From the creators of AI War: Fleet Command comes an all-new grand strategy title with turn-based tactical combat, set in a deep simulation of an entire solar system and its billions of inhabitants. You are the last of a murdered race, determined to unify or destroy the 8 others.
User reviews:
Overall:
Mostly Positive (312 reviews) - 73% of the 312 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Apr 18, 2014

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Reviews

“For fans of space-faring simulation games, it's more or less a must.”
8/10 – Richard Nolan, Strategy Informer

“Arcen Games nailed it with this game.”
TotalBiscuit, The Cynical Brit

“A revolutionary twist on the 4X legends of yore.”
8/10 (Editor's Choice) – Jonathan Lester, Dealspwn

About This Game

From the creators of AI War: Fleet Command.

  • Turn-based tactical combat, with up to 5 factions competing at once.
  • Extremely deep simulation of an entire solar system and its billions of inhabitants. Even just watching everything unfold in Observer mode is entertaining, as nations rise and fall.
  • New-player-friendly ramp-up of complexity as you play, which you can disable if you're already a veteran.
  • Eight races each have very distinct personalities and attributes. Each one even has its own completely unique political system.
  • Difficulty levels split between the grand strategy and turn-based combat portions of the game, both ranging from quite casual to incredibly hardcore.
  • Save and reload your game with ease any time, or tough it out in ironman mode.
  • Composer Pablo Vega's best soundtrack to date, featuring 54 minutes of music and the vocal finale "Lay Down Your Arms."







    More Details


    Greetings, Hydral. I will be your computer for this "grand strategy campaign with turn-based tactical combat." I think that's code for "we're going to die."

    Our solar system is vast and complicated, and I sense you are a little dimwitted -- so I tell you what, let's start with the simple stuff. Like escaping with this flagship you just hijacked from a bunch of angry robots. That seems important.

    Please excuse my impertinence, but I believe you are the last of a murdered race, yes? My records note you Hydrals were the dictators of the solar system, so basically you had it coming. And by "it," I mean the moon that smacked into your homeworld. Hmm. So people really aren't going to like you until they get to know you. Well, only you can use the scattered remnants of advanced Hydral technology, so that's something.

    Look, I'm not going to tell you what to do. My understanding is that you're trying to form the solar system's first-and-last unified federation, and that's noble enough. But right now nobody wants that except you, and you've got 8 very diverse, very angry races to either unify or exterminate. So... good luck with that. I'll help how I can.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP SP2 or later
    • Processor: 2.2Ghz CPU
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Screen resolution at least 720px high, and 1024px wide.
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Mac OSX Intel CPU and "Leopard" 10.5 or later.
    • Processor: 2.2Ghz CPU
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Screen resolution at least 720px high, and 1024px wide.
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 10.10 or later, although other unsupported distros may work
    • Processor: 2.2Ghz CPU
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Screen resolution at least 720px high, and 1024px wide.
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Mostly Positive (312 reviews)
Recently Posted
RD5000
( 34.8 hrs on record )
Posted: May 26
A pretty solid strategy game
Helpful? Yes No Funny
TentacleMayor
( 74.3 hrs on record )
Posted: May 23
To express my mixed impressions of the gameplay and Steam's overly simplistic rating system, I'll leave a positive rating but also explain why the game fails at its intended concept. You see, for a game where you supposedly work from the shadows to shape the world order you want, your most effective actions by far are the most direct ones. Unless you play as a pacifist, it's incredibly easy to just buff the races you want with technology and massive fleets, and eliminate the troublesome races. You can tell a race to produce fleets twice as fast, and then sit at their planet while adding literally a 20x modifier on top of that. Then when they go to invade the race you tell them to, you singlehandedly wreck the opposing armadas and then commit genocide by nuking the planet from orbit. It's beyond ridiculously overpowered, it's broken. Maybe the Invasion mode from the first DLC works better due to being combat-focused, but most ways to play the standard Federation mode are rendered incredibly easy if you use the direct methods. Serious rebalancing is needed to make it into the shadowy cabal-simulator it's made out to be, but in lieu of that, just removing the armada construction option and the orbital bombardment would go a long way towards making the game more challenging.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
TIE Phantom
( 0.9 hrs on record )
Posted: May 23
Great game, just not my taste.

It's way too slow and confusing, even on easy mode.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
RonynCato (ಠ_ಠ)
( 5.2 hrs on record )
Posted: May 9
There is no learning curve; rather, a large, unintelligible brick wall.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
bigtom
( 29.5 hrs on record )
Posted: May 8
This game has many good concepts but doesnt deliver. You get to play as a ship and upgrade technologies and help other races. You do not have a planet of your own and do not get to make any real decisions. Despite everything you do for a race they may choose or always be peaceful and never do anything other than sit at their home planet making the game drag out for long periods of time. You have no real control over what happens other than harming or helping other races and hope your allies do something before your enemies build back up. It gets frusturating waiting for something to happen.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
laser mare removal
( 3.4 hrs on record )
Posted: April 17
this is actually a pretty good game, but holy ♥♥♥♥ who gives a ♥♥♥♥ about the ♥♥♥♥ing communists
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Anzhou
( 67.3 hrs on record )
Posted: April 12
This game is not for everyone. It's a nonstandard 4X game with heavy emphasis on diplomacy, and is extremely niche in an already niche genre. If you don't think manipulating everything from behind the scenes is fun, then walk away from this game and never look back. However, if you do enjoy that, then this game might be for you.

The Last Federation is a well-designed strategy game with a surprising amount of depth. You play as a lone mercenary, and watch as the AI builds its empires. Your goal is to nudge the AI in a way that will ultimately create a Federation that spans the solar system. Your actions rarely have an immediate payoff, but over time you can decide which planets become wastelands and which ones become paradise. It's a thing of beauty, to subtly change a few numbers early on, and watch the butterfly effect go.

The combat system is a turn-based bullet hell, where you can manage power distribution, plot out movement, and use weapons/abilities. The tutorial places a lot of emphasis on combat, but managing RCI and influence is far more important. While you can hold off an overwhelming invasion force for a while or smash apart a stalemate, combat is only one tool out of many in your arsenal. It's up to the player to figure out when to get their hands dirty, and when to sit back and help build up armadas.

The game has an excellent soundtrack, shiny art, and a very coherent design. The story is solid, if a bit cliche. The game has a rather light-hearted tone, with blurbs of snark and sarcasm coming from your AI assistant as the solar system evolves. The screen does get cluttered later in the game, but the option to clean it up does exist. Critical information is very well presented and accessible, but may get overwhelming to new players despite the tutorial. The developers have given an incredible amount of attention to detail, to the point where I can still discover new interactions after 40 hours of playing the game. There are many mechanics and interactions that go unexplained, although there is a bit of appeal in discovering them for yourself.

It's impossible to do much on your own in The Last Federation. You just can't hope to make or break interplanetary empires with your single ship. You will have to rely on the various AI races to do the dirty work for you. The DLCs add in new game modes, but the gameplay patterns stays the same: AI does the heavy lifting, and you guide it and stack the deck in your favor. With a randomly generated solar system, there's a healthy amount of replayability. The game does stagnate after you figure out the optimal strategy, but there's a lot of fun to be had as you learn it.

The Last Federation is a solid, niche strategy game. If you're looking for a standard 4X game, you will be disappointed. If you're interested in this game solely for its combat mechanics then I would advise against getting it, because it's only a small portion of the game itself. But if you're looking for a strategy game with heavy emphasis on diplomacy and manipulation, then I would strongly recommend it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Arieous
( 0.1 hrs on record )
Posted: April 4
The narative is written so poorly that I could not take it seriously from the start. Even if it was a game with amazing potential and operated with unique options and was fun for what it is... it is still based on a story line that is just horrible. The music is very dated and overall I just was completely turned away by the visual elements. There IS better uses of your money on steam.

I want my money back.
~R
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Strike Team Jesus!
( 2.4 hrs on record )
Posted: March 30
I wanted to like it...but just couldn't. It has a solid concept and idea but the actual gameplay felt limited and more like nothing but small bursts between long waits.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Blackadar
( 0.3 hrs on record )
Posted: March 27
I hate to trash a game after 20 minutes of gameplay but this is an exception.

First of all, I can't read the font. This isn't a computer problem. This is a tiny, weird font problem in odd colors (which hurts if you have problems seeing certain colors). So the description of what is going on and most of the instructions are simply not legible and therefore I haven't the slightest what's going on. Arcen, if I can read the font in Distant Worlds but not this you guys have really gone over and above the call of duty in making your stuff illegible.

My next immediate impression is that the soundtrack is really quite bad. I turned off the music in the first 5 minutes.

Ok, the initial impressions are not good. But let's stick with it. Maybe I can figure out what's happening on my own.

So I got into first battle and the game crashed to desktop. Uninstalled.

Look, maybe there's a good game somewhere here. But if I can't read the text, the game isn't stable and my ears are assaulted by some of the worst music I've heard in a PC game in a while, we have quite the package of poo going here. I got it as part of a bundle so I'm not out any cash. Save yours and find something else to play.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
jamesmcm03
( 5.6 hrs on record )
Posted: March 26
There is no tutorial, and no indication of how to play the game aside from the repetitive missions.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
KillaDanDaMan
( 22.4 hrs on record )
Posted: March 21
The Last Federation is that game that will make you clock in the hours. It will also end up in your favorite games catergory for sure. Story is great, gameplay is addictive and challenging, and the recent updates and DLC have made the game even more fun. Looking forward to more content! 10/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
save my children
( 0.8 hrs on record )
Posted: March 9
Do not waste your money on this piece of ♥♥♥♥. A huge let down.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Gugglewolf
( 41.9 hrs on record )
Posted: March 6
It's a damn addictive game once you get into it. And the DLC adds far more playtime. It just takes a little while to work everything out, you'll probably lose your first few tries.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
HalfBurntToast
( 10.0 hrs on record )
Posted: March 4
Cool game. It is kind of a "spreadsheet" style 4x game which isn't for everyone. You're playing as the all-powerful diplomat, guiding different alien planets to, eventually, joining a federation of planets. However, some of the AI is extremely war-happy and unpredictable, making it quite hard to get alliances forming. And, even then, you'll have to deal with resistance forces or anti-federation alliances. If you like the Game of Thrones style backdoor political manipulation, you'll probably like this game. It's not as indepth as EU4 or CK2, but it's still fairly fun.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Laref Demonwolf
( 25.7 hrs on record )
Posted: March 1
This game is very much a genre game. It doesn't just belong in a niche, it belongs in a small crack inside of that nice. It really isn't comparable to any other gaming experience I've had. There are some aspects I love, and some not so much. I like the fact that there are so many options, and graphs, and raw data, and information you have access too, but at the same time there is too much. I feel like you can either fiddle with and micromanage the crap out of everything, or just ignore it all and go guns blazing. I suppose it is really all there so one has plenty of options for playstyle, but at the get go it can be overwhelming.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Makoo
( 11.4 hrs on record )
Posted: February 20
I like this kind of rogue-lite kind of turn based dimplomatic simulator.
You can either be real good and diplomatic, or be a brutal warring dictator or be a mix of it.
Fight for others or make others fight for you etc.

I really like it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
JunpeiHarry
( 9.5 hrs on record )
Posted: February 17
Fantastic game.

I've no idea how to play it, but I like it. Very similar to Goatee Games' "The Viceroy".
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Manray
( 4.6 hrs on record )
Posted: February 16
Cool concept. Very poorly executed.

Really enjoyed the start of the game, and the combat, but nothing is well explained, and the tutorials are frankly pretty confusing. My main issue is that I'd spend a bunch of time building up relations between two empires, only to have them form an "anti-federation alliance" before I get a chance to form any kind of federation, despite the tutorial saying they'd only do that AFTER you formed a federation. Sounds like a glitch, but maybe I just missed something?

On a more meta level, the game doesn't seem to know if it wants to be a spreadsheet simulator, or a bullethell space game. The devs took the middle road of just using the worst features from both genres and making a sub-par game in both genres.

Bullet Hell:
The bullethell ship-battles are much too busy and convoluted, and none of the abilities seem to have much impact, even on ultra-easy mode. Having to switch between anti-shield and anti-ship is cool, but it's impossible to tell what are fighters and what are missiles, or what team any ship is on. Dodging attacks isn't really even an option with all the chaos going on in a large battle, so you just have to hope your shields are up to the task.

The 4x style management sim is even more bland and confusing. Every task you attempt takes months to have any meaningful impact, locking you in one place while you fast-forward through tons of war and politics and have to just cross your fingers that the galaxy hasn't imploded while you were collecting space debris. On top of this, every single empire seems to have a different method of interacting with the player, none of which are explained at all. Mechanics like the diplomat seem to serve no purpose at all except to make you click a spot in the menu every time you meet an empire, since there doesn't seem to be any downside to having them and they're essentially free to purchase. There are quests, but I was never able to figure out how to actually go do them, since visiting the relevant planet never made them turn up in menus.

I'd recommend not wasting your money on this lemon.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
74.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 23
To express my mixed impressions of the gameplay and Steam's overly simplistic rating system, I'll leave a positive rating but also explain why the game fails at its intended concept. You see, for a game where you supposedly work from the shadows to shape the world order you want, your most effective actions by far are the most direct ones. Unless you play as a pacifist, it's incredibly easy to just buff the races you want with technology and massive fleets, and eliminate the troublesome races. You can tell a race to produce fleets twice as fast, and then sit at their planet while adding literally a 20x modifier on top of that. Then when they go to invade the race you tell them to, you singlehandedly wreck the opposing armadas and then commit genocide by nuking the planet from orbit. It's beyond ridiculously overpowered, it's broken. Maybe the Invasion mode from the first DLC works better due to being combat-focused, but most ways to play the standard Federation mode are rendered incredibly easy if you use the direct methods. Serious rebalancing is needed to make it into the shadowy cabal-simulator it's made out to be, but in lieu of that, just removing the armada construction option and the orbital bombardment would go a long way towards making the game more challenging.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 90 days
25 of 26 people (96%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
67.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 12
This game is not for everyone. It's a nonstandard 4X game with heavy emphasis on diplomacy, and is extremely niche in an already niche genre. If you don't think manipulating everything from behind the scenes is fun, then walk away from this game and never look back. However, if you do enjoy that, then this game might be for you.

The Last Federation is a well-designed strategy game with a surprising amount of depth. You play as a lone mercenary, and watch as the AI builds its empires. Your goal is to nudge the AI in a way that will ultimately create a Federation that spans the solar system. Your actions rarely have an immediate payoff, but over time you can decide which planets become wastelands and which ones become paradise. It's a thing of beauty, to subtly change a few numbers early on, and watch the butterfly effect go.

The combat system is a turn-based bullet hell, where you can manage power distribution, plot out movement, and use weapons/abilities. The tutorial places a lot of emphasis on combat, but managing RCI and influence is far more important. While you can hold off an overwhelming invasion force for a while or smash apart a stalemate, combat is only one tool out of many in your arsenal. It's up to the player to figure out when to get their hands dirty, and when to sit back and help build up armadas.

The game has an excellent soundtrack, shiny art, and a very coherent design. The story is solid, if a bit cliche. The game has a rather light-hearted tone, with blurbs of snark and sarcasm coming from your AI assistant as the solar system evolves. The screen does get cluttered later in the game, but the option to clean it up does exist. Critical information is very well presented and accessible, but may get overwhelming to new players despite the tutorial. The developers have given an incredible amount of attention to detail, to the point where I can still discover new interactions after 40 hours of playing the game. There are many mechanics and interactions that go unexplained, although there is a bit of appeal in discovering them for yourself.

It's impossible to do much on your own in The Last Federation. You just can't hope to make or break interplanetary empires with your single ship. You will have to rely on the various AI races to do the dirty work for you. The DLCs add in new game modes, but the gameplay patterns stays the same: AI does the heavy lifting, and you guide it and stack the deck in your favor. With a randomly generated solar system, there's a healthy amount of replayability. The game does stagnate after you figure out the optimal strategy, but there's a lot of fun to be had as you learn it.

The Last Federation is a solid, niche strategy game. If you're looking for a standard 4X game, you will be disappointed. If you're interested in this game solely for its combat mechanics then I would advise against getting it, because it's only a small portion of the game itself. But if you're looking for a strategy game with heavy emphasis on diplomacy and manipulation, then I would strongly recommend it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
Recommended
25.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 1
This game is very much a genre game. It doesn't just belong in a niche, it belongs in a small crack inside of that nice. It really isn't comparable to any other gaming experience I've had. There are some aspects I love, and some not so much. I like the fact that there are so many options, and graphs, and raw data, and information you have access too, but at the same time there is too much. I feel like you can either fiddle with and micromanage the crap out of everything, or just ignore it all and go guns blazing. I suppose it is really all there so one has plenty of options for playstyle, but at the get go it can be overwhelming.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
22.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 21
The Last Federation is that game that will make you clock in the hours. It will also end up in your favorite games catergory for sure. Story is great, gameplay is addictive and challenging, and the recent updates and DLC have made the game even more fun. Looking forward to more content! 10/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
Recommended
10.0 hrs on record
Posted: March 4
Cool game. It is kind of a "spreadsheet" style 4x game which isn't for everyone. You're playing as the all-powerful diplomat, guiding different alien planets to, eventually, joining a federation of planets. However, some of the AI is extremely war-happy and unpredictable, making it quite hard to get alliances forming. And, even then, you'll have to deal with resistance forces or anti-federation alliances. If you like the Game of Thrones style backdoor political manipulation, you'll probably like this game. It's not as indepth as EU4 or CK2, but it's still fairly fun.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
Recommended
41.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 6
It's a damn addictive game once you get into it. And the DLC adds far more playtime. It just takes a little while to work everything out, you'll probably lose your first few tries.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 30
I wanted to like it...but just couldn't. It has a solid concept and idea but the actual gameplay felt limited and more like nothing but small bursts between long waits.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 180 days
12 of 13 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
14.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 30
After having greatly enjoyed Bionic Dues by this developer, I've decided to try out this title and was generally impressed.

The Last Federation has you play as an almost godly last survivor of an extinct alien race, who's now made it his mission to attempt to unify the remaining 8 alien races across the solar system (or unify as many as he can and destroy the rest!). To do this he has to gain credit and influence with each race by doing tasks for them. There is a lot of alien politics involved, and each race is quite different to the others, meaning the same approach doesn't work for all the races.

The game can be a bit hard to get into at first, as there's a lot of stuff suddenly being introduced at once. It can easily turn away some players, but I'd really recommend to keep playing, because eventually you get familiar with it all. The normal difficulty is pretty laid back and you have plenty of time to learn the ways and can afford to make mistakes.

The combat sections have you partake in a sort of bullet hell spaceship battle. They might seem pretty difficult at first, but again, they're actually a lot easier to grasp than they look. The battle is broken down into turns. You select where to go and which enemy to shoot at. The game then plays it out and you get to pick your next move. In addition to that, you can even change how much energy goes to your weapons, shields, and propulsion, as different situations require you to adjust it. For example, if you get swarmed and start to suffer damage - divert more energy to shields. If you need to take something out fast - divert it to the weapons. And so on.

Perhaps what I liked the most was how well-developed the lore and background on each alien race was. Each of them has their own political agenda and attitude to you and the other races. Some are diplomats and peacekeepers, whilst others are very warlike and territorial. I've had a lot of fun learning about each race and their likes and dislikes.

Music in the game is also fantastic. Each race has its own unique theme music, which was a nice touch. The visuals are pretty simple though and a lot of the gameplay, particularly the political side of things, is text-based, whilst the combat looks like a regular space shooter. So that aspect might not appeal to some people. But don't let that put you off if you enjoy a good strategy and political intrigue.

Just for those who are a bit unsure of how to start off and get going, here is some advice on methods that worked for me:

1) Start off by giving space-faring tech to 2-3 races you find most trustworthy. Normally Andor, Skyllaxians, and Peltians are pretty reliable, though it is up to you! This will get you plenty of starting Credit and Influence early on.

2) Start doing friendly tasks for those races and increase influence with them further. Cooperative Research is pretty good, as you can then gift this research to the other races and get free influence with them!

3) Expanding Unused Area and Colonizing/Mining Moons is great for getting some quick Credit.

4) Make sure to open up some Trade routes between the races you've allied with, so that they start to like each other as well (this is found in the Political page for each race, not in the Friendly Actions page).
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
Recommended
20.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 4
Good game. Very unique concept although the bullet hell fights can get dull.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
11 of 18 people (61%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 16
Cool concept. Very poorly executed.

Really enjoyed the start of the game, and the combat, but nothing is well explained, and the tutorials are frankly pretty confusing. My main issue is that I'd spend a bunch of time building up relations between two empires, only to have them form an "anti-federation alliance" before I get a chance to form any kind of federation, despite the tutorial saying they'd only do that AFTER you formed a federation. Sounds like a glitch, but maybe I just missed something?

On a more meta level, the game doesn't seem to know if it wants to be a spreadsheet simulator, or a bullethell space game. The devs took the middle road of just using the worst features from both genres and making a sub-par game in both genres.

Bullet Hell:
The bullethell ship-battles are much too busy and convoluted, and none of the abilities seem to have much impact, even on ultra-easy mode. Having to switch between anti-shield and anti-ship is cool, but it's impossible to tell what are fighters and what are missiles, or what team any ship is on. Dodging attacks isn't really even an option with all the chaos going on in a large battle, so you just have to hope your shields are up to the task.

The 4x style management sim is even more bland and confusing. Every task you attempt takes months to have any meaningful impact, locking you in one place while you fast-forward through tons of war and politics and have to just cross your fingers that the galaxy hasn't imploded while you were collecting space debris. On top of this, every single empire seems to have a different method of interacting with the player, none of which are explained at all. Mechanics like the diplomat seem to serve no purpose at all except to make you click a spot in the menu every time you meet an empire, since there doesn't seem to be any downside to having them and they're essentially free to purchase. There are quests, but I was never able to figure out how to actually go do them, since visiting the relevant planet never made them turn up in menus.

I'd recommend not wasting your money on this lemon.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
7 of 12 people (58%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
21.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 6
I HIGHLY Recommend The Last Federation.

I try to do this with most of my reviews. I'll give you choice of checking out my Let's Play, or, further down, my written review. Something, for everybody! :)

Please be aware that I started this LP BLIND:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-pJ_N8ws5o

A quick word about Arcen Games in general.

I saw this game was being made while I was working on my Bionic Dues Let's Play. I was already a fan of the work Arcen Games does by this point and I followed the development. When I finally got my hands on The Last Federation I was super eager to jump in and just take over the galaxy. Something you'll learn over time, with Arcen, you never jump in and just take over anything. Arcen has a way of adding a million things to games that you have to absorb, learn, and take care of. I won't lie, it's a pretty daunting task. If you don't hunker down and commit to playing their games in full, you'll miss out on some fantastic games. My final word about Arcen is that they don't just make games and move on, they continue to work on them, add to them, and improve them. It may sound like I am drinking the Arcen Koolaid, but I feel GOOD developers don't get enough credit. My proof would be A.I. War: Fleet Command was made in 2009, even in 2014 they released yet another DLC/Update. :)

Now onto the actual review for the game!

I'm a sucker for Turn-based Strategy games, it's no secret. Having seen The Last Federation in development I was eager and excited to check it out. You are the last of your kind, the dominant species in the galaxy, the Hydral. Your race was a cruel one, the dictators of the galaxy. Unfortunately for them, they sort of got obliterated. You allowed yourself to be captured and bided your time. Finally, you decide it's time to break out and save the galaxy from itself. You steal a highly advanced prototype ship and, after your escape, you start to shape and mold the galaxy. The game isn't all about fighting, it's about strategizing, diplomacy, and alliances. There are 8 races of aliens in total, each with unique strengths, weakness, characteristics, and governments. Your ultimate goal is to create a federation, or alliance with all the races. Unfortunately, not everyone likes everyone else. To add fuel to the fire, the race you stole your ship and escaped from, don't like you very much. Make your Federation and all who refuse to join you must be eliminated. You have to convince your allies to take them down!

The turn-based combat is very well done. It's turn-based combat, but more like simultaneous turn-based combat. You choose where you wish to move, which weapon or "Special Attack/Operation" you want to use, and who you want to target. Many enemies have shields, or heavy armor, and you have to use the correct weapon for the job, changing as shields go down, or a swarm of small fighters are deployed. You have multiple targetting solutions as well. You can fire at anything in range, focus fire, fire at a direct point, or not shoot at all. Choosing the right weapon, in the right situation, while manuevering in the right place is the key to success. In addition you can choose to divert power more to your engines, guns, or shields to maximize their effect. Special Attacks or Operations play another big role in combat. Operations allow you deploy extra ships to fight for you. They range from tiny fighters, to lance weilding heavy ships. Your special attacks can be as simple as jettisoning garbage to blow up incoming projectiles, to hitting your afterburner to give you a few turns of extra movement and speed, to cloaking.

While you can't directly eliminate anyone, you still have all the power. The game's diplomacy system and how many different ways you can and NEED to influence is second to none. You can build up your relationship with a race by helping eliminate pirates, researching technology, assist in building a space station, building up their economy and tons of other ways. Additionally, you can cripple your enemies by more or less doing the reverse of those very things. Claiming a space station from an enemy and giving it to an ally to boost their production is one of my favorites. You can go beyond that, gaining voting proxies with their government, dueling a warlord to unseat him from rule, damaging the reputation with another race, even planting false evidence.

The Last Federation has a ton to do and it's quite challenging. Often times your best laid plans get waylaid and you must adapt and change how you wish to arrive at your ultimate goal. From beginning to end the game pulls you in, gives you more and more stuff to keep track of and will leave you scratching your head on more than one occasion. How do I get Aliens A to not want to murder Aliens B, but go to war with Aliens C? When you finally succeed you'll feel like you accomplished the impossible and you very well may have. There are plenty of different difficulty settings, including ironman mode and permadeath. If all of that hasn't convinced you, the comical writing and voice acting brings it all together.

The only thing I would have considered a con is a personal preference. One that, amazingly enough, was addressed in one of the DLCs of this game. I wanted to be able to be my own faction and take over the galaxy myself. Forget the federation of happy aliens living in harmony. I wanted to be in the Federation of ME! :D As I said, the DLC Betrayed Hope did exactly that and more!

Speaking of DLC, there are two out right now. Betrayed Hope and The Lost Technologies. Each DLC brings it's own share of updates, upgrades and unique things to the game. Not to mention their own game modes.

So, in summation: I highly recommend The Last Federation. It has fantastic writing, fun combat, amazing depth in how you can effect the galaxy, an outstanding, deep, and rich diplomacy system, and tons of choices on how you want to play. In addition, it is an Arcen Games product, so you know they are going to keep working on it, supporting it, and improving on it. YES! BUY! NOW!
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
9.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 17
Fantastic game.

I've no idea how to play it, but I like it. Very similar to Goatee Games' "The Viceroy".
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
11.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 20
I like this kind of rogue-lite kind of turn based dimplomatic simulator.
You can either be real good and diplomatic, or be a brutal warring dictator or be a mix of it.
Fight for others or make others fight for you etc.

I really like it.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
282 of 329 people (86%) found this review helpful
Recommended
27.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 11, 2014
One of the most accessible and deep strategy/simulation games I've yet played. It manages to be complex without being overly complicated. Are there screens of charts, graphs, and tables? Sure, but you slowly acclimate yourself to them at your own pace. You can be successful at the game without digging into them too deeply. To me, one of the turn-offs I have to these sorts of games is learning to play feels like a grind, or a chore. With The Last Federation, the act of learning to play the game is itself fun. The strategy portion even has a separate difficulty from the simulation, so if you're having trouble with one, you can dial it back without making the other too easy. The interface is quite intuitive and the artwork is mostly very attractive. Pablo Vega's soundtrack is easily his best yet, and would be worth a purchase on its own, but luckily there is a fantastic game to go along with it. If these sort of games are you thing, then you'd be doing yourself a disservice by not playing it. Even if they are not, give it a shot. It might surprise you.
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1,052 of 1,352 people (78%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
13.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 20, 2014
I'm really disappointed by the launch of this game. There is lots of depth in a way, but most of it is irrelevant. Most of the gameplay just boils down to slowly getting opinion modifiers to grow. The most efficient way to play the game seems to be to just ignore most of the game mechanics. For example, in my current game I have two epidemics on two different planets. It's plunged the health meter to -40K and it's sinking by 100 every month. Vaccines show up as available tech in the tech list, but I can't actually start a research project with the affected race to unlock it. Despite this massive plunge in health, the races effectiveness doesn't seem to be hampered much at all, and the only real problem for them is that they have close to no ground power, but their space power is completely unaffected.

The computer advisor also mentioned planetary bombardment at some point, but I've yet to find a way to actually do it. The other races seem to just kill themselves by throwing their troops at the Burlust homeworld meatgrinder. Solving anything in a military faction without having the Burlust at your side and space superiority seems very hard, and certainly not worth the effort. No, the far easier (and more boring) road is to just play the opinion slider game. After starting a federation it only took me about 5 minutes to get almost all the planets to join it by spamming influence tasks and giving away technologies. It's kinda weird that the game has so many mechanics and charts and such, and 99% of it is completely irrelevant and unimportant.

In addition it almost seems nigh impossible to actually lose the game in a legitimate fashion. The only things that have killed me so far has been ♥♥♥♥ing up a battle, rather than performing any overall strategical mistakes. As someone who has put more than 500 hours into Europa Universalis 4, I find calling this a grand strategy a huge insult to the genre. There is no strategic difficulty to be found here. The biggest (only) decision seems to be what order you want to do things in (which races to found your federation with).

The game also seems to have its fair share of bugs. In addition to the epidemic thing I mentioned earlier, I was also trying to get rid of insurgents on a planet and it put me up against 90 ships. The race I had selected to help me didn't send anything. I tried again with different members of my federation, but every time I didn't have a single ally in sight when the actual battle started.

And then there's how a boatload of the game mechanics make no sense at all. Take technologies for example: You can easily convince a race to give away a tech (any tech) free of charge (for the other race, you have to cough up a few credits) to another race without any difficulty at all, but there is no way whatsoever to make them give or sell it to you personally. It's pretty ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ that someone who is literally worshipping the ground you walk on wont help you outfit your ship (forcing you to attack them for their technology if there is noone who can, or is willing to, research it together with you), but they will give away their national secrets to a competing country for just a few credits.

Bottom line, in it's current form this game just seems to be broken on so many levels. It's not fun, most of the mechanics aren't important, although they seem interesting, and they seem to be implemented extremely poorly (I'm looking at you, epidemics and unbeatable Burlust ground power). The only thing that is keeping me playing for now is the potential for what the game could have been. But that's not what it is. There is the possibility of the game being hugely improved down the line through patches and DLC, but as it is right now I can't really recommend it.

Edit: If you feel this review isn't helpful, feel free to comment on it in the comment section (click the "Not Recommended" text on the top of the review - it's a hyperlink). If there is something about the game you'd like explained which I haven't adressed, I will try to explain it if you ask (and if it's relevant for the full review, I'll put it here). If you think I have some factual errors feel free to point it out and we can see if we can clear it up. If you just disagree with my opinions it'd be nice if you didn't rate it as unhelpful, as a review is just a collection of such opinions. If you feel that something I think is negative wouldn't affect your enjoyment of the game (or the other way around), the review would still be helpful to you since it gives you information about it : )

---------------

Updates since initial review:

What's been patched to my knowledge:
Testing during patch v1.002:
- You can now research techs with other races even if they already know the tech, giving you access to them without raiding. This seems to be a patchwork fix, though, as it thematically makes no sense that you help a race research something they are already supposed to know.
- Races with incredibly strong ground presence are now actually beatable. I'm not 100% sure exactly what caused this change, but I'm assuming it's the other races actually using planetary bombardment now (because the races I saw attack the Burlust in my game should not have been able to beat them in a ground battle).
Example graph: http://snag.gy/WMgtB.jpg
The dip in the red/purple graphs is post-patch. Before that you can see the Acutians repeatedly dipping due to just being slaughtered over and over although the federation has complete space dominance: http://snag.gy/l84SR.jpg
Federation members are Acutians, Andor, Evuck, Skylaxians and Peltians.

Testing during patch v1.003/v1.005
- While ground combat seems to be fixed now, space combat seems to have taken a trip to nonsense land. Here is a screencap from my current campaign: http://snag.gy/IGiJg.jpg
You can see the Acutians constantly sending ships to the Bovarine home planet, and in fact they have around twice as much total power on their planet right now (25026 vs 13332). Even so, the Bovarine completely annihilate the Acutian fleets over and over without any problem whatsoever. In fact, before that screenshot I completely wiped out all their ships with a direct assault and the Acutians started their ground assault while in orbit, but it took them literally seconds to kick them off their planet through their production alone from scratch. As the Acutians control 3 planets and have way better quality ones as well, this doesn't exactly make sense (not to mention their technological advantage). Illustrated in a power graph: http://snag.gy/Adp7z.jpg

- The devs have now implemented "Federation points" which more or less represent a races desire to join a federation. If anything, this implementation shows how this is clearly a beta product right now, as this is a completely new feature coming out of nowhere.

Additional complaints:
- Attacking anti federation insurgents is a horribly bugged mess. I once managed to get an ally to actually join me in the fight instead of sending nothing, and their ships turned up... hostile to me and allied to the insurgents. That said, combat is ridiculously easy on the normal difficulty, and I can kill a fleet having 10-15 flagships (you have one) and outnumbering me maybe 100 to 1 (counting medium/small ships) without diverting ANY power to shields. I'd play Ironman if the combat was skipable, but I'd hate to replay an entire campaign because of a single mistake in a combat (although it's easy, you can die fast if you mis-play with no power to shields, but play correctly and you should be able to kill a fleet of almost any size).

Anyways, this is apparantly around the max size of a review, so I can't really document further testing. If you have any specific questions about the state of the game, feel free to ask in the comment section. If I ever feel like the game is in a state where I can recommend it, I will change my review accordingly.
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116 of 121 people (96%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
Recommended
37.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 3, 2014
Freakin brilliant game about political intrigue and space battles. My first game I saved everyone but the burlusts who were so hated by everyone that they were at continous war with everyone. So i use the skylaxians to spread military technology around to everyone else in the federation which was everyone. This includes the Acutians who hate me with all their robotic hearts, but they are in the fed and the burlusts need to die before i can win. It's 70 years later and the burlust homeworld is about to fall. When all of a sudden the acutians pull out of the federation, and take the burlusts planet while they are weak. Well, I thought to myself, everyone else in the solar system against two planets owned by the acutians, this will be a cakewalk. As it turns out the only people in the Fed who hated the acutians enough to go to war with them were the Pelatians. So i have to spend some 50 years dragging the acutians reputation through mud before everyone finally agrees to go to war with them. Problem is at this point the acutians have finished the tech tree in its entirety largely thanks to the boost I had the skylaxians give them. So begins a long drawn out war of attrition between the alliance and the acutians. After 30 years of war with no visible progress, I decide that I need to finish out my tech tree, so I can actually fight all these assasins the acutians keep sending after me. So I finish out the tech tree taking about a century to do so. Now at this point i had essntially gotten infinite money. So i thought to myself how will i kill the acutians when they keep breeding like rabbits. Then it hit me. I'll just pay the evucks a crap-ton of money to poison the environment and ruin the medical capablities of the Acutians with their probes. So a few million later and the acutians planets are cesspools of disease. At which point a virus springs up. I then hire a small army of 60 bioterrorists to infect every last acutian with this virus. 5 years later the acutians are dead, and I win the game. Great game with nearly an infinite number of options. No two games will ever be the same.
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180 of 214 people (84%) found this review helpful
Recommended
19.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 15, 2014
Quite a few games try to mash together different genres with only a few actually making something good of it. Arcen's newest game manages to do this exceedingly well. I got into the open alpha fairly early, and so had a chance to watch this game evolve into the gem that it is now, and to be clear, this review is aimed at the final alpha build.

In a normal game of TLF, you're an independant agent with the self-appointed task of unifying the system through any means possible. And there are quite a number of means to achieve this goal. Head of state being stubborn? Bump him off, the next will surely be more pliable... maybe. Entire race running amok? Pay another to crash a moon into their homeworld.

The combat side of the game has changed quite a bit since its original inception, now resembling something like a turn-based shmup. Combat is, in general, quick and messy. Often, you're not really expected to defeat all comers, though don't let that stop you. An average combat mission involves you warping in, determining what needs to be done, then moving to accomplish your objective. If all you need to do is destroy a space station, why bother with taking out every individual ship and risking health loss or failure?

With eight races, each with its own strengths, weaknesses, dispositions, and deals to make, things can get complicated rather quickly. A few will band together naturally, while most of the time each faction is pretty much out for itself. Of course, you have the power to influence this as well, and it's often necessary to get two races to work together to take on a much stronger foe. The amount of deals you're able to make is pretty staggering, ranging from simply killing pirates to smuggling freedom fighters onto a planet and starting a revolution.

As a fan of simulations, I love watching the races squabble and toil in their sandbox solar system with Observer Mode, in which the player is now just a bystander watching everything unfold instead of actually doing anything.

All said, I would recommend this game to any fan of strategy or simulation gaming. It does have faults, of course. Combat can be pretty tedious after a time, and despite the sandbox-y nature of the simulation, it does tend to unfold fairly similarly. Certain races, assuming they aren't gimped by a bad roll in planet generation, which is often the only factor that determines how successfull a race will be, will always become a major problem and have to be dealt with, invariably by wiping them out. I have yet to finish a game in which all eight races survive to the end.

Arcen has proven again that they are a truly unique development team, making the game THEY want, rather than the game they think WE want.

tl;dr Buy this. It's good, and so is the company.
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71 of 75 people (95%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
10.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 8, 2015
Disclaimer: the key was provided to me for reviewing

The Last Federation is a 2D (4-1)X space strategy game that combines politics and battles. It is (4-1)X because exploration does not exist. Also, player does not control a race but manipulates other races by using politics and by helping battles.

In this game, player is the last survivor of a murdered race (Hydrals) that was the dictators of the solar system. But one of them betrayed the race. His (Its?) goal was to make the space technology available to other races and then creating a federation to unify the solar system. After Hydrals' homeworld got destroyed, the last hydral (i.e. the player) crashed into one of the rivals' planet. When that rival race built their first capital ship, he managed to steal it and escaped. That's all the story the game has. It is not deep but enough to make things clear, at least to a point.

The game does not have a separate tutorial. Instead, when player starts his/her first game, most of the game elements are locked and these elements are unlocked and explained as the game progress. Its execution is very good. Although there are lots of things to learn, player is never overwhelmed by them. Most of the information and choices have very informative tooltips. They are especially useful when some option is not eligible. This way, only thing the player needs to do is reading the tooltip which explains the reason. That said, some of the advanced information, such as which conditions are required to capture a planet, are never explained.

Every race has a different political structure and has a different opinion of life. Some values military strength and are more aggressive, another is all about peace and quiet. This makes the player approach them in different ways to gain influence and convince them to join the federation. It is also possible to agitate a race against another, resulting in starting a war. Of course, these actions do not happen directly. There are lots of friendly and hostile actions player can take. When player visits a planet, possible "missions" are listed under their own menu. These missions are the main tools to manipulate races. By using these "tools", player achieves his/her goal for a certain race. I won’t go into details because this is not a guide.

Combat is different than classic turn-based combat. Units don't move/attack like in a chess game. It is actually more like Dragon Age's pause-order-continue style but pausing happens in periodic intervals called "turns". In each turn player issues a move order, then an attack order, and fight continues until next turn. There are also abilities that consumes one full turn. Player can select 6 abilities to use in battle and if an ability's ammo is depleted it is replaced with another ability of the same type during battle (Abilities have three types, i.e. "offensive ability", "operations" and special ability”). Starting abilities are random, but how many abilities of a certain ability type a player can use, depends on which race's first ship was stolen by the player at the beginning of the game.

There are some points that make the game less “believable”. For example you can make a planet’s environment go bad, but race itself does not take any counter-actions to fix it. It will stay as it is, even if it cost billions of inhabitants.

The main soundtrack is similar to 90s arcade games’ low bitrate sounds. Other soundtracks are smoother and easy on the ears. Sound effects are decent. Also when a very important event occurs, a female –I am guessing AI- makes funny comments.

Pros:
+ Good Simulation: Every planet advances depending on the status of planet and race. Strategic elements and properties of the races affect outcome.
+ Humorous: Game has some humor in comments, descriptions etc. It is always a good thing.
+ Chaotic Battles: This is both good and bad. Bad side is below. Good side is that it makes battles more challenging.
+ Replayability: Every time a new game starts, planets and their inhabitants change. Due to compatibility factor between a race and planet type, a different race becomes more effective. This effectively changes how that game progress.

Cons:
- Overcomplicated: Finding which information is important and which is just for "decoration", takes too much time.
- Static UI: This means, UI size is static and the higher the resolution is, the smaller the UI becomes. Therefore, when the resolution is set to full HD, UI elements become too small and very crammed.
- Chaotic Battles: Bad side of this is what the name suggests. When every small dot-sized ship fires another dot, screen gets covered with dots.

Verdict:
Game has a different approach to space strategy games and the formula worked well, enough to keep me in the game until I unified the solar system without taking a break. So I recommend it.

P.S: As a rule, I won't comment on price tag. Everyone has a different opinion on whether it is worth the price tag or not. So it is up to you to decide.

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Edit: Fixed some typos and formatting
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124 of 162 people (77%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
55.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 17, 2014
The Last Federation is a combination of Grand Strategy and Turn Based Tactical. Unlike most hybrids, however, this game could stand on its own for either genre.

The Grand Stratetgy is deep, but for a new player the heavy details are not necessary...but they are there if you are curious! Each of the 8 races you interact with are distinct and serve their owns uses both as allies and as enemies.

The concept as a concertrated force influencing a dynamic galaxy is not common and very satsifying. You can swell up a (potential) ally race into an even mighter one, save a weaker race so as to distupt your enemies, completely shut down an enemy by yourself , or a variety of other things. It is very dynamic. You change the galaxy somewhat, but you also have to react to the galaxy's own logic. The strengths and weaknesses of each race is constant each game, but their combatablilty with their starting planet and when they become space faring means each game will have a different balance of power to start with. The result is each game is different.

When you take part in battles you enter the tactical turn based game. The mode can either be slow and methodical or fast and quickly depending on how difficult your parcticular situation is. It is enjoyable to devastate enemy forces if you manage to get a tech edge. If you fall behind...just use tactics.

I would highly recommend this game to anyone with a mild interest in grand strategy games or turn based games. This game has the depth to be enjoyable for dozens of hours as is. The devlopers already say that they have a framework for years of expansions, (and even better, free content as well!)

An excellent title, one I would highly recommend.
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52 of 55 people (95%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
58.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 21, 2014
Another game with a bizzare amount of support from the developer. He (it's a one man show) is in constant communication with the players, taking their advice and just... trying it out. The game is much better for it, but it changes DRASTICALLY every few months becaue he's constantly laboring to improve it. Single player only, but this can be a great way to spend your time.
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