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: Mostly Positive (212 reviews)
Release Date: Apr 18, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"This is a game about being the space-illuminati and also a hydra of sorts. Turn-based shooter (yes really) combined with 4x elements and diplomacy."
Read the full review here.

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December 2, 2014

TLF Version 2.008 (Cumulative Hotfixes)

Version 2.008 is the latest in a series of post-expansion-release hotfixes.  We've been posting about these on our forums, but individually these releases weren't really worth doing a full blog/announcement post about.  So let's talk about these cumulatively!

First of all, for those who have been following along already, here's what is new in the very latest release:

  • If you have been waiting for that setting that allows your dispatches to give you a warning whenever a race attacks another, your wait is now over!
  • The selling of raw resources in Betrayal mode is back, just now at a really discounted rate compared to the other modes.
  • Several changes have been made that will keep the AI acting a bit more appropriately when it comes to ground invasions.
But what else has been going on since 2.0, for those who haven't been following?
  • Well, naturally, the very first thing that happened after launch of the expansion is that a couple of clever souls figured out a way to trivialize Betrayal mode by using a bumrush tactic that nobody had tried up until that point.  So there was much balance work and AI work and so on done around making that no longer an exploit.  Betrayal mode got even more interesting as a result, even for those not using that tactic.
  • Obscura Discs aren't so common anymore during battles with the Obscura, because they were kind of obnoxious when found en masse.
  • In Betrayal mode, when you're defending yourself you no longer earn such a negative influence with other races.
  • Assassins now are only a standard-mode mechanic.  They only really made good sense there, and were particularly unbalancing on Betrayal mode.
  • The ratio of number of flagships in combat to "base power" of an armada has decreased, meaning that you can't wipe out whole armadas quite so easily in combat mode.
  • A lot of smaller bugfixes.

This is a standard update that you can download through the in-game updater, or if you have Steam it will automatically update it for you. To force Steam to download it faster, just restart Steam and it will do so.

Click here for the official forum discussion about this release.

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“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."

    About The Game

    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

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows XP SP2 or later
    • Processor: 2.2Ghz CPU
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Screen resolution at least 720px high, and 1024px wide.
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
    • 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.
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
    • 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.
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
12 of 13 people (92%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
38.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 26, 2014
A Jean-Luc Picard simulator for your home microcomputer, except you're a multi-headed aquatic space-dragon. Fly around in your overpowered flagship using the power of DIPLOMACY to try to stop the solar system imploding into war, while the not-Klingons get drunk and fighty and the not-Tyranids get hungry.

(Then get Betrayed Hope and Palpaltine it up, sowing chaos and devastation such that everyone is weak enough to backstab. Watch the fearful reverence of the last survivors as they realize they are all alone with a grinning abomination and its army of mindless drones. Then bomb them. Bomb them into atoms.)

About 50% bullet-hell shooter, but in discrete no-reactions-necessary turn-based time slices---which is a pretty awesome mechanic---and 50% showing up just how inadaquate every other 4X's diplomacy system is. Pure empire building doesn't make much of a showing, even in BH.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
21.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 5
This is a soft reccomendation. I loved AI War Fleet, and this game has as unique an idea as that did. It's a great concept, and requires some ingenuity to complete with all races surviving.

That being said, the end game can be frustrating, as it starts slowing down, and I have yet to have a rebel group I sent down on a planet recapture their planet AND hold on to it (even with me defending it and bolstering its defences.)

Buy if you want a game that's not about blowing everyone up, and instead requires some thinking, and hard decisions. To have all races survive is quite a challenge

Don't buy if you're looking for a game that's a clone of Galactic Civilizations, Sins of a Solar Empire or Endless Space
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
18.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 6
I ♥♥♥♥ing love this game. Once I got the basics down it seemed a bit short and somewhat easy (simpler playthroughs being completed in one sitting). But the achievements, multiple difficulty settings, and procedural generation lend hours upon hours of replay-ability to the title. If you're like me and wish more strategy games allowed you to manipulate AI players without crushing them into the dirt you need to play The Last Federation. Although crushing them into the dirt is still a viable option...
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 18
Unique game that feels like you are one of the monsters in someone elses 4X game (think of the guardian in Masters Of Orion 2).

Fun combat and interesting mechanics make this a game you should try out if you are looking for something different.
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11 of 18 people (61%) found this review helpful
11.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 9, 2014
I love 4X games and I love the concept for this one, but I don't enjoy it :(

That's not quite completely true, a lot of the combat is great (when its not too grindy), but the rest of the game is just too dry and distant, I've tried hard but just I can't get into it.
I think this is an awesome dev, and I think I love what they are trying to do, but in practice its just not my cup of tea.

So I feel the need to warn others, that this game sounds amazing in concept, but be prepared to do a lot of reading and learning and still possibly be confused about how to play or whats going on!

Yes this review includes the expansion too.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
10.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 1
The first time I played this, it ended up a 2,000 year long uncontrollable bloodbath with 2 surviving races.
The second time, the hivemind wiped out the communist sloths immediately and I created the ultimate alliance to wipe them out, with their single ally. Partially by collapsing the economy of an entire planet. And throwing away the lives of billions upon billions of people.

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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 13
I don't even remember when I got this game, but I installed it on a whim and after a few hours of playing, I'm really quite pleased. Fair warning, it's really deep; that may be a good or bad thing, depending on what you're looking for. I personally love it. Getting into the nuts and bolts of the mechanics of the game can be a little overwhelming but they do at the least seem quite intuitive and natural.

This game is one part space civilization sim, and one part tatical turn-based combat, both of which often affect each other. The end result is an amazingly engrossing experience. I've found myself really mulling over decisions like which race to aid in building up thier forces (and currying thier favor in the process) and how to advance my own technology.

If you want a smart game to really sink your teeth into, I strongly reccomend this.

(Also, the music is pretty awesome)
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
18.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 21
The game offers alot of choices and fun space battles, but it strangely isent as entertaining as it should be. You are presented with many different races to deal with who have their own motivations and goals, but the game play for interacting with them isent all that fun to me. There is alot of downtime between battles and money can be a real issue. Overall the game ran without any bugs or glitches, and the space combat was fun and ran on a turn based system, but sadly I just couldn't get into it. However if you like to have a very open ended experience and micromanaging the relationships of a vast empire, this game may be worth picking up.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
21.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 4, 2014
When I first saw this game, I was unsure if I would enjoy it, as I'd played AI Wars before and had issues getting "into" an abstract game. Since it was on sale though, I decided to give it a shot, and was immediately surprised by how inuitive a lot of the aspects of the game were, but also how impressive the tutorial was(Perhaps a little too hand holdy for my taste, but definitely did a good job of teaching what was going on).

For a strategy game, the difficulty was probably just about right for my tastes, with a learning curve that was not too punishing, but still required you to master most of the game to get a perfect win on normal. What I was not expecting however was the storytelling that the game managed to do, and while much of the story is determined by your own actions(and very much read between the lines subtle in a few spots), the setup and the closure was extremely good.

Replay value is a /little/ questionable, but that is more of a personal taste thing. I felt the only weak points were in that department, and largely a consequence of the player's effect on the game being pretty Illuminati-ish. Instead of the player taking immediate actions that had dramatic immediate effects, the most effective impacts are from long drawn out planning that typically leads to the same roads (dealing with the warmongering races typically boils down to crippling them by destroying their world's ability to make effective war, or by setting them against each other, and tipping the scale occasionally to be sure neither side ever comes out on top for instance).

I'd still give the game an arbitary 9/10, especially if you can pick it up on a sale, and enjoy turn based(this is "real time" in a lot of ways, but very much meant to be played with a lot of pausing) strategy, sci fi, abstract gameplay, or a combination of all three.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 16
This is a very good game. I can't think of anything else quite like it. Drox Operative is possibly the closest, but that's only in concept. In gameplay they're very different. If you're getting down far enough to be reading my review you should already have an idea what this game is about. Last member of an advanced race trying to have your way with the galaxy.

The mix of turn based and real time gameplay is well done. I would have liked more customizing options for your own ship. Hardpoints for weapons, maybe. Some way to have more than a lone weapon able to shoot each "turn." Better options for making a carrier like ship as well. Fighters and the like fire out of your ship in a large group like spokes on a bike and are handled more like a ability or "spell" than launching strike craft for strategic missions. Space control and power projection doesn't exist here.

I could be sitting here, chuckling to myself as waves of bombers blow pirate bases to smitherines. All the while inferior races of beings bow down before me, awed at the might and skill of my squadrons of pilots. They'd no doubt make TV (or whatever their society has) shows about that one pilot... You know the one. He/She is always disobeying orders. Getting in to tight spots. Winning through luck more than anything. I'll of course be stink eyeing them all the time. The people will love them. Probably have a call sign like Maverick or Falcon.

Anyways, point is you won't have that this game. Look somewhere else for Maverick. This is still a good game, try it out.
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: February 9
OK ... It's a complicated version of MoO & MoO2 (I won't mention MoO3).
There's going to be a learning curve but that is expected.
Expect a "game" to last 2-3 hours

Seriously if your looking for a 4x space sim similar to MoO ... get this.
That said I waited till it was on sale. At $10 this is a great game.
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278 of 325 people (86%) found this review helpful
25.7 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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1,017 of 1,310 people (78%) found this review helpful
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:
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:
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:
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:

- 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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111 of 116 people (96%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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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178 of 212 people (84%) found this review helpful
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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123 of 161 people (76%) found this review helpful
29.9 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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51 of 54 people (94%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
58.4 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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60 of 70 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
42.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 1, 2014
After playing for 32 hours and only jsut now beating this game for hte first time, I can say without a doubt that getting this game is definitely worth the time. ONE play session lasted me for a full 8 hours, unlike Civ, You seriously cannot rush this game, atleast not when new like I am.

If you're worried if the game's fun, don't, I enjoyed every minute, when i wasn't getting upset, crying, almost internally dying at my own stupidity as the game screwed me a good 6 times each.

This game is very rather unique in it's own way, I'm fairly sure you won't find another like it for years to come.

You will get your money's worth in this game. Despite the looks, I love this game almost as much as Civ 2: Test of Time, my all-time favorite.

The feeling you'll get when you beat the game for the first time is even better than killing a hard Dark Souls 1 boss. The bliss I am now feeling is... beyond words right now.

In the game's current state, it is now actually decently easy to play in comparison to past versions, if before wasn't a good time to get it, now's good.

The game itself is a clever blend of strategy and shooter, seeming ot be able to go from Real-Time strategy game with a "galaxy" map and a pause button, then go into battle and it's more like Demonstar, only a turn-based, tactical, strategic shooter version in combat.

Combat is simple, but complicated at the same time, with just enough to not be too much to new players.

The game has you trying to unite a system composed to 8 civilizations, all crowded together, in an alliance. Each race has their own ideals and even their own way of doing things and personalities, no two races are the same, and that's where the challenge comes from.

A couple will always pick a fight, two or three will always be technologically ahead, there is a rather weak race who is easy to get in good terms with ofcourse, but everybody is different.

There's so much to do in this game, all that one really needs to do is find what they need to do and do it.

The soundtrack and art design is simply wonderful, I personally love it, now that races will be on randomized planets, it makes it even better.

The tutorial is Very well done with new players directly in mind as it explains EVERYTHING at an even pace, and does so in-depth aswell, unlike many other games on Steam today.
There is no tutorial level thankfully, the tutorial itself is integrated into hte game itself, and entries can be called upon later in the menu, later in the game if you've missed how to change power levels on your ship, or start making the federation.

Beating this game for the first time on the lowest of difficulties gave me a feeling that not even beating Dark Souls 2's bosses gave me.

Ultimately, this game gets a 7/10 in my books; I can't describe it, it's just this game is so nicely done in every way, it oozes creativity, quality and it is clear the Developer has put their heart into making this game.

I simply love this game.
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264 of 415 people (64%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 15, 2014
I bought the game impulsively because of the pitching.
Allow me to explain my experience with the game like a story, so that I can make clear why I don't recommend it (warning: this is bound to contain minor spoilers):

First thing I face is the intro music of the game; very good music, it gave a good first impression. I always try to start custom maps in games, so I tried to do that in my first try, and I got a popup suggesting I try QuickPlay instead. I took the advice. Then came the picture of the hydra and the story of what happened to you, what are you doing and why are you doing it. I have a weakness for mythological monsters so the idea of playing a space hydra was just too cool to miss.

Unfortunately, the game's use the word "race" and the typical "-ian" ending for their names (Acurian, Peltarian, etc)) gave me the impression the game's lore would be very cheesy (just like in games like Galactic Civilizations and Master of Orion, which were enjoyable but definitely cheesy story-wise). All according to my prediction, the game presented good-old mostly anthropomorphic aliens (even the completely robotic race had an unnecesarily human body), with a very juvenile view of politics, "economy" and intrigue; the lore was more or less a repetition of old soft sci-fi tropes, nothing special.

What could have been Mount and Blade in space, turned out to be mostly a game of Spreadsheet Commander; even though the game does have unique mechanics for each "race", for influence and credit gain, it is still just 2 abstract and lifeless concepts that you are trading back and forth: credit, and influence. And even beneath this apparent layer of complexity the game _feels_ just like the same in every planet. The purported "Grand Strategy" element of the game didn't get to play out. But man was the music catchy.

I didn't get to enjoy trade or cooperation or diplomacy, it really, really felt like Spreadsheet Commander for the short time I got myself to endure it.

And then comes the combat... I will skip it, I don't even want to explain it, but it's really mediocre. It's fun the first few times but, I just can't get myself to see anything interesting about playing turn-based combat with a single ship; and maybe in the future you get to do more interesting things with other ships, but I will quote the very game's Logbook here "in battle, you just have You and whatever allies you managed to get, against your enemies", and when I fought enemies with allies by my side, I still could only pilot my own ship. So I'm going to assume the game will always only let you pilot or give orders to your own ship; this is hardly a "Grand Strategy" combat style. I consider the combat system so mediocre, that the game would've been better without it; it could be replaced with an abstracted combat method, in the Spreadsheet Commander spirit that the rest of the game took.

Do I think the game has no merit at all?, No, I think it has some, but I'm very picky with games, and this game just couldn't get me hooked. But the music is really good, and so is the art. So... I will just pretend I paid for a music album and a nice hydra picture and leave it at that.

Also, so you can get an idea of what games I enjoy (and you can tell whether to trust my taste or not):
Mount and Blade: > 500 hours
Crusader Kings II: > 100 (this game is quite the map-painting simulator, but it had <something> that made it feel a little more than that, and so it did get me hooked).
Civilization V: > 400 hours
Starbound: > 100 hours
Dota 2: > 100 hours

That's an example of some of the games in my library.

Happy gaming.
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25 of 29 people (86%) found this review helpful
27.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 24, 2014
Recommended: Definitely a different spin to 4X strategy, this game will be a hit or miss based on whether you find that spin interesting or not, but it's worth trying to find out. It's a game where a lot of care has been taken with it's development and mechanics, and it shows.

The Last Federation is a hybrid 4X strategy game developed and published by Arcen Games, most notably known for their AI War series. It also serves as something of a counterpart to AI wars in concept: whereas AI wars was about carefully dismantling a much superior foe, The Last Federation is centered around you playing as the lone survivor of a race that subjugated the entire sector before one of the subjugated races uses a superweapon to wipe you out. The central concept of The Last Federation is that while you otherwise have all the typical elements of a 4X strategy game, you don't directly control the civilisations involved - instead you must use diplomacy, manipulation, intimidation, your superior technology, or your superior firepower to manipulate the course of events.

In essence, you go to different worlds in your super-starship, deciding which races to uplift with spacefaring technology, how you want to help the ones you want to ally with, how to undermine your enemies, and so forth. This takes the place of going to different worlds and stations and having several options of what you can do presented to you. You can do all the standard 4X stuff, but instead of it being for you, rather, when you're helping research a technology, build an improvement, or do one of the many other tasks at the planet, you're doing that for the other race. The benefit is furthering along a race you want as an ally, giving them better tools to succeed, with the ultimate goal of uniting the galaxy, by hook or by crook.

It's a different spin on that 4X genre, and to Arcen Games' credit, they've obviously put a lot of thought into how these mechanics will work in that context. Tutorials are provided and go into just enough depth without the amount of babying hand-holding most AAA games do. Most everything feels intuitive and easy once you get into the game. If there's anything that's a little rough around the edges as regards that, its that sometimes the data pertinent to the given task at hand isn't presented in the clearest fashion. There is a metric tonne of different things being simulated for each armada (unit), each planet, and each race at any given time, so it's a very dense amount of information to digest. For the most part the game does an admirable job of giving you the directly pertinent information but sometimes there's related data that doesn't get displayed. To give one example at time of writing, one of the tasks you can perform at a world is cleaning up space junk from battles, which clearly outlines what you get for doing so quite well, but what it doesn't tell you is how much space junk is up there - for that you have to go into the extended information of the planet and through dozens of detail fields to find the one that tells you how much junk is in orbit. It's not a game-breaker by any means, but it makes more work for a player that wants to play optimally than is strictly necessary.

The tactical combat when you get into direct combat is reminiscent of a sort of turn-based SPAZ. It works pretty well, although I would recommend if you want a challenge you kick up the difficulty. I played on the normal setting and once you got into the tech progression it pretty much became a cakewalk. One presumes, however, its more challenging on the harder difficulty levels. Especially so since you can enable a "permadeath" mode whereby if that ship of yours gets blown up its game over. (As opposed to otherwise, the game forcing you to flee if you get critically damaged.)

Production values of the game are good to high; as said prior there's a lot of thought that's been put into the game and that extends to the design as well. Sound design is good, the soundtrack is very melodic and is something I'd even listen to outside the game as something ambient, and the graphics while 2D are pretty neat, especially the world background graphics which has hand-painted scenes.

A lot of heart went into this game and it shows. Whether you like it or not will depend on whether that spin on the typical 4X formula agrees with you, but its worth the look and the purchase. Speaking on a personal level, I think this game will be a contender for game of the year for me this year. It's a really brilliantly-heartful and excellently-executed game. Whether you love it or you don't, I doubt you'll find anything else quite like it.
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