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:
Overall:
Mixed (1,642 reviews) - 44% of the 1,642 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

 

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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Overall:
Mixed (1,642 reviews)
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
12 of 12 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
79.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 17
Sid Meier is a name synonymous with the fine art of destroying a person’s free time, one social event after another. His influence is known throughout the stars as one which’ll have you glued to whatever screen is nearby. His recent attempt to devastate social circles was a salvo of Civilization: Beyond Earth. His love-letter back to the days of Alpha Centuri was well-received but lacked a little something special. We wanted to battle across the stars and gain supremacy not just colonize a rock. Luckily Sid Meier’s Starships has come along to fill that role.

Sid Meier’s Starships takes the narrative of Beyond Earth off into the stars using — erm well, starships. Before dipping into a game, you’ll be asked to pick a Leader and an Affinity. There are eight different leaders on offer with each bringing their own minor benefits to gameplay. These vary from the long-term benefits of increased resource gains to quick-start perks like an extra ship or technological upgrades from the very beginning. For those concerned about this making one leader more powerful than the others we should quell your fears. These all pan out to be equally matched, focused more on augmenting the players personal play-style than any sort of quick victory scheme.

Another way in which you can customize your own forces to work in a way best suited to you is through the selection of Affinities. These come in the flavors of Purity, Supremacy, and Harmony, each one with its own benefit to further allow you to mold your fleet into the shape you feel best. No square pegs in round holes here. The array of options on offer is plentiful enough for everyone to carefully create exactly what they desire mechanically from an interstellar civilization.

These two work in unison to build a galactic playpen of sorts where you’re invited to try different combinations to change up the gameplay. Thankfully, Sid Meier’s Starships makes this even easier by cramming each full game into no more than a couple of hours for the most part. That’s thanks mainly to its variety of challenging yet welcoming victory conditions. They’re nothing different when compared to the 4X conditions we’re used to seeing every day, not that it makes them any less worthwhile or satisfactory to complete.

Drifting around this playpen is turn-based but not in the totally traditional sense. You don’t move from Bootis 54 to Celarin 69 only to be forced into watching opponents zip around the map. Every flight from world to world reduces the morale of your crew. When this starts to fade they’ll become less effective encouraging Shore Leave. This is literally where your fleet stops and the others get going. They couldn’t make it another End Turn button since there’s already one in the battle portion of Sid Meier’s Starships.

Collecting the resources or necessary population to get the victory screen, which comes with a short ending cinematic that always seems to feel like the ending to Return of the King in that it gets longer every time you watch it, revolves around your ability to gain Influence on planets. Your first jump to a world is almost always greeted with some sort of mission or calamity that you must overcome for a modest reward and Influence. It’s in these short battles where the majority of Sid Meier’s Starships plays out and where you’ll enjoy yourself the most.

Before going into these, you’ll have to get your fleet together. Each of your vessels is totally customizable in terms of the weapons it can bring to bear and how powerful every one of its subsystems is. Using “Energy” you can buy new ships or upgrade your existing ones with more powerful weapons, higher armor statistics, or even the oh so satisfying ability to stealth.

There’s a lack of visual modification that comes directly from your input though. For one, each Affinity is blessed with a singular basic style of craft. This does change while the game progresses and you add huge laser batteries or cover ships in armor, it just doesn’t always feel like your fleet because the overall styles remain the same. It makes sense in a multiplayer game but in this single player title, a few more personal options would have been welcome.

The reason why this deserves a mention is that when you’re actually giving your fleet’s individual members more powerful cannons, the ships themselves grow in size. It’s actually an awesome thing to watch when that spindly little Corvette you started out with becomes a bonafide bad-♥♥♥ ship even the Battlestar Galactica would have trouble facing down. Laser turrets sprout from expanded bulkheads head of multiple engines used to propel these machines of death across the stars and into your opponent’s face.

Controlling your ships in battle on the hex-based arena is much the same as out on the larger map. You and the enemy take it in turns to maneuver in order to complete your missions. There are actually a surprising amount of mission types that spring up in Sid Meier’s Starships. Attacking a fleet’s home world and escapes through maze-like asteroid fields do stand out from the crowd, but even the more basic missions which task you with essentially killing everything have enough depth to hold your attention.

Completing these missions nets you an instant reward and a little more Influence. This Influence is vital because the more planets you have under your control, the better your chances of winning stack up against opposing forces. You can essentially take over the planets of your enemies by force should you wish. Frankly that’s the most fun way to go as, unlike the parent titles of Sid Meier’s Starships, options outside of conflict are lax at best.

It would be true to say that there’s still a value to building cities on planets you’ve assisted or improving their capability to produce materials. It would however be false to say that you can effectively play Sid Meier’s Starships as a complete pacifist. The game’s very nature of giving you missions which all require some form of combat destroys whatever hope you might have had for a political victory. Politics in Sid Meier’s Starships can literally be summed up in one sentence. Politically you can form peace treaties, create alliances against enemies, and declare war. What, you wanted more? Well sorry but for that you’ll need to go to the larger 4X games out there on the market.

There are problems with Sid Meier’s Starships though. Now I don’t know how it plays on iPad but on PC it plays like an iPad game. No that doesn’t mean greasy fingerprints on your monitor. Sid Meier’s Starships actually controls pretty well to say you only ever really need to use the left and right mouse buttons, a simple and yet blisteringly intuitive system which fits everything during gameplay Where this becomes a bone of contention is in the interface and its resulting scaling.

On a 23 inch screen with the game in full-screen mode on PC, I found that most of the text was hard to read without taking yourself out of the action. That’s not a deal-breaker in itself really. It does however reveal the crack which runs through Sid Meier’s Starships on PC. This game wasn’t built with PC gamers in mind. It was built for tablets until someone decided it would be a cool idea to put this on PC.

For a mobile device to PC conversion though, Sid Meier’s Starships is pretty damn good. It looks nice enough to not offend your eyeballs and plays incredibly well. If you’re still on the fence about the game don’t think of it as a tablet port. Think of it as a game you leave running in a background window while doing other stuff.

Sid Meier’s Starships does away with all of the research tree and diplomatic hard work that often comes with a 4X title, replacing them with some brilliant turn-based strategy combat and just enough world conquering to keep any evil genius happy.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
16.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 2
Fun little game. Could be a lot better if it was more like the rest of Sid Meier's games but for the price it is not to bad. Would love to see a Sid Meier's Space Civilization, basically this game but more than one fleet and more research and strategy. But for now if you want a good space stragey game go for Endless Space.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
1,400 of 1,585 people (88%) found this review helpful
65 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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888 of 1,010 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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1,117 of 1,390 people (80%) found this review helpful
83 people found this review funny
Recommended
24.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 14, 2015
What The Game Is NOT
I suspect many of my fellow reviewers simply saw Sid's name on it, and expected a large and complex 4X game in space. Which, if they had paid even half-attention to anything the developer said prior to release, they would have realised was never meant to be the case.

This game was never meant to be something like Endless Space, or Galactic Civilizations, or Master of Orion. Firaxis was quite clear about that during the development process, in everything they said to their fans.

What The Game IS
Starships is a light/casual strategy game, suitable to playing when you have a few spare moments - during a lunch break, for example. It's less about grand strategy than it is abut tactical combat with a small fleet. And within that framework, it is a very, very good little game. Just, lighter fare than most of my fellow strategy-game enthusiasts will be used to.

Moral of the Story:
Never buy a game just for the title, especially, just for whose name is on it. Always take the time to at least learn what it's publisher claims the game is supposed to be.

To all of those people who bought this, expecting a dep and complicated 4X game requiring multiple hours, and hundreds of turns, just to complete a single playthrough, I say: CAVEAT EMPTOR; the only person to blame for your poor experience, is yourself.

Next time, do your homework, and at least learn what the game itself actually claims to be, before setting yourself up for disappointment when it turns out not to match your unfounded expectations.
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209 of 231 people (90%) 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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389 of 492 people (79%) found this review helpful
10 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
7.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 12, 2015
This is a hard game to recomend. Unless they make some improvmens to the game, I have to say do not buy this unless it is on sale.

You can think of Sid Meier's Sarships as a 4x Light turn-based strategy game. The best thing I can compair it to is a Simplified iOS version of Endless Space. Even the 4 resources look and sound like Endless Space. You have Food, Science, Metal, and Engery. Each turn your planets give you all the resources that they have produced based on their population and improvment you built. There are only 5 improvment to build, one each for production of each resource and a Planetary defence one for the fifth.

You move your fleet of ships from planet to plant completing quest they give you to get influince with them until they become one of your planets. You only have one fleet and it starts with two ships. Each turn you can use your enerigy to improve your ships or build a new one to join your fleet. You never seem to loose a ship, if it is destroyed in battel, it will be back in your fleet at the end of the battle.

You can also link this game with Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth using the My2K account. Playing this game will let you unlock some things in Beyond Earth.

There are parts of the game that I did enjoy. The simplified version of the 4X game means the game move at a fast pace, focuing mainly on battles. My main problems with the game is that you can tell they put all their focus on the iOS version, and left out a lot of standard featurs you expect to have on a PC game, especially from a Firaxis and 2K game. These are not small Indie startups making their first Greenlight game.

Right now the main problems I have with the game:

-There are no resolution options and no Fullscreen. There is what they call Fullscreen Windowed
-You can set victory conditions, but the AI ignors them and can win any way it want. So victory conditions are just a way to handycap yourself.
-There is no way to rebind keys and there are no hot keys. Right now they only keys that work are they arrow keys to move the map, and the ESC that lets you exit the game.
-No multi-player. I can tell this game is going to get old realy fast. multi-player was something they were going to put in, but decided not to for some reason. I hope they change their mind on this.

Had I bought this on iOS, I would say it a great game and have a lot of fun with it, but as a pc game it feels off some how. Like we have a really good Beta, but you are just waiting for them to finish it now.
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234 of 285 people (82%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
7.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 16, 2015
Short version: This game should NOT be purchased at this time. Wait 2 or 3 months for 2K to either abandon support or actually finish testing this game. This game is NOT in Early Access and should be a finished and tested product. However, most of the Early Access games I have played were far more stable.

Longer version:
I've never written a review on a Sid Meier game before and it's a shame that this has to be the first one. The bugs that are inherent in this game indicate that very little testing was done prior to launch. In an attempt to stem the tide of negative posts, one of the 2K devs sticky'd a thread to try to capture all technical issues. I don't think he's actually replying to anything there. This thread has been out since 3/12 (today is 3/16) and is up to 32 pages so far and growing.

I entered a support ticket on the 2K page after reading their FAQ/Known Issues thread. I'm suffering from two of the frequent issues. The game doesn't play fullscreen for me -- the Windows taskbar always shows up. The FAQ said that if I hide my taskbar in Windows, this would resolve it. Really? Why the heck would I do that? Shouldn't they just write the game to overlap it fullscreen? You know, just like every other game developer already does? The other issue is far more irritating though. The game crashes after the second set of logos... just about 4 or 5 words into the intro. 100% of the time despite an uninstall/reinstall. So I've not watched the intro yet. The only way to get past this is to spam the Escape key as soon as the second set of logos comes up. I don't get the intro but I can play the game... for a while. Yes, dear friends, the crash-to-desktop bug persists into the game itself. Randomly, the game just shuts itself down with no error messages. Not so bad if you save frequently but later into the game when you have control of a bunch of worlds and a decent-sized fleet, it gets to be a real PITA to save just to go from one world to the next then save and move to the next... But you have to do this if you want to store your progression because you never know when you'll be dumped right out. When you enter a ticket on this at the 2K support site (which I heartily recommend as they need a swift boot to the tail for this), you'll notice that if you select "crash" as an option, they even already have drop-downs for "crash after second logos" and "crash during gameplay." This game should have never ever ever launched in this state. These aren't minor bugs to be worked around -- they are show-stoppers.

Now on to the game itself... It feels more like a tablet game than a Windows game. The price point is about right -- this isn't a deep simulation or world builder. You're not in-game to get invested and watch your planets grow (except for maybe your homeworld). The combat is what the game is all about. It's relatively simple and straight-forward in the basic mode. I haven't tried hard mode yet since I haven't been able to sustain the game long enough to complete a normal campaign. (see the paragraph about the perisistent crashing above)
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112 of 133 people (84%) found this review helpful
11 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
11.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 29, 2015
To me, this game is simply a stain on Sid Meier's name. I can't imagine he had any interest in the project, and it feels like the producers simply pinned his arms to the desk until he signed over permission to use his name for a overly-glossed project that probably didn't take them very long to develop.

This game tries to 'feel' a bit like Master of Orion, but it fails to deliver in pretty much every category. I played it for two days and finished it on epic size. Every planet, faction and technology is the same, no random events happened, there are a short list of "missions" for every uncolonied planet which are all very much the same. It is to MoO what Empire At War was to Supremacy: take a good concept, cut it down to its most bare elements, and slap a price on it.

There's almost no diplomacy, not in the sense that you feel there is real politics taking place as happens with Sid Meier's civilisation games - the AI is neither bold to attack nor is scared of you when you're powerful. Alliances are empty. The game feels as though it has no soul to the purpose but to play through the simple rules, you are fully aware you're just clicking to interact with a simple ruleset, no immersion in actually "being a part" of a story, not even on sandbox level.

The graphics "are nice" but feels like pretty paint on something so simple and simply boring. The game forces you to watch ships explode in its terrible animation (which is, flashes here and there, while the camera shakes galore, focusing on the ship with no choice, then it disappears, this animation when repeated actually made me a bit ill) so, when you take out 5 ships with one torpedo (which is pretty necessary to get through the game without spending too long in the boring battles) you just check your phone while you wait for it to go all "oh look shaky screen in space, isn't space cool??" No. It's not cool.

This is the space-4X equivalent of Farmville. It's only worth getting if you need to keep your son quiet in the evenings, but even then, in my opinion, it's also a waste of his time.
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333 of 454 people (73%) found this review helpful
28 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 12, 2015
And in the seventh day Firaxis and Sid got tired...

I want to love this game. Really. Spaceships and planets! Exploring with your fleet and investigate different civilizations! Sounds a cool concept, also the maps looks amazing. I did not expect a really complex 4x game, but rather something with fun rules, easy gameplay but challenging enough.

And possibly, hopefully Starships executes that... but there is no real way to find it as the game full with bugs (and no, not the bugs from Beyond the Earth). It crashes for many people with the current built, so honestly I can't advice to anyone to buy at it's current state. Wait a couple of days to see what will happen.

Civ: Beyond the Earth was somewhat a disappointment and I am sad to say but Starships seems to go to the same route. A could be great and fun game who never fullfils it's promise. Please prove me otherwise Sid.
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Rild
15.2 hrs
Posted: September 30
Good strategy game. It's price reflects the amount of content. Could have easily become a great game. Good addition for those who like space and strategy.
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C Arthur Lane
0.3 hrs
Posted: September 30
There's a good and grand idea behind this... and I enjoy this game quite a bit. But it's missing the bulk of what you'd expect from a space strategy- and there's a lot out right now.

A good mobile game, a bit lacking for a sit down PC game. Still worth a try.
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fireravensad
5.4 hrs
Posted: September 12
Well, I can't say this was the game I was expecting, I played Sid Meier's Pirates! and thought this would be nearly the same thing except with space ships. Boy was I wrong. But none the less, even with the somewhat confusing start, it turned out to be a fun little game you can sit back and take your time planning out your little armada as you take over the galaxy.

6.5/10
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Just me n my pc...
94.2 hrs
Posted: September 9
Simple fun and basic logic training.
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Mizstik
10.3 hrs
Posted: August 31
There may be a lot of negative reviews for this game, but for the right people, this game really hits it.

If you've ever wanted just the turn-based tactical combat without the baggage of empire management, this is the game to get. If you've ever set up a Civ5 game on a huge epic pangaea with only elimination victory type, you might want to try Starships using epic + impossible + domination-only setup. You get the fun battles with much less empire management baggage and with much less possibility for lopsided technological mismatch.

And if you want turn-based combat in the form of starships in space, this may well be the only modern take in existence because I haven't managed to find any other. Most other 4X games have gone real-time with combat and they come with massive empire management and ship design overhead.

Here are a sample of things I liked compared to other tactical (mostly RPG) games:

- You can reconfigure your party instantly with little to no resource loss, promoting build diversity. You can refit your fleet into any spec to suit the next battle and respec it back. In most other tactics game, you're locked into particular builds accompanied by long grinding process which you have to repeat if you switch builds.

- The game gets going fast with minimal build-up time. Within 2-3 battles, you're already progressing up to considerable strategic options (e.g. cannons, fighters, new ship). In most other tactics games, you'd have to grind around for dozens of missions to gather resources and gain EXP.

- The galactic screen is essentially a very good mission chooser screen. Most other tactics games offer very little choice with regard to choosing missions. (e.g. limited to open sidequests, random battles that interrupt your travel, etc.) In Starships, you can look at your borders and choose a mission based on the other empire's strength and your crew fatigue. Mission types on non-federated planets are quite varied.

- Planetary Wonders are a really nice way to differentiate the strengths of each player in the game in a way that's halfway between randomized and controlled, and also in a way that you can't plan for from before the game starts the way you could with Civ5 leader traits or world wonders.

- No random chance to miss. (looking at you XCOM) Cover reduces damage instead of chance to hit.

The only real complaint I have for this game is the lack of multiplayer, although ultimately its addition would probably be no more than what multiplayer was in XCOM which didn't really do much.

Another possible complaint is that the AI is not terribly difficult, but I find that it only really has problems when you start using special tactics (like invisible torpedoes). In an open brawl, I find that the AI is quite competent with finding odd line of sight that I can't fire back to and are pretty good at finding a way to shoot your engines. The Impossible difficulty should be good for the vast majority of average players.

I like what the game has to offer in its current (and probably final) state and wholeheartedly recommend it for fans of turn-based tactical space games.
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LieutenantSHEEP
12.3 hrs
Posted: August 31
Fun little space civ style game. Simple, gameplay gets stale quick.
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spitfire55
0.2 hrs
Posted: August 29
I got this game in a bundle and I didn't really intend to spend time on it at first, but I tried it out and it's actually really nice and immersive! Sci-fi lovers won't be disappointed!
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Canadian Sniper
30.1 hrs
Posted: August 27
I love this game. I have been waiting for something like this for a very long time. Their could obviously be improvments such as adding multiplayer, or having the ability to design how your ships looks, but overall this game is amazing. The one thing that this game fails at, is its pricing. It is way over priced! But, if it goes on sale, I would highly recommend this game, especially if you have "Beyond Earth"
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