"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 (819 reviews) - 86% of the 819 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 21, 2009

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Buy AI War Bundle (2014)

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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October 20

Headtalker! Please sign up. Plus more "Reverse AI War" tidbits.

Chris here.  I'm going to keep this brief and try not to be annoying!  First up: if you didn't already know, we're running a kickstarter for the sequel to AI War, and that's a pretty big deal to us.

If you have not already, please consider signing up for the Headtalker campaign for AI War II.  The true power of this thing has only really become apparent to me today, and it's pretty awesome.


  • If 500 people sign up -- and there are 71 on there as of the time of this writing, including myself -- then a big social media blast goes out.  I guess kind of like a Thunderclap?
  • It tracks the amount of reach that we have on social media based on this, and basically it can be a way to get in front of a LOT of people.  Out of just 71 people signed up so far, that gives us a potential reach of 960 thousand people.
  • Bearing in mind that a ton of those people will have zero interest in this, it's still a lot more targeted than advertising in some ways, and it's also not costing us anything (or you much time).
  • Given our current backer counts, less than a third of you would need to help out with this for a big blast to go out.
  • And actually you can recruit other people as well if you like who are not backers of the project -- you never know if your friend's friends are strategy enthusiasts, even if that friend is not.
  • As with this kickstarter campaign itself, if the target is not hit, nothing happens.  So if we don't get 500 people signed up, then the whole thing doesn't happen.  Even if you have a small twitter following or just a few facebook friends or a small group on linkedin or whatever else, that still is valuable in that it helps us reach that count of 500 people.

Thank you for reading!
That was annoying, and I apologize for that.  To make it up to you, I'll give a few more tidbits about Reverse AI War, which I teased in update #8.

  • It's a much smaller and shorter game, and made for serial replayability.  Ideally games are 5-25 minutes long, depending on the complexity of the scenario you set up.  I'd estimate 15 or 20 minutes on average.
  • I doubt it would be multiplayer, but who knows.  Probably that would just be irritating to play with others, though, to be honest.
  • The game is set in the Arcenverse, in the timeline after Bionic Dues and Release Raptor, but long before AI War, The Last Federation, Stars Beyond Reach, or Starward Rogue.
  • You play as the AI at the end of Earth's history in this game.  You may remember from the lore of Raptor that basically some humans got left behind on Earth while the rich and the upper classes fled to the stars.
  • The AI eventually chases the humans out into the galaxy, as we clearly see in the first AI War.  However, before it can comfortably do that, it needs to take care of the planet that we both came from.
  • The overall idea here is thus that you're trying to kill the last of the humans remaining on earth.  It really gives you a perspective of the sort of vaguely Risk-like experience that the AI has in AI War, but on territories on earth instead of planets and solar systems in space.
  • As with AI War, the AI (you, this time) have vastly superior resources to your foes, but also some weak spots.  This game is also a David and Goliath simulator... but this time you're Goliath tasked with destroying David?
  • If that sounds easy, then you're forgetting the core weakness of the AI: blindness.  You don't know WHERE all those pesky humans are.  You thus want to do various things to draw them out, including letting them take some territory from you in order to expose themselves.  Mwa ha ha, they think they're so sneaky...
  • ...of course, the more you do that, the more you actually do risk that they pop up in surprising force and destroy your quantum computer, thus ending you.  The other risk is that they escape into space, meaning that you've failed in your chief objective.
Overall I think it's a really fun concept, and it's simple and short and yet has good strategy to it.  As I mentioned before, I hope to have a WebGL online demo you can play by the end of November.

Depending on how things progress with this kickstarter, I might be convinced to give out copies of this to all backers above some certain tier... ;)

That's all for now!  Sorry for being annoying about the Headtalker thing, but if you can help out with it it is definitely appreciated.  And hopefully the Reverse AI War details make up for it.


There have been a number of objections to the Reverse AI War thing being talked about on our forums, and I felt like those are things that I wanted to address here, too. Here's the original thread: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,19276.msg209980.html#msg209980

The TLDR is that basically, no, that doesn't mean that we're giving up on this campaign. It doesn't indicate a lack of interest on my part in AI War II, either. It is an attempt to be honest and clear with you despite the fact that it may be mildly stupid from a PR standpoint, but I think that honesty tends to beat "smooth talking" in situations like this.

If you still have reservations, the post there is worth a read. I suppose the other biggest point is that we're neither just sitting here and hoping things improve (we're both making contingencies and actively trying to improve things at the same time). A lot of kickstarters do this thing where they seem to just be blindly trucking along, and anyone who looks at them goes "that's not going to fund," but they seem oblivious. I hate that so much. I doubt the people are oblivious, but I guess they don't want to show a lack of confidence and so they sure seem oblivious. I'd rather tell you as much as I can about what we're trying to do to make things better, instead.

2 comments Read more

October 18

AI War Classic Official 8.024 Patch Released!

Bugfixes and an AI War II kickstarter notice on the main menu.  The release notes cover the details, and we hope that you enjoy those fixes. :)

We also hope you'll stop by the campaign for AI War II and see if you think it's worth your time and/or money.  We are having an exceedingly hard time reaching our existing players for AI War Classic -- of which we need only about 3% to actually back the kickstarter -- and as such, our kickstarter is stalling.

We have a variety of ways in which we're working on pulling out of the stall, but by far the best option is getting the message out to people who would directly be interested.  Hopefully that includes you if you're reading this, but please also spread the word to other players you know who might have missed this!

Chris Park
Founder and Lead Designer, Arcen Games

15 comments Read more


"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

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.
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Very Positive (819 reviews)
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681 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
27.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 4
If you want death
If you want to be crushed
If you want to be massively everwhelmed by thousands of ennemies
If you want a big "YOU LOST" blinking red on your screen.
Then, you are masochist and this game is for you.

Forget all the difficulties you had before in other games, this is the ultimate gold standart of advanced strategic games.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
48.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 6
You must be adept at scraping the bottom of a barrel to play this game.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
326 of 333 people (98%) found this review helpful
230 people found this review funny
35.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 16, 2015
This game plots you against 2 super powerful AI's, and starts you with one planet, one base, and you must build up from there.

So my 2 other friends and i have a fleet of over 3000 ships. We have captured 12 combined planets, and we are doing amazingly, when we find the husk of an ancient ship.
It calls to us, and asks us to repair it.
We start repairing it with everything we had.
10 minutes later, it gets fixed, and we get a ship called the 'Exodian Blade.'
The Blade shoots a laser that instakills most ships in its path. However, it is super, super slow.
We become greedy, and we start capturing planets, with the Blade singlehandley defeating everything on it.

But when one of my scientists conducts a survey and finds a strange subspace signal, the AI gets mad, and launches a full scale assault.

Even with the Exodian Blade, we couldn't defend forever.

We had lost all but 2 of our planets; only our capital and a far-off isolated colony remained.
We had repositioned the 300 ships left from our 3000 ship fleet at the capital.
When suddenly, my friend completes a nuke.
He had been building it all game.

We use the nuke, completely destroying every ship and planet except for one AI's home and our captial.
We track down the AI home, and send the Exodian Blade there.

Meanwhile, a devourer golem appears, which slowly moves and instakills any ships next it, at my capital.

Fast forward, I had kited the golem away, and the Blade arrived at the AI home.
We were surprised to see that there were only 300 ships there. Nothing that we can't handle.

Then we realize that we needed to destroy 13 different shield generators around the planet that protected the AI core.

"We can do that! We have the most overpowered ship in the game! We can just instakill them all," we all exclaimed.

"The most overpowered ship in the game" looked like crap to what came in next.

A exogalactic wormhole appears, and through it come 3000 different max level ships, ships with missiles, ships with integrated shields, ships we have never evever seen before.

It took a minute for the Exodian Blade, with 200 million hitpoints, to die.

We hadn't destroyed a single thing on the AI home planet.

We had lost on difficulty 'very easy.'

I cant even imagine what the highest difficulty level is like.

This game is the only game that can make you go from amazing to crap so quickly, and still be fun.
This game is the only game that makes losing fun.
This game is the spawn of Satan.
But it might have well been a gift from heaven.
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232 of 237 people (98%) found this review helpful
21 people found this review funny
262.9 hrs on record
Posted: February 4, 2015
Ai War: Fleet Command feels like playing chess - without knowing all the moves, and with a cheating opponent.

First off, the opponent doesn't really cheat, but it feels that way to a new player. The learning curve is extremely steep, which means you will probably only lose for the first few dozen hours of playing - unless you choose one of the very easy difficulties.

The main problem most people will have is the completely different playstyle. Yes, it is an RTS, it looks and even plays as a classic RTS, yet when you go out from your home planet lasers blazing, burning and capturing new resources, you will lose. Always. How discouraging, right?

The reason to this is asymetry. Your opponent does not share your options. He does not build, he has everything. You on the other hand have but a single planet. Why not crush you in an instant? Cause he doesn't care, you're not important enough to be crushed. However if you blow up a few planets of his.. he might as well decide it's time for the human remnant to die.

All this said, the game *punishes* you for capturing important assets - planets, technology, etc. Each time you do such an action, the ai gets more aware of your "threat", which will mean stronger and more frequent attacks. From now till the end of game.

In conlcusion, there seems to be two games hidden under this title:
First, a guerilla war, in which the player gathers strength and tries to avoid antagonizing the enemy too much in fear of brutal retaliation.
Second, the glorious moment when the carefully prepared guerilla finally decides to go on par with the ai and fight a full on war - no more hiding.

Replayability: High, assuming you don't mind defeat. There are plenty of ai structures, and only some of them are used on each map. Throughout the expansions, a lot more has arrived to make the game entertaining and keep the player busy.

Multiplayer: Brilliant. The player slots can be changed on the fly by the game host. Playing a single player game and having a friend who wants to join? No problem, open a slot for him, give him a planet and you're playing within seconds. He's leaving again? No big deal, just close his slot, grab his units and go on with your game.

You probably don't want to play this if:
- You dislike frequent losing
- You dislike slow-paced games
- You dislike games with a steep learning curve
- You dislike constantly analysing the situation and like to just order your units to go and pillage instead.

You probably want to try this if:
- You like complicated strategy games
- You like analysing the strategic situation a lot
- You like slow-paced strategy games, in which fortifications actually work
- You are a hard-core strategy game player and like a challenge
- You like dwarf fortress and space strategy games
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264 of 277 people (95%) found this review helpful
24 people found this review funny
1,303.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 25, 2014
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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261 of 281 people (93%) found this review helpful
16 people found this review funny
114.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 15, 2014
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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184 of 196 people (94%) found this review helpful
121 people found this review funny
16.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 28, 2015
So.. I started a game to test the enemy AI, with each of the game's two AI opponents set to the 'Entrenched Homeworlder' preset and 10/10 difficulty (10/10, out of a possible 17 settings)

To "make things fair" I gave myself a +300% boost to resources and limited the technology available for the round (no starships, no shields, couple other things..)

The "match" lasted 6:12.

Six minutes for me to set up my base.. I built a bank of 15 sniper turrets, and two semi-crescents of laser turrets, and piled minefields around the two warp points in my home system (and lightly along the path I was sure the devils would cut straight towards my base, as well..).

I crafted a fleet of 200 ships, 50 of each available at the time. Set up tachyon drones and reinforced my swarm of engineers.. I created a Mobile Builder in case tragedy happened, and was just about to waste time setting up tractor beam turrets when they arrived.

The ship types didn't matter. Nothing mattered.

135 mixed enemy ships showed up and tore through the minefields like they weren't there. It killed some, but it wasn't enough. The spear of sea-foam green demons flew directly for my colony, shrugging off sniper and laser fire.. As my fleet approached, they simply drove through them.

They didn't want the fleet.

They took two things, in that 12 seconds: my home colony (which earns you a pleasantly red text stating YOU HAVE LOST!), and my energy supply (throwing my entire setup into electrical brown-out).

Then they turned and left. I was reminded of an assassin, gently dispatching their hapless and hopeless victim with grace and ease, silent.. and leaving, without fanfare.
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139 of 144 people (97%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
42.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 9, 2015
For me, it’s a rare thing indeed for a game to move from total obscurity to a fixed place on my hard drive in the course of a handful of days. Admittedly, I was less-than-enthused as I first started playing this little gem from Arcen Games. I was thoroughly prepared to slog through yet another space-based RTS, and be on way to bigger and better titles. Then, slowly, I began uncovering a depth of play that I just wasn’t expecting in a freshman game from a tiny indie studio. After a few more hours, I realized that I was not only having a blast with my initial runs through the game, I was planning many additional excursions even after my review was written. Although not for the faint of heart, AI Wars: Fleet Command is a surprising, delightful, and thoroughly engrossing RTS title.

AI Wars is just brimming with innovative twists on the 4X-style RTS. First up: regardless of the number of players, from the solo outing to an eight-player mash-up, AI Wars is always Human vs. AI. At first blush, this may sound like a Bad Thing, but it works quite well. Due to this co-op only setting, Arcen dodged a huge problem with many RTS games: the need for balancing several different factions.

Next up is the AI itself. In a very cool take on enemy behavior, the AI advances in difficulty and aggressiveness in direct proportion to the amount of territory the human teams take. Destroying key AI structures increases the “AI Progress” value, meaning a greater buildup of enemy forces, and a greater willingness for them to be used. The AIs themselves can be set from several different flavors at the start of a game, giving players the chance to face turtling AI, highly aggressive ones, tech-mad researchers, or some combination of the mix. Just one little change in AI setting makes for a very different game.

Speaking of game setup, there are scads of options to choose from at the outset. Galaxy size and planet distribution choices are endless, with millions of possible combinations (and the ability to preserve the random seed for those who want to re-try a favorite map). AI style and aggressiveness, as mentioned above, greatly changes the challenge level of the game. In addition, there are several choices about player tech level, bonus units, and other small flavor changes.

The scope of AI Wars is staggering. Played over a series of planetary gravity wells connected by jump points, a typical game can have dozens of active battlefronts with literally thousands upon thousands of ships slugging it out. Thankfully, the control scheme is more than capable of handling the hordes. With just a few clicks, entire sweeping fleets can be sent across the galaxy. Typical RTS necessities, such as tech upgrades, resource management, and unit building, are likewise streamlined to allow players to spend much more time in big-picture decisions. The tech tree itself is rather small compared to other games of this type, but it fits well with the flow nonetheless.

The strategy for playing AI Wars is something truly unique. Due to the AI Progress aspect, it’s often not in players’ best interest to completely take over every planet. Those that take that approach will soon find themselves swamped with enemy forces, since the AI doesn’t have to play by the same resource-limited rules that the players do. Careful scouting of neighboring systems, following by surgical strikes and opportunistic lunges is the name of the game. Because of this, players are often spreading out across the galaxy in a piecemeal fashion, leaving enemy forces interspersed between the growing empire. Thus, players need to find that perfect balance between careful defensive turtling and selective offense. Adding additional human teammates increases the difficulty proportionally, so the challenge doesn’t fade with the increased number of allies.

AI Wars looks good, although I did take a little while to warm up to the almost old-school style. The ability to quickly zoom in and out over massive battlefields is impressive, as is the ability for the game to visually keep everything straight. I found the background music to also be surprisingly good, since it’s often something I either just overlook or soon disable in this sort of game. The controls are solid, although they did seem just a little clunky at first. After a bit of time, however, I soon had everything flowing smoothly in my quest for human dominance.

All told, AI Wars: Fleet Command is bound to be a delight to any fan of the heavier strategy titles. It’s an absolute bargain as well, and this title has the rumblings of a very strong, even if not terribly large, community support. I was pleasantly surprised by just about everything I saw in this game, and I would heartily suggest this for those wanting a meaty, unique galactic RTS romp. Although not for the faint of heart (or even the casual strategy gamer), AI Wars: Fleet Command is a surprising, delightful, and thoroughly engrossing RTS title.
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120 of 125 people (96%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
10.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 27, 2014
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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126 of 134 people (94%) found this review helpful
8.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2013
Be warned - this game can get insane.

As the title suggests this game is a fleet (unit) management game, mixed in with a x4 type of experience. The scale of the game opens up suddenly and can get to the point where it just seems overwhelming, however if you stay with it and learn how it works you'll find a decent game.

I'd recommend taking this game slowly, even if the AI doesn't really want you to. You will die several times as you discover the past ways to link units together and arrange your resource collection and defending units to be most effective - that's just the nature of the game. As such this isn't really the ideal game for a beginner to x4 to step in, yet it might just be one of the most rewarding.
The depth in potential is deep and the 3 expansion packs have been done in the 'right way' adding more content to the game and improving gameplay. Thankfully the developers regularly patch AI War: Fleet Command too, which would suggest they're aware of their community, which for me is a major part of buying into a game.

I know some people aren't too keen on AI War due to the rather dated UI and graphics, but I think that's part of the charm. The lack of flashy graphics allows for resources and time to have been spent on the complex nature of the game's actual 'AI'. So, considering the game is called 'AI War', it's almost essential that the game itself has a top level AI behind the scenes making all of this work.
At times this can feel like the enemy are being hyper aggressive, but in truth they're learning about you the player. They're not just reacting to whatever race you play, they learn how you use that race and how you setup. Again this might not be ideal for a new comer, however it can help too, as sometimes they'll go 'easy' on you... for a little bit.

Overall AI War: Fleet Command is a very indepth game that doesn't seem to get much fanfare amonst the Steam Community. If you're a fan of x4 games then this is the game for you. If you can look past the very basic graphics there is a very deep experience waiting for you, perhaps one of the best experiences you'll ever have.
The added bonus is that this game is often VERY cheap on Steam during the Steam sales.
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Recently Posted
126.9 hrs
Posted: October 21
I have played dozens upon dozens of RTS games over the past two decades, and nostalgic factors aside, this game still manages to edge out my other all-time favorite Supreme Commander.

The graphics are borderline abhorrent, primarily using royalty-free recycled assets from an old game called Tyrian. In spite of this it remains, in my opinion, one of the best strategy games of all time for two main reasons: the truly epic scale (thousands upon thousands of ships can be battling it out in real-time), and the deviously clever AI.

Now, one of the aspects that sets this game apart from other, more traditional strategy games is the asymetical nature of the divide between you and your AI opponent. The AI are more powerful than you - way more powerful - and they always will be. Their ability to obliterate you from existence is limited only by how much they can be bothered to. The bigger a thorn in their side you become, the more attention you will draw, and they will start focusing more and more effort on halting your advance, and even pushing back when they deem it necessary. The key to victory is choosing your battles, intelligently allocating defensive resources, and strategically hitting the enemy where it hurts them (or helps you) the most.

If poor graphics or "unfair" game conditions are a turn-off for you, then you might want to consider other games instead of this one. However, if a proper challenge, legitimately intellegent AI that will actively exploit your vulnerabilities and never cease to surprise you with their tactics, and cooperative-based multiplayer gameplay are of interest to you, then this game should already be in your library accumulating gameplay time faster than your available free time should allow.

Oh, and as of this writing, Arcen Games (the developer) is currently running a kickstarter to get funding for a sequel featuring full 3D graphics, even better AI, multiple playable factions, and so much more. They are one of the most community-involved, dedicated, talented and transparent devs I have ever come across, and on those merits alone I can recommend their games without reservation. If you have any interest in seeing this successor come to life, go support them!
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131.2 hrs
Posted: October 20
AI War: Fleet Command (AIW), is an Asymmetrical 4X Tower Defense RTS. Which I know probably sounds very jumbled up so let me break that down a little more.

Asymmetrical: While you are playing AI Wars, the computer is playing something more akin to Risk.

4X: Pretty self explainatory it follows the "eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate" style of gameplay.

Tower Defense: This is the one that threw me off it at first because I generally don't enjoy TD games, however, in AIW it is more a the defensive side of the game, in that you have a whole arsenal of turrets at your disposal to defend your planets with, while your RTS fleet is off doing offense. They are more akin to towers, and turrets from a traditional RTS like Starcraft or Warcraft.

RTS: It is a real time strategy, with a grand campaign feel for it. You have your more 'tactical' fighting at the planet level where you might be maneuvering your fleet to best deal with the AI, but on the Galaxy map that planet is only one of 80 in a normal size game (You can go as little as 10 planets, or as high as 120 I believe)

Story: The war for humanity is over, we lost... the AI has all but wiped humans off the face of the galaxy leaving only pockets left in the abyss before turning their attention to more pressing concerns. You play as one of those pockets, and using the AI's absent mindedness to begin rebuilding the human race, and take revenge. Assuming you can be sneaky enough to not draw the full ire of the AI before your plans go off.

Personal Take: I've dumped well over 100+ hours into this game over the time I've had it, which is a huge amount for me, however, a drop in the bucket to many of it's fans. This is a game where you start with 1 planet that you call home, everything else is owned by the AI (technically it is two AI, but they are a team). As such you have to be very strategic about how you move forward. If you just kill everything around you, you end up drawing attention to yourself in the form of AI Progress, which in turn causes the AI to send bigger, and stronger attacks against you. If you're playing anywhere near your skill level in the game, that can mean disaster for you. It's very much a game of learning how to push to what you need without necessarily steamrolling everything. The AI in the game is phenomenal, and hands down the best computer AI I've ever seen in any sort of RTS/Strategy game.

It does have it's downsides though as well... the biggest being that there is a pretty steep learning curve for the game. The tutorials do an excellent job teaching you the different aspects and controls of the game, but it is a lot to take in, even with just the base game and no extra fluff turned on. (It's grown a fair bit in the 7 years it has been out).

It's other drawback is that it is a hard game, a very hard game. This is mostly by design, as remember we've already lost the war, when you start the game, the AI already has 10k+ ships floating around in the galaxy and getting more as you play. There is a joke among the hardcore players (the 5-6k+ hours played folks) that winning on 10/10 (the hardest difficulty) is a bug, which it normally is. The developers for this game have spent the last 7 years essentially playing a PVP game against their player base of seeing how they exploit various AI missteps at 10/10 and then fixing those with the help of the players.

There is a demo on Steam if you want to get your feet wet first. (I love games that provide Demos) If you do enjoy it, or have enjoyed it in the past they announced a few days back that they are making a new one, and are currently running a kickstarter for it if you are interested. They are adding a bunch of new things to it, but the one I'm most looking forward to is the 3D graphics, and re-designed UI.
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Stellaris Danando
9.7 hrs
Posted: October 19
Had this game since release on their website, clocked in 1500 hours before steam compatibility,
think C&C meets a 2d rome total war meets cossacks meets rise of nations meets space invaders(on a impossible scale) include a heavily complex and intellingent AI, massive warfare, in a huge galaxy!

dyson is overpowered, but this is a good thing....or bad....idk :'( they jsut beat me up

10/10 would get killed by dyson again
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292.5 hrs
Posted: October 14
okey so this is my reveiw. sort of. the game is lovley sure there is some that could be improved, like modding but they will put that into ai war II. so im looking forward for that. :) but the negative reviews are just about the graphic and how hard the multitask etc. but you dont need to learn that in order to play the game. i dint, it aint hard its quite easy when you start thinging about it. its even says what do what and how to do what in the UI menu. but im taking my time to read it and it makes stuff more clear. this isnt a game you can just leave on and whatch youtube for 30 minits couse if you do that you migth be dead. igot all the dlc and if you gonna buy the game buy the dlc to, couse the game gets so much more fun and harder. its a challange for every lvl and ship you use can change the game, eather by choosing plane as a start ship. it can move fast and if the enemy hasnt something it can scout whit. then they wont see you comming. hope this help :) and if you wanna add me and play feel free to do so :)
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24.9 hrs
Posted: October 9
A very unique 4x space game. You have to think about the reaction to your actions as much as your actions themselves.
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35.0 hrs
Posted: October 7
What an amazing game. Visuals are ok, its not Ashes of The Singularity published in 2016, which I didnt recommend, but gameplay is way better than Ashes since this AI is published in 2009.

AI is a game that teaches you to lose with dignity. The AI is based on an impressive concept that will become aware of your existence once you start exploring and conquering. More aware it becomes more dangerous the AI turns out to be. The player's aim is to attain a balance between conquering and defending while zoning on the AI home world.

And finally AI war II is coming out. I am definetly getting friends and coworkers buying it.
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0.4 hrs
Posted: October 4
didint like it
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0.1 hrs
Posted: September 30
Did you ever read that series by Jack Campbell? The Lost Fleet series where theyre a small force deep inside an enemy galaxy? Well this is that, only the AI are smarter than the Syndicate and you dont have any heroes from 100 years ago to save you out of cryosleep...
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