Endless Space is a turn-based 4X strategy game, covering the space colonization age in the Endless universe, where you can control every aspect of your civilization as you strive for galactic dominion.
User reviews: Very Positive (3,241 reviews)
Release Date: Jul 4, 2012

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Recommended By Curators

"One of the best 4X space games. Has a lot of depth and options. Has a great and supported modding scene. Check the new game Endless Legend as well."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (20)

December 15

[1.1.51] Release Notes



Changes and Additions
  • Added a new hero: Eiyno Wraeil

Bug Fixes
  • Fixed an issue in the vanilla version where the AI would not build ships
  • Fixed an issue where the building queue timer was not refreshed after buying out an improvement
  • Fixed an error that would appear in manual combats
  • Fixed an issue that would result in a crash in manual combats (Mac users)
  • Fixed the “It’s All Mined” achievement, which was not unlocking when playing with the Sheredyn faction
  • Fixed some text issues


~Amplitude Studios

14 comments Read more

November 27

[1.1.49] Patch

Patch [1.1.49]

Bug Fix
  • Fixed the Steam achievements that were not unlocking
  • Fixed an issue with the turn timer in the construction queue

~Amplitude Studios

18 comments Read more

Endless Space Emperor Edition includes...

These 4 add-ons bring a new custom faction, heroes, buildings, technologies, events, musics and plenty of new features voted by the community, such as Exploration Rewards or Wonders, that enhance the game immersion and experience!

Extra Content

About This Game

This galaxy is ancient, and its first intelligent life was the civilization we call the Endless. Long before our eyes gazed upon the stars they flew between them, though all that remains of this people is what we call Dust. A substance found scattered or in forgotten temples, it once gave powers to admirals and galactic governors. The galaxy will belong to the faction that can take control of the Dust and uncover its secrets…

  • A Born Leader: Guide one of eight civilizations as you strive for galactic dominion. Will you control the entire galaxy through subtle trade and diplomacy, explore every corner of the universe to find powerful artifacts and resources, overwhelm other civilizations with your advanced technologies, or destroy your enemies with massive armadas?

  • Endless Discoveries: With hundreds of star systems to explore, different planet types, luxuries and strategic resources to exploit, the mysteries within the Dust to master and a host of strange scientific phenomena to deal with, the player will have no lack of challenges. Hire heroes to become fleet admirals or system governors and discover five hero classes and their unique ability trees and specializations.

  • Space Opera: Experience Endless Space with state-of-the-art graphics and interface, switch between strategic battle decisions and long-term planning. Optimize each fleet for epic battles around contested stars. Create the perfect combinations from dozens of unique ships per civilization. Customize your ship with modules, armament, engines and special mods. The player has a plethora of choices of how to best destroy or dissuade his enemy.

  • Take on the Universe: Play against up to seven opponents and build up – or break – alliances at will. Discover an innovative and dynamic simultaneous turn-based gameplay. Permit instant jump-in for your ongoing online games. Define your own custom civilizations and confront the ones created by your friends.

  • Endless Replayability: Control every new game’s scope, from a quick match-up to an endless war. Generate an infinity of random galaxies where every start begins a new adventure. Modify the size, shape, density, age and a lot more to create your ideal galaxy. Choose from different victory conditions and adapt your strategy on the fly.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS:Windows XP SP3 / Vista / 7
    • Processor:Core 2 Duo Processor or Equivalent
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:256 MB DX9 Compliant
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:2 GB HD space
    • Sound:DirectX 9 Compatible Audio
    Recommended:
    • OS:Windows XP SP3 / Vista / 7
    • Processor:Core i5/i7 or equivalent
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:512 MB DX9 Compliant with PS 3.0 support
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:2 GB HD space
    • Sound:DirectX 9 Compatible Audio
    Minimum:
    • OS: MAC OS X 10.6.7 or higher.
    • Processor: Intel Core Duo Processor (2GHz or better)
    • Memory: 2GB
    • Graphics: ATI Radeon 2400 or higher / NVIDIA 8600M or higher / Intel HD Graphics 3000
    • Hard Drive: 2GB
    Recommended:
    • OS:MAC OS X 10.6.7 or higher.
    • Processor: Intel Core Duo Processor (2GHz or better)
    • Memory: 4GB
    • Graphics: ATI Radeon 2400 or higher / NVIDIA 8600M or higher / Intel HD Graphics 3000
    • Hard Drive: 2GB
Helpful customer reviews
181 of 212 people (85%) found this review helpful
7.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 11
-
Click for Gameplay Trailer - Review
-
Graphics:
+ nice detailed ship models
+ good space presentation
+ planetary change in the close-up view
- moderate effects

Sound:
+ good sounds and effects
- no voice output

Atmosphere:
+ exciting and motivating expansion race in the galaxy
+ atmospheric racial backgrounds
- ...hardly come into the game

Balance:
+ seven well-tuned levels of difficulty
+ many settings
+ demanding for advanced and pro players
- hard for beginners

Units & Upgrades:
+ many Improvements for planetary systems
+ several ship classes
+ heroes
+ Ship editor for individual equipment
- only 3 weapon types

Endless Game:
+ huge tech tree
+ different strategies possible
+ planet acceptance very important
- luck and random-based fighting system

eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate! strategy games have been in the doldrums for years. The great shining light of the genre was Master of Orion II, a mind-numbingly addictive game from the previous millennium.
You choose at the beginning of the game from one of eight races, which differ significantly from each other in their way of playing the part.
The people of the United Empire aggressive set, for example, on economic and military while the peace-loving amoeba (!) More try diplomacy.
The background to the races are run in tight and evocative texts and expected us to start a short introduction movie. But unfortunately ends with the beginning of the game then any hint of story.
We get on the playing time away from the identity of our chosen breed only in the form of advantages and disadvantages as well as a few exclusive technologies with something.
Unfortunately, a further story development or a thread as the living planet in Alpha Centauri or the Antarians of Master of Orion 2 is missing.
Endless Space focuses on macro-management rather than down-and-dirty detail-fiddling. It makes galactic control streamlined, helped enormously by the slickest interface this type of game has ever seen, a beautifully designed UI that keeps things only one or two clicks away.

The overall focus of your empire, from what direction the tech is moving to what each system is producing, is all present on the main galaxy view, so a quick glance at the beginning of each turn tells you where everything stands. It's a great achievement, even though there are inevitably one or two things nested away in counter-intuitive places: unlocking ship designs, for example, only unlocks the hull, which you have to incorporate into a custom build before production.
The mechanics are always the same: fly colonies to other star systems, exploit them, develop tech, and deal with other players.
It's the resources that make the difference: science for tech, food for population, industry for production, and the magical currency of Dust.
Strategic resources are sprinkled around that you can't detect without a bit of teching, and these are crucial to certain playstyles. Military types, for example, want Titanium-70 for construction of their battlefleets.

Beginners are likely to be overwhelmed by the complexity of the title at the beginning of something. While well-made tutorial screens explain clearly the most important functions, but many remain crucial information guilty. So we need to tap into the very confusing research tree until several games itself piece by piece. Only we do not learn what research is actually needed and what not.

The fight is a strange affair, either largely automated or fully automated. In the "highly automated" case fight consists of three phases.
Long range missiles favors, middle is for beams and is short for Kinetic, although missiles are eg still quite devastating at close range. In each phase, the player selects a card battle, the granting of bonuses or penalties (eg overclocking the weapons systems increased firepower of the kinetics, while reducing the effectiveness of anti-missile systems). A special bonus is awarded when a player takes a card, the card meets the other player; the better fleet is still generally independent pounds the weaker fleet. Combat encounters are plentiful enough and usually unilaterally enough so that most battles are fully automated and resolved quickly.

Endless Space is smart, polished and intelligent play of innumerable permutations. Its strength lies in how carefully and how skillfully it is balanced, and how it rewards all kinds of playing styles. Visually, it is detailed and opulent where it needs to be, but simple and clean everywhere.
He makes his voluminous complexity accessible with a great interface that offers a speed and ease of management that can match only a few other games of the genre. The game can not broader appeal or production quality of the Civilization series, but in many ways it's smarter.

Score: 83 / 100
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Sorry for my bad english. This is my review account, because the low playtime.
Thanks for reading! If you Like my Review, give me a Thumbs up in Steam.
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189 of 229 people (83%) found this review helpful
41.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 13
When it shines, it's a beauty, but when it stinks, it kills everything good about it.


I want to like this game. It has that "one more turn" factor. Visually it's well done, and the UI is pretty clever with most complex orders only a few mouse clicks away. But then you find reordering production queues to be unusually clumsy. Most of the game is like that. A few solid hits then a terrible miss. [Queues have been improved in a recent update]

The races are good, well designed and presented, each with their own strengths and each requiring a slightly different set of priorities to succed. But then the difficulty modifiers kick in and the whole race balance goes out the window. Enemy AIs get bonuses to production NOT intelligence and you fight races that can outperform what you could do with them.

Then the AI itself shows irreconcilable stupidity. If i could tolerate 6-7 dumb things the AI does per turn, it would do 10. All too often the AI fleets that could potentially beat you choose to flee (but waste your time, attack, or leave ships behind that blockade you), while i have had one completely unarmed and undefended fleet of invasion ships try to fight back (with tactics, not weapons ofc) and even somehow managed to flee with a few survivors. [AI stupidity has also been adressed with updates]

The AI can sometimes use tactics wisely and from what i saw has no knowledge of your own tactical choices, but the battles are a lottery decided far far ahead, back when you designed the ships. Some survive, some have no chance, and if your ships are very good, then AI will either allways retreat, or allways die, depending on whose territory you're fighting in. Sometimes the very outcome of a war or even game can hinge on the AI doing something remarkably stupid or you failing to understand some of the BASIC fundamental rules of the game. That... is beyond bad, that is awful.

The diplomacy model is one of the better i have seen. Most of it is really good, except of course the one part that kills it completely. It's all meaningless because ultimately your empire exists and therefore it would be better for a rival to take it all away from you. You're the weakest empire? Then die. Wait, you're strongest? Then die. You're in the middle, and a long term trading partner as well as supplier of strategic resources, benefits that far outweigh the problems caused by close borders (and you can see the exact numbers too)? Guess what? Today is the day none of that means anything. Prepare to set the relationship score to -200. And die.

Colonisation and expansion is arguably the strongest part of the game. Exploring the galaxy, triggering some halfhearted random events, scouting good spots for colonies. First contants. All good. But. The game actively penalises you for each and every system you own. Wheter you colonise it or capture it, just having a system increases the penalty higher and higher. Eventually it becomes high enough that it starts to hurt morale and that in turn drops production, research and cash flow. Yes, by colonising a system at a wrong moment, you can drop overall empire wide production by some 10-20%. Does that make any sense?
Yes, there are technologies that reduce the penalty, and yes, it's there to counterbalanc expansion but i am here to play a game, be emperor of space, not to oversee active game modifiers. They should be invisible and subtle, not hit me in the head. When i deliberatly skip average systems that are still well positioned, all just to avoid getting the expansion penalty down the road, i think i am playing a flawed game.

Combat is neither good nor bad except when it's completely illogical. Designing the ships properly takes some experience and knowledge and if you do a good job your fleet will usually serve you well and survive for a long time or you will produce enough replacements for losses to not matter much. The main problem with all the tactical options, counters, different ranges, weapon optimisations, support ships, repair capacity, fighter/bomber cover, is that you very often feel like you just can't take your ships and tell them to "$#%^&* go and kill the enemy!", the MOST BASIC OF PURPOSES for your fleet, but somehow it gets lost in the myriad different things you have to tweak before you can fight. Long story short, i know what i want, the game wont let me, or i have to obey some rule/design feature/balance mechanic.

So while it starts pretty well, and has enough to be fun for a while, it eventually becomes a chore to try to complete a game. The AI has too many choices to make and inevitably it makes poor decisions (compare to SOTS' very basic but lethal AI) and all the strengths of the game are drowned out by the weaknesses.

The best turn based space 4X games have already been made. Master of Orion 2 and Sword of the Stars 1. Maybe even Birth of the Federation, though i am biased about that one. Other games of the genre try to do things differently which is unfortunate because sometimes imitation is the wisest form of flattery. Case in point: Xenonauts. For ages developers tried to recreate the perfect succesor to XCOM - UFO Defense. UFO: Aftershock is 99% as good, and UFO: Alien Invasion is an extremly good remake (but still unfinished). A slew of other games missed the mark completely or admittedly used the old game as a springboard for a new experience. Then Xenonauts imitated the original and surprise, surprise, it hit the bullseye.

Ultimatly Endless Space isn't solid enough to satisfy demanding 4x players, and it isn't "mainstream" enough to captivate the casual audience. So it ends up in between. Better than most, but not good enough.

EDIT - 20 Dec. 2014

Some of the complaints i've ♥♥♥♥♥ed about have been adressed by several patches released since this review. Production queues and enemy retreat logic have been adressed. Better late than never? Or thumbs up for devs supporting their game well after release? Both pretty much, and the game can't be hurt by extra polish & fixes.

I will not change my verdict, but i will say it's still a game i would like to like. Probably more so than before with the recent updates.

If you're sitting on the fence know that you will probably enjoy exploring the game if you choose to buy it. Exploration and expansion are strong suits of Endless Space. It's just that ultimately i felt dissapointed with what i found, but have to admit it was fun exploring.
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64 of 69 people (93%) found this review helpful
318.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
I fell in love with Master of Orion II when it came out first (1996) and since then I look for a worthy successor. Played several 4X games and they had their pros and cons. Endless Space is one of the better 4X games and absolutely worth buying, in my opinion. Wouldn't have played 300+ hours else, heh. I am reviewing it including Disharmony expansion.

Galaxy: Endless Space offers some variety of galaxy shapes and sizes, some favoring defensive players, some favoring offensive ones. Additional finetuning of the galaxy is possible. I miss the opportunity of creating a REALLY huge galaxy, but maximum size with just one opponent works ok as a sandbox mode. During exploring you will find nice bonuses, a few pirates, wormholes (basically dividing the galaxy until you can travel through them) and finally different wonders, so exploring is actually fun.

Background story: You learn about the Endless (usual Elder civilization which went extinct) during playing. The game lacks lore summary articles, but there are traces of this ancient civilization everywhere (galaxy wonders, technologies, factions, leaders), which adds to immersion.

Factions: The games comes with 10 to 12 moderately unique prebuilt factions (depending on whether you get Harmony and Vaulters). Each gets specific traits, innate bonuses, ship bonuses and a few special technologies to encourage certain victory types and hence playstyles. Prebuilt factions are different enough to motivate you to try them all. Additionally, you can create your own faction by modifying a prebuilt one. Meaning you can replace their traits completely, but you have stick with their innate bonuses, ship bonuses and special technologies. It has still a high degree of freedom, I enjoy building my own faction a lot.

AI: Computer opponents (artificial intelligences respective AIs) offer a solid challenge. Especially the 'evil' factions tend to attack you early on, so you cannot simply expand all over the galaxy or rush through the technology trees. Later most AI will attack you when they run out of colonization space - unless they are busy with other opponents. But they also attack each other for same reasons and their reasoning is mostly transparent (+x for long period of peace, -y for common borders etc.). At higher difficulty ratings they are more unfriendly (but not hateful) and get the usual strong production bonuses to offer more of a challenge.

Leader: You can hire a few people for boosts to your empire or your fleets. They make a real difference and usually have a nice background story. It takes some time to learn about their feat trees, but once you became familar with it, your leader can turn a fleet into a nearly unbeatable force. Which you will need to fend off the many enemy ships at higher difficulty ratings... Using leaders to improve your empire helps a lot at the beginning but loses importance as it grows.

Production: Production is done on system level mostly, saving you some time compared to games which do it on planet level. So most buildings affect all colonized planets, ships are produced by the entire system etc.. However, you can specialize your planets (usually: food, industry, research, money), explore their moons and terraform the planets. Terraforming is an interesting feature here because depending on faction and situation you can be better off with unfriendly environment. Since production shouldn't be automated, you will spend a lot of time with tweaking your systems. But that's true for many of these games...

Technology: There are basically four technology trees and they sometimes offer different paths to specific technologies. It honestly needs quite a while to get used to them, but it offers interesting decisions to make. Technology names are often NOT related to their benefits, so at the beginning you will have to check their descriptions often. Other games did that better. Well, on the plus side you have many interesting concepts in the tech description texts - some scifi fans will like them.

Diplomacy: The negotiation with aliens is a solid feature. At the beginning you are at "cold war", meaning you can invade other factions' outposts but not colonies - a bit confusing first. Of course there are war and peace. Peace can be upgraded a bit by two more treaties (open borders, cooperation) and there are alliances. Alliances are usually a short-lived thing with AI empires, but a few traits and technologies reward you for allying. Upgrading from war to cease fire to peace to additional treaties / alliance goes slowly since there is a hardcoded turn amount between them. For instance you have to be at war with your opponent for 10 rounds, then both sides can offer cease fire. At the beginning of the game this makes some sense (why ally instantly with some empire you barely know?), later it becomes kind of a burden. AI empires sometimes ignore the turn amount, speeding up the process. Beside this you can trade dust (basically money), technologies, systems and special resources. At the end of a long war you can even make an AI empire give you all its colonies.

Covert operations: There is no secret service in any empire which is a bit of a letdown. Leaders can steal some dust (money) and technology points from other empires, but that's it.

Ship design: This game gives you rather much freedom how to design your spaceships. The weapon choices are a bit dull: Level 1, 2 and 3 versions of mass drivers, beam weapons and missiles, plus some fighters and bombers. You can defend your ships with thick armor, defense systems or simply taking out the enemy ships fast enough. Finally some special systems make your ships truly unique: Better engines for raids, better scanners to avoid getting surprised, siege for slow invasions, marines for fast invasions (they cost population!), multiple colony pods for quick expansion or multiple layers of armor to accept and shrug off enemy hits.

Battles: Endless Space has a somewhat simplified battle system. You cannot control single ships or squadrons, instead you set the overall strategy by picking a card and probably refine it by formation and general targetting tactics. Leaders add a bit of complexity with their special cards. 'Manual combat' just means you can watch the battle (which looks nice) and change cards every combat phase. Of course this card system means you lose some control (compared with other games), but it also reduces micromanagement and makes the AI more competitive in battles. Some people hate it, some love it, I'd say it's ok.

Bugs: Endless Space crashes ocassionally, let's say every other game. In every case reloading the latest savegame fixed the issue. According to the error messages it's mostly about AI diplomacy - playing with less opponents and in smaller galaxies might help. Given the fun the game provides, I accept the rare crashes though.

If you like complex 4X games, you will (very likely) enjoy Endless Space and its addon Disharmony.
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39 of 47 people (83%) found this review helpful
284.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 15
I like this game, it was considerably worse at launch than it is now. The devs have made sincere efforts to improve and some of them have paid off. The critics reviews at launch don't really reflect the game now. It's probably closer to an 85 with the changes and additions the devs have made. If you like the wide campaign part of strategy games you'll probably like it, but if you're interested in the battles you'll likely be disappiointed. The map/campaign is great fun and very sleek, but the battles are basically a crapshoot. You get 3 turns, a variety of abilities to use each turn, and they have a rock paper scissors quality. Space battles are fun to look at, but it gets tedious and I find myself skipping through them.
Overall, it's worth picking up.
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79 of 119 people (66%) found this review helpful
11.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 19
Endless Space is a lovely looking 4X game, but has a number of strategic flaws which, while adding elements to gameplay, don't make sense (and hence, break suspension of disbelief), and don't work in an entertaining manner.

Economy is well abstracted, and there are lots of options for expanding your economic foundations, but there are some factors which are largely out of direct player control -- population happiness is one of them. Happiness affects everythning, as in most 4X games, but unlike other 4X games, you don't seem to be able to invest much into helping your populace be happy. Wars in particular make you people unhappy -- to the extent where an aggressive military playing style is basically out of the question. The game's design limits the options for the "kind" of player you want to be -- you basically must play by the rigid set of rules the developer has laid down, or you are penalized to the point where you simply cannot beat even the normal AI.

Wars must be routinely tempered with diplomacy, and expansion must be limited during growth periods... or your expansion will fail, no matter how large your military, economy, etc. Conquering opposing races is almost out of the question, unless it is done over a protracted period. DIfferent races have different features, in this regard, but the trouble with such a setup is that your playstyle is largely known from the outset, by every other player in the game.

Space combat is visually spectacular, and has some interesting tactical twists, in the form of a rock-paper-scissors tactic system. Ship design, is fairly involved, even though weapons basically boil down to 3 types, with levels 1 throgh 5. Ship designs can vary the amount of weaponry and defenses they have, but the game often boils down to something of a "who researched the right techs vs the other guy" fight, yielding a boring, balanced research mechanism as the most effective in basically any game.

The most severe issue with space combat, however, is that fleet size is limited by elements of the tech tree. You can build a fleet of 50 cruisers, but can't put more than 1-2 in a fleet, plus a couple destroyers/corvettes, without researching the right aspects of the tech tree, and even then, the numbers are quite limtied. Thus, an economically superior empire cannot necessarily win with sheer numbers, as each fleet engagement is limited by the number of possible ships in the fleet -- a small empire, with a fleet of 9-13 ships, with a similarly hard-to-come-by "hero" admiral (also limited to a very small number, unless you increase the number with tech), could conceivably defeat an armada of 50+ ships of the same technology level, based upon these nonsensical fleet-size limitations. As such, increasing your effective fleet size is nearly the most important aspect of space combat, all by itself. While this promotes balance, I would argue that the limitation is so restrictive, as to diminish strategic & economic options to the point of boredom.

The inclusion of "heroes" in interesting, except that you are limited to a very small number of them. It is nowhere near as easy to acquire, or utilize a hero in ES, as it is in a game like, for example, Heroes of Might and Magic. You may have 1-2 heroes that are "Admirals" typically (the rest are typically governors of single star systems), but those heroes may not command any more vessels than are allowed by the fleet size limitation. Thus, the benefit to a hero in a small empire is much larger than that of a hero in a large one -- and large empires can be easily overwhelmed by a sum of smaller nations, simply due to the number of heroes involved, and the fleet size restrictions. Even 2 vs 1 can be almost impossible odds under these conditions, and the happiness issues with warfare.

Diplomacy is limited in much the same fashion as combat is -- by options in the tech tree. A player cannot even offer a peace treaty without researching the idea, first. Thus, much of the diplomacy of a game is hidden until the mid-way point of a game, and even then its fairly limited.

Endless Space boils down to an exercise in walking down the middle of the road. Straying too far in any direction is just an expensive diversion, and won't work against the AI, or in any interesting MP game. No blitzkriegs, surprise attacks, radical technology developments, or diverse battle tactics allowed.
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33 of 45 people (73%) found this review helpful
11.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 6
Endless Space is a tribute to intelligent design and meticulous polish, offering endless hours of micro management goodness on all fronts. Whether you are duking it out against an accomplished AI in the games single player or vying for cultural dominance online, this 4X turn based wonder accommodates all levels of experience and play styles, providing countless sessions of entertainment for newbies and pros alike.There's no denying, that Amplitude Studios' debut is spot on. There's epicness and complexity that make the player use tactical thinking, teach management, panience and provr that war isn't always the key to victory. Despite a few setbacks, Endless Space is a very well made, relaxing game. It's no revolution but clearly shows that 4X games won't be forgotten.Visually, it's detailed and opulent where it needs to be, yet simple and clean everywhere else. It makes its voluminous level of complexity accessible with a terrific interface which affords a pace and ease of management that few other games in the genre can match.For a first game it's surprisingly complex, challenging and motivating.
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21 of 26 people (81%) found this review helpful
99.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 21
I feel it best to write a more up-to-date review focusing on the game that is Endless Space.

Endless Space is a 4X, Turn Based Strategy that involves you building your empire through Colonies, Fleets, Improvements and Diplomacy to attain victory.

The easiest way to fully describe the game, would be if Civilization V were set in Space. But that in itself isn't a fully accurate description. Let's get to the meat, shall we?


When I first started the game on my Netbook, I noticed how nice the graphics were and how it ran relatively smoothly on the Medium settings (It ran on High settings relatively well on my Mac) only slowing down in the late game when hundreds of fleet movements had to be rendered and checked. The game has only crashed once or twice, and that was mostly because I messed with a few game files while running the game.

Performance- 8.5/10


As mentioned previously mentioned, the graphics were very impressive. From the Character designs, Ship designs, Menu designs, Planet designs, the game has a very clean and polished look and has Lore related artwork that really makes the game a much better experience. I found myself taking screenshots of planets and systems as they were simply amazing. Wonders, Cities and Anomalies are rendered on the planets themselves, thus giving direct visual feedback to the user.
One critique relating to the graphics was the lack of variation in city aesthetics and a lack of visual feedback given when a Planet's exploitation changed.

Graphics- 9.25/10


The soundtrack is what is to be expected from a Space themed game and has shining moments, especially the more ambient tracks, but nothing as spectacular as the theme from Star Wars for example. Still has it's good moments, but if you're sitting there for long periods of time, the soundtrack may get repetitive.

Sound- 8/10


The AI is interesting to say the least, at lower difficulties, it is hilariously icompetent, rarely making me run for the hills, but at higher tiers (especially Endless) the very nature of the spontaneously insane AI can get the best of you. It is important to note that some bugs exist (or maybe they were intentional, I can't tell) in the AIs interactions. Especially related to Wars and Cease Fires, as the AI may simply beg for mercy after losing a System before continuing on their blood thirsty rampage through your worlds. Overall, the AI is quite solid, albeit if you want a challenge, aim for the higher difficulties.

AI- 6.5/10


Combat is something that is often criticized in reviews of Endless Space, but I found it somewhat unique and I appreciated that the devs put it in. Even though it is essentially a game of Rock-Paper-Scissors, it's still a slightly more complex Rock-Paper-Scissors. The combat system involves 2 fleets fighting each other and playing different "Battle Cards" (you can unlock more via the Tech Tree or through Heroes that you equip to your fleet) and in the Disharmony DLC, also includes specific targetting (such as the Nosebreaker tactic which involves you focusing on the emey's main ship)
While Battle Cards will cancel each other out and play a pivotal role in the combat, you will have to equip your Fleets with weapons as well.

Ships can be equipped with 3 Attack "Modules" and 3 Defense "Modules". The 3 Attack Modules are-

Missiles (Long Range combat)
Lasers (Medium Range combat)
Kinetic (Short/Melee Range combat)

and the 3 Defense Modules are-

Flak (Counters Missiles)
Shields (Counters Lasers)
Deflectors (Counters Kinetic)

Every time a Module is added, it adds an extra Missile/Laser/Kinetic attack or defense capability. A battle will involve either an Automatically decided outcome, or a Manual Cutscene (in which you can still adjust your plans in Real Time). A battle has 5 phases (Intro, Long, Medium, Melee, Conclusion) of which 3 are the times when the ships fire at each other (Long, Medium and Melee of course). Ships will fire all the weapons during each phase, but some weapons will be more effective during their respective phases.

During a battle, (if you own the Disharmony DLC) you will also have the option of adding Fighters and Bombers which add to the way combat plays out by giving/taking away an advantage. In the end, I enjoyed the combat and as with me taking Planetary screenshots, I did the same for the Battle sequences.

Combat- 7.75/10

Multiplayer is quite enjoyable as you can play with up to 8 people in a private or public lobby and have the option of using Custom Races or the Pre-made ones. In-game chat is available, but not Private Player-to-Player chat (I'd recommend Steam Chat). While it's not uncommon to find a Public game, ES is best played with friends. There are several sync and disconnection issues that occur once in awhile, but they are rare adn usually require a quick reload of the save.

Multiplayer- 7.5/10


Victory can be obtained through both peaceful and non-peacful routes and give every race a fighting chance at victory.

Routes to Victory- 10/10


Modding is almost non-existant in this game, so don't buy it if you expect mods (though it would be great if you knew how to program xD). I haven't divided into modding myself, but it's quite sad that the mod scene is minimal at best

Modding- 1/10


I will keep updating this review on Diplomacy, etc. at a later date :)
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23 of 30 people (77%) found this review helpful
53.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
Endless Space is cast in the grand tradition of 4X turn-based strategy games. They’re so-called for their emphasis on four key gameplay elements: explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate. Endless Space is aptly named, because you’re responsible for shepherding a spacefaring civilization into the stars.

Besides expanding the borders of your civilization (with several unique races to choose from), you need to learn how to adapt to new planetary environments, manage relationships with other races, and handle the continued development of your own species. A four-branch tree of very different technologies, each focal point of which helps you direct your race’s development, either into exploration, applied sciences, warfare, or diplomacy and trade.

As your technology improves, so will your adaptability to the environments of different worlds you discover. You’ll also need to assimilate resources to grow. The four basic resources managed in Endless Space are Food, Industry, Dust, and Science (FIDS for short, an acronym you see pop up from time to time), and you can direct your civilization’s management of those resources on a colony-by-colony basis.

Dust is the “currency” of Endless Space, the gold bullion that greases the wheels of commerce, simplifies the development of technology, facilitates trade and commerce with your neighbors, and more. The uses for Dust are a bit of a wildcard, unlocked as you get further and further into the game.

A growing interstellar civilization demands a fleet of vessels to manage exploration, expansion, trade, and defense. Fleet creation and development is an important component of the game. You can customize your vessels with a tremendous amount of detail depending on your needs and the state of your development.

Inevitably the expansion of a civilization’s borders creates friction for its neighbors, and in Endless Space you have control over how that friction occurs. Each of the eight playable races has a base disposition either using diplomacy and trade as your tool or, let loose the dogs of war. Combat in Endless Space is more football coach than player: You issue fleet commands to direct your ships in the two-minute skirmishes that follow. But like the coach of a football game, you can’t control the players on the field directly.

Every time you play, Endless Space produces a new galaxy to explore, so there’s endless replay value here. You can adjust the parameters of the galaxy extensively (though not endlessly) and you can customize the race you want to play. This leads to some daunting moments for the new player, but the reward is constant challenge no matter how many times you play.

Endless Space is lovely to look at and sounds great too thanks to an electronic soundtrack which fits the stark beauty of the outer space visuals.

The galaxy is your sandbox, and you will get immersed for hours, days, weeks at a time. If games like Master of Orion or Civilization appeal to you, there’s a lot to love in Endless Space.


Highly Recommended, 10/10!

Be sure to check out Nerd House Gaming for more reviews!
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17 of 22 people (77%) found this review helpful
54.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 25
Flawed, but still the best 4X space game since Galactic Civilizations 2.

At first, I didn't like the combat much, but after playing other 4X games, I have a new appreciation for it... It is a double edged sword. The battles are simplistic and often a crapshoot, but inspecting your enemies capabilities and employing the right cards goes a long way to winning a battle, even if most of them are countered. The tactical combat also keeps the pace of the game up and helps you understand what happens if you skip manual combat.

In more complex tactical battles in 4X games (e.g. Fallen Enchantress, AoW3), you never want to use auto-combat because the game will arbitrarily kill off units when you know you would never lose them in manual mode, so you end up going through the tedious process of a turned based tactical engagement in a one-sided fight just to make sure you can keep a veteran unit. Endless Space battles, while not nearly as complex, leave you the option to auto-resolve battles with confidence, which saves a lot of time while doing battles with an overpowering force - which in my experience encompass the majority of battles in 4X games. Icing on the cake; sometimes manual combat in Endless Space is worth it just because you want to actually *see* your new fleet/commander/ship design make your enemy explode.

Long and short - plenty of reviews cover the simplistic tactical combat, even though it is more complex than Civilization V. If we take the tactical combat out of the equation, Endless Space is a near-perfect 4X game. You can design ships, empire management is meticulous, and there are many ways to win. If we do add in tactical combat, I'd rather be playing Total War, but I'm not always in the mood, nor do I have that kind of time. 3π/10.
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14 of 17 people (82%) found this review helpful
1,144.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 26
A "true" 4x sci-fi strategy title with a big focus on empire building providing all the tools to sink massive amounts of time into micro-managing and min-maxing of your systems.

The start can be pretty hash on newcomers, the tutorial is rudimentary at best, there is no introducing single-player campaign like in other titles. Your best bet is to take your time and read the tooltips carefully. Almost EVERYTHING in the game has a tooltip of its own providing basic information and stats you can call on. If somethings unclear dont hesitate to try out stuff. Usually stuff "clicks" after a few turns.

The Ai follows the same rules as the human player but will receive bonuses to all kind of things depending on the difficulty level you select. Thats why I always suggest "newbie" or "easy" difficulty....no matter if you are a 4x veteran or not, those are the best difficulties to learn the ropes of the game.

Make sure to check out map and advanced settings to create matches of your liking

Your biggest priority at first will most likely be warfare. Be advised that Endless Space supports all kinds of different playstyles which can lead to victory. Pure defensive empires focusing on research and trade, warmongers crushing everything in their paths, scientists dominating the technological aspect, empire focus races growing like cancer (sorry for the pun) etc etc. I tried out so many different combinations already and I STILL find new ones I can enjoy and which challenge me in a different way.

You will always play maps versus 1-7 opponents and while the goal is always the same (dominate your oppponents and "win" the match) HOW you can achieve this varies drastically. Thats the replay factor which enabled me to pump so many hours into this game.

Very polished UI and some of the best visuals for the genre make it stand out for me. The combat cinematics especially are able to entrance me. Immersion factor for me.....skyhigh.

There are so many factors in the game (planets, anomalies, technologies, diplomatic status and effects, invasions, ship designs, battle card system, traits, heroes etc etc) that it might take a while to find your way but its a very rewarding path. Once you understand and see certain synergies you wont notice how time flies past

In my experience the game runs very stable and the errors popping up can be easily fixed with a reload (which doesnt take long). Multiplayer matches do suffer from desynch errors frequently tho. That being said I consider it a single-player title.


Endless Space might not be "the best" in any ONE department (AI, diplomacy, combat, infrastructure) but the combination/package of all things makes it THE best sci-fi 4x title for me personally.....highly recommended for the low prize.
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24 of 36 people (67%) found this review helpful
9.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 2
really quick if you like 4x games but hate the combat (playing out the fights yourself you might like this game for you I recommend the game)

What can I say I really wanted to like this, and I do like most of it. It does have that just one more turn feeling going on and there is a lot of options to play around with, but even after playing for hours I came away feeling cheated. Cheated because I have bascially no control over what happens durring battles. you send your fleet against another fleet pic a battle plan (which are like rock paper scissors defense beats offense, sabatoage beats defense) then you just watch as the battle is played out with no control at all. I repeat again there is absolutly no control over battle besides picking stragegy cards for long range combat, medium range combat and short range combat.
It also gets so annoying when you are trying to attack and get rid of an enemy fleet and they just keeping fleeing combat then jumping to another of my stars where they try to invade. I go over attack them they run away and set up shop and my next closes star system. I clearly over power them and I have to chase them around. Some times I had a higher level hero (lv 23) vs (lv 13) hero and my fleet is a bigger stonger fleet and I lose. All because the choice of the wrong staragegy card means I lose my entire fleet. This is just so annoying because I had no control. I could take it if I had lost because I messed up the battle myself but losing with superior force and a higher level hero that I had level up to specialize in combat to be my main general while not having much control over it just makes me say no thanks.
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12 of 15 people (80%) found this review helpful
45.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 15
Has the ingredients of a Great game. Tech web, customizable ships, cool-looking space battles... etc.

BUT in this case the sum is weaker than teh sum of teh parts.
Ship customization ends up in a rock-paper-scissor game, the game- balance is nonexistent , the tech advancement feels odd multiple times.
The game has some bugs/feateures in it just a few example:
-enemy ships moving in your turn
-ships can not turn back or stop, unless they belong to teh enemy
- diplomacy is useless , even your allies wont trade a low grade tech for your your 3 high level techs
- indequate tutorial , after 20hour play I only knew how to win the game after I read the wiki. Some things still unclear
- insane AI eg.:
I) you control half the galaxy with highly developed colonies with the gold(dust) specialized race. your income: 150 gpt another faction's with half your territory: 1500gpt.
II) you are usually happy with a 10K power fleet. Other factions even the pacifist ones often has 40K+ fleets.

To sum up: This game had the potential to be great but there is just too much problems with it to be truly enjoyable.
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12 of 15 people (80%) found this review helpful
39.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 23
There's better negative reviews here, but I'll just say this:

+The game is beautiful. Artwork, galaxies, planets; beautiful.
+Plenty of that 4X micromanaging
+Good game concept

-AI cheats
-Diplomacy victory impossible
-Smart decisions/solid strategies are penalized; expansion lowers happiness, lowering all outputs; non-expansion lowers happiness, lowering outputs
-All ships of the same hull design look the same despite extensive customization and tweaking
-Stock species are NOT balanced against each other, at all
-Your people's happiness is the one thing you need to worry about most rather than actual resources, and the conditions for happiness are absurd (expanding;staying on one system both generate unhappiness)
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9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
70.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 14
Endless Space tries to be the successor of the Master of Orion series, as in a space exploration strategy game with a management phase and space combats.
It doesn't fully succeed, but merit has to be given for it trying to do it in its own way, and innovating rather than copying.

First warning, it takes a long time to appreciate (or master) Endless Space. I don't think I got much fun out of it until the 20th hour or so.

The tutorial doesn't help, it's just a series of much too detailed non-interactive screens, which just make you want to say TLDR. Do I really need to read everything about super advanced diplomacy features on my 1st turn in the game?

The game interface is extremely well designed. It's beautiful, practical, both easy to navigate and feature-rich, has all the info you need where it needs to be. This game should be an example for all other strategy game devs out there.

The graphics are beautiful too, full of eye candy grade galaxies, planets and spaceships, different designs for each faction.

The management phase is the biggest success, and the most interesting to play. There are 4 base components (money, science, food, production), Each planet you colonize provides a mix of those depending on their type and the improvements you build. There are also 16 different luxury ressources + a bunch of rare metals, that provide you different benefits. You can also trade ressources as well as make other diplomatic agreements with other factions.

The research is divided into 4 different trees (military, diplomatic/financial, terraforming/space travel and production/science) in a clever way that will need you to think carefully about your future planning.


The combat phase, unfortunately, is a bit less interesting. A lot of players have described this is nothing but a game of rock, scissors and papers. In reality it is a bit more complicated but in essence it's correct.

You do not have full control over your ships like in similar strategy games. All you do is watch the battle unfold as you play up to 3 cards. You start the game with 8-ish cards to choose from but advance techs and heroes allow you to unlock many more.

Where it does get really more complicated then just Rock Scissor Papers is that each card, in addition to countering certain type of cards, and being countered by some others, also provide your ships with specific advantages, so by studying your opponents stats and making the wise choices, it's a little more tactical than it seems when you first play.

But yet, it's frustrating that the battles are just a show with not much user input. How you build your ships, group them into fleets, and which admirals you assign to them is the most important part in winning a battle, the card phase only changes the odds in a very minor way.

Overall I still recommend this game, for trying to innovate with the space 4x genre, the quality of the interface, the infinite varieties of customization, and the overall adictive fun that it provides, despite the slow pace and the dissapointing space combat.
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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
8.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 26
I wanted to like this game. It's just the little things.

The default factions are not very well balanced.
The Tech Tree takes too long to learn to utilze properly.
Even those used to TBS games should be playing their first games on easy difficulty instead of Normal.
Designing your own ships is hard to figure out the best mixes.
Heroes become polarised very early in their development and you don't get even close to as many as you would like.
Space battles are also tough to figure out how best to utilize the different strategies.

I am sure there are plenty of fantastic guides out on the internet for all of these, but it's just too many things to need to go to an external source for just to enjoy the game.

I recommend Galactic Civilizations II as a far superior product, and Galactic Civilizations III (Beta out now) should be even better still.
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8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
16.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 2
Should be called Endless Cr*p or as a friend calls it Endless Boredom. All you do is wait for research and colonize.

Tutorial pretty much sux, you just have to learn it as you play.

It seems that the AI has unlimited resources and is only interested in fighting you. You have to actually research diplomancy, like cease fire. Only 1 game did I not get my ♥♥♥ kicked on easy level. How you supposed to learn a game when the AI just walks all over you constantly.

One senario I had 20 systems (every planet colonized), AI had 4 (with 1 or 2 planets colonized) and yet managed to keep up with me in research and it had way more ships then me. Which meant it only builds ships and nothing else. I had the AI blocked in, attacked a planet with my 25 ship fleet (cruisers and battleships) and then all of a sudden it was pumping out 25 ships (corvets initially, then cruisers and battleships) per turn. Just walked all over me, since I couldn't keep up in ship production, since my ships take anywhere from 4-20 turns to build, depending on improvements. I did manage to capture 1 system, and yet it had no improvments at all.

I also don't like how you capture systems, evey ship can be used to capture a system. You don't have troops, bombs or anything like that. Just move a ship into a enemy system and it can capture it. Ofcourse the bigger the fleet, that faster it can capture a system. I had ships defending a neutral system, meaning any enemy ship entering that system was supposed to be attack immediately. Yet that didn't happen, AI just shot right past them. Didn't even notice it until it was too late.

I should mention that everyone has exactly the same research options. There's no unique research for different races.

Even though systems have multiple planets, you only build as a system. Six planets and you can still only build as a system, why even have multiple planets in a system if you can't build individualy on each?

THere is an approval rating, but I can never keep it in the green, no matter how much you try. Frankly I just ignore it, doesn't seem to have any affect on thing. Went 60 turns with a zero approval rating in many of my systems, it didn't slow anything down.

Lots of thingss I still don't understand about the game and never will, it just gets boring and it frustrates the sh*t out of you.

The most annoying bug in the game is that all of a sudden in every system everything takes 999 turns to build, meaning you will never build anything again. Happens randomly, earilest was on turn 20, latest was on turn 70. I clicked forward a couple of turn to see if it clears up, it didn't and I quit that game. Haven't been able to complete a game yet.

I quit playing this months ago, thought I'd try it and it's still a pile of sh*t.
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8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 2
It's like Civilization, but less fun.
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13 of 21 people (62%) found this review helpful
12.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 5
.:. Endless Space: Disharmony .:. Revised: 10/5/14
(newly included suggestions to the developers of ES, Amplitude Studios)

-Civilization in Space! Beautiful Graphics, 4X, Addictive (...just, one more turn, appeal), terraform planets within star systems, within a customized galaxy of different sizes, types, age, and more.

-Compete for planets, resorces, influence, military dominance, technological supremacy, or become a galactic trade empire. The player has the ability to terraform gas giants to colonizing ocean planets, this game has it all.

-Civilization + Space = Endless Space!!! This game is a must for every Civilization fan that would like a unique Civ-esque experience in space. Music is soothing, graphics are beautiful, unlimited replay value allowing the User to change their Civilizations characterics making for a unique experience each playthrough.

***Warning: This game may is highly addictive and may be a life/relationship killer. Yes, it's that addictive! Be warned!!


I highly suggest watching Arumba's Playthrough on youtube, if you are on the fence about aquiring the game... I bought it before I made it all the way through his the 3rd video and I'm in love with this game.
Arumba's Endless Space - Disharmony - (playlist): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBSL_HAWOTk&list=PLH-huzMEgGWAWsM2s9m1MW3kLH_Eolw4f

________________________________________________________________________________

Suggestion(s) to the Developers:

From what I've read, this game has been put, "on the shelf" for now, and will NOT be getting updates until after EL is released...

'Endless Legend' is finally out and 'Endless Space' still needs some TLC (ie. patching/updates, make the game more conducive to modding. I've only been able to find 3-4 mods for this game. If you are no longer supporting a game, allow for an effective modding scene.

Please maintain Amplitude Studios' good name; abandoning all support in lieu of creating a newer game is a terrible longterm business strategy and ultimately self-sabotaging. Why is this bad for business? Simply put, this business model is completely unsustainable.

People will not continue to buy games from a company/developer that has a reputation for abandoning support for current games and are still charging $$$ for. Why would anyone with any sort of rational mind want to buy a game or product from a company/develepment team known for abandoning perfectly good projects barely a year old.

If you want to make a good name for the 'Endless' franchise, your customer base needs to come first, and be able to trust the fact that you support and stand behind all your products, not just 'new releases.'

I am interested in purchasing 'Endless Legend,' but I won't even consider it until I know this company supports all products it currently charges $$$ for including the existing release in 2013 of 'Endless Space.'

Once support resumes for 'Endless Space' and it gets a few much needed updates, I would support and purchase 'Endless Legend' or any other Amplitude Studios' game for that matter. By this time, you will have earned my brand loyalty... and I know I'm not alone in my sentiment.

Endless Space's has so much potential, Sure, the AI needs to be reworked. But please, for the love of all that's good, DON'T forsake your current player base, it's bad business.

I've seen many developer's with great potential, fall by the wayside because they do not provide continued support for their products or opt to make new games, instead of fixing current ones.

Studio's... small and large: in favor of short term profit gains via newly released games/products, rather than making existing games work properly is not a sustainable business model. You will lose brand loyalty, and brand loyalty is a major factor in the gaming industry upon release(s) or newer games/products.

With trust comes loyalty. Loyalty = Sales. ex. I have so much loyalty to the Civilization franchise, I felt confident pre-purchasing their newest game, Civilization: Beyond Earth without playing it or even watching a playthrough for release on October 24, 2014.

Until then, I'll play ES.... (hoping) for an overall update that improves AI mechanics, as well as other minor tweaks.... this would restore my faith in Amplitude Studios and give me hope for the future of this, potentially, promising studio.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 27
I'm very torn as to whether to give this a positive or negative review. The level of immersion is wonderful. Everything is extremely customizeable. The whole tactic of having to balance your resources within the system--managing happiness and food--makes it a very unique experience (especially when these systems are highly randomized). There are a number of factors that make replayability extremely high, including the wildly diverse tech trees, unique factions, race-specific technologies, advantages, and disadvantages...

...but my god. The tutorial system.

As someone whose job description includes writing how-tos, I can say, with tenured authority, that their tutorial system is absolutely horrible.

The 'tutorials' are screens that pop up the first time you play, and give you a screen cap (of a sampel screen) with numbers, and a wall of text on the right. No context, nothing leading you through--it's like getting an instruction manual, whose pages are only accessible while you're playing the game. To put it into context, it's as though you were taught to play Monopoly using a tutorial that didn't tell you that you could buy houses until you've acquired your first set by pure accident.

There's no campaign, no tutorial mission, no walk-through, no 'live example'--hell, the damn thing doesn't even tell you how the various win conditions work.

Which, with a game as rich and deep as Endless Space, is absolutely appauling.

What's worse, the complete lack of interactivity makes the tutorials extremely boring, and the fact that it only pops up to let you read once you've encountered an immediate need for it means that these boring walls of text will pop up as you're finally getting into the action, bringing the whole experience to a grinding halt.

If you've got a lot of time and patience to learn all the subtle nuances (mostly on your own, since the tutorials, boring as they might be, are also woefully inadequate in offering context), then you'll likely (eventually) get a hell of a kick out of Endless Space.

For everyone who doesn't have that kind of time, and just wants to be able to jump on, colonize some planets, sign a treaty, kill a bug, and shuffle along your merry way, then I cannot warn you vehemently enough about how throughly the tutorial will ruin your gaming experience.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
11.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 6
This game is a fairly typical turn-based strategy. The 4-branch tech tree and custom factions and units make it a little different from many I've played. As many other games in the genre, it's plagued by shoddy diplomacy. You can give the universe to an AI faction and have him crazy happy with you, and then the next turn, without provocation, he declares war on you.
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