Build and command a fleet of starships and travel between planets as you explore, build, negotiate, and fight to preserve your vision for humanity.
User reviews:
Recent:
Mostly Negative (25 reviews) - 28% of the 25 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Mixed (1,696 reviews) - 44% of the 1,696 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Mar 12, 2015

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Buy Sid Meier's Starships and Civilization: Beyond Earth

Includes 2 items: Sid Meier's Civilization®: Beyond Earth™, Sid Meier's Starships

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About This Game

Take command of a fleet of powerful starships in this adventure-driven strategy game from legendary designer Sid Meier. Travel to new worlds, completing missions to help save and protect the planets and their people from dangerous Space Pirates, to powerful Marauders and other hostile factions. Build a planetary federation as you strengthen your fleet and secure your homeworld as you attempt to preserve intergalactic peace and your vision of humanity. Set in the universe of Civilization: Beyond Earth after the age of the Seeding, Sid Meier’s Starships offers sci-fi/strategy fans a full stand-alone game experience that also features cross-connectivity with Beyond Earth, expanding the depth of both games. See if you have what it takes to rule the universe!

• Tactical Space Combat: Encounter unique tactical challenges in every mission, with dynamically generated maps, victory conditions, and foes.
• Fully Customizable Starships: Create an armada that fits your tactical plan with modular spaceship design.
• Diplomacy, Strategy, and Exploration: Expand the influence of your Federation and gain the trust of the citizens of new planets. Use the unique abilities of the each planet to enhance your fleet and Federation, and keep your opponents in check. Build improvements on worlds to increase the capabilities and resources of your Federation.
• A Galaxy Of Adventure: Explore the galaxy as you lead your fleet to distant worlds and complete missions to help the citizens of these planets. Fight pirates, protect colony ships, destroy rogue AI, and more.
• Multiple Paths To Victory: Will you win by conquering the greatest threat to the galaxy? Or will you unite a plurality of worlds in your Federation? Perhaps you will lead your people to push the frontiers of science. Each choice you make carries consequences on your path to victory

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows Vista SP2/ Windows 7
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8 GHz or AMD Athlon X2 64 2.0 GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB ATI HD2600 XT or better, 256 MB nVidia 8800 GT or better, or Intel HD4000 or better integrated graphics
    • Storage: 841 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Audio output capability
    Minimum:
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.9 or higher
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz Intel
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB nVidia 8800 GT or better, or Intel HD4000 or better integrated graphics
    • Storage: 700 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Input: Multi-button Mouse
Customer reviews
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Recent:
Mostly Negative (25 reviews)
Overall:
Mixed (1,696 reviews)
Recently Posted
voice of tranquility
( 18.4 hrs on record )
Posted: June 26
It's alright if you get it on sale. Skilled use of torpedos (especially stealth torpedos) will win you any game. Enjoyable, if short and repetitive over time.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Beaumaris
( 1.6 hrs on record )
Posted: June 26
I had high hopes for this game. But it is not what one would expect from a Sid Meier's game. It is has very shallow non-strategic game play, and the games are very short. I played through a full game once, and that was enough.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
kjub03
( 0.4 hrs on record )
Posted: June 25
From Sid Meier this is disappointing.

Pros: Cheap.

Cons: Boring and weird.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
mack
( 13.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 23
I think the negative reviews are people who expected a full AAA 4X game, rather than a quick, simple strategy game. Pick it up at 50% or higher off, play for 10 to 15 hours.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Mickey21
( 6.0 hrs on record )
Posted: June 22
This game fails, why, because in their infinite wisdom, playing with someone else is not part of the game at all. Was it fun to play, yeah. Is it very layered in strategy, not really, but still pretty fun. It feels like it could have been a lot better, but alas, it was not to be. Pity really. I recommend this game ONLY if you want to play alone and you buy it for next to literally nothing. Only because I can't condone sending money to a company essentially "voting" for more of this behavior.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
sargeras83
( 0.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 20
Crashes often, little strategic depth. There are better games out there. I wouldn't recommend this game unless you're really bored and in need of being let down.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
nixonm831
( 5.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 20
This game is great! It is super quick and has a lot of different routes to completion. The diplomacy leaves something to be desired, but the overall result is a quick smooth game thqat you can pick up and put down with ease without losing the overall goal of play.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
william_robb
( 43.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 15
It's like a fun simplified verson of Master of Orion with that Beyond Earth flair. I like that you can play a full game easily with a couple hours as opposed to a couple days ... or even a couple weeks like some 4X games.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
rene.perron
( 4.4 hrs on record )
Posted: June 14
Dont do it... just dont trust me on this loved all the Civ games this one is just odd not terrible I guess but if you come in with the expectation one normally does with the civ title you will be very disapointed
Helpful? Yes No Funny
wdmichael
( 8.1 hrs on record )
Posted: June 14
I think a lot of people expected this to be civ in space. It's not. It is a ported mobile game, and I think the gameplay is good. It is worth the price.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
Recommended
26.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 10
I think people were expecting a lot more from this game than what this game really is. It's just a little twiddle exploring one of Sid Meier's ideas. I can beat an "epic" difficult campaign in a matter of hours - my 26 hours as of this review has already put me through multiple campaigns. And in XCOM or Civilizations, I'd normally be maybe halfway through. And it's a spinoff of the Civilization Beyond Earth games - which are okay in their own right but thankfully the real Civilization games are still being actively developed.


- Graphics? What graphics. They get the job done, though, and the engine's fairly optimized (Not completely stable, but optimized) so even paper PCs will run it well. And there's no finnagling with the UI, for the most part.
- The ships are interesting at first until you understand just how simple they are. It's easy to learn, easy to pick up, and easy to exploit - perhaps too easy.
- Combat is really simple - if you don't splurge on turn-based strategy games it might even be interesting, intriguing. There are a few options available to you - long-range laser sniper, hive mind swarmer with fighters, or close range facepuncher with plasma cannons. But compared to a game like XCOM, which has many small intricacies and almost nothing is certain (everything is certain in Starships, believe me, the only random action in a fight is whatever the AI does), Starships really does fade in comparison. You always know what's going to happen, and it happens the same way every time. It really hurts the replayability when you know the same thing that happened last campaign will probably happen again, even on the harder difficulties.
- I consider the difference between tactics and strategy as follows: Tactics is being able to whoop someone's ♥♥♥, whereas strategy is putting yourself in a great position to whoop someone's ♥♥♥. That being said I think while the strategy level is just as simple as setting up your ships, the actions you take in the galaxy have a direct and tangible effect on the battlefields. For instance, you can't really be a great carrier swarmer without having Tight Squeeze, Hyperlaunch and Dual Command wonders built and AI modules researched to make the fighters worth something instead of just bait. You can't cover your ships in plasma cannons, engines and shields without having the planets to produce your energy, or which specialize in building said equipment for cheap. So the benefits to good strategy are there. But, like almost everything else, it's just really simple.


It's difficult for me to recommend this game, it really is, because of what people will want and how simple this game is. I'm half-convinced that the main target platform for this game is the mobile platform - this would probably be a great mobile game, and it's just so underwhelming for a PC.
But for what it is, it's a nice little gem to me, worth a few dozen hours. In the end I won't try to dissuade you from buying it, particularly if it's on sale. Even though feedback is bad, I want a bigger, badder, more complex version of this game that we can really sink our teeth into. Something that can stand proudly by Civ and XCOM. Even if it does have to sprout off Beyond Earth.
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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
19.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 8
As a huge civ fan, when I saw Sid Meier in the title I thought this was gonna be a great 4x strategy game like civ. Unfortunately it is just a simple mobile game that left me very dissapointed. There isnt very much strategy to this game at all, you just build a bunch of spaceships and shoot the enemy spaceships. I do not think this game is worth $17, and I would not even recommend buying it on sale.
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5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
5.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 1
Worth maybe $5.
This and Civ: BE have soured me to Firaxis.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
15.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 10
A waste of money. Basically a smart phone game with jacked up prices
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
8.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 14
I think a lot of people expected this to be civ in space. It's not. It is a ported mobile game, and I think the gameplay is good. It is worth the price.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
43.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 15
It's like a fun simplified verson of Master of Orion with that Beyond Earth flair. I like that you can play a full game easily with a couple hours as opposed to a couple days ... or even a couple weeks like some 4X games.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 20
This game is great! It is super quick and has a lot of different routes to completion. The diplomacy leaves something to be desired, but the overall result is a quick smooth game thqat you can pick up and put down with ease without losing the overall goal of play.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
1,376 of 1,559 people (88%) found this review helpful
64 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 12, 2015
**UPDATE** - This review was written with the game running on "Hard"

This is the worst game I've played that bears Sid Meier's name.

"Surely it's not that bad" You say.

I'm afraid it is.

In the build up to the release of the game there was little doubt that it was going to be a less involved game to play then the typical Sid Meier fare, more Ace Patrol then Civilization 5. When developers were discussing the game, that was pretty clear and I have no qualms with that.

In fact I was quite happy with the idea of a strategy game designed so I could play over an evening after work.

The 3 hour play time of this review was playing a game to completion on a "large" map.

Initial impressions are poor. The game launching in a tiny window and into a bare, personality-less main menu that could have been ripped from any sci-fi title (it reminded me of the Sword of the Stars 2 menu). I sought out the settings menu and within that I found volume controls and "Windowed Full Screen mode".

I'm sorry what?

I know the game was being made for tablet as well, but this is Firaxis. I asked another friend playing it "Am I missing a settings menu somewhere?" bemusedly. "Nope" He replied "It really is that sparse"

Oh well. Not a great first impression, but not necessarily the end of the world. I setup a game.

Setup lets you pick a faction and a leader. Each faction gets the same leaders, with slightly rejigged artwork. Which comes across as a bit lazy. The factions have a unique bonus with the leaders adding an additional bonus of their own. I was a little bemused at what the various bonuses meant as I only knew about one aspect of the game (crew morale) from previews nothing else made a lot of sense and there was nothing to explain the benefits of a choice, no tooltips, nothing.

The lack of tooltips persists throughout, with a general lack of accessible information.

I setup my game, stabbing blindly in the dark at things that sounded useful

The galactic playing field looks alright and I wait for the useful tutorial to kick in and explain things to me over my first few turns. I get nothing. I understand there's an info button to click but I don't understand why there's a lack of tutorial and I fumble around the first few turns getting to grips with the games systems.

As the game is all about moving a fleet around space bringing disparate planets into a federation you'd expect load out/designing of the ships to be one of the most involved aspects of the game. Instead, you're presented with a list of things to click away at to upgrade or downgrade (removing components nets you some resources back to spend elsewhere) different aspects of each ship.

My fleet consisted of three ships throughout the course of the game, starting as corvette's, ending as battleships through upgrades and the games automatic ship classification. All 3 focused on speed, one was paticularly tough and loaded with close range weaponry. One was less tough, also had close range weaponry and could cloak. One had longer range weapons. The limitation to what you can actually do with ships meant all of them had max speed, and were stupidly tough by about mid way through. But this simple setup felt game breaking. I could defeat any mission or enemy fleet, outside of the missions where you have to defend an outpost that can only survive two hits with fast enemies that just head straight for it.

The empire building aspect of the game is no more involved. "Click this to make numbers go up, because numbers" about sums up this aspect of the game. There's no interesting trade off between balancing metal, food or energy. Get lots of whatever you can, click stuff to have more stuff.

I actually beat my game accidentally. I was working my way from planet to planet, building one ludcriously over powered wonder after another because why not, then a conquered a planet which also had a wonder and triggered the wonder victory.

Well victory nets you a much more rewarding end then it does in Beyond Earth at least. You get 10 seconds of video which is better then a text box. But does it really matter when the rest of the game is so unengaging?

Overall, it's an ok game to have on a tablet, nothing stand out, even where there isn't much competition. But on the PC there's tons. Weird Worlds in Infinite space did something similar but better years ago and it's Early Access sequel likely will to. There is no reason to buy this game for the PC, and very little for a tablet.
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881 of 1,000 people (88%) found this review helpful
46 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 15, 2015
I decided to give this game a few hours of play, and a couple of days to judge if my opinions about it were sufficiently objective, and I've deliberately avoided reading other reviews so as not to colour my judgement.

At a very cursory glance, it's an ok, fun, civ: beyond earth themed mini game, that will provide a slightly different way to sink a few hours in to a game for a little bit.

I tend to think of games in terms of wether they "break even" for me or not - am I going to get sufficient gameplay out of a title that the cost per hour played is less than or equal to an arbitrary value.

For me, I tend to consider this value at a nice easy £1 per hour, pretty much the price of a cheap cup of coffee... if a game beats that, it's broken even or possibly even done a lot better. If it works out higher than that, the cost to own is too high and not worth the expense.

On those terms, this title doesn't even come close... as I doubt I'll play beyond the 3 hours or so I've put into it so far, leaving me at a cost to own of over £3 per hour...

I'll try to embellish more below.

Do you remember the free companion app for Mass Effect 3 that was released a few years ago? Called Mass Effect: Datapad, it allowed you to play a basic mini game on a tablet or mobile device that could influence events in the main game.

Simply put, Starships is the "next gen" version of that. There game is a little more complicated than Datapad, but in essence all there is to it is a vehicle for delivering unlockable content in Beyond Earth, which from the initial unlocks I was able to make, are pretty basic, and add a few slightly different starting options for civ's in any new game you start after the unlock (eg a "sponsor" option when setting up your civ to start with ultrasonic fences, instead of the vanilla options) Unlike datapad though, it doesn't add the Beyond Earth equivalent of ME's codex, and does nothing else to really expand on the game or the overall experience.

When you consider that, as mentioned, Datapad was free, albiet a little more basic, it brought a lot more to the game universe it represented than Starships accomplishes for £11/$14 - and that in itself, really draws the value of this title into stark contrast.

Don't get me wrong, it is a fun little distraction, but there really isn't all that much to it beyond a distraction. Every mission map is ostensibly the same... a randomly generated asteroid field with a couple of flavour target decorations in suitable locations.

The galaxy map, where you take part in all your diplomacy, upgrades and travel, is pretty miniscule, even when set to "extreme" size, (I counted approx 20 systems in my last extreme map, for example) which is pretty poor and clearly designed around rushed, dirty play. Similarly unit limitations in missions (up to 15 whole units at once... wow) is a pretty clear indicator of the intended audience.... tablet users, with PC and Mac users obviously catered for purely as a bonus extra revenue stream.

The game, currently, has no tutorial, and requires users to integrate both Starships and Beyond Earth with a 3rd party accounts system (which isn't all that obvious to find) in order to benefit from any of the inter-title unlocks.

The advertised "starship customisation" feature is pretty poor, and is simply a case of pumping points into a specific attribute to beef it up a bit.

The ingame AI is pretty abysmal where scaling difficulty does nothing to changing AI tactics, and instead seems only to make them more able to soak up and dish out damage. As soon as you've worked out that it's possible to spam your way to success pretty easily, all the real challenge is lost, and it simply becomes an exercise in chosing the most economical way to collect all the ingame systems.

Sure I hold my hands up, I had different expectations of the game when I preordered it, and from the demo's and trailers I saw, I was kind of expecting a turn based 4x strategy title. I was disappointed when I realised this wasn't the case, and I cannot say strenuously enough, this is not a 4x strategy game, but I tried to keep playing and experiencing the game regardless, and have tried to judge it on it's own merits rather than how it didn't match up to my expectations.

Is it a fun little minigame? Yes, as I said at the start, it is an amusing distraction for an hour or two.

However, I have played similar games in flash based web games, and I've downloaded far better, and more involved or complete, games than this for free on my mobile devices, and have had varying levels of satisfaction from them.

I found the subject of "cross compatibility" a little bit of a misnomer too... Where Datapad could impact on how prepared the galaxy was to deal with an impending threat, or where Assassins Creed allowed you to affect the economy and environment in which you played, all Starships offers is the ability to unlock gameplay options that would previously just have been included as standard.

Seen in that light, it's little more than a rebranded DLC pack for Beyond Earth, which demands not only your money but also your time in order to unlock the content you've paid for (and by all rights, should have had access to in the first place)

In light of all that, I simply cannot in good concious recommend the game to anyone at it's current retail price.
Taken as a DLC, it's easily double the price it should be for the features it brings to your Beyond Earth experience.
Taken as a stand alone mobile app, it's probably closer to triple the price of a title with similar depth.
Taken as a stand alone PC/Mac game, to be honest, I've paid less than a 10th of the price for indie titles that were far more robust and deserving.

Add it to your wishlist, and wait for it to be added as a bonus game to a humble bundle or something. Spend the £11/$14 buying lunch for a couple of homeless folks, you'll get far more satisfaction in the long run, and someone far more deserving than the developers behind this title, get to have you buy them a meal.
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208 of 229 people (91%) found this review helpful
10 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
19.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 3, 2015
Starships is a game with a lot of potential, but falls short of what it could be. The game lacks a decent tutorial outside of standard tooltips, but the gameplay is fairly shallow without too much curve. Most of the non-combat gameplay is simply buying improvements/investments for better resources, which you can use to buy improvements and investments.

The battles themselves are largely a matter of flying in and out of cover, shooting targets from behind/the side and randomly crippling their abilities while they do the same to you. Torpedoes can be used to created delayed explosions, granting you a degree of control over enemy movement, and there's some shenanigans with cloaking and radar.

The maps are very similar, with the main features being shifting asteroids and portals that randomly teleport you to other portals. The former are very simple: red and green circles let you know that every turn, a path will be opened or closed. The latter is more of an annoyance than anything, due to the random aspect and the game's willingness to send your ship through one if you don't carefully plot your movement across individual hexes.

The game is connected to Beyond Earth, itself an iffy prospect at the time of writing. Completing tasks in BE will unlock bonuses in Starships, and vice versa. The BE unlocks are generally underwhelming, save for Pioneers. You can also choose to "continue" a BE save in Starships, playing as your chosen leader and maintaining the same diplomatic relations with AI leaders, though this is pointless with Starships being a step down from BE.

Ultimately, Starships isn't a particularly deep or intriguing game. The visuals and music aren't bad, and the missions have decent variety, but everything else is lackluster and the options are barebones. There's no multiplayer, no option to continue after winning, and no real depth.

It might be worth a look on Steam sale, particularly if you don't want to get a BE mod or mess with XML files to unlock the bonuses, but Starships can't break from the orbit of its iOS port origins.
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