Pandora: First Contact is a science fiction 4X turn-based strategy game on a planetary scale. Our Earth has been exhausted and colonial attempts on other planetary bodies have been in vain. Finally, after decades of exploration, an interstellar probe has brought promise of a new world.
User reviews: Mixed (332 reviews) - 69% of the 332 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Nov 14, 2013

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Buy Pandora: Complete Edition

Includes 2 items: Pandora: Eclipse of Nashira, Pandora: First Contact

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Recommended By Curators

"Duncan, Sjin, Lewis and Parv revelled in Pandora's civ-like strategy. It's 4X turn based strategy on a galactic scale."
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Recent updates View all (18)

November 15

Eclipse of Nashira Beta r6054 Released

This larger community update focuses on improving the AI's diplomatic behavior as well as both economic and militaristic thinking. These are fruits of labor of Alexander Stumpp and the rest of the community. Thank you!

Opt-in to the beta version by right-clicking on Pandora in your Steam library, choosing Properties and selecting the beta under the Betas tab.

The AI's diplomatic behaviour is now less selfish and preventing someone else from getting too strong now has a higher priority than trying to exploit someone weak. There is also more distinction in the behaviour between different factions.

The AI will now use a completely new algorithm that considers the return of investment to determine whether to build units or buildings. This helps them to keep decent amounts of troops around while at the same time not falling behind with important buildings.

The way how the AI handles their formers has been improved a lot. They will defend them with their military so they don't have to run away from aliens. They will also be smarter about what to build where. This allows them to be more efficient with fewer cities.

The AI now takes more things into consideration when deciding what troops to build. Strategies like the tank rushes should be much harder to perform due to the AI getting missile launchers and their own tanks much earlier than before.

The calculation of refit costs has been reworked to be more consistent with the actual price of the units you upgrade into. You will notice differences especially when upgrading the base unit into one from another era. Turning your white tanks into blue ones will be quite a bit more expensive.

Those are just some of the highlights. Please see the change log for the full list of changes.

1 comments Read more

September 9

Eclipse of Nashira Beta r5948 Released

Opt-in to the beta version by right-clicking on Pandora in your Steam library, choosing Properties and selecting the beta under the Betas tab.

* Reverted change that made spies lose all movement points upon entering another faction's territory.
* Increased research costs for mechanization and transcendance eras.
* AI now considers the cost of a technology instead of its tier when weighting its value against other technologies.
* AI now considers defensive buildings as vital.
* AI will now build less units with flamethrowers once mechanical units are available.
* AI will now only stop to heal their colonizers when they are severely damaged.
* AI will now be more likely to fight with damaged units when they are in a city under siege in order to try and break the siege.
* AI will now be even more careful about using artilleries.
* AI will prefer defending with biological units while sending tanks to the attack.
* AI considers technologies that grant flat bonus buildings more valuable. (This will help the AI get the Recycling Tanks from the AC Factions Mod, which they would often ignore before.)
* AI now considers the safety of a city location in regards to aliens much more important.
* AI will now again send the closest potential defender to an undefended city instead of the best.
* AI will now make two cycles for rush-building in order to prioritize buildings and advancements over units.
* AI now only considers cities it actually knows when deciding whether to build naval or land units.
* AI now makes the same considerations about building Colonization Fervor that it does when deciding whether to build colonizers.
* AI will no longer acquire targets with its land artilleries that it cannot reach.
* AI will no longer attack unaggressive aliens when it would win but could lose its unit in the process.
* During a siege the AI will now retreat units that could be killed by the city's defenders.
* AI will no longer try to heal its damaged units while enemy units are nearby.
* AI will now send idle transports back home.
* AI will value colonization spots lower if units of other players are nearby.
* AI will no longer retreat a damaged unit to heal when none of the nearby enemy units are strong enough to kill it.
* AI artillery units shall no longer move next to enemy units in order to attack something behind them.
* AI now puts way more emphasis on production, beware of bigger armies!
* AI will now on average be slightly less aggressive.
* AI will now send stronger task forces to do pillaging so the pillaging troops cannot be just destroyed by the defender.
* AI will no longer try to attack cities with forces smaller than about twice the power of the cities defense. It will then keep the units at home till it has enough.
* AI will no longer try to heal heavily damaged units in cities that are under siege.
* AI will now try to prevent stacking too many units.
* AI will now try to move units through terrain that gives their type a bonus.
* AI will now defend more offensively instead of sitting back and waiting to be brought down by area damage.
* AI diplomatic behavior reworked once again to be more reasonable.
* AI now will consider the defensive structure in order to determine if it should sacrifice units attacking a city.
* AI will now request more units for attacking units near an enemy city.
* AI now will also use badly damaged units to conquer cities, hives, portals or ruins instead of running them home.
* AI will now prevent moving their artilleries through hostile territory.
* AI will stop making units when it cannot afford the upkeep cost.
* AI is now smarter about how to properly siege a city while reducing losses.
* AI will now be very conservative when dealing with aliens and not sacrifice any units at all.
* Improved AI technology selection to dynamically consider food and mineral technologies more valuable depending on farmers and miners.
* AI will now weight the maintenance cost of purifiers and suburbs more into the decision whether to build them or not.
* AI will now build roads only on mountains and forests.
* AI will now scout with its starting unit.
* AI will now use more units for scouting.
* AI will now consider advancements less valuable in comparison to buildings.
* AI will now ignore other players units when deciding whether to commit to an attack or not.
* General improvements to AI border expansion.
* An AI that considers itself considerably weaker than its opponents will now play more defensively.
* Removed limitation for how far the AI would go in order to kill a hive.
* When having morale issues, the AI will now play more greedy economically and less safe militarily. This will mostly affect lower difficulty levels.
* Brought back AI vision range prevention with transports but this time with much better performance.
* AI will no longer try to scout and thereby endanger their units in enemy territory when it already knows at least one city's location of that enemy.
* AI will now prefer cheaper units and units with higher vision range when scouting.

* Fixed an issue where the AI would not build buildings that would take less than one turn to build.
* Fixed an issue where damaged AI units would walk all the way back home instead of healing where they are.
* Fixed an issue where the AI would sometimes treat a target within a city as if the city and its increased defensive capabilities weren't there.
* Fixed an issue where the AI would refuse to step on fungus in order to siege an otherwise unreachable city.
* Fixed an issue that made all AIs way more aggressive than intended.
* Fixed an issue where the AI would ignore empty Messari portals.
* Fixed an issue where the order of commands for Tangaroa Watercraft was not in line with all other units.
* Fixed unit rank not being applied to units spawned by Colonization Fervor.
* Fixed an issue where the AI would cease to explore when it wanted to explore a tile in the water but lacked the advancement to get there.
* Fixed an issue that could prevent the AI from stepping into ruins when enemy troops were nearby.
* Fixed an issue where AI artillery sometimes would not shoot at units sieging their city.
* Fixed an issue where the AI would misjudge the amount of turns an attacking unit would require to reach a target.
* Fixed an issue where AI would not know where to retreat their units to if all cities are under siege.
* Fixed an issue where the AI would use bombardment on non-hostile units if they were in enemy territory.
* Fixed an issue where AI naval units would try to retreat to a non coastal city.
* Fixed an issue where the AI would pointlessly sacrifice units.

3 comments Read more

Includes Free Add-on: Return of the Messari

The ancient Messari return to Pandora with all their might, deploying portals and terrifying ion storms. From these portals come forces never before seen by mankind, and an infestation spreads across Pandora. The strongest factions are the ones that have to fear them most, but they will spare no one.

About This Game

Pandora: First Contact is a science fiction 4X turn-based strategy game on a planetary scale.

In the future, factions have risen up from opportunities and ideologies independent of governments. Private corporations and religious movements have started wars over greed, ideology and power. Many have died and many lands lay in ruin. Planet Earth has been exhausted and colonial attempts on other planetary bodies have been in vain.

Finally, after decades of exploration, an interstellar probe has brought promise of a new world many light-years away. The most powerful factions have gathered their best men and women to send on a long journey to Pandora.

Far from desolate, the earth-like planet has been found to host a plethora of indigenous life forms. While the gigantic monstrosities inland and at the oceans seem relatively calm, human-sized bugs and fungus are threatening to stop mankind's expansion.

As the various factions strive to take control, each will research and develop numerous new technologies, discovering new weapons and industry, whilst opening trade agreements and forging alliances with other factions to gain a foothold. As they spread, they will discover ancient ruins from alien civilizations that will grant them advantages over their rivals.

Key Features

  • Explore a new world harboring a variety of eco-regions, from the frozen ice lands of the north, to vast deserts and lush tropical forests in the south.
  • Survive encounters with the planet's dangerous wild life. Deadly swarms walk the lands and agile predators fly in the skies. There is even talk of a giant creature in the oceans.
  • Live in harmony with nature or use it to further your cause. The indigenous life will react to your actions and treat you accordingly.
  • Discover ruins and artifacts, the relics of an ancient alien civilization long forgotten that can give you an edge against the planet life and other rivaling factions.
  • Found new cities to expand the borders of your empire. Manage cities by adjusting the tax rate, choosing production and assigning colonists to jobs.
  • Operate a fully globalized and pooled resource and growth system. Specialize one city to harvest minerals while churning out units in another.
  • Adapt your empire to pressing demand. Your colonists will migrate between cities based on factors such as pollution and living space.
  • Shape the landscape with terraforming, construct farms, mines, forts, and other improvements to increase the productivity of your colonies or to fortify positions.
  • Progress through a vast randomized research tree spanning dozens of technologies providing operations, buildings, units, weapons, and more.
  • Negotiate trade and research pacts with other factions for mutual benefits. Forge alliances to stand united against common foes.
  • Design your own units by choosing from a range of different classes, armors, weapons, and devices to maximize the strength of your forces.
  • Command vast armies across the battlefield against enemy factions, making use of the variety of terrain types to gain an advantage.
  • Unleash hell on your opponents with powerful military operations, ranging from drop pods behind enemy lines to black hole generators eradicating entire landscapes.
  • Prove yourself in multiplayer with friends or strangers and discover entirely new strategies.
  • Customize your experience through easily moddable XML data and well-known image and audio formats.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows XP SP2 / Vista
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 or equivalent
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 2.0 compatible with 256 MB VRAM (NVIDIA GeForce 6600 series / ATI Radeon 9500 series)
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Intel Core i3 or equivalent
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 2.0 compatible with 512 MB VRAM (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 series / ATI Radeon HD 4870 series)
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.7
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 or equivalent
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 2.0 compatible with 256 MB VRAM (NVIDIA GeForce 6600 series / ATI Radeon 9500 series)
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.8
    • Processor: Intel Core i3 or equivalent
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 2.0 compatible with 512 MB VRAM (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 series / ATI Radeon HD 4870 series)
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    • OS: Linux
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 or equivalent
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 2.0 compatible with 256 MB VRAM (NVIDIA GeForce 6600 series / ATI Radeon 9500 series)
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
    • OS: Linux
    • Processor: Intel Core i3 or equivalent
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 2.0 compatible with 512 MB VRAM (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 series / ATI Radeon HD 4870 series)
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
67 of 85 people (79%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 12
If Steam offered a Maybe response to "Do you recommend this game?" that would be my answer. As a massive fan of Alpha Centauri I love that this is a spiritual successor, and eagerly dove into it. The game is pretty, and if you've played Civ or any other 4x game the controls are simple to follow without tutorial. What has killed the game for me, unfortunately, is the sheer aggressiveness of the AI. In all the 4x games I've played, I've never had other factions declare war on me so quickly, and for no apparent reason. Once war was declared, I seemed to have no diplomatic end available until after my cities were taken. The game seems to be designed for military win only - you're not given freedom to pursue science or other methods to win because you have to spend time/resources keeping up your military might to stave off war. That might make this the perfect game for some people - I'm just not one of them.
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24 of 29 people (83%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
12.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 2
The short version.

Although a clone of Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, Pandora is *not* Alpha Centauri. It is not even close. The art assets are far inferior, the diplomatic dialogs display the wit of a high-school student, and the factions, although almost identical to those of Alpha Centauri, are not motivated by their ideology, rather they display no obvious motivation at all. Indeed, they are often completely erratic, and will go to war for no reason, offer peace after losing a few units and then declare war again a few turns later. Over and over, and regardless of faction. They will also erratically make and break treaties over and over, and will throw snide comments at you in an attempt to sway the other factions against you. Independently of faction as well as over and over and over. Lastly, the quotes associated with the research lack the cultural sophistication of those from Alpha Centauri, and are often uninteresting or even annoying. In other words, the interest in the technologies and in the interaction between factions has been tossed out, and replaced with snide and ham-handed commentary.

Pandora changes the game situation a bit. Rather than mind-worms and a nascent god consciousness, Pandora has varied and aggressive indigenous lifeforms that have a significant role in player development as they will harass your early colonies and inhibit expansion. There is also another alien race that will pop in with superior technology and try to terraform the place as well as wipe everyone out more directly.

There are some improvements to the interface, the management system doesn't lock you in a modal update sequence after each turn, and you actually get incident reports that you can click on to find out what happened. So, to the author's credit, some improvement has been made, although you will still get multiple dialogs overlaying combat so they have failed to fully understand the concept of 'communication' and the difference between noise and information. On top of that there is the stack of making or breaking treaty dialogs and the personal carping communications after each turn ... well, maybe after every *second* turn.

Nevertheless, Pandora is a playable and a technically competent game on the Alpha Centauri model. If you thought that Alpha Centauri took itself too seriously and needed to lighten up, Pandora might work for you.
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10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
6.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 27
We, humanity have settled on this new earth, Pandora.

Year 2: My Empire expands quickly, though the quick expansion takes its toll: We are underequipped with the modern weaponry we need so direly.

Year 5: The Devine Ascension, a faction of religious fanactics North-Eastern of us, attacks our South-Western neighbour, Togra University, a nation of scientists.

Year 7: We come in to help but cant move much. Stalemate!

Year 8: We bring in the Terra Salvum faction, a people of eco freaks, to help us defeat the religious fanatics.

Yeah 12: ALIEN INVASION. Huge amounts of technologically advanced aliens coming from outer space! The Devine Ascension is too weak in its Southern outpost to sustain the invasion, so the aliens quickly move on to attack us in our mainland. We regroup multiple times, playing it safe and concentrating most of our army on the Southern border, just a few hundred miles South of our capital.

Year 13: The alien invasion was repelled. Yet, with the religious fanactis in the North-East, there is no time to celebrate our brave troops.

Year 15: The religious fanatics have been wiped of the planet. Unfortunately, we were too worried about the life of our noble service men and thusly, attacked too cautiously. Also, we had significant forces concentrated on our Southern border, to defend against an alien invasion. Now, most of the former "divine" empire has been taken by the Terra Salvum faction - what we took with fast, mobile units to get a piece of the cake, is far too little. Man, what a shot in the foot!

Year 15-27: Our army goes through a major restructuring and we have difficulty keeping it up to date with current technology. We dont really know how to catch up with Terra Salvum, as the diplomatic affiliations make it difficult to atttack anyone who is a major player in this game. Meanwhile, our cities disappear in smog and our people die of lung cancer.

Year 28: We have poluted this planet 400x times worse than we ever poluted earth. We have massive production facilities though now we lack the minerals to produce at maximu capacities.

Year 29: Terra Salvum developes a new super weapon, mini black holes, to annihilate whole cities and armies. Our most current super weapon is still called "nuclear missiles". We have to do something!

Year 30: We do the only rational thing: Declare war on the Solar Dynasty, the second weakest empire with only 4 cities. Their out-dated and weak military is no match for us. Orbital bombardments, nuclear strikes and our mighty meches and jets quickly destroy their armed forces. We seize their land as ours.

Year 32: We regroup our forces, and develop further nuclear capabilities. New weapons and new wars will make our people forget that they are hungry and unhealthy, and that we are out of living space and minerals. We plan an invasion of the Noxium Corporations territory. However, they have forces close our capital, and are said to have a massive army, so we have to be careful.

Year 33: We ll see. I am not there yet!

PS: A lot better than Civilization Beyond Earth.
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17 of 24 people (71%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
19.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 23
The basic game is good but the major flaw is the the AI and I mean the diplomacy AI...get attacked by native buglike critters and lose ONE unit its a conga line of AI msg telling you you need to pay them or else. then one by one they drop trade or scince agreements and finally war.

I think the AI is a hyperactive 3 year old child

for example the AI threatens me 3-4 times in a row then offers a trade agreement then ends the science pact we had then cuts trade only to offer science again.............WTH? my best policy is ignore then stack units till 40 firepower in my cities..... which of course they hate you for this and delare war.....

Not feeling all warm and fuzzy on this one as yet.... that may change as the dev makes changes.
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18 of 29 people (62%) found this review helpful
6.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 14
TL;DR: Is this game a just a cheap copy of Civ: Beyond Earth? No, it's better.

I'm only a couple of hours into my first game, and I already know that this is a game I will spend a lot of time with.

First off, yes, it looks alot like Civ: Beyond Earth. The Civ games are what got me into the 4X genre, though not until Civ 4, so I'm a little late to the party. I played Civ: Beyond Earth for a few hours during a free weekend. And, like most, I wasn't very impressed.

The first thing I noticed that sets this game apart from Civ games is the city management. I really like how I can arrange my population to focus on producing food, minerals, science, and production. If I need to produce some units quickly, I can ramp down science, minerals, or food temporarly and focus on production. Then ramp production down when needed. This makes it easy to balance your economy.

I also like how you can upgrade units to have better weapons and defenses. Galactic Civilizations and some other 4X games allow this, but IMO upgrading your units can get way too complicated. Unit customization and upgrading in Pandora: First Contact isn't nearly as complicated. Though this may come as a con to some of the more hardcore 4X players.

Another difference is that the tech tree is randomized. I'm only on my first game, so I'm not sure how much this really effects things. If I hadn't known that the tech tree is randomized, I probably wouldn't have noticed.

I'll update this review as I progress though my games.
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