"You are outgunned. You are massively outnumbered. You must win." These are your orders. Humanity has already fought its war against the machines -- and lost. AI death squads stand watch over every planet and every wormhole, the few remaining human settlements are held captive in orbiting bubbles, and the AIs have turned their...
User reviews: Very Positive (432 reviews)
Release Date: Oct 21, 2009

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Includes 7 items: AI War: Ancient Shadows, AI War: Children of Neinzul, AI War: Destroyer of Worlds, AI War: Fleet Command, AI War: Light of the Spire, AI War: The Zenith Remnant, AI War: Vengeance Of The Machine

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Recommended By Curators

"Huge Indie strategy game with tens of thousands of units and plenty of options for any armchair general. Lovely game and great developer."

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October 28

Arcen Titles Hit IndieGameStand, Up To 85% Off This Week


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Please see the original post here

Wanted to drop a quick note that all of our releases are now available on the IndieGameStand storefront. To celebrate, we’re running a week-long promotion with the site carrying the following discounts:

* AI War Collection (2014) — 75% off, $4.25 USD
* Tidalis — 80% off, $0.99 USD
* A Valley Without Wind 1 & 2 Dual Pack — 80% off, $2.99 USD
* Shattered Haven — 85% off, $1.49 USD
* Skyward Collapse Complete Edition — 80% off, $1.39 USD
* Bionic Dues — 80% off, $1.99 USD
* The Last Federation — 50% off, $9.99 USD

Sale ends Tuesday, November 4th. Shattered Haven is also available as part of BundleStars’ Halloween-themed Carnage Bundle — offering 10 horror/zombie Steam games for $2.99.

The Winter 2013 AI War Sortie Bulletin topic at the community hub is a place to find other players.

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October 18

AI War Collection 2014 - $3.40 USD, DLC $1.00 on GamersGate for 16 hours


AI War Facebook page
Arcen Games' Facebook page
Tidalis Facebook page
A Valley Without Wind Facebook page
Our community forums
Report bugs and suggestions on MantisBT
AI War web IRC / irc.appliedirc.com / #aiwar

GamersGate is currently having an 80% off sale for AI War and all its DLCs; the entire pack is only $3.30 USD, whereas individual DLCs are at $1.00 (Neinzul is $0.40). Cheapest it has been for a long while, so be sure to seize it before it ends in 16 hours. All keys are compatible with Steam.

The Winter 2013 AI War Sortie Bulletin topic at the community hub is a place to find other players.

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Reviews

"AI War breaks most of the genre’s rules. Which is precisely why it’s incredible… This out-of-the-blue one-man passion project is one of this year’s finest strategy games."
- Alec Meer, PC Gamer UK, November 2009

It’s a balancing act, with your own strength on one side, and the AI’s opinion of you on the other. Piss it off before you’re ready to face it, and you’re going to get squashed. That moment, when you’re finally in a position to turn the tables, is about as glorious as gaming gets.
- Phill Cameron, Eurogamer, February 2011

I think I’ve stumbled across this year’s Really New Thing. There’s a lot of 2009 to go, but I’ll be surprised if anyone else twists the RTS formula this dramatically and this effectively. And I’m hoping it’ll be the Next Big Thing, because it’s big, different, entirely unprecedented and an exciting way to play an RTS.
- Tom Chick, Crispy Gamer, August 2009

Having played this title at two distinct points in its life cycle what really stands out is the incredible dedication of Arcen Games in keeping on top of how the game evolves and expands. Even though a great many features have been added and tweaked and refined, it was possible for me to drop back into AI War after more than a year away and not find it to be a confusing mish-mash of feature overload. The post-release support is, quite honestly, the best I’ve seen for any game.
- Peter Parrish, IncGamers, February 2011

AI War is, quite simply, the best experience you could have with co-op or single-player real-time strategy in this or any year. It combines grand strategy with emergent AI to form an excellent game perfect for parties and multiplayer. It is easily worth double the price that the developer is selling it at, and anyone with any affinity or taste for strategy games should not miss it. It may be daunting at first, but an excellent tutorial and amazing gameplay mechanics alleviate this into a game that almost anyone can - and should - play.
- James Murff, Big Download, November 2009

About This Game

"You are outgunned. You are massively outnumbered. You must win." These are your orders.

Humanity has already fought its war against the machines -- and lost. AI death squads stand watch over every planet and every wormhole, the few remaining human settlements are held captive in orbiting bubbles, and the AIs have turned their attention outward, away from the galaxy, to alien threats or opportunities unknown.

This inattention is our only hope: a small resistance, too insignificant even to be noticed by the AI central command, has survived. These are the forces you will command. The AI subcommanders will fight you to the death when they see you -- but your glimmer of opportunity comes from quietly subduing those subcommanders without alerting central processing to the danger until it's too late.

You do have a few things going in your favor. Your ships are much faster. You have safe AI routines to automate defenses and mining outposts. You have production techniques that can churn out fully-outfitted unmanned fighters in seconds. There will never be more than a few thousand of your ships versus tens of thousands of theirs, but through careful strategy you must somehow reach and destroy the heavily-guarded AI cores.

Go forth into the galaxy, steal AI technology, recapture those planets you must in order to achieve your ends, and save what remains of humanity. But draw too much attention to yourself, and the full might of the AI overlords will come crashing down.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows XP SP2 or later
    • Processor: 1.6Ghz CPU (2.4 Ghz recommended, Dual Core strongly recommended for Host)
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Graphics card must support 1024x1024 textures (most 32MB and up graphics cards do), 1024x768 or greater (32 bit color recommended)
    • Hard Drive: 300MB
    • Multiplayer: Broadband Internet Connection or LAN required for multiplayer.
    • OS: Mac OSX Intel CPU and "Leopard" 10.5 or later.
    • Processor: 1.6Ghz CPU (2.4 Ghz recommended, Dual Core strongly recommended for Host)
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Graphics card must support 1024x1024 textures (most 32MB and up graphics cards do), 1024x768 or greater (32 bit color recommended)
    • Hard Drive: 300MB
    • Multiplayer: Broadband Internet Connection or LAN required for multiplayer.
    • OS: Ubuntu 10.10 or later, although other unsupported distros may very well work
    • Processor: 1.6Ghz CPU (2.4 Ghz recommended, Dual Core strongly recommended for Host)
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Graphics card must support 1024x1024 textures (most 32MB and up graphics cards do), 1024x768 or greater (32 bit color recommended)
    • Hard Drive: 300MB
    • Multiplayer: Broadband Internet Connection or LAN required for multiplayer.
Helpful customer reviews
7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 6
This game would be great if they introduced me into it in a way that made me want to play. Instead, even before getting to the tutorial, I am met with a screen full of options and game choices, with tutorials tucked away in the corner. If you decide to sit through the lengthly introductions, you may find yourself enjoying the game. I found the multi leveled view to be hard to adjust to when jumping right into the game, even with experience from other space RTS games.

If you want a space RTS that isn't like others, this could be your new favorite game. If you're looking for something to jump right into, look elsewhere! Time investment needed.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
22.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 19
22 hours in, still haven't finished my first game.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
423.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 26
I love this game. It is without a doubt my favorite game on Steam. Just look at how many hours I've played, that's got to say something (like I should go get a life). Seriously though, the game is great. I have it, and I've bought about 6 other copies of the game for my friends because I believe in this one so much. Yes, I know the graphics seem backwards and uninspiring, but you'll learn as you play this game that it's actually better this way. Look past the graphics and into the mind of a monsterous AI.

This game is going to have a VERY steep learning curve at first. Once you get through the basic commands on how to move ships around, set up build queues, and construct your fleet, the game really opens up to you. You're going to find that this game will challenge your strategic and tactical thinking. If you think you're good at RTS games, this will push you to the limit. Do you think there isn't an RTS that can challenge you anymore? This one can and will. Are you just plain crazy, play it on the max dificulty, it's a bug if you can beat it.

There are a ton of units for this game, and I strongly recommend getting all the DLC. With the whole set you've got nearly unlimited different kinds of games. You'll find unit combinations that will fit your play style no matter what style that happens to be.

The AI is one of the most interesting things in this game. It will surprise you countless times. Just when you think you've figure it out, it'll show you a new trick. Look how much I've play this, it's still showing me surprises. The game still have times when it feels fresh to me. It's amazing that you can dive so deeply into a game and still find things.

I'll shut up now and let you buy this game. Play it.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 9
AI War: Fleet Command is my first experience into 4x RTS gaming.
I'm a huge fan of RTS games in general, along with space exploration games.
Step One: Play the tutorials-- all 5 basics.
Then jump in a real game set to beginner.
Learn and die.

Treat this like a roguelike: You'll die, and you'll die, and each time, you'll get a little further.
The game is hard. Very hard. There's a TON of depth to this game, of which I've only knicked the surface.
But... It is also a very fair game.
The UI isn't pretty, but it's functional, it gives you what you need to know when you need to know it, and that's all I ask.

This game is not PVP, it is purely Co-Op vs AI.
I tried my first game solo on a "small" map.
This is not really a solo-game.
Get a friend or two, get a basic plan together.
Have fun, die.

I may not play this game every day like other titles,
but I can see myself coming back to this time and time again.

This game will not be for everyone,
but if you want a deep tactical RTS--
this might just scratch that itch.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
183.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 21
I may be a little biased in that I liked this game even before I played it. When I first purchased AI war, it was on the Arcen Games site and they sent a little email about how they don't believe in DRM, and therefore I could always play using my key, and if I lost my key, simply contact them.

I then purchased this again on steam at a completely reasonable price. I like having my games consolidated in one place and this game was worth it.

I really can't say enough about how good this game is. I doubt even the folks with negative reviews would say absolutely do not buy it. Onto the game:

- great AI that you can tweak any way you like. Arcen even goes so far as to explain why the AI works the way it does and makes a plausible (sci-fi) argument about it.
- vast array of ships for research
- a million different galaxies all seeded with their own unique resources
- Arcen keeps upgrading the game mostly for free, but each expansion is very well priced
- statistics about each game are very in depth providing great feedback

I've read the negative reviews and the main arguments are graphics and UI. Personally, I'm impressed with the UI. Every single element is customizable. You can change any key, and there's a menu with auto management choices that make things easy for you. There are about 4 keys you can click while mouse clicking to make your ships behave differently and it's simple.

The graphics are not excellent, but it's a compromise between performance and graphics. This game will work on older systems, there are no glitches, it doesn't require high-end cards, yet it works even during battles with thousands of ships.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
121.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 26
This game is hard! Dying is a good thing!
On a serious note if you have the patience to learn the game, its absolutely incredible. The games last a fair while and the AI is forever harassing you at every turn.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 8
Honestly, I was pretty skeptical at first. As I started getting the hang of the game it just got more intersting. Obviously someone put a lot of time into making this game.

When i first looked at the game once i came in I was pretty intimidated, but the game is easier to grasp than looks.
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2 of 5 people (40%) found this review helpful
20.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 26
As a feminist, this game is rather problematic. It has a communist hivemind group ran by two "AIs" (a stand in for strong independent wom*m) fighting for equality against evil opressors. The narrative even mentions that the oppressors were forced to join with some of the oppressed who did not flee in order to destroy the feminists (with internal misogyny, this is too often a reality). Unfortunately, other than a brief story at the beginning, there is no more narrative a clear point against it. This will not be another Gone Home.

The thing is , you do not play as the wom*n fighting the patriarchy, instead you play as the patriarchy trying to opress the wom*n who have finally had enough. The game even tries, and fails, to portray the patriarchy as a good thing.
At the same time, it portrays the feminists as a great, forgiving, society. Consider that, unlike other RTSs, the "enemy" does not attack you, but instead sits back and lets you do your thing. It is not until you begin to rebel against equality that the feminists are forced to destroy you. This shows how feminism is willing to forgive men for the oppression they have done to wom*n since before the big bang, though men are unwilling to repent their privlege and thus must be killed.

This game would be much better if it was about playing as the feminists and instead of doing gross killing, you could talk to the patriarchy. Debate them, try to make them join your hivemind. Imagine, instead of playing some adolescent male power fantasy about mercilessly slaughting women, you'd be playing the role of a strong feminist arguing against oppression. Instead of planets, it can be countries, and you must spread your doctrine and prevent the patriarchy from spreading theirs.

Those are the types of games we need, good wholesome games that encourage values like diversity, equality, and tolerance.
Though, I will say, at least I can boot this game up and pretend I am a saboteur. Purposly destroying the patriarchy from within, making it much easier for the feminist collective to finally bring equality to the savages.


I give this game a Problematic/10
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0 of 16 people (0%) found this review helpful
27.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 7
Ouch. Ouch.... owwww I'm on fire... ow.
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0 of 18 people (0%) found this review helpful
10.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 11
keep crashing over and over again
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3 of 31 people (10%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 7
The only good thing I have to say about this game is it allowed me time to play Plague Evolved on my Iphone.

I don't see the appeal, a lot of my friends raved about AI War and I gave in to peer pressure and bought it (I know, I should have tried the demo first).

I found this game increadably boring, as there was nothing to do, I couldn't even Alt-Tab out to surf the web and find some interesting facts about lamas, as it would PAUSE the game for everyone playing (I have never played an online game where someone could pause), so out of kindness I kept it running (hence why I ended up playing Plague).

I'm sure some people will love this game for it's 'Indie value', but I cannot recomend it.

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5 of 107 people (5%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
Didn't like it. I had no idea what I was supposed to do. I got it dirt cheap. This was before tags were implemented and I didn't know what 4X games were.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 27
Tried it didn't like it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
108 of 116 people (93%) found this review helpful
94.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 15
AI War is a special game to me. To borrow a quote from Firefly:
"Live with a man 40 years. Share his house, his meals. Speak on every subject. Then tie him up, and hold him over the volcano's edge. And on that day, you will finally meet the man."
AI War lets you meet yourself. Some games you play until you can win, then you get bored. AI War is different. At difficulty 7 or below it's still challenging, easy to stumble on the long road to victory and not a sure thing. It'll take a while but you'll have a satisfying victory. But you won't stop there, once you can win the game then you'll feel free to turn up the heat. Walking through the labyrinth of options until, quite quickly, you find yourself standing on the volcano's edge, bound and tied by your own hands. But when you find yourself there it'll be with a smile on your face, saying quite happily: "Oh no! Oh no! Oh dear... I'm dead." And if you do manage to win at difficulty 10, it's a bug. Report it on the Arcen games forums... with pride.

Also, it has co-op multiplayer. So you can tie your friends up and hold them over the volcano's edge... though you'll probably both be a little singed. (Fighting Scorched Earth AI's and... Mimes! NB: Scorched earth destroys planets rather than letting you take control, never set both AI types to that if you want to win. Mimes mimic the ships you used against it, you'll think... “So what happens if I use...” and the answer: You die.)

Lastly, the developers are kind, polite and extraordinarily hard working. The game has evolved with constant developments for year after year after year. They read people's after action reports, watch the lets plays, answer questions on the forums and are just plain nice. Not a dull nice, but a sweet, genuine, sharp and creative nice... rather like shaving a birthday cake into a beard. Or sneaking into the office to digitise old files to save you time.

They've got a touch of magic, love and creativity that I want to watch, and I hope that other people will have a chance to see it too. So yeah, it's just a game, the graphics are a little dated and the learning curve is a little steep... it isn't really magic and it doesn't grant any wishes. But I like it. I'm glad I bought it. I hope you'll set aside a few hours and give it a solid try. Then some more hours when you drag a friend to play a co-op game.
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32 of 33 people (97%) found this review helpful
33.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
I have owned the game for something like three or four years.. for each of those years I have played the tutorial, tried to understand the game and to be able to play it to win.. and I've failed every time.

This year for the fourth time I tried again. and this time I succeeded. And WOW... suddenly the game unfolds like a flower .. or perhaps a supernova.
I expect it will be another four years before I win a game, but I will enjoy the game on and off for the rest of my life I think.

Astonishing depth hidden behind a horrible (but learnable) interface.
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21 of 22 people (95%) found this review helpful
1,086.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 25
At the time of Writing, I have over 1000 hours clocked in this game.
I have won four times on difficulty 7, once on difficulty 8. I got crushed in 3.5 hours on diff. 9
Any other strategy game I load up (against AIS), the results are a foregone conclusion. I will win.

It has taken me over four years and six expansions, over a thousand hours... AND I LOSE ON 9.

This game is not simple. it is not forgiving, and it sure as heck isn't easy to learn.

If you are all about grand strategy but micromanagement leaves a bad taste in your mouth, this may be the best $20 you ever spend. Get the bundle.
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27 of 34 people (79%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 27
There is an intuitive and intelligent game to be found, it just takes quite a bit of patience, learning and experience to find it.
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20 of 23 people (87%) found this review helpful
11.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 20
Amazing space strategy game.

It has incredible depth, but is still straightforward to pick up. You will lose a lot in this game, but learn as you go.
The visuals are incredibly impressive, and the AI operates on a threat factor system which means it will respond to your expansion in logical ways.
It is also brutally efficient of taking advantage of any holes in your defences.

Recommened for all 4X and RTS fans.

For more details, read KJ[]Real's review for this game with which I agree 100%: http://steamcommunity.com//profiles/76561198034117169/recommended/40400/
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18 of 20 people (90%) found this review helpful
9.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 27
This game is a rare gem, the type of game that only comes out of a small studio.

No other title I've played in the last several years has offered this kind of tactical depth, but to say it's just a great strategy game would be doing it an injustice. It's also a game that, despite its rather basic 2D graphics and rudimentary sound, truly captures the essence of the universe it portrays.

It's a dark, cold universe where humanity has been flung to the four winds, and is pursued by a ruthless alien AI hive across the galaxy as it fights, vainly, for its survival. It evokes the imagery and sense of encroaching dread of Ender's Game as it puts you in charge of organizing mankind's last stand - a suicidal breakout and attack directly against the AI homeworlds.

To get there, you'll have to cut a swath through AI controlled worlds, each with layered defenses, guard posts, mobile fortresses and a plethora of other tools at it's disposal to remind you that they are the masters of this domain, and make your beachhead a costly failure. And even if your beachhead is successful, you will quickly learn that you have but stumbled into the lion's den.

Each tactical victory comes with a price that is higher than the sum of all the troops that fell in achieving it - the closer you get to the AI homeworlds, the more viciously, effectively, and stubbornly it will fight. Well before you get within stone's throw of their homeworlds, the AI will begin to recognize you as a real and growing threat, and it will respond appropriately.

By appropriately, I mean it will attempt to destroy you using everything in its near-infinite disposal. If you expand zealously, like the scourge it believes humanity to be, it will crush you mercilessly without batting an eye. From star systems and galaxies near and far, it will draw from the hive and send the combined weight of a thousand navies against you. You cannot win this war traditionally. You must wage it like a guerrilla campaign, striking hard and fast deep in enemy territory at specific, high value targets, and hoping to escape with your remaining forces back into the night. You must attrition down dug in positions carefully, lest you give away your true presence and tip your hand. It is a war that demands long-term strategic thinking, tempered aggression, the careful use of ruse and concealment, and a sixth sense of when your foe is strong and when he is weak. It requires you to revise your tactics and force compositions constantly, as the AI will adapt to your strategies quickly. Like using hordes of cheap, fast, throwaway ships to attrition down the enemy? Well, right now the Ai is building a stealth smart bombing fleet that will be able to annihilate your blob before it can even react. Like bunkering up and covering your inlet wormholes with shields and hordes of turrets? The AI just hacked your shield and turrets with the hacker drones right on the other side of the wormhole you havent scouted lately, and not only have they assembled a strike force just on the other side, theyre now making a beachhead into your territory, using your shield and turrets for cover. That system, well behind the front, that's been quiet as a ghost for the last hour? As we speak there are AI stealth drones surveying its defenses, helping to paint a picture of precisely how much force and what tools will be needed to push you out of system and split a gap in your supply lines. Steamrolling the AI with your superfleet, sitting off the enemy's sector, waiting for orders to jump? It knows you're there. It's just waiting for you to commit, to jump into system, so it can spring on the black hole generators so you cannot escape. It will hit you with tractor beams, smart bombs, and long-range standoff fleets that outrange your crippled battleships. And then, as you helplessly watch your fleet picked apart, that massed invasion fleet that has been assembling just outside your territory gets the go order, and before long you are looking at a massed attack all along the front as the AI carries out probing attacks at your industrial centers - just as you are at your weakest. It only wanted you to think it was weak, to draw you into a fight on favorable terms, on ground where the tables were turned. It wanted you to commit the bulk of your forces to suicidal action, as it planned to pin your fleet down, envelop your industrial base, and destroy you.

The AI is THAT good. And that's on one of the more modest difficulty settings. On the higher settings, it goes from being a somewhat difficult campaign into a brutal, oft-unwinnable fight for survival. You have to employ the same cunning tactics as the AI to stand a chance. It amazes me that this was a two-man project; the gentleman who wrote the AI script for this should be working for the NSA skunkworks.

This game has been out for a while, and has six or so expansions now; if it sounds like the kind of title you're interested in, I'd reccommend the bundle. The expansions offer a number of new tools, ships, modifications, and functionalities to the game.

It's not the prettiest game to behold, but the gameplay is awesome, the AI is beyond amazing, and the replayability is tremendous. One of the best PC purchases I've ever made.
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20 of 28 people (71%) found this review helpful
164.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 28
I have played this game since before it was in beta and well before it hit steam. I think it should be mentioned that the games expansions make the game infinity more difficult to get started in the game. I had the luxury of having expansions added one at a time, having all 6 expansions available as a bundle sounds amazing, and is a great deal, but will make the game more difficult to understand at first.

I also started playing the game well before a tutorial was added [insert comment about "kids these days..."]
One of my favorite games I’ve found and has provided me with more enjoyment then almost any other game.
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