Apollo4x is a casual-to-difficult space trading tycoon game, where success is measured in earnings from how efficient your trade routes are in transporting supplies to demands on your planets. Combat is card based, and uses a unique system never before seen.
User reviews:
Overall:
Mixed (40 reviews) - 45% of the 40 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 5, 2015

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Recent updates View all (12)

December 30, 2015

Hotfix 1.2.2

Two bugs were unaddressed in the last patch.

  • 75b3 Caused by the fix of 23a3 - Related to Trading
  • 82a2 Caused by the fix of 12o1 - Related to Convoys

Thank you for your patience,
The Raccoon

0 comments Read more

December 29, 2015

Update 1.2.1 News (Patch Notes + Mac and Linux Bugs)

Hello everyone!

Firstly, we want to apologize for the sparse notes regarding releases lately. We have a big announcement coming soon!

Second, it recently came to our attention that the game was "available" on Mac and Linux. We would like to clarify that this is false. It was an issue in the backend of Steam. The bug has since been patched along with some others.

Please remember to stay tuned for a huge announcement coming up!

Thank you,
The Raccoon



Patch Notes:
  • Fixed a bug that forced saves to save via XML (unreported)
  • Fixed 24c4 - Corporation Bug
  • Fixed 59a1 - Linux + Mac Display Bug
  • Fixed 18k1, 32t1, 92b2 - All Related to Save Games
  • Fixed 24c2 - Trade Bug

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Reviews

“What I noticed about the game is that there is no such thing as an idle turn.”
Positive – Space Sector

“My take on Apollo4x. I played for about an hour, and loved every second of it!”
Very Positive – xBr0wnbear

“My early preview expectations were met with a great game!”
Positive – Techraptor

About This Game

Apollo4x is a game of transporting 5 resources between planets, and you have limited fuel to do so. It's a bit puzzle, a bit resource management, and some tycoon strategy. There are no build queues, and you are having meaningful interaction with your economy every single turn. There are no "other players" to compete against, but we've instead used a "time pressure" type enemy that consumes planets as it spreads across the map - because a fun game needs a challenge component, and we find symmetric AI opponents problematic in other games, so this was the best solution. Difficulty is fully in your control, and ranges from zero-challenge to something the creators can't beat, so you'll find your own best settings with experience.

Apollo4x has "4X" in the title, but this is not an indicator that we've made a "traditional formula" title like Master of Orion, or the games that follow that economic and combat model. Steam has a multitude of games that do, and do it so well that there's no point in us making a competitor to them.

The Idea


What we did is toss out the economic model of exploring a hidden map, having AI opponents that attempt to play the same game as the player (because they generally fail, and obviously cheat) and long build queues where you just hit "next turn" 100 times before anything significant happens. Rather than have you build a navy of spaceships and militarily conquer other simulated players, we made more of a tycoon puzzle economy. Each planet has three "exports" and you put two "imports" on them. Money is made by matching exports on one planet to imports on another, with the limitation of fuel availability, which is dependent on how upgraded each planet is.

The Enemy


Since we don't have simulated players to compete against, we decided on using a "creeping doom" style opponent. The enemy spreads out organically from their homeworld(s) at a pace you determine in the difficulty settings. You can, and will have to, slow their spread and defend your own planets from this steadily encroaching threat. Each enemy colony adds +1 army to their homeworld defense, so the player is encouraged to keep the enemy from growing into an impossible strength and speed of expansion by "pruning" their colonies. If your chosen win condition is to cleanse the galaxy of them entirely, you'll have to weaken them first through attrition.

Combat


We went out of the 4X realm and built in a tactical card game inspired in part by some of our favorite tabletop combat games. Morale, combined arms, and multiple possible tactics for each of the very unique units to choose from every turn. Four different enemy clans to battle, based on the four horsemen - death, war, pestilence and famine. Each has an entirely different set of units and tactics and requires a completely different battle plan to beat. War fights with brute force, while pestilence attacks with morale crushing horror weapons, and death gave up their bodies for machines and now are the unliving reapers. Currently there is no space combat or fleet building, being instead like Starship Troopers where your troops are "dropped in" and just fight the ground war. This is to keep things simple and not have two different combat systems in a game that's primarily a trading puzzle - but if Apollo4X does well, it's on the list for whatever sequel we make.

Winning


Winning the game is accomplished by either economic or military means. You can kill all the enemy homeworlds. Alternately, stockpile 300 of each market resource, or upgrade your colonies to produce a cumulative 500 "stellar network" points and colonize 20 planets. Military, economic, or expansion victory is your choice.

Game Difficulty


Finally, we allowed you maximum choice of difficulty. Tailor the game to your needs, so you feel challenged but not overwhelmed. If you think the economy could be more resistive, turn it up. If you want to not worry about enemy expansion you can weaken them, start them with less colonies, or lower rate of expansion. Or, if you really like the combat game, set the economy to easy and add all four enemy types to the map at maximum strength -- good luck with that, though. If you want to go fully casual, we even allow you to turn off economic failure, and have unlimited funds to experiment with. We, as players ourselves, lose interest in games that are too hard or too easy, so it seemed important to give the player full control of it. Since most people want to play on "average", we'll be listening to feedback about which difficulty settings are most popular and adjust the "average" levels to those trends down the road a bit.

We dared to be different in a genre full of excellent but too similar titles. If different is what you need, this is it.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: 2.0 Ghz
    • Memory: 2048 MB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX Compatible
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: 2.0 Ghz
    • Memory: 2048 MB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX Compatible
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Mixed (40 reviews)
Recently Posted
FARSiR
( 3.6 hrs on record )
Posted: May 28
read one of negative reviews i got nothing to say...
Helpful? Yes No Funny
The MCK
( 3.9 hrs on record )
Posted: May 24
Product received for free
another ugly free game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
mrhade
( 3.2 hrs on record )
Posted: April 30
It looked interesting until I tried to play it...
No tutorial and it deperately needs one. The game is very frustrting to say the least. The UI is utter crap. The zooming is inverted and can't be changed. You can't scroll left or right, but must click on a planet to center the map.

Game crashed first two times I tried to play it. On my third attempt, I managed to get to the setup screen before it crashed again.
Finally was able to get into the game, then you must colonize 3 planets, and then WHAT?????

I got as far as trying to setup a trade route. But since there is no tutorial, you have no idea what you're doing.

How do you actually make any money from trade??
How does upgrading a planet affect anything???
What should I upgrade on a planet?
What's the difference between the various corporations?
How do I know which coporation to assign to which planet?
How do you gain favors so you can do stuff?
How do I make money from trade routes (they're always negative)?
Why do I have to reset my trade routes every turn?
How the hell do you play this game?

There's just too many unanswered questions to to actually enjoy anything about this game.

Only thing I got from this game was a headache. The best part about it was deleting it.

Don't waste your money on this utter trash.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Trevein
( 1.3 hrs on record )
Posted: April 22
1) UI is a mess, camera is horribly broken
2) Trade routes have to be founded each turn from scratch - no long-term development. And it's a pain in the ♥♥♥, because of (1).

Guess if you like to rethink your trading each turn it's an ok game, but if you prefer to build and develop - it's not a game you want.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
becephalus
( 3.4 hrs on record )
Posted: April 7
OK little game. The interface is a little difficult to use, and I am not sure the mechanics quite hang together in a fun way. Also seemed very easy on standard.

The constraints on the zoom and view angles were pretty frustrating at times and it was hard to gather information easily.

Creative mechanics thiough. Personally I think I would have enjoyed a trading game more where the routes were persistent, and this also would have ameliorated some of the interface and view problems. It is not good to make players keep interacting with the weaker elements of your game again and again.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Ymir the Tusk on dialup
( 1.5 hrs on record )
Posted: February 22
Interesting premise of a 4x game based off economy. However a horrible UI and game design choices like having to redo trade routes every turn makes this game more tedious than fun.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Kenz
( 15.2 hrs on record )
Posted: February 3
the control is a real butthurt. No tutorial, only help tips. And the concept is not looked good.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
B a l l a g e
( 1.9 hrs on record )
Posted: January 25
Bad game.
It's good only trading cards
Helpful? Yes No Funny
VahidSlayerOfAll
( 4.3 hrs on record )
Posted: January 12
nothing new or special here, just your typical ♥♥♥♥♥♥ rehash. would pay 0.15$, and im glad i got it for free
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
51 of 54 people (94%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 22, 2015
The game suffers from a few design decisions which I found personally very frustrating. I have not logged a lot of play time, however I have watched a few tutorial videos and have learned that this is not a gap in my understanding of rules/controls, but is in fact how the game was designed to be played.

Fundamentally what bothers me about the game is the fact that you are not building consistent trade that develops and grows over time. Instead every turn the resources demanded by planets and the prices are re-rolled, and all your convoys from last turn are removed, and you basically have to plan things from scratch. This is enjoyable for a few turns but quickly becomes tedious, especially with larger empires. It is frustrating to invest five minutes thinking through an excellent trade route, only to have it removed the next turn (and with no way to recreate it). Not only that, but it removes an element of long term strategy from the game as I do not expand based on optimizing my current trade network, but instead expansion is best done through a simple greedy algorithm (grab the best, nearest planet every time), since the world will compleltely change next turn.

I would accept the fact that you basically start each turn from scratch trade-wise if the controls of the game made it very easy to set up new trade (and the only difficulty being thinking through and optimizing things - aka the fun part!). Instead everything from the camera control (the game would honestly be better if they scrapped the whole planetary system thing and replaced it with a board game style system with no third axis of rotation to mess the view up), to the ui/menus (no way to see what the second resource a corporation wants to trade is - you can only see the resource it wants that turn, you need to zoom in to see text after clicking on a planet, and the tooltips are awful), to setting up trade (watch a tutorial: even the devs have trouble clicking back, and trade, and travel, and figuring out what the hell is going on). The single most frustrating aspect is the system of fleets, which mean that if you are creating a very large trade route, and you have almost finished it, but the last planet you want to visit doesn't have enough fleets (or fuel or whatever) to visit, then you need to undo the ENTIRE trade route, then add fleet to the planet, then redo the entire trade route (being able to add fleet while making a trade route would help here). It feels as though the game was only tested on tiny three planet systems, and the devs didn't bother to see how controls work with larger systems.

My two main issues compound to make the game unplayable for me. While I would personally enjoy creating long term strategies over the turn-by-turn optimiziation the game instead asks for, I understand how this system can also be fun and challenging, and was willing to give it a shot. However with the aweful controls, having to re-think everything turn-by-turn makes the game too frustrating and slow to be playable.

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34 of 40 people (85%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
6.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 19, 2015
Apollo4x is a very unique attempt at a 4x game, that focuses on building and optimizing an economic system. The problem is that it's not even a 4x, more like a 3x. It lacks exploration...

Without any fog of war, you can see everything about each planet at turn 1. Disappointing...

Lets talk about the combat system, its basically an uninteresting card game. It goes painfully slow and you can't really skip it.

Managing your trade routes and ♥♥♥♥♥ can be fun for a while, but the whole experience is underwhelming once you understand how the game works. Possibilities are too limited, you either are doing it right or not. You can't just play your own way, and try something different in a next game. You are going to learn how to play and then realise that it's always going to be the same, more or less, each game. Add to that the fact that there's only one race for you to ''choose'' from..humanity.

I have 6hrs of playtime on Apollo4x and I would not say that I regret purchasing it, but I am not going to play anytime soon. Not when Gal Civ3 and StarDrive 2 are around... I say buy it if you are still curious about it but otherwise that's a Not Recommended.
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20 of 26 people (77%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
14.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 6, 2015
Don't let my low hour count fool you. I've been playing this since the Alpha became available on Gamersgate last November.

This is a very good alternate take on the 4X genre, and plays more like a board game than another MEE2 clone (MOO 2). Having been in this hobby for over 30 years, it's refreshing to see a new take on something, and I applaud the developers for it.

Could it be better? Yes it could. I find the 3-D map to be beutiful but tough to navigate, and after looking at it a couple of times just go with the 2-D version. I have a couple of other ideas for improvements that I will post in a separate thread, but if you have any interest at all in turn-based strategy games with lots of interesting decisions, this is a must buy.

Plus think of the doggies.
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14 of 18 people (78%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 28, 2015
An interesting puzzle game. Nevertheless I can't see it to be a 4X title...whoever thought to name it such, might not have understood 4X.

It's a short game, as it doesn't motivate me too long. But if you have some spare time it might be ok for puzzling arround the flight routes of your merchant ships. Go for it if you could get it on sale...full pricing is too high for my taste.
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17 of 24 people (71%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Recommended
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 6, 2015
Overview: Apollo4x is a unique 4x space game that has you playing a Venice-like planet-state. Rather than building large warfleets as in most games, trade is the key to victory. Colonized planets provide 3 resources which must be sold to other planets. The more planets, the more money. Unfortunately with more money also comes factions in the planet-state that'd like their own cut of the pie and ancient Centaurs which serve as the main external antagonists to the game. To defeat the local dissidents, just throw them a few bones here and there and they'll bother someone else while ignoring them can cause a lovely coup as they decide your rule doesn't serve the planet's 'best' interests. If you cater to their needs, you may just unlock special abilities that can save your skin when the Centaurs decide your worlds would like better in their possession. Combat involves recruiting a balanced ground force and picking the correct tactics as you go against four different kinds of enemies, each with different tactics on each unit.

Positives:
(+) Uniqueness - Apollo4x seeks to breathe in a new formula to the tried and true 4x. Rather than being an Alexander the Great, the player is a Machiavelli leading a planet-state to economic glory.

(+) Beautiful Ground Combat - The background and combat cards have this archaic look as if it was from a 90s adventure game. For most games it might seem an odd choice of graphic design but Apollo4x executes it extremely well. Ground gameplay forces you to recon the enemy tactics used each turn and then designate the appropriate countermeasures. There's enough challenge each turn that you can't just use the same formula over and over and even if you 'figure out' one race, there's 3 others that would like to meet and have tea with you.

(+) Domestic Options - There's no direct budget you'll have each turn. Instead you'll be forced to pay in terms of resources to answer the numerous complaints various Apollo factions have. Answering more requests will provide the approval and 'clout' that is used to gain new abilities and use those abilities, respectfully while ignoring domestic issues will eventually cause a Glorious Revolution. Glorious may not represent what happens to you as the leader though...

(+) Multiple Victory Options - If peace is what you want, then peace is what you can have by building a galactic stellar net or becoming the undisputed economic powerhouse. And if war is what you want, then by whatever god you worship, go burn your enemies' worlds to the core.

Negatives:

(-) Lack of Tutorial - While the manual is indeed well-designed and explains everything, the lack of an ingame tutorial does require new players to make an active effort to learn the game mechanics by going back and forth from the manual and the game with a little trial and error.

(-) UI / Camera Scrolling - The sin of 4x games has always been in the UI. While it's not horrible, Apollo4x's interface is a bit clunky and awkward. Camera scrolling on the galactic map has you right clicking between planets rather than a more simple WASD setup which serves to be a small nuisance.

(-) No Multiplayer - I really hope this can be added in the future. The game has serious multiplayer potential that needs to be exploited.

Verdict: Despite having to fix a fridge, the house is in great shape. The gameplay works well and is plain fun. The Devs are a great bunch of people who are passionate about the game and working on fixing the few minor bugs and then expanding the game further.

8 dead centaurs / 10

---------------------------------------------------------

For those who want to see some gameplay: https://youtu.be/ERwi-8yEMbI
Channel Link: https://www.youtube.com/user/xBr0wnBear
It's a long video but it covers all the basics and I've attached timestamps for various sections of gameplay.
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15 of 22 people (68%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
12.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 6, 2015
This is very much a 1st Impressions review and will be edited if necessary as playtime increases.

So... You have an interest in Space 4X? You like the many Space Trading Games? You enjoy games like Magic: The Gathering? You actually crave games that make you think?

If you have answered yes to one, or even all of the above. You owe yourself to give Apollo4X a purchase. Yes, I am saying that right away. Why? Because all the aforementioned is in this game and then some! But now, you are probably thinking..

"Oh great, another game genre mashup that just will not work!... I'll Pass!"

Hold on... Not only are each of these elements solid in their own right. But in Apollo4X, they come together to make a super solid, unique and rather innovative title that shouldn't be overlooked. As a 4X game, you will not do something, then mash the turn button waiting for something to do. Each turn has strategical depth. You must meet colonial demands, purchase resources, build up colonies, prepare and plan for trading.

Trade is not an option in this game. It is one of Apollo4X's core mechanics. If you do not trade, you will go bankrupt, and you will lose the game. No population building leading to masses of taxes here. You have to be strategically aggressive in your interplanetary business, as the more you expand, the greater the upkeep. Colonists Empire-wide will also make demands. Ignore their demands, you suffer loss of approval rating and if that hits 0, you will also lose the game.

If that wasn't enough, there's the Alien Centaur threat to deal with. They are aiming to take over the whole galaxy, and most importantly, take you out by capturing your home planet of Apollo. Whilst their are no space battles in the game, land battles are played out as a card game. This game has a fantastic strategic complexity as battles are not one on one. Each card will affect several others in a deck. So what you select, and the tactics you choose in how to play them matters. So even when you are outnumbered and outgunned, it is still possible (But not easy) to win a battle.

So after some 1st impressions. What are the pros and cons?

PROS

- Starting the game, maps are not final. Feel at disadvantage? Just don't like the map? Throw it out until you find something you like.

- This game has depth from the start to the end. You will not be hammering the 'End Turn' Button. Gameplay is engaging and there's always plenty to do. Strategy is key, you will have to think! A strategy that works in one game, might not work in another.

- A genre mashup that actually works. There's no 4X like it. Apollo4X is truly a unique and innovative game that pulls you in!

- One more Turn Syndrome? You bet! The game is fun and totally engaging.

- A welcome 2D galaxy option for those who require it.

- Many options before starting a game can potentially serve up lots of replay value!

- Your purchase will be helping to save rescued dogs... Good bang for your buck in both game and charity.

CONS (Can also be positives for some, including myself)

- Although not a disavantage by my standards. This game takes the old school approach. There is no tutorial mode. You will have to read the manual. Understand, and pay attention to what every section of the UI does. The learning curve will be steep at first.

- Maps can get busy fast, and initial confusion might arise. There's a lot of information to react to every turn. Turns are not quick, and neither is mid-late game trading and combat. You will not finish a single game in just a few hours.

- No storyline or campaign. Just the old school way to play. If you're looking for 100's of random events, and a story to follow. You will not find it here.

- A few very small issues here and there which will be tightened up with a bit more community feedback.


TL;DR? - An innovative 4X game that dares to be different from the normal formula, and as first impressions go, it suceeds! If you are looking to buy something different, buy this game!
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9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 22
Interesting premise of a 4x game based off economy. However a horrible UI and game design choices like having to redo trade routes every turn makes this game more tedious than fun.
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10 of 13 people (77%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
11.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2015
Quite the surprise!
Although the game lacks some polish (texts, balance, pace...) the game is deep enough for a few hours of mind struggling.
For myself, kind of a fan of 4x and merchant strategy, the game has some good mechanics. No need for spreadsheets. There are very few different commodities whose prices changes every turn. That forces you to redo your trade routes again and again, at least until you get the mechanics of investments. Also you cannot spend an infinite amount of money each turn (diminishing returns, remember?) so after a while you don't need to trade anymore. That's a good thing.
The combat mechanics are a bit complex and very shallowly explained. But once you get the hold on it is interesting. I've been just reloading savegames to test combat strategies. And only tried one race.
I guess the game can easily provide beyond 20 hours of solo entertainment for a fan of the genre. Hopefully that helps you if you consider buying the game.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
8.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 29, 2015
I bought the game over Christmas. It is... not good. In my first 2 incomplete play throughs (both stopped due to game-breaking bugs), I found huge UI issues, multiple serious bugs/performance issues, and a smattering of typos & basic english mistakes. On top of that, the basic gameplay loop is just kind of boring. In general I'm a huge fan of board games and indie games, but this not a good example of either. It needs a large amount of rework and polish before I'd consider it ready for a general release.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 30
It looked interesting until I tried to play it...
No tutorial and it deperately needs one. The game is very frustrting to say the least. The UI is utter crap. The zooming is inverted and can't be changed. You can't scroll left or right, but must click on a planet to center the map.

Game crashed first two times I tried to play it. On my third attempt, I managed to get to the setup screen before it crashed again.
Finally was able to get into the game, then you must colonize 3 planets, and then WHAT?????

I got as far as trying to setup a trade route. But since there is no tutorial, you have no idea what you're doing.

How do you actually make any money from trade??
How does upgrading a planet affect anything???
What should I upgrade on a planet?
What's the difference between the various corporations?
How do I know which coporation to assign to which planet?
How do you gain favors so you can do stuff?
How do I make money from trade routes (they're always negative)?
Why do I have to reset my trade routes every turn?
How the hell do you play this game?

There's just too many unanswered questions to to actually enjoy anything about this game.

Only thing I got from this game was a headache. The best part about it was deleting it.

Don't waste your money on this utter trash.
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