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 (300 reviews) - 73% of the 300 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Apr 18, 2014

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Includes 3 items: The Last Federation, The Last Federation - Betrayed Hope, The Last Federation - The Lost Technologies


Recent updates View all (59)

November 18

AI War 2 Kickstarter re-launch hits goal in 22 hours! Plus new video.

Um... wow?  Folks are absolutely amazing in their support, and I'm just agog at this.  I'm going to be out most of the weekend, but I just wanted to say thanks in advance if we hit any stretch goals before Monday.  At the moment we seem likely to hit the stretch goal for new music sooner than later.

So, other stuff -- first I'd like to share one new video with you:

So just what is this "AI War" thing, and why should you be excited about it?

Hopefully the kickstarter campaign page answers that question, in a general sense at least. ;)  But prior to launching this campaign I was working on this video, and I finally finished editing it today (with Pablo's help cleaning up some unfortunately peaky audio because my mic gain was off), so I thought I'd share it.

If you're wanting to explain to someone first what this game is, then why it's frickin awesome, maybe this video will help.  Or maybe I'm just longwinded -- 9 minutes is pretty concise for a game like this, though. :)

First Stretch Goal: Soundtrack!

So... right!  We're funded. :)  Now we're working on the first stretch goal off our list:

Up Next

Next week I expect to release a video actually showing combat, and some other cool visual effects, and we'll show you more of the GUI, and Pablo has a video for you, and Keith has some written updates...

Busy times, in the best sense. :)

I'm personally not going to be around much this weekend because I'm both trying to have a better work/life balance in general and also we're celebrating my mom's birthday, but I'll be back in force on Monday.  I'll peek in some over the weekend, of course, and I imagine Keith will be around some Saturday off and on.  But just so you don't wonder where we are if we're quieter than usual.

Thanks again for all your support!


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November 17

AI War 2 Kickstarter re-launches... 50% funded in 4 hours!

Good grief!  People are awesome.  I didn't mean to update folks here "late," but the new campaign for AI War 2 has already reached half of its (admittedly much more modest) funding goal.

I've already written a first update post that has a large Q&A based on early questions.  Apologies that the video above is just a teaser-style one, but one of the Q&A topics (way at the bottom) touches on the reasons for that.  Basically perfectionism on my part, I guess.

This is a very different project from the one that we were pitching in the first kickstarter, but I'm really excited about it.  Keith has written up a new design document that explains what is planned.  There's another document that compares the new vision for the sequel to the original AI War, for those wanting to see that comparison.

One of the last updates to the original campaign does probably the most concise job of outlining the differences between the two campaigns, the changing roles of Keith and myself, and the current configuration (so to speak) of Arcen.

Anyhow!  Hope to see you around soon. :)


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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."

    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

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.
    • Storage: 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.
    • Storage: 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.
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
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277 reviews match the filters above ( Mostly Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
290 of 344 people (84%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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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1,107 of 1,416 people (78%) found this review helpful
2 people 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:
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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118 of 128 people (92%) found this review helpful
9 people 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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182 of 219 people (83%) 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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70 of 77 people (91%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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.

+ 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.

- 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.

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.

If you liked this review or want to see more recommended games, be sure to follow our curator group: Follow Original Curator Group

Edit: Fixed some typos and formatting
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127 of 168 people (76%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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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55 of 61 people (90%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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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60 of 72 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
46.7 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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32 of 33 people (97%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
73.5 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.
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67 of 92 people (73%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
26.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 19, 2015
Think Civilization (or Master of Orion, if you're familiar with that) except instead of playing a civilization, you play an independent demi-god that gets to freely meddle in and shape everyone's affairs. And while the writing is very funny and the soundtrack is lovely, some design decisions turn the game part of this into a bit of a farce.

You have way too much power over the entire simulated world. Pretty much every variable is directly and easily changed by a metaphorical snap of your fingers and a selection on a menu. You can make anyone like or dislike anyone else. You can quickly ravage anyone's homeworld by messing with their 4 economic indicators and there's nothing they can do about that. Alternatively, you can quickly turn them into an obscene super power, and they cannot do that on their own. Owing to the fact you're completely and instantly healed at the end of every battle, which you can escape from anytime you like, you can destroy virtually infinite numbers of ships, if you but have the patience. You can be delayed, but never stopped. Nothing in the game will ever challenge you; nothing *can* challenge you when you are given this much control over everything. Higher difficulty settings only cause things to take longer; they don't make you any less likely to succeed. The irony here is that beneath the dozens of daunting menus and hardcore aesthetic, what you have is an ultra casual game. And that's what ultimately makes The Last Federation pointless to play.
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Recently Posted
27.1 hrs
Posted: November 27
A very fun strategy game that holds your hand just enough to make watching hours of tutorial videos unnecessary.

I'm horrible at strategy games, but the way this one is laid out, it just clicks. The turn based combat is interesting and due to the combination of weapons, abilities, and ship upgrades, pretty deep.

The diplomacy system is interesting. I've yet to successfully finish a game without committing genocide, but you do what you have to do.
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31.8 hrs
Posted: November 24
First of all be prepared to lose, a lot. Uniting all races under one true alliance isn't supposed to be easy and it is not. First 15 hours you'll learn about races, their behaviors, social structures alongside basic game mechanics. Once you get a hang of it all you can start to raise difficulty from easy and start the learning process all over again. Be prepared to spend endless hours babysitting aliens. A must buy for strategy game fans.
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4.3 hrs
Posted: November 24
Play as space henry kissinger. 10/10
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1.3 hrs
Posted: November 2
The BEST worst (or worst BEST) purchases I've ever made.

After reading a ton of reviews, seeing some gameplay vids, I've concluded those people are just shills trying to make an "avant garde" game sound like something it totally isn't.

Why would they do that?

Because no one would buy this FRIGGIN' type of game as-is, at-all, ever--if they truly knew what genre it is. UNLESS, they've been duped into buying it cuz others have misrepresented its genre. OR, they're familar with this genre, or want something entirely fresh, or are cult-like followers of the developer (we've seen them folks around before, haven't we people?).

So this devolves into semantics, which is not good start for this game.
It appears to me: fans seem to go out of their way to paint it incorrectly.
Despite that, IS THIS a GOOD game?

First, let's clarify the game's genre.
It's unique. That sums it up.

You START out at the menu with a plethora of gameplay options.
Honestly, these don't mean diddley squat because the game is like NOTHING you've ever played, it makes no sense to tinker around with any of this. Seriously. Instead, just try to pick what seems like the "default" gameplay, and start. This way, you'll get an idea of how it is. If you want, you can adjust things to make it "easier" for noobs, err, newbs. Which is hilarious because...

...after you click through the pages of still images reading all the text telling the story, you'll be dumped into the game and have ABSOLUTELY NO BLOODY IDEA WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON.

There is a MAP of "space". Fans call it "map of the galaxy".
What a joke.
It's roughly around 10 planets/locations.

SO, you play this monsterous alien hydra titan that looks like it could devour Cthulhu.
Your the last of a race whose world/people are wiped out, and you can work to unite the races or destroy 'em or whatever. You don't control "your own empire". You're more of guy "behind the scenes" spending the entire game manipulating the other races.

Other races have 1 Planet.
NOT some "empire".

So how do you PLAY THIS?
You basically spend almost the whole game clicking on menus.

You can click on the other worlds/places and you immediately "zip" across to there.
Then, you get to access THEIR menus, to see the things you can click on to do.
Like: hire some guys, hire some researchers, help them develop something, sell them some tech, help with something else. Very detailed menus (and everything is detailed UP THE WAZOO with descriptions), explain the PROS and CONS of each option.

Approx. 80% or more of anything you find on any of the menus you are told YOU CAN'T DO, because you need to raise rep, or do something else, or get special points in something, and there's a huge plethora of INFO about each of those things to figure out what the hamhock-heck they are.

If you CAN ACTUALLY find something it WILL let you do...SHOULD you do it?
AND THAT'S where the genius of the strategy/puzzle aspect encompassing this game is at!
Doing an act, might lower relations with another race, for example. You might upset "the balance" or whatever.

If you decide to do the act, you...CLICK to do it.
Then, just spam END-TURN until a text pops-up and says something like "OK, THAT'S DONE".
Actually, it's way more "wordy" than that. But..."SAME DIFFERENCE!".

So you see if you got credits or points in something, it goes from 500 to 625 or whatever.
Big accomplishment! Rep with these guys goes 100 to 105 and THOSE guys, moves 95 to 85. Or whatever.

That's it.
At some point, you get to do other things. You just have to do all this kind of stuff alot.

Making it easier, is you can set the "End Turn" thing on a sort of "AUTO-PILOT" so you don't have to tire your fingers spamming. Rather, the game will end the turn for you, sparing you the tediuous monotony.

Some "things" you get to do, will take you to an "ARCADE GAME" where you have to dodge spinning balls, and stuff.
Reminds me of the simplicity of Space Rangers 2's "Arcade Sequences", but in SPACE, like above a planet, with way better graphics. The Arcade Sequence, like most Arcade Games, plays out in "real time". Get hit too much by the bullet/object spam orgy things, you die.

So, don't let that happen!

After that's over, it's back to the "space map", clicking on menus to see what else teh game will "let you do".

The SPACE-TECHNO soundtrack, makes this all feel REALLY important.

What makes this game so cerebral, is that YOUR decisions AFFECT the huge galaxy...of like around 7 measily planets. Maybe one races destroys another, ALL OF THE SUDDEN! Or destroys the one that are your feels like a historical gaming industry moment!

Incredibly thought-provoking, worthy of thousands of pages of forum drooling!
So deep and provocative, and IN NO way randomly generated. It makes the game feel comparable to the Encyclopedia Britannica, reading Aristotle, or Homer.

No, literally on that first one. Just one page about anything in the game, is loaded with so much detail, it's like a novel. You should get a Steam Achievement if you actually read just one of the pages (in its entirety).

And some fans claimed this was a 4X game, where you build fleets and conquer them like in Master of Orion, GalCiv, and other well-known 4X games. Others, compared it to being "just like Drox Operative" (which is an open-world ARPG arcadish space-ship game).

It ain't. Not even close!
Others know FULL WELL, the type of game it an overwhelming aroma that splashes into the mind, then swirls, and swirls around.

**OVERALL RATING** : E=mc^2 out of 10.

PROS: So many menus you get to click on, surrounded by really good static backgrounds with great artwork, some animations. Visually, it's very colorful. It's like reading a 1000 page Isaac Asimov dribble with rainbow rave-party club lights dancing on the pages. Sometimes GREEN txt, sometimes another color. The artwork is top-notch, the story setting itself is very good, and I enjoy the idea of playing some mastermind behind the scenes. The game offers differing gameplay types. Given how enriching the moving dots & triangles on the "space map" are, the entertaining evade and/or blow-up everything Arcade sequences are, I decided the route of wiping out everyone. (Any surprise?).

CONS: I can't think of cons with the game, but rather, with the rabid fans that misrepresent what type of game this is. THEY ARE THE REAL CONS. So are some reviewers with their videos, only showing the (few) "mass-appeal" aspects of the game [example: skipping CORE GAMEPLAY, and showing only the "arcade" sequences. Many "REVIEWERS (and THE DEVELOPERS EVEN), do this]. That's really LOUSY. Many "reviewers" give-up early (and maybe the DEVELOPERS TOO?) and say "HEY, BUT IM SURE IT'S COOL AND YOU CAN DO ALL THOSE THINGS LIKE SOMEONE ELSE SAID." and then END their video.

In truth, they don't want to waste another minute to play it more.
That sucks of them. Right?

SO BEWARE all the false reviews. Take the time to watch an ACTUAL gameplay vid that's like AN HOUR LONG (at least), that DOESN'T EDIT OUT THE CORE GAMEPLAY (all the menu-clicking action).

CONCLUSION: This is a PUZZLE game at its heart, involving lots of menus, clicking and waiting for something to happen. You're more likely to have to take a dump before anything does.

There's nothing wrong with that.

You need patience.
If you're a NORMAL gamer who prefers DooM or CoD, you probably won't enjoy it.

If you're a gamer with SPECIAL NEEDS in gaming, with matured, refined tastes, you'll appreciate a slow, "cerebral" challenge.

And if you love reading, like a vampire loves blood, this game (and this review...) WILL leave you sated and quenched.
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15.6 hrs
Posted: October 29
A borderline positive review for a very different type of game that didn`t cost me all that much cash. But ultimately having just completed my first campaign I`m left feeling a little disappointed at what this could have been. Playing the shadow power broker in the back ground with a grand scheme of creating the Federation is a very appealing idea. But in practice I sometimes felt it didn`t quite deliver. Options can seem plentiful at first glance but looking deeper I found myself using the same options again and again and discounting many others because of the poor return or the hit to reputation with other factions. Should every hostile action really have such a negative impact with all races if done using a 3rd party? And then there`s the space battles. Dull, confusing at times, and a bit of a nuisance to be honest. The idea of the player having this mighly flagship to change the balance of power could have been put into practice in so many better ways. Overall it kept me distracted for a few evenings for the price of a DVD rental- its just not one I would want to go back to.
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76.3 hrs
Posted: October 22
It is an awesome game. In the 73 hours i played i won just twice (normal difficulty) but even losing games here is fun. Mostly because every game is random. The actions of the species depend on their planets and these change every new game.

Lots of variation / replayability

The dlcs add a lot of fun. I recommend to buy them.

The tutorial is... not bad but there are so much options i dont get even after 70 hours... it would have been nice if they had omething like a guidesection for general strategies.

The price is to high in my opinion, at least for the dlc. They complement the game really well but i recommend to wait for a sale.
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3.1 hrs
Posted: October 22
Complicated but fun to play. If you liked AI War you would like this. A good time user upper....!
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3.5 hrs
Posted: October 12
This is the best turn based shmoop 4X game I've ever played.

Also, thanks for the linux support.
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24.5 hrs
Posted: October 5
Very boring combat ruins what could have been an interesting game. I normally like turn based stuff but this is just awful. Combat is common in this game but there is just nothing to it. Often I'm just clicking as fast as possible to get through it. Awful.
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22.9 hrs
Posted: July 30
This is probably the weirdest game I have ever played. No, it's not because of its reverse4xism. Let me give you an example:

You start with three weapons on your ship. Along the way you discover or buy new weapons. But there is no way to know whether these are better or worse based on the descriptions. You just have try them on battle (or battle exercise) and guess what; each ship takes damage differently from different weapons. I tried a few new weapons but basically I finished the game with the starter weapons.

Other than these eccentricities, and there are many, the game is actually fun. You try to keep things balanced or unbalanced based on the situation. There are a lot of options to achieve goals. This is a big plus. In contrast other games are usually like; attack early or build build build then attack.

`Indie` is the operative word here. I give The Last Federation a reluctant thumbs up. 3/5, 5.5/10, 4/7.
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