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: Mostly Positive (321 reviews)
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 (16)

July 13

Eclipse of Nashira Beta r5851 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.

Changed:
* 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.
* Aggression value now plays more of a role for the AI to decide whether to go to war, making peaceful factions much less likely to go to war.
* 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.
* Replaced complicated calculation intense military allocation formula by an extremely simple one, that does the job just as fine.
* AI will now make two cycles for rushbuilding 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.

Fixed:
* Fixed an issue where damaged AI units would walk all the way back home instead of healing where they are.

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June 19

Eclipse of Nashira Version 1.6.3 Released

Changed:
* AI will make slightly fewer formers.
* AI will make even fewer formers once it has the advancement that increases the working speed of formers.
* AI will use significantly more miners and workers instead of scientists when they require buildings and units and can keep pollution at bay.
* AI will consider standing more important in its decision to go to war.
* AI will slowly drop standing on a player that has a weak military compared to themselves.
* AI will no longer issue pillaging tasks to artilleries.
* Added a small offset to the AI army evaluation for relationship decay and war declaration in order to prevent it becoming an issue right of the bat.

Change log history.

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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

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • 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
    Recommended:
    • 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
    Minimum:
    • 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
    Recommended:
    • 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
    Minimum:
    • 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
    Recommended:
    • 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
23 of 31 people (74%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
52.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 19
As of now this game is gameplay wise better than beyond earth due to more extensive economy, research tree is easy to master instead of a resears circle or how i call it "bubble". Lore is actually apparent in this game due to you can actually find it when you look through some tabs there will be a tab that says "Story." This game doesnt leave you hanging and having to guess what each faction leader did in thier life or how the faction came to be. Pandora first contact lore in a nutshell, it is an alternate version of history where humanity was more enticed with space travel and drained earth of its natural resources. After searching through nooks and crannies of space they found a planet that they called pandora and sent colony ships to it. they get there on December 2107 AD and that is pretty much where the game begins. Players are not the only threat as the natural aliens will try to kill you after you A. kill aliens B. do rapid expansion and pollute. C. they will turn agressive on their own terms. Then there is and alien invasion that will come when you explore a random ruin so it is impossible to know which ruin will summon the invasion "space russian roulette!" Over all it is a good experience that is fun. Think of this game as Beyond Earth executed better not perfect though as i do have minor gripes.


My minor gripes with this game. Diplomacy is lacking though seeing as how you cant directly trade resources to people and such. a diplomatic victory is pretty much non existent seeing as how military force/ war drives the game forward. Science is just a factor to keep your cities happy, lower pollution, and keep a higher production and pump out more military units. Speaking of military units you have to have a large military on standby so it can flex its various muscles so it keeps people away. AI needs some improvement but good thing that is coming so they are still making this game better and improving the experience. I will give away one faction to be careful around which is pretty much a religous extremist group who is always hated by other factions because it keeps declaring war on everything. That large military i mentioned you need it so that AI wont attack you. Im not the most religious person on this planet but isnt that faction's AI making referance to the mentality of convert or die? At least toning down its agression would be nice because it is always the first one to die. I wonder why?

I give this game a 9/10 for better execution of concept than what Beyond earth did. I cant wait to see more improvements in the future.
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11 of 17 people (65%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
94.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 24
So I've owned this game since it first came out, or at least shortly after, either way, I'm a huge fan. The AI was better than most, the aliens were able to range from slow and dumb to fast and devastating. The game is well made, and I daresay Civ:BE stole some ideas from Pandora. The new, current version of the game is too advanced for me, which I regret admitting, but I have three AIs building nuclear facilities before I can even exit the first tech era. This game is not for the average Civ player. This game is for Pandoran survivors. How exciting can a 4x be? Well, you have the always grim threat of hostile aliens who can, and will, overrun your defenses and destroy your cities, along with massive sea beasts that will decimate entire fleets, all with giant aerial monstrosities that aid in your downfall. Want that power? Kill one and get the tech to turn aliens to your side, and use them to crush your foes along with your army. After establishing yourself, ancient beings who once presided return to their former home, hellbent on removing you and your rivals, creating a common enemy, forming a shaky peace between you, in which you will all burn and die, or triumph and sigh in relief only to have to turn your eyes to the horizon to confront your newly militarized neighbor. This is no ordinary 4x, no ordinary survival, no ordinary diplomacy. This is Pandora. Confront the new world with open arms, or bear down on it with a big stick. Form alliances to stand strong, or pick up arms against everything that moves. Be a hero, or be a monster. Either way you will never have anything go as planned, so be prepared for a hellish ride in a strange place full of enemies.
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11 of 18 people (61%) found this review helpful
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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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 11
A great game.
Obligatory comparison to Civ: BE - Pandora has more depth, less glitz.
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
10.7 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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