In Development. Massive scale 4X-RTS set in space. Control hundreds of planets, manipulate galactic politics, research numerous advanced technologies, and command thousands of units and hundreds of planets in your quest for galactic dominance.
User reviews: Mostly Positive (83 reviews)
Release Date: Jul 18, 2014
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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Community involvement was instrumental in driving the original Star Ruler to be the best game it could be and we don't expect Star Ruler 2 to be any different. Your help and guidance will allow us to make the game the best experience for everyone!”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“We intend to release Quarter 1, 2015. Any delays would be to add additional content we didn't anticipate being able to develop within our release schedule.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“The remainder of our development will focus on the addition of content to fill out the existing game mechanics, add new art and sound assets, and apply a healthy coat of polish.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“The game is fully playable but is in various states of completeness:
  • Art:
    Ships, stations, and various components of the interface are using temporary art or do not have their full set of art implemented.
  • Audio:
    Only about one third of the soundtrack has been finished and many sound effects are placeholders.
  • Mechanics:
    Core gameplay mechanics are present and functional but are not content complete.
  • Stability and Performance:
    The game is stable and performs well on our development machines but is likely to encounter issues specific to particular hardware configurations. The only way to improve this is with the help of as many people with different machines as possible.
  • Fun:
    We believe the game is already fun but there's plenty of room for more! We'll continue to add content, improve usability, and add new features according to our existing plan and community feedback.
  • AI:
    The AI is competent enough to win a game but is easily outsmarted by an experienced player. Continuous progress is made in the AI's skill but there's plenty left for it to learn.

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“We expect the release price of the game to be slightly higher.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“Besides helping us find bugs our small team is unlikely to ever discover on our own: we'll be intently listening to feedback, suggestions, and discussions to help guide Star Ruler 2 in a direction we feel the community will appreciate. We will directly participate in the community as often as we can and respond to issues or concerns as they arise.”
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Recommended By Curators

"Even though this game is in early access, it's definitely on the right track, and I can't wait to see more!"
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (8)

November 20

Star Ruler 2 Update - November 20th

Good evening galaxy! Today brings another regular update to your Star Ruler 2 game. Read about some of the update's highlights below, or scroll down for a full detailed changelog.

Interested in Multiplayer? Join our Dev-astation Friday multiplayer game.

Research Overhaul



We've completely overhauled the way research works, changing it over to a grid-based approach with different technologies spread around for you to research.

The Expanse



A new galaxy map has also arrived in this update. In The Expanse, players are located in between the remnant homeworld in one direction, and a vast expanse of uncharted space in the other.

You will have to defeat strong remnant fleets in order to colonize new systems in the expanse, and each system cleared will reveal new systems with even more powerful remnants!

Graphics Improvements



Planets can now have rings, and we've improved the aesthetics of stars and their coronas.

Full Changelog

Added
  • Added completely overhauled research system!
  • Large maps will now start containing barren planets - planets without a resource - in order to keep resources scarce and the game playable. Can be controlled with the "Resource Scarcity" slider.
  • Ships in move or attack orders now path around stars instead of moving or shooting through them.
  • Added unlockable 'Emergency Supplies' and 'Self-Destruct Device' subsystems.
  • Planets can now have rings.
  • Added quickbar for pending auto-imports.
  • Added Skip Drive and Ion Cannon as unlockable subsystems.
  • Added new map: The Expanse. Full of remnants, it expands as you defeat their ever-stronger fleets.
Changed
  • Bulkhead and Targeting Sensor now need to be unlocked through research.
  • Improved the aesthetics of stars and coronas.
  • Joining in progress no longer pauses the server while the player connects.
  • When defense destinations are set, defense is distributed equally from all sources across all destinations.
Balanced
  • Increased pressure from level 3 resources.
  • Hydroconductors now give +40% labor generation.
Fixed
  • Fix gate constructors being able to deploy without a maximum range.
  • Various performance improvements related to memory garbage collection steps, should reduce lag spikes in large games.
  • Animation was not properly threaded, leading to significantly reduced framerate in large galaxies.
  • Various notifications in multiplayer were blank or incorrectly labelled.
  • Fixed various issues with icons being rendered out of order.
  • Attempt to fix shader issues with specific graphics cards.
AI
  • The AI would not recognize its fleets if it upgraded their designs while the previous was being built.
  • The AI will use partially finished fleets if immediately necessary.
  • The AI has a basic understanding of Revenant parts.
  • Improved the AI's logic regarding remnants and internal defense. Notably, it can deal with The Expanse.
  • Improved the designs created by the AI.

6 comments Read more

October 30

Star Ruler 2 Update - October 30th

Just when you thought you were safe, a Star Ruler 2 update arrives from inside the house! As always, read about some of the highlights below, or scroll down for a full detailed changelog.

Interested in Multiplayer? Join our Dev-astation Friday multiplayer game.

The Flying Dutchman



In the spirit of Halloween the skies are now roamed by a ghastly pirate ship with a craving for booty. The flying dutchman will hunt civilian trade ships in systems with weak defenses, taking the cargo it stole back to its hoard stations, hidden in deep space.

After halloween, the flying dutchman will revert to just being the plundering Dread Pirate. The pirate mechanic can be turned off from the game options menu.

The Revenant & Artifacts



Spread across the universe are 4 new unique artifacts. Each of the four parts of The Revenant, an ancient forbidden warship, give a permanent bonus to your ships when activated. Have all 4 activated at the same time and gain control over The Revenant as a whole, the most powerful ship in the universe!

In addition, this update has various new artifacts and improvements to old artifacts, ranging from equippable Ion Cannon disabler beams to artifacts with the power to generate entire new planets and star systems.

Thankfully, the addition of the Tractor Beam subsystem lets you pull those shiny new artifacts away from the greedy hands of other empires.



Random Design Generation

The design editor now includes a randomizer! You can set up some simple parameters and let the game generate random designs for you until you find one you like - for use or to further edit into your own design.

The AI also makes use of the new random designer, and will now make completely unique ship designs in every game.



Full Changelog

Added:
  • Add automatic design generator. Simply press a button in the design editor, and receive a randomly generated design.
  • Ship icons are now based on the design.
  • Add "Rush" and "Call Out" influence cards.
  • Add art for the fusion and antimatter reactors.
  • Added a tractor beam capable of pulling ships, asteroids, artifacts and orbitals.
  • Added unique artifact parts of The Revenant. Activating each gives a passive bonus and having all parts active allows you to control the most powerful warship in the universe. (Can be turned off from game options)
  • Add two planetary weapons.
  • Added and overhauled a number of Artifacts for better gameplay.
  • Add some hint messages when players crash their economy, explaining what is happening.
  • Add Dread Pirate mechanic. The dread pirate roams the galaxy killing civilian ships and storing its loot in deep space stations. Killing it or its stations gives you the money.
Changed:
  • Votes show the time remaining before it passes/fails, based on how the vote is currently going.
  • Rebalanced many influence cards to provide varying incentives for their use.
  • Unusable resources explain why they are unusabled.
Fixed:
  • Fix situations where flagships could drop supports while in FTL.
  • Activating hyperdrives for multiple fleets via the action bar works correctly.
  • The AI could attempt to order billions of supports into a damaged flagship's fleet, destroying its economy.
Balanced:
  • Capitalism can't start with more than one leverage against a given empire.
  • Damage reduced by armor can't be reduced to lower than 20% (up from 12.5%)
  • Repair requires and consumes supply.
  • FTL Interdiction applies to fling destinations.
AI:
  • The AI designs new ships over time.

6 comments Read more
See all discussions

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About This Game

Currently in development. Please read the Early Access notice above!

Star Ruler 2 is a massive scale 4X/RTS set in space. Explore dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of systems in a galaxy of your choosing, expand across its planets, exploit the resources you find, and ultimately exterminate any who stand in your way. The fate of your empire depends on your ability to master the economy, field a military, influence galactic politics, and learn what you can about the universe.

Galactic Economy

Colonize planets, each with one of dozens of resources, working in unison to create bustling centers of production. The resources you choose matter, and will guide your empire and its conflicts throughout the entire game.

Custom Ships

Design ships that fit your needs, strategies, and tactics using our new 'blueprint painting' approach to ship design. Quickly and intuitively lay out the armor, weapons, engines, and internals of your vessels.

Politics with Power

Diplomacy and influence gathering are reinvented as a core mechanic of the game, giving meaningful alternative options to players and serving as a platform of interaction both between players and AIs as well as humans in multiplayer. Harness your influence to annex territory, spy on enemies, aid allies, and more! You truly have the opportunity to affect the political landscape.

Intricate Research

Expand your knowledge through a grid of numerous technologies, big and small. Improve nearly every aspect of your empire.

Massive Scale

Running on our internally developed Starflare Engine, Star Ruler 2 is able to make full use of multi-core cpus, and runs on both 32 bit and 64 bit machines. The size of a galaxy is only limited by your hardware and ambitions!

Complete Moddability

You can modify the gameplay, graphics, interface, and virtually every other facet of the game through scripts and data files, giving unprecedented freedom to the modding community to implement any feature they want. Extensive documentation and guides for the modding system will be available on release.

Full Multiplayer

Star Ruler 2 features complete multiplayer support with up to 28 players and AIs in the same game.

Games above 8 players or in galaxies of several hundred systems may exceed the capacity of a typical home connection. Consider playing very large games on LAN.

Cross-Platform Support

Star Ruler 2 supports both Windows and Linux, with all game features supported fully on and between both operating systems.

Support for Mac is in development, but we cannot guarantee when or if it will be ready.

System Requirements

Windows
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP SP2
    • Processor: SSE2 Capable processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: AMD or Nvidia Graphics card w/ 512MB RAM, OpenGL 2.1 Support
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 600 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Hardware requirements not final. Broadband required for internet play.
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7 64-bit
    • Processor: Intel Core i7 or AMD Phenom II
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 460 w/ 1GB RAM
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 600 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Linux
    • Processor: SSE2 Capable processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: AMD or Nvidia Graphics card w/ 512MB RAM, OpenGL 2.1 Support
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 600 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Hardware requirements not final. Broadband required for internet play.
    Recommended:
    • OS: Linux
    • Processor: Intel Core i7 or AMD Phenom II
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 460 w/ 1GB RAM
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 600 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
13 of 13 people (100%) found this review helpful
21.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 30
Early Access Review
Being a long term fan of Star Ruler, I picked up Star Ruler 2 out of sheer devotion to the developers. Thankfully, after playing the game, I can say that the loyalty was well deserved. Where Star Ruler was a game of potential, but lacking little polish, Star Ruler 2 is a game that has ample servings of both. Wether you are looking to build a massive empire, or just see glorious battles of sheer carnage, Star Ruler 2 will sate your cravings.

Still in Beta, the game already has most of the groundwork that will enable it to be played for hours on end. Be it the designing of ships from the bottom up, the beatiful beams of light sending ships to their oblivion, or the much more accessible UI, the game is a testament to developers who have a vision, and though they have made mistakes along the way, aren't above learning from their mistakes to create a better game. They have taken what works from the original game and worked it into a much higher quality version.

The accessibility of the developers is also a huge plus to this game. Whereas many titles on early access have a hit or miss relationship with the developers, often times devolving into sporadic comments on a monthly basis, the Star Ruler 2 team has taken the initiative to integrate an IRC into the game, allowing instantaneous, or near to depending on work/sleep schedules, interaction with the developers.

If you are interested in playing an Early Access game done right, and want to see your own ships, or the enemies, blowing up in the process, Star Ruler 2 is the game for you.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
25.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
Early Access Review
I recommend this game! It's the game I have been searching for a long time. I think it's the best strategy game I have played to this day.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 20
Early Access Review
From what I've seen of the game so far, it's really pretty unique and impressive. Some VERY deep systems that take a bit of time to wrap your head around, but the tutorial does a good job in helping you get your feet wet. I'm looking forward to seeing how this develops, but it's pretty solid and super fun even in this earlier stage. No reason to wait to jump in.

The resource and support system for developing worlds has a lot of depth, and requires a fair amount of thoughtful juggling to set up an interdependant web of support that will allow you to grow a few key worlds to higher levels. Makes protecting your trade lanes really important - something most 4X games simply overlook. Nice "crunchy" system like a lot of the elements of SR2.

I played a bit of SR1 and it never really snagged me, but I can already tell that SR2 is going to hook me into playing it for a long time.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
59.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 7
Early Access Review
Oh good god how addicting this game is. I'm always trying out new ways to speed up my territorial expansion, resource management and strategic planning. Star Ruler 2 allows me to design my ships, plan my economy and blow up my enemies at the same time. All the while using underhanded diplomatic techniques to my advantage. Overall, if you love 4X and you love total freedom to do whatever to your empire, this is the game for you. Devs, you have my greatest respect. You not only update this frequently with new features and fixes, but you also reach out to us with your multiplayer sessions.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
135.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 9
Early Access Review
I was a big fan of Sins and wanted something new so I gave this one a try. (I never played SR1). The first few hours are frustrating due to the learning curve but it's definitely worth the investment. I don't think I've ever played a game where the ships are 100% customizable.

Give this game a shot if you like strategy space games.
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2 of 5 people (40%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 25
Early Access Review
Decent so far, however has some very degrading elements that should have remained from Star Ruler 1.

Such as:

Ship building(this method used in SR2 sucks compared to 1.)
Colonization(This also sucks compared to one, and feels more like a copy from several other older games not on par with SR1)
planet advancement - This is my specific issue, as ONLY 1 planet can supply resources to ONE other planet, and planets require "resources" to "level up"(not be a tax burden among other things).

I feel it would be more beneficial to have planets MORE like it was in SR1, even making it where these "resources" went into a galactic supply, and you needed more to upgrade planets(would allow multiple planets to be "higher level" opposed to forcing multiple planets into lower level stages solely to contribute to larger planets - i.e. slave planets).


Bottom line: Will certainly be good, and is good. But is it as good as Star Ruler 1? Currently, no. When development is finished? Hopefully.
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75 of 87 people (86%) found this review helpful
61.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 19
Early Access Review
This game has the single best diplomacy system I've ever seen in a strategy game. The diplomacy revolves around influence and influence cards. Influence ticks up depending on the resources and research your empire has aquired, and can be spent on cards such as "negotiate", "annex planet", "protect system". These cards appear in a queue, and every empire has the option of spending influence to snag the card for themself, or to keep it away from someone else. Cards refresh quickly, so keep an eye on the queue if you're playing the diplomacy game. Some cards can be played for immediate effects, such a "protect system" protecting a system from hostile takover for some number of minutes. Other cards, such as "annex planet" require a vote in the galactic senate before they can take effect. Each empire can then play cards for or against the proposition. "negotiate" simply provides direct support or opposition, while cards like "rhetoric" have a greater magniture of support or opposition, but provide benefits to anyone who takes your side. This can lead to interesting situations where two empires you really don't care about are duking it out in the galactic senate, but you want to get in on the action to get the benefit of a "rhetoric" or "bribe" card. Overall, the system is fun, and gives diplomacy some real teeth, without it being overpowered.

Another system that is done very well is the economy. Every planet has a core resource that it can export to other planets, and every planet needs resources to grow and level up. Some resources need a certain level planet to be utilized. So the economy game revolves around creating chains of trade to funnel the right resources to the right planets. It's very steamlined, and provides tangible effects without much micromanagement. Additionally, most resources have secondary effects that can interact without other resources. So while it's easy to just get a planet up to a high level by giving it whatever it needs, you may want to save that grain for your homeworld, and find some fish for your asteroid mining planet. On the downside, the game currently lacks any kind of filter mechanic, so it can be difficult to find that one resource you're looking for in the late game. This being an alpha/beta game, I expect the issue to be resolved before launch.

The two systems that are still farily lackluster are research and ship design. While the core mechanics of ship design are great, the game currently lacks enough variety in ship parts to make it really interesting. This ties in with the very small number of research options. Interviews from before early access seemed to indicate that the research system is still in a very early stage. However, the devs are very genuine in their desire to make a great game, and I have no concern that these features will be fleshed out significantly before release.
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41 of 49 people (84%) found this review helpful
11.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 22
Early Access Review
(Edits now at the bottem of the review)

(Excuse the terrible grammer and such.) (12am and I'm tired.)

Since this game seems to be getting more hate than love I thought I'd throw in my two logical cents in, and take a real look at this game.

In it's current state (7/21/2014) the game is playable and very enjoyable. Im not a big fan of Rts games when it comes to space. I've played sins and AI war, neither seemed to grasp me as this game has. Sins is certainly enjoyable, and has a slight one up when it comes to combat. However sins is a fully realized game and is complete. This isnt, and thats what people need to realize when it comes to early access games. AI war in my oppinion was a mess. I'm sure it was a great game but the UI just made my mind explode. Star Ruler 2 has a fantasic UI and an awesome alert system on the right side of the screen. The UI reminds me a bit of paradox's games, CK2, and Europa. In regards to visablity and ease of access that is.

Comparasins aside:

The diplomacy, from what I've seen, Is very orginal and fun. It keeps you on your toes and makes diplomacy a real part of the game, and not so much as a side mechanic. It has you buying cards. The cards are used in a multitude of ways, from an eco boost, to the annexation of an entire star system.

Economy is in my oppinion very fun. Planets need resources from other planets to help your population grow and become more andvanced. There are tierd resources that go up to 3 and range from common to uncommon. There are even special resources that you can export to certain planets for an added boost to a certain stat. Aside from planets you can also mine comets and astroids to gain more reasources.

Research is a bit lack luster. Dev's can correct me if im wrong, but I've heard that they will be working on it more and making it more intresting. As it is now, you pick a catagory to research and depending on your science per minute you will accumulate points in that catagory until its complete. With ceratin tech, you will get these other things that go with them. (I'm %0 sure on what these are or how that work) From what I've seen, you get a point to spend after youve researched 4 peices of tech. That point is random in its specialty, but with that point you can spend it in the special things youve gotten from past tech. (If this review gets popular, the devs might want to put in how it actually works, otherwise I can edit this once I figure more out.)

I also can't really speak for the ship building as I havn't really used it. I've heard that the ship building will also be worked on extensivly. (I may be wrong on this too.)

The combat is not special but has potential. You can do cool moves with the FTL drives but besides that, you kinda just build your ships and throw them at the enemy.

My favorite things about this game:

-You can explore space in anyway you like (Sub-light, FTL, there are no set paths)

-THE ♥♥♥♥ING PLANETS DONT ALL ROTATE AROUND ONE STAR (♥♥♥♥ really bugged my about sins)

-You can manage buildings on your planets


Things I don't really like:

-The 2D artwork is a bit nasty. I really hope it's a place holder (profiles, buildings on the planet view)

-The lack of races to choose from. (betting that there will be more)

-Combat could be a little more interactive. Rather than just throw stuff at eachother
-I would like to see maybe some fleet formations that you could set
-Maybe some sepical heavy weapons
-Really you can do a lot with combat


(This review will be edited in the future) (Prolly left some stuff out by mistake)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Edit 1:

I forgot to say that there's also an ingame wiki that works really well!

Edit 2:

I would really love to see some patch notes on the game. Like an archive. I do realize that there is a live patch notes discussion on the steam fourms. However thats only talking about up coming patches, and isn't reported down somewhere after it goes live. (There might already be something like this, I could be really blind)

Edit 3:

Sadly I've gotten two crashes now, once when first starting a game and the second was during a game in which I had put in good couple of hours into. Save often if you dont wanna end up like me ;_;. Dev's Please fix.
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39 of 56 people (70%) found this review helpful
21.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 24
Early Access Review
So far Star Ruler 2 has me extremely concerned.... I'm not going to condemn it quite yet because I understand it is effectively in beta the same way Star Ruler 1 was when I purchased that game, but even in its beta I absolutely LOVED Star Ruler 1. In comparison Star Ruler 2 just feels like a step backwards in several departments but I will try to sum up my opinions in point format.

Pros:
1. So far the audio that I've heard makes the audio in SR1 look like completel garbage, awesome job guys.
2. The graphics are current about on par with SR1, better in some regards, worse in others but I'm sure after they refine everything this will be like the audio making the graphics of SR1 look like crap.
3. Ship movement seems to be better in SR2 thatn SR1 so far and I can only assume it will improve. I liked ship movement in SR1 but sometimes whatever controlled ship movement in SR1 would do silly amusing things that would require intervention.
4. While I've never been big on dealing with the diplomacy side of games as it isn't my thing, I can say thus far SR1 practically has no diplomacy in comparison to SR2.
5. Ability to not only add additional systems to a galaxy but to have multiple galaxies! I wanted this in SR1 so badly!

Cons:
1. Ship design - Okay, maybe I will condemn SR2 just a little bit. SR2 has a ship design similar to other games I've played in the past and I absolutely hate this style. SR2's ship design feels like the beta for a game that came out 10 years prior to SR1. I'm sorry, I absolutely hate this new ship design method. In my opinion you guys nearly had it perfect in SR1 and has been the best method I've used in any game to date.
2. Colonization & Planet development - I spend far more time in SR2 finding the planets I need and setting up routes than I would ever care to, this is such a huge complaint for me as it is a massive boring time waste to me and I don't to customize my planets nearly to the extent I could in SR1. I end up searching through multiple systems on a constant basis trying to find all the requirements I need to set up a trade route to level up a planet and on a regular basis end up never colonizing some planets simply because I can't use the single resource they have and don't want to pay any upkeep for the stupid planet. In SR1 no matter how small the planet was I could find some use for it, I could make a planet dedicated to research or producing food for my empire or just make a multi-purpose planet, I was truely the ruler of an empire where as in SR2 a planet is marked as 'fish' and that is all it can and ever will be. I could go on about all the flaws of this system but suffice it to say I am seriously let down by it in comparison to SR1.
3. The research page is just bleh, I wish I could give more constructive examples/reasonings as to why I dislike it or how it could be improved but I honestly don't know at the moment.

Others: (I'm like 99% sure these will be resolved overtime but I feel I should mention them anyways)
1. Race portraits - Small selection and no where near as good as SR1 in my personal opinion, way to cartoonie
2. Racial traits - Very small selection limiting your ability to create a custom race
3. Unless I'm missing something I don't see anywhere to pick a ship set (what your ships will look like)
4. Very few sub systems to put in your ship designs
5. Lack of detailed descriptions for various items/objects

I am still hoping with all my heart that SR2 will be a great successor to SR1 and will keep playing SR2 throughout its development, but as it stands right now I honestly couldn't reccomend this game to anyone as I just don't see the designers completely redesigning key parts of its system that I have such strong dislikes for such as the new ship designer.
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31 of 44 people (70%) found this review helpful
7.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 18
Early Access Review
After a couple quick games and the tutorial I must say that this definitely has potential. If you love games like Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion, you should definitely give this a try. Upgrading planets works totally different and movement of ships is less restricted. The interesting takes on resource incomes (budget system), colonization (SimCity lite) and fleet management (design your own ships!).

If the multiplayer turns out to be running smoothly with multiple people on huge maps, this will easily replace Sins of a Solar Empire and AI War Fleet Command for me!
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21 of 31 people (68%) found this review helpful
16.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 20
Early Access Review
For the impatient: If you're looking for an already solid 4X early access game, for both the price and what is already available/implemented/stable, Star Ruler 2 is a good "sweet spot" game. It doesn't do everything amazingly well, but it does most things very satisfactorily. In any case, I think this game is definitely worth the price of admission and it has a serious amount of potential.

(I'll be happy to edit this review as things change)

The single biggest complaint I have with Star Ruler 2 at this point is one I make in comparison to Star Ruler 1. Now Star Ruler 1's diplomacy was wonky at the best of times, and I can immediately see that SR2 is working to address that weakness. I've yet to see a proxy pressuring ability, but I understand we're still in the early stages, and it still looks to have a great amount of potential either way. What concerns me here, and where my complaint arises from is that at present it seems as though the Tech end of things has actually taken a step back, or suffered in comparison to the process. I remember in SR1 it was sometimes a tedious process getting to a point where JumpDrive technology was viable, or pushing shield and armor research to the point where your ships were effectively individual armadas, but it was also very rewarding. Right now in SR2 I feel like some of that freedom and some of those rewards have been cut out for little discernible reason. I'm not suggesting SR1's Research was perfect, far from it, but it did feel more friendly despite its complexity.

I do also think ground combat needs to be implemented - too many other games have it, are working on it, or have done it reasonably well (Stardrive, Distant Worlds, etc.) for it to be ignored. Plus there is real potential for dramatic and challenging scenarios (Distant Worlds hinted at this, but I think a planetary invasion aided with an orbital bombardment either from an offensive or defensive perpsective should be a stressful but brilliant part of any 4X Space game aspiring to be a classic). Space combat even as it stands now is quite fun but could and should be more fleshed out.

If I had a wishlist of things I'd like in the game it'd be as follows (I've only played a few hours getting a feel so if these are already in please forgive the error).
1) Planetary and Solar destruction - this is always immensely fun, and makes the player either feel like a real force or that they're being threatened by a true power.
2) Planetary/Ring World and Solar creation - Existed partially in some SR 1 mods. This was again two basic kinds of awesome in that that player felt like a god (as by this point the player could almost certainly also fly the planets around in space), but also meant from a simple role playing perspective that you'd "done it."
3) Shadow/Hidden Hand Diplomacy - I want to be able to push two civilizations to war without being openly connected with either. I want to be able to do this in a variety of ways, including some that could backfire in the long run (secretly push two nations to war hoping they'll knock each other out, with a high enough espionage rating one or both of them discover what you've done and they join forces, etc.) Along with this I want to be able to proxy fight (USSR and China helping and pushing North Vietnam, the U.S. in Vietnam pre-Johnson, etc.), and form federations/pacts which may or may not have a solid leader.
4) (Last one) I want combat that makes a bit more sense techwise. By this I mean if a ship is dropping out of FTL or applicable technology, it shouldn't already have a weapon-lock on its target unless it comes from a quite advanced civ. I think if one is using slingshot tech, doing so with asteroids seems an obvious requirement. Along this line I think as far as is possible, the indulgence of creativity that was allowed in SR1 (tractor beam dragging stuff to smash other stuff, creating effectively star detonating minefields etc) should be attempted to the fullest extent in SR2.

Regardless of all that, I really like the game even now, it is clearly a work of love and long labour, and I highly recommend it to all SR1 fans and any 4x fans looking for a game that has a great deal of potential (read: can only get better and is already solid).
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
110.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 6
Early Access Review
I loved the first, though it had its problems and I love this iteration even more.

Star Ruler 2 takes the good things from SR1 and makes the great.
Diplomacy? Redone and changed entirely from the now 'staple' civilization-style diplomacy system, for the better in the extreme.
Ship Design? Early in its design but the overall idea is far better and really only needs more hull types and subsystems to be better than SR1's system.
Economy? Truly beautiful. Possibly complicated or difficult to manage for some, but they are definitely adding things to streamline it- from autoimporting resources at the click of a mouse to a "Planets" tab that lets you glance at the page and see your entire economic trade network instantly. A breath of fresh air from the fragility and unimportance of the planets in SR1, the planets in SR2 are very important especially when you take the time to upgrade their Tier.

I realize this review is rather unspecific regarding the game mechanics, but I feel a lot of the other reviews cover them well enough and the nuances of the mechanics are technically still liable to change anyway. I mainly write this review just to add another voice of support to this beautiful craft of love from Blind Mind Studios.
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
7.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 4
Early Access Review
Imagine, if you will, a 4x game. a 4x game, that, on the surface, looks like any other. You know. Colonize, research, diplomatize, exterminate.

now, imagine that 4x game without any limits. Imagine a 4x game that lets you research... forever. Imagine a 4x game that lets you build a carrier fleet with 10,000 ships. Imagine a 4x game that lets you design a ship larger than your homeworld.

Imagine... Star Ruler 2.

The first Star Ruler was a game that had so many great ideas, but was weighed down by lack of style. SR2 is the game the original wanted to be. Lasers from 20 systems away? You got it. Complex diplomacy system unheard of in any other game? Oh yeah. Scale that literally no other game can even come close to? Par for the course.

It's Early Access. The developers are literally an IRC channel away and are always willing to listen to ideas and suggestions. THE GAME LETS YOU MAKE A PLANET BUSTER THAT IS LARGER THAN MOST STARS.

Look, let's be real here. 4x games are all the same. you start, you colonize, you research, you slog out some battles, you win eventually.

But what if you won by sheer ridiculous scale? What if you won because you fed half the galaxy's economy to your homeworld? What if you won because you have a ship that can ruin fleets from 3 systems away? What if you won because you blew up the black hole in the middle of the galaxy? Isn't that better? Isn't it all better?

YES, YES it is. Give them your money. Do it.
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16 of 27 people (59%) found this review helpful
16.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 19
Early Access Review
For version r2975 (20 July 2014)

From my 60 min peruse of the game (it felt like 60 min) , I will be brief

I like the :
Diplomacy - Holy ♥♥♥♥, this is amazing, I dont even think Sid Meiers Alpha Centauri had a diplomacy setting this good.
The influence resource's effect on research - notbad.jpg
The planetary trading, the UI for it and the overlays for imports, exports
Basic Research

The game could be improved by -

Advanced research - it feels like there is something off. But I can't put my finger on it. I want to say I want to have a tree like SR1 or a research heirarchy. But it is okay.

A bugtracker and a crash reporter - although that takes away from actual programming from the game if development is being considered.

Hotkeys - but I only focused on game stuff and not meta stuff so I haven't checked - it, most likely, exists

This is bad -

Haha, this is silly, but I want my race to research all forms of FTL. This is possible right?

Its a good game. I wanted to believe. I believed. It came true.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
80.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 20
Early Access Review
If you like Star Ruler 1 this may or may not be for you. The team has changed some of the mechanics of the game i.e. how resources work, how ship designing works, and how politics work. some have been changed for the better whilst others not as much. Overall this is a pretty awesome game to pick up and play with some friends, or just sit down and smash some ai. The dev team is second to none with consistency of updates. Keep up the good work guys!
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
34.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 24
Early Access Review
They did it. They took my hopes and dreams from the first Star Ruler that was so in depth and complex enough to include newtonian physics on ship flight and delivered an alpha that says "We will not let you down."

The alpha alone is better than most other 4x games already. Yeah, some bugs. Like if you choose star gates for your FTL capability they sometimes don't refund your FTL energy when you collapse them. Some mechanics aren't fleshed out yet like the hidden tech tree technologies (Shields aren't even in yet, even though the tech tree is there).

I just had a blast with this. In other games I develop a "cookie-cutter" playstyle that gets me the best results each game and it gets boring and repetitive, but even planet development is very fluid.

TLDR: Worth buying in alpha.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
59.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 3
Early Access Review
Amazing game by a small group of indie Dev's and they sure made an awesome one too, Star Ruler and now this, Early Access is amazing, games very stable.. and as well its very fun to play and theres different ways to Win the game as well
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
26.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 21
Early Access Review
This game is absolutely a hidden gem especially for the more seasoned gamers.

Ok first impressions were not that great, the inability to go fullscreen and the web-like UI had me mentally kicking myself for buying it.

However, after remembering this is early access I persevered and to my surprise the more i investigated, the more good things i found.

Pro's:

Multi-Platform

Highly original diplomacy not personally seen before in this genre.

Solid game mechanics and AI, although still room for improvement.

Customizable Races for you and your AI.

Massive, fully customisable Ship designer, with shareable ship designs

Ingame IRC chat direct with the Devs, dont like something about the game? then tell them :)

Create Mods ingame. The use of text files for settings and ai make this a modders paradise.

Easy to use UI.

In-game wiki.

Customisable Autosave feature.

Fully customisable Key Binds.

Cons:

Graphics are not finished, expect some rather dire pixel art in places not finished yet.

Tutorial could be better.

Lean documentation.

Summary:

There are plenty of places where the game needs some improvement, but the game flows so well, there is nothing to my mind that sticks out as an obvious con, other than the unfinished graphics and some bugs in graphics device area.

In regards to the tutorial it gives a good overview of setting up your planets and the basics of setting up your colonies etc. but Diplomacy is hardly touched on and you only get a fleeting glance at the ship design feature.

The documentation could be better and leaves a lot of the detail to figure out yourself which can be good/bad on your preference. Although, the Devs are very approachable and the IRC makes for a good read even while playing solo.

Overall though, if like me you have fond memories of SupCom Lan parties and the like, this game is an absolute "Must Have" in your library. The fact this game is unfinished and still in active development only adds to the credit due to the developers, for this game surely shows a great deal of promise.
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8 of 14 people (57%) found this review helpful
26.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 20
Early Access Review
Excellent 4x game. Streamlined, innovative diplomacy system with a clean and intuitive design. A bit of a learning curve, but the tutorial is good and there is a solid built in wiki.

This is one of the best early release games I've ever seen in terms of content and stability.

Hoping the devs add some new features like ground combat and fleet tactics, but overall a really great experience.
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9 of 16 people (56%) found this review helpful
16.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 19
Early Access Review
Star Ruler 2 is a game that has a lot of potential to be one of the best 4X games to come out since the Sins series. While there are a few bugs here and there, for an Early Access game Star Ruler 2 is a very solid experience with some unique innovations on a genre that only occasionally releases games that attempt to climb out of the established tropes and mechanics. The dev team is also very active, friendly and easily reachable through the in-game IRC client. Their dedication to keeping a line open to the community is very clear, just from a few hours of having spoken with them today. If you like RTS / 4X style games, I would recommend Star Ruler 2 to you, but I would also say that you should be prepared to share any bugs you might find, and not expect a finished product like many gamers seem to expect unfairly from early access releases.
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