Take command of one race to join the struggle for supremacy in the galaxy. As the leader of your empire you are tasked with exploring the stars, colonizing new worlds, managing your empire and conquering whoever dares to oppose you.
User reviews: Mostly Negative (214 reviews)
Release Date: Sep 12, 2014

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Recent updates View all (22)

November 17

Version 1.03 released !

Hello everyone !

We’re back with the biggest update that we have released so far since the game’s launch 2 months ago.

We've focused mostly on stability, with many major changes under the hood, but we also put a lot of work on balancing several areas of the game, like the tech tree and AI for example as well as fixing several bugs.

Here's the changelog for 1.03:

-Improved stability
-Story events races now start with 4 planets instead of 1
-The Arka'avi and Osian races now have much better technology, making them significantly harder to beat
-Raze planet crash fixed
-It's now harder to have the AI accept long term payment deals, making it much harder to lead the AI bankrupt by asking or giving several loans. Additionally it also takes its current debt into account when making a decision.
- Added new Background music track
- Implemented a series of experimental stability fixes
- Added Space Key to skip cinematic intro
- Going back from the game to the main menu now restarts the new game settings
- Made the AI use diplomacy more actively
- Rebalanced the tech research time of several technologies in all branches
- Added Plasma Weapon Z-IV technology and ship part
- Fixed non working Technology Level tooltip when a pirate faction is
selected in the Diplomacy menu
- Fixed non working Enter Key in initial intro
- Fixed General without weapons bug
- Fixed events that are triggered when right after starting a new session
- Fixed non working "Broken Chains" speech
- Fixed barely noticeable effect of the Emergency Chip, Improved
Medical Care and Pharmaceutics technolgies
- Fixed Minor Race menu not showing the state of your relations when
they really like you
- Fixed "too much weight" window bug when leaving the ship design menu
- Fixed non working Enter Key in initial intro
- Fixed "can't estabilish trade routes with empire X" due to embargo or war message popping up when trying to move a ship to one of your planets

As always, we are listening to your feedback and really appreciate any report of issues you may find.
That said, we really hope you enjoy this update !

Cheers !

2 comments Read more

September 24

Version 1.01 released !

Hello everyone !
This new patch includes some more bug fixes and balancing but also significant improvements in the ship design and research areas.

We are also working on a patch to further improve stability for those who still have issues and looking at possible fixes for those who also have issues with dual monitors setups. We'll be keeping you guys on the loop.

For now here's the changelog:

-Added more slots to the capital ship
-Added Escape key shortcut to end Intro videos
-Added specific icons for each ship part type in Ship Design
-Fixed ship design scroll bug
-Fixed wrong Armor ship parts stats
-Fixed tooltips for shield and armor slots in the ship design menu
-Added warning when trying to put a ship part in design that has too much weight
-Added unknown research mechanic
-Balanced weapons, shields and armor weight

Have fun !

5 comments Read more

About This Game

Lords of the Black Sun is an epic, complex, dense, turn-based 4X PC strategy game, set in deep space.

Take command of one race to join the struggle for supremacy in the galaxy. As the leader of your empire you are tasked with exploring the stars, colonizing new worlds, managing your empire and conquering whoever dares to oppose you.

The galaxy is full of secrets and dangers: Discover ancient ruins and artifacts, repel or befriend pirates, promote a general to guide your fleets to victory. Concoct complex plots with your allies or use your intelligence services to uncover weak spots on that threatening empire whose leader has vowed to destroy you.

Make sure to keep your population happy or be prepared to face protests against your rule, or in a worst case scenario, rebel factions within your empire.

Only the mightiest rulers can prevail in the depths of space. Are you up to the task of becoming a Lord of the Black Sun?

Key features:

  • 8 major races each with their own ship designs, technologies, unique traits and unique abilities, meaning playing with each race is a different challenge and offers new ways to approach the game.
  • Big, living universe: In addition to the major powers, independent races and pirate clans also claim the galaxy as their residence; their existence can be an annoyance, or a blessing if you can take advantage of them.
  • Deep economical and political layer: War isn’t the only way to weaken your rivals. Diplomacy, inteligence and trade can be one of many powerful tools that, if used properly, can be very effective as well.
  • Tactical Turn based combat.
  • Create and customize your own ship designs.
  • Generals: These unique and powerful units evolve as they battle and if used well can be the difference between defeat and victory.
  • Randomly generated universe, tech tree and units: You will never play the same game twice.
  • Empire shattering: Unrest might lead rebels to start a civil war which in turn might lead to the creation of a new, independent empire that might grow to rival your own.
  • Plotting: Secretly finance a war against your rivals in order to weaken them or prepare a surprise joint war along with your allies in a bid to destroy that frighteningly fast growing empire.
  • Human-like AI that doesn’t cheat and plays by the same rules as human players, while presenting a constant challenge.
  • Play Multiplayer and Hotseat online via LAN or IP/internet.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP SP3, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1
    • Processor: Dual Core 2.0 Ghz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB graphics card
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 1150 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Integrated
    • Additional Notes: There is a known issue with people using ATI cards on Vista so if you are one of those we recommend you skip the game until a fix is found
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows XP SP3, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1
    • Processor: Quad Core 2.0 Ghz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512 MB graphics card
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 1150 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Integrated
Helpful customer reviews
278 of 313 people (89%) found this review helpful
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 12
The game feels very simple and basic. There is nothing to this game that I wouldnt expect from any other x4 game, and this is still on the light side of 4x games. It does not get very in depth with any game mechanic. Combat is mediocre, Diplomacy is mediocre, research is very limited with a relatively small research tree compared to other more recent 4x games. All in all, the game is just bland and sub par. Honestly, it feels like playing a unity based game in a web browser. I would expect to find similar mechanics and gameplay from a free game site.

Its also not stable. When creating a game, picking certain map settings could cause a crash. First battle I lost, caused a crash. Within a period of 30 minutes just to check out the full release version, I had 3 crashes.

I really love the sci-fi space based 4x genre, and I wanted this game to be good because there are so few games in this genre that can hold a candle to what MoO2 was for its time. This game does not get close. I would not recommend this game to anyone, not even casual players.
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108 of 119 people (91%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 26
Once upon a time, an intergalactic warlord colonized a planet with their species. This game is the result.

It's not often my lead-ins to my reviews are so short, and it's not often that I review a game prior to spending at least 24 hours in-game with it, but this game isn't one I can recommend, for various reasons.

First things first - "Lords of the Black Sun" is a space-based 4X game, where you attempt to conquer the universe, Cid Meyer's Civilizations-style. You build installations on planets, create colony ships, build pre-defined military vessels, and can even create custom units. Units stack, and space battles take place in a sort of Final Fantasy Tactics cut-out battle scene.

All of this sounds like a strategy gamer's dream, so why do I sound so against it?

First, the interface is horrible, and I'm not merely talking about the presentation, though that's pretty awful. The UI isn't optimized for a player's experience; it's hard to see even a neophyte developer looking at the UI and thinking, 'the players are going to love this.' Most of the menuing takes more actions than is really necessary.

Second, the game itself feels utterly soulless. It feels like someone started by taking a look at Cid Meyer's Alpha Centaur, then proceeded to put it further into space, but instead of hiring a writer, gave it to someone's nephew. The result is an experience that doesn't capture the wonder of interstellar colonization, or galactic politics, but is rather an experience that it's hard to care about for even a single session.

Mechanically, the game is sound - as stated above, it's the sort of thing strategy gamers claim to love and want. The execution is so terrible, especially given the $30 asking price, which is entirely too much for what you're getting. Firaxis Games, these guys ain't.

PROS:
  • Mechanicallly sound game
  • Great space visuals
  • Interesting fleet-to-fleet combat
  • Good custom unit creation system.

CONS:
  • Uninspired, forgettable writing and scenario
  • Ugly UI that impedes the player
  • Forgettable music
  • Unstable game - the end of my expeirence came after the game just crashed for no apparent reason.
  • Way too expensive for what you're actually getting.

Verdict: Avoid it. The developers need to do some serious work on this game and lower the price for this game to be worth it. If they will do this, I will take a second look and re-evaluate my review.
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108 of 129 people (84%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 12
If I could refund this game, I would. I watched a review of this game from several months ago, and it looked promising. More than promising actually, it looked like it could be an excellent game that combines many of the aspects that I love. Overall, it appears to be something like Sins of a Solar Empire crossed with Civilization crossed with Democracy. The issue was that it was not a finished game.

Jump forward to now, and it is on the front page of Steam, announcing that it is a finished game. FAR FROM IT. I should have looked more at the fine text, but the developer says that even though it is moving out of early access, it stills needs patching. This is evident from the start. The intro splash took quite some time to load, even on a fairly powerful computer and locked my screen to the program until it finished. Typos and grammatical errors are common, even on the first few small text boxes of the tutorial. Additionally, the textures are rediculously poor on higher zoom levels, even on max graphical settings. What sealed the deal for me though was the frequent crashing brought about by this game.

Again, though this game has promise, it is not yet ready. I feel as though I was tricked into buy an incomplete game. The saddest part of it is that if this game came out in a ready state, I might have loved it. But my initial play has only served to frusturate me.
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72 of 80 people (90%) found this review helpful
7.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 14
As of 14 Sept 2014 -

This game is not terrible - just very very bland.

You will not find anything really new in here - all of it exists in other, better made games such as Distant Worlds or GalCiv2.

There are still some major bugs that have not been taken out - I can't even open the trade menu without a crash to desktop.

Ship design is weak - from the start, you get 4 hulls that go from tiny to small - with only no improvements available to increase what you can fit in them. The techs for ships don't provide any options - the missiles, beams and lasers are essentially the same. There are no fighters or bases.

Tactical fights are available but not terribly exciting - nor does it provide any depth as all weapons are in essence identical.

Many of the "management tools" are absent or in very basic form - you can't rearrange build queues, set up rally points, understand how much science, industry, or trade any particular action is going to generate. It's weird how you have to close an empire menu before opening the next one rather than switching between them.

The tech tree is pretty minimal - maybe 50-60 items in total. It gets boring in the 2nd part where you get solid lines of 3-4 consecutive "industry +1" or "research +1". It rarely opens up new abilities, just improves your starting ones.

Minor races have no interaction, except for pirates. You can send a trade ship there, tho with the game maxing out at 4 trade lines, it's not clear why you should bother.

What is working in this game is relatively fine. It just seems like they ran out of time to fine-tune and tweak the content in fun and interesting ways. Perhaps updates wil improve this solid, but it is currently an extremely bland X4 experience.

Verdict - unless you are scrapping the bottom of the barrel for x4 games, skip until a few updates.
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101 of 131 people (77%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 12
Competent but uninspired. There's nothing here to really make the game stand above any of the others available in the genre. It's playable and accessible, but that's about it.

Edit: I don't mean for this to sound as though it's a bad game. It really isn't. It's just not a bad game in the same way that a Nissan Bluebird isn't a bad car; sure, you can get to work in it, but it's no Shelby Cobra.
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73 of 97 people (75%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 12
Game still needs work. It will not load on a dual monitor system without disabling one of the monitors first.

It looked promising at first, but crashed to desktop on my SECOND turn.

Also, there are spelling mistakes in some of the entries. Quality control does not appear to be the developer's strong suit.

Like I said, it still needs some work.
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28 of 31 people (90%) found this review helpful
13.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 8
The game just feels bland. I was excited when I read obout this game, kept an eye on it as it was being developed, and hungery grabbed it when it was released as a "full game". I have heard that there is still some development and work still being done on the game, wich I truly hope there is because if this is the final product then this is embarassing; as the game is buggy as all hell.

Bugs aside, the gameplay itself is boaring and unispired. Every aspect of gameplay feels like it was half finished and left in it's most basic form. Nothing about this game felt good, why did I waste my money?
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32 of 38 people (84%) found this review helpful
9.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 14
I am a enthusiastic player of all 4X games, sank lots of hours into the Civ Series, into GalCiv2 and also played Master of Orion 2. And if you expect something of similar quality here, I have to disappoint you:
-The Mechanics: One of the Game Defining Mechanics is how the production works. It works on a global level. Meaning each planet generates global production. If you colonize a second planet the production from the main planet will therefore sink as it's not the only "receiver" anymore. In addition you speed up the production massively with each factory you build. It's almost like reducing the time by half with each factory, which makes no sense. This way you spent a couple of turns building factories, then you design your combat ship, create a couple of them, and kill one "very hard" opponent after the other. Your hardest opponent will be pirates. Balance is completely broken and make all mechanics besides of production and military obsolete. The Global mechanics also kill the feeling of having "special planets". Each planet is just contributing a bit to the "geater good". But that doesn't feel good.
While the game features tactical combat it's not planned out well and as the AI does not focus fire on your ships it will always lose when having troops with even strength.
-The Interface: It works. But it isn't good. Instead of mouseover tooltips you have to click on stuff to get the information, right mousebutton is closing windows. The production windows are tiny, creating a minimum of overview. You also cannot re-arrange your production queue or edit your ship-designs.
-Stability: The game tends to crash after you solved a combat. Within 90 Minutes of the release version the game crashed twice.
-The Music: Is really good, but of course doesn't save the game

Considering that in terms of balancing and game mechanics I didn't see much of a change since I played one of the first alphas I'd say that the chances of getting fixes in the near future is very low. The game has some potential, but in the current state (Release Version / September 2014) I recommend to not buy this game and take a look at the Galactic Civilization 3 Beta instead.
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34 of 46 people (74%) found this review helpful
6.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 13
I bought the game in it's early access stage. It wasn't that great at the time, but I had hoped that they'd improve the gameplay and graphics. Boy, was I in for a surprise.

The game didn't change much since late early access. It still does crash, although not as frequently as it used to.
The game interface could be a lot more useful and informative. It could be prettier while retaining it's functuality. It could be easier to use the various functions especially when you look at the menus like research or espionage, it should be possible to actually understand the different ratings the game has ingame or if they actually have any meaning... It could be so much more and even then it would only be a medicore game, being inferior in every aspect to for example - Endless Space -
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56 of 90 people (62%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 12
This is basically a typical 4x game with any pretenses of originality or individuality stripped out. There are a small handful of different races, all bog standard, and they all play pretty much the same.

Did I mention that it crashes frequently? My played time is much lower than it otherwise would be, as a result. I put a few hours into the game, and I've got a pretty good idea of what it has to offer (Hint: it offers crashes)

The game has nothing whatsoever to commend it over any other 4x space game. The intro videos are decent, I guess, but not extraordinary. Unless some serious changes are made, skip this title and find any one of dozens of other, better games of its genre.
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11 of 14 people (79%) found this review helpful
9.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 28
seriously? i played 9 hours, and in that time i managed to win multiple games, and doing all achievments...

this game claims to be a 4x game, and it might well be, but make no mistake of comparing it to any serious veteran of that genre... if you are used to games like space empires IV, galactic civilisation III or lo and behold, Master of Orion II, then you will find this a heavily diluted 4x experience indeed....
Minimalistic tech tree, ship building that acutally doesn't deserve being called that (all you get are 4 different hulls you know from the start with a fixed tonnage of stuff you can squeeze in, no chance on improving that in any way...), "tactical" combat that is too small and too limited in options (the lackluster techtree might play a part in that as well) without much variety and a relly simple interaction with other races really sum up this game perfectly....
Have a smattering of bugs and exploits on top of that (i still find it ridiculous how you can loan any alien race money, even if they are at war with you, and at like 100% interest...)

so, all i can say, if you search for a good 4x game..... keep searching, you won't find that with this title...
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19 of 29 people (66%) found this review helpful
21.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
Too many bugs to play. Once it starts having problems you should just start another game... My advice - not worth your money or time.
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17 of 26 people (65%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 14
This game is OK, but its a 5 dollar phone app, not a 30 dollar PC game. Nothing is really bad about this game, and nothing is really good about the game. I should have waited a few days for the reviews to trickle in. I rarely write reviews unless I feel I have been dooped or think a game is amazing. I was dooped... save your money friends.
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14 of 21 people (67%) found this review helpful
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 14
It saddens me to see where the space empire genre is headed. Mass-produced ♥♥♥♥♥, sorry but it's all i can honestly say about this one. Even compared to Orion from the 90s, this game is sub-par. The graphics are kindof horrible for a 2010+ game. It's lagging like crap after a few hundred turns in a huge galaxy where i havn't even bothered to explore it all yet. The technology system is weird and confusing, not saying it's hard though, it's extremely simple. But it's illogical, can't say exactly what i mean by that but that's how i feel it.
"Ship building" is rediculous. 4 different hulls, wich you start with btw, having different tonnage, wich i havn't seen a tech that enhances either. Each of these hulls have slots for weapons, engines, defences and a slot for "army" or "colony" and special features. But i havn't found a way where you can actually fill these up in either class. And the new technologies with better weapons are heavier than the originals making it less likely to fill these spots out fourther on.

Solar systems can have planets in them that are not recognized as planets. out of 10 solar systems, all had planets but only 4 of the solar systems actually had registered planets that could be colonized, the rest where just dead textures.

All in all it feels like this game is hardly Alpha?
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
27.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 9
This is a shame, there is certainly a ton of potential and the game can be great if done right, but because of being unpolished/unfinished, it results in the lack of fun and excitement.
The soundtrack is damn amazing and the graphics are pretty impressive. The gameplay is simple but a " simple" can be quite addictive and enjoyable. So I think the main problem is two things:

1. Unpolished:
Performance is much improved compared to early builds, but the game is still unstable. and also there are some odd bugs presents (Alt+Tab issue for example) that don't break the game but bother you.

2. Unfinished:
Thanks to simple and easy-to-learn gameplay this game can be easy-to-use and fun-to-play but because of the absence of some simple but essential features, at the current stage It's hard-to-fun. for example:
a) You can't edit old ship designs.
b) Can't rearrange building queue.
c) Many panels do not provide accurate information.
d) No link between panels and map.
...and many other simple features.

Overall this is an unpolished little gem and If this is what you want, then buy it.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
6.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 8
This game looked very promising and I had my hopes up that it would get to the point of being a true 4x strat game. Well it never got there, it looks nice but the gameplay is totally bland and has nothing unique about it. It portrays itself as "epic, complex, and dense" but I would have to say its 100% the opposite; mediocre, simple and shallow. On a positive note, if you have children that are under 10 and you are trying to teach them about 4x strategy, this game is a very good training game for them...if it can hold there attention.
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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
20.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 30
Early Access Review
This game sounds good, but even in the Early Acess and room to grow - I don't see it compare with the scope it wants to attain.

-/- the major races are restrictive, and doesn't include any customization option at the start up.
-/+ instead there is a slight reimagining of "Domestic Polocies" that can further define and charactarize your empire, you can change them during the game and alter some aspects slightly - but there are pros and cons to them and often a particular race will just prefer a certain setup.

-/- the universe is limited, with little options outside colonizing a few planets you can take, and attack or occupy others. There isn't much interaction with the universe as a whole outside it being a static generation from the start. Perhaps I was spoiled with Space Empire's abiolities to drastically reform the universe even while in the game, but here its marginal.
-/- even with another strike against it is the "neutral" races or "pirates" which are just a bit more than just target practice and nuciances occupying a planet you want.

-/- the diplomacy feels shallow. I am sorry, its just not as in depth as I have seen others - it can be altered to get there sure, but as it stands I don't see it shifting to that. Many of the diplomacy options require facility constructions that will limit your options on the planets you own, and some options won't happen unless you or the other race have room to invest, further limiting who is really benefitting.

-/- the tactical turn based combat is restrictive as hell. You only get to do so much per turn, and each ship is further limited by its loadout. Multiple loadout designs with different weapon types or perks limits the ship's ability to function as you can only do one per turn, making the combat really limited in scope to the design and swarming of a few cheap ship creations of a doubled weapon or three.

-/- this further falls under the ship construction as there are limited sizes and options for what can be loaded on which ship. It limits design and role choices heavily.

+/- the genreals are a cool idea that develop as you use them, but the risk and reward are staggering comparisions. Due to the combat being so restrictive there isn't much for strategic desings possible and the random generation of the generals is flawed at times - they may have an attack power, but without a type given so it doesn't work. The development of them can be cool, and it directly affects their strengths, however the combat risk can easily leave them out on a limb and you'll loose all your progress.

-/+ the unrest aspect is interesting, but difficult to cause and easy to avoid, making it a moot issue that rarely surfaces unless you let or make it.

-/+ further deplomacy aspects sound cool as well, but the AI is fineky on its choices making its fulfuilment in many regards challenging, or just a question of finaces. A good economy can basically buy allies in most cases wtih a bit of espionage fixing.

-/- the AI cheats. I'm sorry, it does. It doesn't do something its not confident it can win, making it more hesitant and dulling the gameplay. Set up safe enough even with cheap ships and you'll never be threatened as you grow until you amass that army to just wipe everything out.


Sounds good, can be interesting - but I've seen other 4x games pull off similarities better, so its not really worth it for most.
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11 of 16 people (69%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 14
Broken. If this was still beta, I would understand, but it's not. I really wanted and even tried to like this game, a lot. But It is infested with weired bugs that haper and at times, kills the joy this game might have. I did buy this durning the beta phase or something and didn't have high hopes when playing then, but since it release 2 days ago and I figured it was a better game then when I got it. The game still crashes or the star systems turn white or I am unable to scan planets, thats just a few out a crap ton ( I can go on for a while). I even did a fresh install of the game and even went in to the directory and deleted the files and flolders after the second time. Pretty much this was a big let down. The game in a jist is a basic 4x game with nothing special. The research tree is just your avrage research tree. Kinda like all your other 4x games, nothing. Its the same with doplomacy, ( which can bug out an you can randomly have to pay 8000 credits to pirates on the tenth turn or be killed off.), I don't know how good planet managemnt is because it bugs out and I ether can't see my planets int he panel or it bugs out and crashes the game. It's the same with mangaging trade routes. One thing I will say is kind of special is the espionage and ministers. Tho, you can hire spys, you have to wait for ministers to come alone which can take forever. I never got around to the fleet combat part of the game. The game gets to many bugs going at once that it becomes unplayable before I am ready for any kind of war. I wouldn't really waste any money on this. Dispite looking like a unique good looking game. I feel the devs or whatever just gave up and pubished this as is when they got enough money from it.
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 13
Meh. It looks kinda like a good game, but it crashes a lot and the balance seems terrible. As far as I could tell the first beam weapon I researched was better than the final beam weapon or the final plasma weapon in the tech tree.
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15 of 25 people (60%) found this review helpful
18.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 17
This game crashes non stop. It has been doing that for over a year now. You can not fish a singal campaign. Can i get my money back?
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