I'm giving this a "not recommend", but that's only because I cannot actually give a clear recommendation to get it. I'm also not giving one against getting it - my actual feelings on this game are mixed.
It's an excellent space gardening simulator. There's something a bit hypnotic and relaxing about just planting those colonies, tending to them and growing them. That is the one definitely good aspect of it. The rest, well... the words that come to mind are "simplistic" and "placeholder". Take military logistics for instance. You can design different ships, but you can only have one design for each class (fighter, corvette etc.) - and if you change it, you change all your ships of that class. You build fleets by assigning how many ships of each class should be in them, and you can assign up to a cap decided by your fuel production. If your fleet is below the set number and above a planet with a shipyard, it will get slowly reinforced. If you already have a certain number of ships and you go below that, the extra ships disappear. So, if you need two fleets to actively defend your territories from multiple attacks, but then would like to combine them for a major strike... you're out of luck. The fuel cap will prevent you from increasing the number until you lower it in the other fleet, and lowering it in the other fleet will just make those ships disappear. And so, "merging fleets" is done by destroying the ships in one and rebuilding them in the other. Because. Same problem if you would like to split your one fleet to defend against two small threats. You can't. But on the other hand, this system that makes fleets unreasonably hard to manage, also makes them durable beyond reason. Fleets can never be destroyed, though all their ships can. Fleets also gain experience. So, if you lose all your veteran ships in a suicidal attack, no biggie. The fleet will get rebuilt, just as veteran as it was before. Also, if you lose your fuel production capacity, that is also not a problem. The fleet will get rebuilt to the cap set before you did, as long as you don't actually manually remove anything from it. Also, there's no cost for having a fleet with fuel assigned to it. Early in the game you learn that you need a certain amount of fuel to colonize further-off planets. You assign fuel to fleets, so you'd think this fuel would be no longer available for civilian uses, but you'd be wrong. The only thing that matters is how high the cap is, not how much you actually have left. It's design solutions like that which define the game.
Simplistic and not really thought through, but kind of working, after a fashion. This goes for the economy, the military, and even the "deep plot", in which apparently Africa managed to colonize the moons of some outer planets of our Solar System without anyone noticing and without taking any visible stops along the way, while decades later the Earth government is taking its first steps at developing appropriate technologies and building a necessary fuel base at the Moon and developing the required technologies. The Africans just kind of... went there, ahead of everyone, for the player to stumble into them later. And this is just one example. It has interesting moments, but it looks like a rough draft with plot points, the space between which gets filled with shrugs and "w/e". The lack of continuity between missions also hurts it. The game pretends there's some, but you have to conquer the same places many times because apparently you didn't the last time.
If you happen to pick this game up as part of an indie bundle like I did, it's worth spending some time playing. If you see it very cheap, consider picking it up. But be sure not to set your expectations very high.
Posted: February 13th, 2014