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 (253 reviews)
Release Date: Sep 12, 2014

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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
67 of 70 people (96%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 12
Put simply, Lords of the Black Sun is a mechanically sound game (i.e. all the pieces, although not flashy, work and serve their purpose) that fails to blend together to create a harmonious whole. The game often feels disjointed, lacks real depth or innovation, and is mediocre even in what it tries to do differently from others (i.e. espionage, empire-wide management).

While it might be worth a few hours of gameplay, Lords of the Black Sun lacks the fine detail and substance that make players return to games over and over again. This will likely be played once by most and then gather proverbial dust in the Steam library, especially fans of the genre who have come to expect much more from 4X titles.

Lords of the Black Sun has some positives, but they don’t come close to outweighing the negatives. The limited graphics, lack of flavor (races, diplomacy, planets) and unfinished edges make for an experience I have no interest in repeating again. The current price tag is exorbitant for a game that could easily be mistaken for a title designed for a browser or mobile platform.

Definitely not the “epic-sized complex and dense 4X strategy game,” promised.

Check out my full review on eXplorminate: http://explorminate4x.com/2015/01/13/lords-of-the-black-sun-review/
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22 of 25 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
7.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 7, 2014
I played completely through once, and I really wanted to like it, but it is simply not fun, far too little 'strategy', far too slow and grindy, no sense of progress or advancement, and the endless bugs are simply the nail in this game's coffin.
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14 of 15 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
10.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 28
God I want to like this game.
MoO2 is in my top 2 games of all time.
The problem is that this game is ALPHA. Not Pre-Release, not Released, not Finished / Supported.


So many bugs, so many crashes, I can't load from a savegame, so every game is "rogue-like". Seriously! A Rogue-like 4x game.

The Devs have all but left this game. Even at 75% off, it's just not worth it. Plenty of 4x games on steam and GOG has MoO 1& 2.

Steam should be ashamed to have pulled this out of early release and the publisher should be strung up for asking $5 for this game, let alone $20+.


1/10 for potential but worth $2 at most.
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10 of 13 people (77%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
12.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 11, 2014
The game is similar what I can write on the weekends with my father in law. It is a mix of nice solar system view and text screens from 1995.

Recently, the ship design screen is updated but the style is still still far from the the level of 2014. Colony manager is without depth. Research is simple with limited logic. You can research beam weapon 1 then 2 then 3, etc. Space battle screen is a punishment, you have seen much better decade(s) ago...for example in MOO2.

All in all, it does not worth the price of a PC game in 2014. If it would be a mobile phone game for $4 it would.
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10 of 13 people (77%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 6
Pre-Release Review
The game had the potential to be a solid 4x space strategy game, but it has fallen short. Pretty much all aspects of the game are lacking depth further than the basics needed for a working game. There are some crash issues, but not enough to really dwell on. You might get 5 or 6 hours play time before getting bored. Overall, I'd recommend GalCiv, Star Ruler 2, or Endless Space over this any day.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
7.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 28
Too many bugs and crush too many times.
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7 of 10 people (70%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 18
This game is really fun but crashes to often when you load or start the launcher
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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
25.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 31
This game is empire building de-evolved. The game feels grossly incomplete and full of crashes. I'm glad I got it on sale. Don’t waste your money on the full price. There is no story line past the intro, controls are inadequate and unintuitive.
Management systems are incomplete and clunky. I was attracted to the ship building as described by the video which doesn’t live up to even basic expectations. I cant give this more than one star in its present form.
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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 11
As things currently stand, the game really doesn't work. Not only does it crash all the time but the interface leaves a great deal to be desired. There is no tooltip so it makes it really hard to understand what is what. The lack of standard designs for ship building make it annoying to have to build your own vessels. Not to mention the fact that the ship builder is a joke really. The items cost way to much and doesn't give you much options on the ship. The lack of a proper informational database means that it is hard to decide what to do and when. Basically the game just needs to be developed further because this is the level I would expect to see in an alpha. Combat is also not very interesting. The AI always moves its ships in max distance so if you go first, you can hang back and wait and open up on them and if they go first, they move in to your operational range but out of firing range allowing you to just go in and shoot first either way. Your military strength also makes no difference in their choice to make war with you. I had more than double the enemies worlds, general and fleet and he goes to war with me. My ships outclass his easily and I just faceroll fleet after fleet. As for construction on a planet, I find it rather intersting. Not really complicated, not really easy but without tooltips and having not memorized the look of buildings means it takes ages to figure it out. Also you don't get to know what the benefit of each building is before construction making it a hard choice in the end.

If the game actually finishes I think it would be rather fun but as it currently stands, I would prefer my money back over the game on my list.
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5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 10
I would like to give this game a positive review, I greatly enjoy playing it until it crashes. I'm lucky to get an hour or two of gameplay in before it crashes. I've owned this game since before they changed the name from Star Lords, and I have played countless hours of it (My steam history is off because I play in offline mode due to the fact that I have limited bandwidth and try to save it). Sadly, no patch has fixed this problem, but I will change my recommendation if they do, because I really enjoy playing this when it works.
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5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
14.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 2
This game appears to have potential. Having stated that; this game freezes every ten to twenty minutes, requiring me to "End Program" via Task Manager back to the Desktop. In addition, the many glitches (homeworld population, General's increased damage when advanced not realized, many spelling & grammar issues, rotation in combat doesn't work, more). As a result, I've chosen to uninstall it until it reaches a more completed state.
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6 of 10 people (60%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 21, 2014
Bought this in alpha. Hasn't changed much (Basically, just the name did). Wouldn't recommend, sadly, I don't think refund is an option here.
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327 of 362 people (90%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 12, 2014
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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191 of 209 people (91%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 26, 2014
Pre-Release Review
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 Civilization-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 Centauri, 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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135 of 158 people (85%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 12, 2014
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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95 of 103 people (92%) found this review helpful
7.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 14, 2014
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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228 of 299 people (76%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 7, 2013
Early Access Review
Star Lords Alpha Build - Pre-release Review

Star Lords, by Arkavi Studios and Iceberg Interactive is a deep and complex turn based 4x sci-fy strategy game. This is about the only informations you get from the get-go once you boot the game for the first time. Once you start a new game, you will be asked to select from a group of 8 original races and customise the "game board".

Once the game begins, you'll immediately take control of your chosen race and you can start using your scout ship to explore your surroundings. You also get a home planet, which will be used as a main hub for initial development.

The game leaves a pretty good first impression, with very nice and clean graphical information. The UI is functional and simple, but can become a bit overwhelming for starters, but all in all everything is pretty intuitive. But, being this an alpha build, i must stress the importance of the creation of a structured tutorial, so players can learn and try the base mechanics before being sent into the wild.

Once the game starts building up pace, you will meet other civilizations, which you will need to either crush with military prowess or outsmart through diplomacy and espionage. Overall, the AI is pretty solid, even though other races can be tad temperamental towards your actions

The game map, even though presented in a very simplistic fashion, works very well and offers a ton of graphical variety. Planets look pretty good, and so does spacial debris and other celestial bodies, such as moons and stars.

The game still lacks a bit of clear indicative elements, such as an "it is now your turn" prompt, or some audio feedback on research completion but, as it is in alpha, hopefully these elements will be added at some point.

Veredict: There is room for a lot of improvement, specially in the fine details, but as this is just an alpha build, i will be eagerly expecting the finished product, and i am glad to be supporting it!
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120 of 146 people (82%) found this review helpful
128.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 21, 2013
Early Access Review
I have been playing this game for a while now, it has grown into such a great game. The developers really shine in their skill, communication, and direction. Right now it is like an uncut diamond. You can see the potential in the game, but it might not quite be there yet. If you are looking for a finished or mostly finished game, this is not yet for you. Since I bought the game, it has been drastically improved, both functionally and with new content.

For your benefit, here is my take on a few features the game offers

Multiplayer
Sorry charlie, not yet. If you play the game, you will see why its not ready, the engine is not finished and the balance is a bit off.

AI, multiple opponents
The AI saw some improvements after the game launched to Beta. Now, they attack each other and expand more often. Additionally, every race and pirate uses stronger ship designs and upgrades their fleets as they research new tech. The early game is much more brutal, simply building 10 of the default attack design won't cut it it anymore. You'll find the most challenge in this game playing against Very Hard AI, having Total War selected, and selecting a race with a low likeability.

Research
Standard researching. No real thoughts on this, its nothing to scream about, but its not bad either. To summarize.. Three tech trees, military, economy, science. Military has weapons, ship modules, and fleet and ground attack buffs. Economy has money and diplomacy buffs and a few economic buildings. Science allows you to colonize worse conditioned planets, terraform, buff science production, and has a few buildings.

Ship Design
Its a rudimentary system currently, but it has already seen some major improvements. Currently there are 4 hull sizes available from Scout up to Capital. Your different ship parts have weights and can only be placed in certain predetermined spots.

Ships and space combat
Use shipyard planets to build ships. Then conquer the galaxy. Space combat is psuedo turn based. Each player takes a turn with his whole army and attacker goes first. You can move a ship, then move another ship, then come back to your previous ship and attack with it. I like to move all my stuff then attack with it. There is automatic combat resolving, but like most 4X games you can do much better when you control combat manually.

Random Events, Minor Races, Pirates, Espionage, Diplomacy
There is a decent amount of variety but like any game if you play enough you will see it repeat a lot. Someday they are going to add in Race specific story line events, the race backgrounds (detailed in the manual) are quite good, but that story is not yet integrated with the game. The game offers espionage and diplomacy. These features are being worked on and have seen some improvements over the last few months.

Game graphics and performance
The graphics are beautiful. The camera angles are not great yet, but you can see that your able to zoom into fine detail and it still looks good. The developers recently said on the forums that their intention is to make combat more cinematic so it feels more exciting, you can see already that they will be able to pull that off

Game sound
Some of the sound effects are much louder than others, so occasionally you will jump at some sounds (like a missile exploding or when you deliver any of the speeches). The music is deliciously good in this game, I never noticed it until the Beta launch reset my settings to default.
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113 of 144 people (78%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 12, 2014
Pre-Release Review
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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83 of 107 people (78%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 12, 2014
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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