that will last you hours and hours.

TL;DR Edition: Fun take on the Civilizations style games by setting everything on space with weird aliens and ♥♥♥♥. Fun gameplay, overall good game on a sale.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
11 of 19 people (58%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
45.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 10
I can totally see why a lot of people really like this game and I would love to be one of those people, but there are a few issues that ultimately make me not recommend GalCiv2. The good stuff about this game is mentioned in all the other reviews, so I'll just focus on the things I have problems with:

Combat:
Yeah it's nice that you can design your own ships (even though that part isn't nearly as good as it could be) but the combat itself is 100% automated, You cannot manually take control in any way (unlike in Master of Orion 2 for example). And once you realized that only a handful of stats are relevant to the actual combat you also realize that the ship designer stuff really is pretty damn shallow.

Tech Trees:
Yes, the tech trees are rather extensive, but a lot of the techs are just incremental improvements of previous ones. It feels like they artificially expanded the tech trees to extend the time it takes to get through them. Just because it's big doesn't mean it's good. Or easy to find specific techs, which brings me to:

The UI:
Oh my god. How much time did I spend searching stuff. 'Oh there was this one planet that had that one thingy.... erm... well... it's here somewhere...'
In particular I hate the UI for the shipyards. How many freaking times did I click on the wrong button by accident, not because I'm an idiot but because it's so very non-intuitive.

The Alt-Tab:
Yeah some games hate alt-tabbing. I tend to alt tab very often because I got other stuff going on in the background. This is one of those games that really like to crash on alt-tabbing. And sometimes just randomly for good measure. Usually it ends with a black screen and I can't even open the taskmanager to kill the process. (I'm on Windows 10 btw.)

There's more, but those are my main problems with this game.
If you like this kind of genre I'd say give it a try, obviously a lot of people really REALLY like this game. But I just cannot in good concience recommend this title. :(
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
24.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 22
It took me a while to focus on the game. The learning curve I thought would be huge and it seemed daunting. However, over the past few days I have stuck to it and find this game to be one of the best I have played. I only have about 12 hours into it but it is so rewarding and very complex. I chose this over the sequel as I heard this had some great features. Really want to try the sequel now.

The perks in the game are great and are well worth looking into. Also research can be slow but there are perks to get a better research ability. The ship design is difficult for me but may be easier for others.

Overall this is an amazing game well worth the price.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 9
A great 4x. An older game that has aged well. It's economy is more complex than say Endless Space but not for the better, for example you can get loans from the space bank (with three different repayment rates to choose from) and it has sliders to endlessly tweak. Disregard my hours played, I've had the game from other sources.

If you're a 4x fan then give it a try, on sale its pretty cheap. Be sure to get all expansions.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
715 of 730 people (98%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
Recommended
155.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 2, 2014
Imagine with me, if you will. You are leader of a small but prosperous empire, controlling roughly two dozen small star systems. You and your allies have been at war with the most powerful civilization for years, and you've managed to gain the upper hand. A long and costly war has cost you several star systems and most of your fleet. Finally, they agree to peace. You sign the papers, and begin to focus on internal affairs.

As you check your intelligence briefings, you notice that another empire has been building up their military. Significantly. As it stands, the Yor have four to five times as much firepower as the rest of the nations put together, as well as a much larger population. They begin to greedily prey upon the weaker nations, demanding tribute or conquering them.

You halt all social and military production, and begin pouring all of your resources into your R&D projects, developing weapons and shields specialized to counter the growing threat. One by one, your allied nations fall to swarms of powerful Yor ships.

After the research had advanced sufficiently, you empty your coffers and upgrade your small fleet, and purchase some additional cruisers. You position your fleet on the Terran-Yor border and wait.

Its time. Your destroyers flash across the border, seeking out the numerically superior Yor fleets and engaging them. Terran ships begin to explode, but the Yor are technologically inferior, and they explode faster. War erupts across the galaxy as civilizations pick their sides. A galactic conflagration begins.

Behind your destroyers, fleets of heavily-escorted troop carriers descend onto Yor worlds, crammed with billions of troops. Tens, then hundreds, of billions die as your begin to inch your way towards the Yor homeworlds. Your war machine keeps turning, producing dozens of sophisticated warships.

Eventually, Icos itself falls. You survey your vast empire, won with the blood of countless billions. Your huge fleet dwarfs all others. Your allies are afraid of you. You've positioned fleets on all of your borders, backed up with troop ships.

Then you realize: you've become what you set out to destroy.

This is Galactic Civilizations.
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317 of 365 people (87%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
72.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 7, 2015
A great game, of which I am angry I cannot play anymore because of the stupid "Stardock Account" that is now required to run this game . I have registered for this dumb account proccess and the game errors after launch every time. why this is now part of this game I do not care but i feel it is now becoming a "process" for running some steam games. If i go through steam for games and multiplayer content why is there another middle man for playing the game?? it makes no sense.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
140 of 147 people (95%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
231.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 31, 2014
Ah, GalCiv2... Memories...
I sank so, so many hours into this game. I owned it on CD before losing them and having to buy it again on Steam. And then sank in some more hours, for good measure.

So, what makes this game awesome? It's often compared to Civilization, but in space. Yeah, that sounds about right... but it's not totally true either. See, GalCiv has many things Civilization does not. Unique tech trees for every race: check. Unique gameplay for every race: check. Being able to customize every single ship: check. That's right, no Warrior vs Warrior here. You can build your ships however you like with the ship builder and put whatever weapons, armour, modules and engines you damn well like.

The political system is also well tought-out and doesn't feel out of place. Want a bigger economic bonus? Go Star Democracy! But what's that? Oh yeah, we're a democracy now, I can't just declare war on a whim... Alright then, let's ask what the parliament thinks. They approve? Oh yeah, let's kick some alien butt, baby! (If your approval is too low, good luck getting your people to follow you into war. They have other priorities you know.)

Okay, enough talk. You're a strategy fan? Need another 4x game to sink time into? Get this game and thank me later!
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163 of 179 people (91%) found this review helpful
Recommended
118.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 19, 2013
Ok listen if you're a strategy game fan you need to own this game no questions asked. This is about as good as you're going to get when it comes to the 4x genre and is pretty much Civilization 5 in space but better and with its own ship designer. There is an extremely large amount of techs, buildings, weapons and so on so yeah a lot of variety. Even the ship builder is well developed as you can build a ship anyway you like and equip it anyway you like based on the technology you have availible. With Galactic Cvilizations 3 announced recently and the low price this game is at there is no reason why you should not pick this one up and give it a go if you like strategy at all I promise you won't regret it.
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106 of 116 people (91%) found this review helpful
Recommended
39.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 16, 2013
If you like Civ IV/Civ V, epic, long games, and space, then GCII is definitely for you. It strikes an incredible balance between providing large-scale epicness and surprisingly robust micromanager's playgrounds.

**While micromanager's playgrounds are not uncommon in modern games, it's exceedingly uncommon for a game to include them sporadically enough that they don't become tedious obligations and yet give them enough weight to make them worthwhile and rewarding. You can go an entire game without ever creating your own ship if that's not your cup of tea--but boy is it ever satisfying to wreck other civilizations with ships you designed.**

GCII is such a vast, epic game it'd be a bargain at twice the price. It's got a bit of a learning curve, but dive right in with a custom scenario and learn by doing until you master the incredible depth and number of facets to it--it's way easier than doing the tutorials. Then, like Civ games, sit in stunned silence when you look up and realize that you've been playing for 13 straight hours. It's that good.
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95 of 105 people (90%) found this review helpful
Recommended
69.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 23, 2014
Apparently I'm not saying anything new about this, since it's so highly rated and regarded already, it seems, but nonethless:

A game that I have played, stopped playing, and come back to playing again many times over the years. I've enjoyed it a lot, and for some reason a big title or two will come out and I'll eventually forget about galactic civ. for a while, and then eventually I'll stumble upon it... always surprised by how much I enjoy playing it, time and again.

It lacks some of the graphical 'bells and whistles' of a Civ-type of turn-based strategy game, but as any player of ck2 knows, what a game lacks in polish can be very much made up for in actual game content and replayability. The depth of galactic civ (and ck2, for that matter) makes civilization look like simplistic child's play (unplayable to me, as a by-product) in comparison.

Distinctive differences/cool elements of the game:

- Skill trees are actually unique to every race.
- fully customizable ships (designing ships became one of my favorite elements of the game early, to my surprise).
- plot/narrative elements that differ game-to-game, making it very replayable.
- Races themselves are fully customizable, adding another layer of replayability and depth to the game's customization.

On the downside, it has many layers of things to control and 'develop,' so to someone coming to this from civ or simpler games of that nature, galactic civ could be daunting, by all means, even overly so. This is a game for a real turn-based strategy-lover, who wants to have a depth of 'control' that might be beyond the average gamer, whoever or whatever that even means...?

I'd say for a strategy-lover (someone who likes games like ck2, europa universalis, etc.) it's a must have regardless of price (I don't think it's more than $20, this far from publication). If you're a civilization/spore lover and you're worried this might go a little too deep and not have the 'sheen' you look for in a game, wait for it to go on sale, as it does every so often, and get it for $5, and give it a shot; Who knows? The developers clearly labored over it with love, and put in a lot of good work in making a very fine game (as I see it).
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