Can anyone build an empire in a place like this? Other factions are naturally suspicious of newcomers and may wage war at the first sign of unidentified craft. Here, a natural death is an uncommon luxury.
User reviews:
Overall:
Mixed (228 reviews) - 68% of the 228 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Mar 22, 2016

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Recent updates View all (16)

August 4

Polaris Sector 1.05 Open Beta now available!

Hi,

Patch 1.05 is now available in the Steam Open Beta branch for download and testing.

You can access the beta by right-clicking on Polaris Sector in your library and selecting Properties. You can then click the Betas tab and select "openbeta" from the drop down box. Steam will then sync your files to the new version.

(If it does not appear, please restart Steam)

Please let us know on the forums if any issues you've had are fixed or if you find any new issues.

Thanks!

Changelog:

- Search for objects on a global map (fleets, ships, stars, planets,
heroes)
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=737379960
- Keyboard shortcuts for fleets and stars on a global map
- Upkeep info added to the ship info screen
- Possibility to name fleets
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=737379469
- Configuration option to always allow initial ship placement in combat, even when attacking
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=737380039
- Shortcuts for the "Move to a new fleet" action and "Merge Fleets" action when you have a fleet selected (Ctrl+N and N)
- Allowed a bit closer zoom-in for the galaxy map
- Interdictor module is now much quicker to research

- Fixed a bug with experience points lost for small ships in hangars
- Fixed a bug with different scanner/jammer types not showing in the design info
- Fixed a bug with "radioactive world" race lacking hydroponics

- AI updated to allow it to refuel at systems controlled by allies with "allow refueling" deals

6 comments Read more

July 5

Polaris Sector 1.04c Patch

After extensive testing, the 1.04c patch for Polaris Sector is released!
The game is constantly being upgraded, and the developers have recently asked the community what they would like to see in the next major update. So stay tuned for more news!


Changelog:

• Vast modding API improvement
• Heroes backend is now fully functional
• New types of space object types in additional to planets (asteroid belts, for example) that can be colonized and developed
• Destruction of planets
• Weapon type that can fire capital ships only (ex. SW Death Star weapon)
• Customizable look for missiles
• Satellites and stations can now have fuel cells and refuelling stations to act as a refuel and repair bases far from colonized planets
• Separated fuel reserve from travel range, meaning that a ship or station without engines (and thus no travel range) can still has a fuel reserve
• Added the possibility for tankers to reserve some fuel for themselves
• Possibility to use several mods simultaneously
• AI tweaks both in combat and on strategic map
• Fixed the exploit that allowed to destroy factories after building orbital factories
• Fixed the Military Training Center
• Fixed CellsEditor starting incorrectly the new ship body without cells
• Fixed the problem with AI fleets attacking from extreme range due to “AI fuel cheat”
• Fixed calculations of autoresolve for some battles that involve satellites
• Changed Science Domination conditions
• Science development index is now shown in percentage, not in the raw points

4 comments Read more

Reviews

“It’s a damn impressive game and well worth a play”
90 – Brash Games

“Polaris Sector takes the best parts of the space 4X formula and gives them a few fresh, delightful twists.”
eXplorminate

“Super awesome game. I highly recommend it, one of the best 4x in a long time.”
Angry Joe

About This Game

The ancients who named this sector ‘Polaris’ sure had a unique sense of humor. Polaris - the bright star, the star of hope and faith. Well the Polaris sector has precious little of either; just a wilderness of gas, stars, and supernovas soaked in treachery, oppression, and the lust for power.


Can anyone build an empire in a place like this? Other factions are naturally suspicious of newcomers and may wage war at the first sign of unidentified craft. Here, a natural death is an uncommon luxury. You look weak? Pirates and scavengers will plunder your planets. You show military strength to discourage potential enemies? Your rivals will combine their forces to eliminate the threat.


Total domination requires many diverse stratagems. Shaking the hand of a powerful emperor, designing new warships in secret, investing everything in fundamental sciences to gain technology before your competitors - all may be the road to success. But will you have the time to implement your strategy? Will you be visionary enough to build weapons and technologies that will make the difference in battles fought decades from now? Find the right balance between fundamental and applied sciences to stay ahead of the opposition. Find the right balance between classic designs and crazy prototypes and your ships will be feared across the galaxy. Your engineers and scientists provide you a high level of flexibility, but it’s your decisions that will shape the empire’s fate.


Many a mercenary or adventurer has come here seeking wealth and power, and all their stories are now just whispers in the void. Polaris is a black hole for living species, and empires rise and fall in the blink of an eye. Maybe the leader that will bring stability to this zone hasn’t been born yet, if they will ever exist…


And on the pedestal these words appear:
'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

- Shelley

Features
An epic and dangerous playground: randomly generate a galaxy able to host up to 900 stars.
Full customization: external threats, pirates, number of races… you can set up the world that fits your own tastes!
Full control over ship design: want to make a corvette into a drone carrier? Go ahead. Want to make a freighter into a scout? No problem. Your creativity is the only limit!
Explore: send scout vessels to find new mines to exploit, new planets to colonize, and to establish contact with other empires.
Innovative research system: technologies and equipment will get unlocked depending on your investments in fundamental and applied research.
Diplomacy: Dialogue with other factions to gain their favor, trade goods, and make military agreements to fight common enemies.
Command your troops: when a battle starts you can join the battlefield and maneuver your ships in a tactical mode. Alternatively use the auto-resolve mode when you have more urgent tasks to attend to in your empire.
Unique espionage system: seed false intelligence to enemy spies and lure them into a trap!

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows® Vista/7/8/10
    • Processor: Core i3
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX or OpenGL Compatible Video card
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Mixed (228 reviews)
Recently Posted
Razi??
74.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 20
Great game! Designing your fleet from the scratch is damn fun and combining with other management features makes game really exciting.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
BigPapaGun
110.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 15
good game dont know why approval is not higher
Helpful? Yes No Funny
jcaracc2003
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 9
This is the first game I ever refunded. It really needs some more time as an EA title. With great 4X titles like Distant Worlds: Universe, Stellaris, and Endless Space, a space 4X really has some stiff competition. I felt that the UI was byzantine at best and frankly, the game does not offer the modding aoabilities of DWU or Stellaris and content wise, IMHO. it's rather thin.

I DO think that a very good 4X is lurking there and I will purchase it again when there is evidence that the game has improved.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
i-dot
43.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 3
It is the Best 4X-Strategy of this year!
Much better in everything than the remake of Master of Orion.
And it have much better Space Battles than Stellaris
(I mean the strategy & politics in Stellaris - are very peasant
but the battles in Stellaris - Completely SUXXXXX!)

The Polaris has
- the AWESOME spaceship designer
- the good space combats
- the deep ground assaults system
- the realistic Research&Development system supporting designing of ships, fighters and stations
- the deep strategic part supporting automation of micromanagement (if you bored by micromanagement)
all the best in this year!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Marduk
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 22
Almost all of the reviews, both good and bad, are lies. This game in its current state is a disaster. The base code is a mismash of a bunch of much better games spackled together poorly and with bad graphics. Anything you might like about this game comes from nostalgia for other games you already own anyway. The ship building is a crappier version of StarDrive, the races are not quite stolen from Master of Orion, the planetary interaction is identical to every other space 4X ever made except that it's poorly balanced and not at all thought out, the space combat is a dumbed down version of Sword of the Stars, but the most inane thing about the game is easily the "tech tree" which is not a tree at all and for some reason requires you to spend almost a thousand years (equivalent of about 150 turns in MoO) developing hydroponic farming even though you've already invented interstellar travel. The AI is omniscient (read: terrible) and the political system has a lot of options that the AI goes for exactly 0% of the time. It's always war... even the peace-loving nerdy koala bears instantly declare war and deny all economic alliances no matter what you do.

This game isn't just garbage, it's the same garbage we've had for twenty five years and for less than half of this ridiculous price.

Steam has denied me a refund because I spent 4.4 hours trying desperately to figure out why this game is supposedly worth $40 and they now refuse to return any game that you've played longer than 2 hours... you won't even get through the damn unit production and maneuvering tutorial in 2 hours. Don't waste your money.

Yes, I'm salty right now... I just flushed $40 down the toilet that I could have used to support TWO developers who are making games worth playing, but instead I'm stuck with this steaming heap of poo that I will never play again.

NOTE TO THE DEVELOPER: Convince Steam to give me a wallet refund and I will happily delete this review and never look back, because at the very least you'll have proven to me that you're not actually a thief. As it stands now, I'm pretty sure you're just a thief.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
poeticsophist
5.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 20
There is simply too much going on.

The tutorial only really covers space combat (a minor part of the game from what I can tell) and glosses over the rest.

Some ships can travel from planet to planet, and others with the same engines cannot and the only explanation is that it doesn't have the right kind of engine.

About 5 minutes after I meet an alien species, they declare war on me regardless of what I do to try and foster good relations.

The development tree is so convoluted that there is no way to plan advancement.

Good concept, poor execution.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
gregory.knapp
119.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 18
Add Earth-like planets for the K and F-Class star systems, and make it fast.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
igor.hoffman
278.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 14
At the beginning I was very happy with this game. Now, I hate it. Too many crashes and tons of bugs.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
RandomAttack
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 8
I've played this game extensively (off-line), and many features are quite good. However, I have two main gripes:

1) AI gets unlimited fuel. This absolutely destroys any attempt at strategy, because small AI ships (Corvettes) can travel over huge distances (while you cannot) and sack your colonies--often while they are still defenseless. This is most apparent in the critical early game. Absolutely game-breaking for me. Some people praising the AI are probably just seeing these AI "super Corvettes" cruising in from ridiculous distances.

2) Feels somewhat unfinished. There are a lot of features that are not yet implemented in the game (e.g., heroes). Apparently open to modders, but that's not as user friendly as most games (need to recompile files, etc.).

Could be a GREAT game, but the fuel cheat breaks it for me, and it apparently can't be modded. Recommend holding off until ths is addressed.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
eznx89
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 5
So, I have invested some time into this game. Plainly, I finished learning how to play and took it a bit further. I found the game intuitive enough to learn without much difficulty. The game is responsive, beautiful, and a more accurate in terms of time scales than other similar games I have played. By timescales, I am referring to ship movements, and building. This fact alone made me want to play more, and I will as I have more time to do so. Overall, I wholly recommend this game to those who enjoy an expansive and in-depth experience into this genre.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
192 of 222 people (86%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
80.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 23
Lets get to it.

Pro:

  1. A.I. (Articial Intelligence) - I cannot emphasis or stress enough of how extremely good the A.I. is. It's probably one of the most advanced one I've seen in a 4x game genre. I absolutely love how it handles playing against me and handling my orders for planets, colonization, and etc (without the need to micromanage everything). Again, the A.I. in this game is just so good that it cannot be expressed sufficiently of how good it is. Even the developer of this game admits that hard is very tough for him.

  2. Automating - This relates to the A.I. but one significant difference. I love the fact that I can explore the galaxy and leave behind orders to colonize it and what kind of focus I would want on the colony. I checked on their build orders and made sure it fit. I have to say that I don't think I can do it any better than the A.I. except on my core worlds, which I micro-manage personally as it's the engine to my war machines. :) With this ability, I was able to colonize very efficiently and quickly without having to waste hours on fine-tuning it.

  3. Resource Management/Economy - I absolutely love the fact that credits were completely eliminated and it only boils down to about 8 resources needed (I think I counted right). What's really nice about this is that you know which kind of planets you need to get specific type of resources. Some resources are very rare but for a good reason as they are access to very powerful technologies. Along with resource management, they are used as upkeep for your fleets as well. I think the developer has done an excellent job in balancing the resource consumption vs resource generation that every decision you make really counts.

    The other thing to note is population. The way the developer has set it up is to make the population really count. This reminds me of the game Imperium Galactica II, where population was something to watch as you would put them to work. The same concept works here. You can build something (don't have to worry about placing it) then have the population grow to work on it. There is a limit of how many buildings you can place and it shows you in the planetary screen. The A.I. does a beautiful job in helping you to get the population necessary to work in the buildings you want. Again, this relates to grand strategy.

  4. Science & Technologies - I'm used to a linear path for technologies. However, this is an extremely refreshing take on gaining technologies. Instead of just building labs and generating more points to research faster to obtain technologies faster, the developer took an different approach, which I truly think mirrors how this world works. You have two path, which is fundamental and applied . Fundmental allows you to open up other branches of science to gain more exotic technologies (I.E. Antimatter). Applied gives you the actual technologies to use. It makes a lot of sense and I love it. You can control the direction of how you want your research to go by setting priorities, which speeds up your ability to obtain the specific technologies you want.

    I think this approach is far better for an 4x game.

  5. Customization - The ability to customize your ship is fairly common but for this specific game, they added something that I immensely enjoyed, multiple layers of the ships. If I wanted to create an spy ship, I'll use a freighter that has three layers to it. Oh, the options I could have is immense, especially when you get all the technologies. I like the fact that you have to be decisive on what kind of ship you want and you have to make sacrifices to decide what that ship will specialize in. You can't have one ship that does everything. You actually need different ship designs for specific role. I think the developer has nailed this perfectly.
  6. Random Events - I have to say when I was playing on normal, I really had to slug it out with the pirates at the beginning of the game. The pirates would take advantage of you and if they got you in a position of weakness, they'd open an dialogue and ask you for 10% payment of resources "to protect you" and stop their attacks. It was a really cool thing to see that. However, it didn't just stop there but there were external threats that really shook up the game and it took every ounce of my abilities to beat it back (this was just on normal!!). However, it was rewarding to finally defeat it although I admit that that the ending was a little anti-climatic but the fight to get there was epic.

    To put it in perspective, I had over 350 planets colonized and only four of them were my major shipyards. The external threat took out three of them and I only had one ship yard building my massive warships but it takes about 18 years per warship. I was forced to retool some of my planets to industralization to try to produce more warship, which caused problems with food resources and among others. It made me sweat but this is the kind of game that has me playing for 10 hours straight, just trying to beat it back.

    Good job on keep me on my toes, even late game isn't a guaranteed that you'll win.

  7. Tactical Combat - In my humble opinion, I think this game has took what Master of Orion 2 had and improved on it. The amount of control that we have in tactical combat is unbelievable and the A.I. kicks butt in helping you to manage it. I love the fact that I can control time (speeding it up or slowing it down). Even if I made the speed too high and didn't pause it in time, the A.I. does it for you and puts it in slow-motion so you can still have time to issue orders. Absolutely one of the best feature I've seen.

    Even better, I can quickly sort out my ships and put them in groups then control them based on that or select all fights or capital ships. The developer has made it really easy for you to manage your fleets in tactical combat.

Con: :
  1. Diplomacy - To the developer's credit, the diplomacy is actually pretty good for a game like this. I was actually impressed with the options available for dialogue. You can convince the AI to enter in treaties with you, such as economic, scientific, open borders, and etc.

    However, what frustrated me was that I was unable to ascertain how benetifical these treaties were to me. For example, I get an economic treaty but I have no indication of how much this helps me in my resources or such. I tried hovering over the treaty to get a tooltip information but nothing. I checked in my resources to see if it shows up as additional or not but I couldn't see a difference. I canceled it then recorded the number then re-instated the treaty and the numbers didn't change after 10 years. It was the same for scientific treaties, I couldn't ascertain the benefit either.

    Even more frustrating was the inability to see what causes their attitudes to change. I had one A.I. that had negative attitude all the way but no reason why. I couldn't tell and I tried tooltips and etc, nothing.

  2. Graphic - To be fair, it's pretty good for a one-developer show but I like aesthestic but I don't give it my full weight in negative.

After playing three games, one on easy then two on normal. I'm too afraid to try hard yet because the AI is incredibly good, even on normal. Easy, it was a little work but easy. I don't think I've seen a game where the AI in every aspect is excellent. To put it bluntly, this is probably one of the best 4x game I've played in an extremely long time.

When I was playing this, I was reminded of the game Sins of the Solar Empire because it dealt in resources (also credit but not in this game). I really liked how the game focused on allowing you to employ your grand strategies while enjoying some tactical combat.

Overall, I highly, highly, highly recommend this game for your 4x game fix. :)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
127 of 157 people (81%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
128.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 22
Excerpted from the full at eXplorminate.

Rating
Recommended

Summary
Polaris Sector takes the best parts of the space 4X formula and gives them a few fresh, delightful twists. Empire management is quick, easy, and slick. Espionage is something new and beautiful. Ship design and waging war are a blast. And a strong enemy AI rounds out the package. But for each strong iteration and innovation, there’s another system that doesn’t quite go the distance. Even with that shortcoming, its unique mechanics and well-thought-out implementation give it a strong identity and raison d’etre.

You Might Like This Game If:
  • You’re looking for a strong game that puts an interesting, original spin on our beloved genre’s conventions
  • You want to manage your empire on a higher level than Master of Orion II or Galactic Civilizations III, but lower than Distant Worlds
  • You like to experience 4X games as wargames, with a heavy focus on space combat and ship design
  • You enjoy a competent AI that can engage and even surprise you from time to time
  • You’d like to try out a tech system that, despite not being revolutionary, dares to do things differently

You Might Not Like This Game If:
  • You want a familiar game that does things by the book
  • You like managing complex planetary infrastructures
  • 4X games that focus on military conflict don’t hold your interest
  • You prefer or expect a fully-polished game or AAA graphics
  • You prefer playing multiplayer
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
99 of 128 people (77%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
Recommended
12.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 22
This game is good. I've spent a lot of time playing it over the past few months (beta testing and all that) and I'm glad to see it has finally been released. I provide 2 versions of reviews, a first impressions video version and a written version. A little something for both camps.

Gameplay Footage:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-mk3TXp3Vk

So let's get right down to business. What is Polaris Sector? Polaris Sector is a 4x Real-time Grand Strategy game in the same vein as Distant World: Universe or a real time version of Space Empires or even Endless Space. It features a real-time battle system where you command ships and fighters against pirates and all manner of Xenos Scum. There are 9 races which all feature unique ship types and can be customized via point distribution in over 13 passive buffs. As is usual with these sorts of games, you have research (an exhaustingly extensive research tree might I add), exploration, espionage and ship customization. You can also rename planets and systems. It's your standard run of the mill 4x Space game.

What sets it a part from other games of the same vein?
Not much to be honest but it does something very well that a lot of 4x Space Strategy games forget... it feels streamlined and the gameplay is relatively fast paced. You always have something to do but because you can just pause the game or slow the speed to a crawl, you never feel overwhelmed. What's better, is a lot of the processes can be automated like planet colonization, invasion planning or just building up your planets so the game doesn't become overly tedious. You've also got about 6 resources that you have to manage. While that may seem like a lot for this type of game, it's surprisingly not. It's fun trying to find planets that produce the resources you need and meeting production. For a one man project, this game feels INSANELY well done.

What's wrong with the game?
Not much. The game itself is pretty fine tuned. There are few things that bother me with this game like the overpowered fighters. It doesn't seem to matter how technologically advanced your ships are, fighters are practically impossible to beat in large numbers. Seriously, just field a fleet with about 10-20 carriers and build 200 fights with heavy ion guns and I guarantee there is nothing that can stop you. I'd recommend bringing down the power of fighters considerably as they are just a cheap tactic at this stage in the game.
The game can also feel a bit tedious later on. For example, in the later stages of the game, it can become a bit tedious having to colonize everything or invading large empires (but remember you can automate that process so that's just me being too lazy to automate it).

In summation, this is a solid 4x Real-Time Space Strategy game that I've really enjoyed my time with. The streamlined and relatively fast pace at which the game flows means I happily spend dozens of hours glued to the screen managing my little Space Empire. I highly recommend this one for fans of the 4x genre.
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198 of 281 people (70%) found this review helpful
33 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 22
Almost all of the reviews, both good and bad, are lies. This game in its current state is a disaster. The base code is a mismash of a bunch of much better games spackled together poorly and with bad graphics. Anything you might like about this game comes from nostalgia for other games you already own anyway. The ship building is a crappier version of StarDrive, the races are not quite stolen from Master of Orion, the planetary interaction is identical to every other space 4X ever made except that it's poorly balanced and not at all thought out, the space combat is a dumbed down version of Sword of the Stars, but the most inane thing about the game is easily the "tech tree" which is not a tree at all and for some reason requires you to spend almost a thousand years (equivalent of about 150 turns in MoO) developing hydroponic farming even though you've already invented interstellar travel. The AI is omniscient (read: terrible) and the political system has a lot of options that the AI goes for exactly 0% of the time. It's always war... even the peace-loving nerdy koala bears instantly declare war and deny all economic alliances no matter what you do.

This game isn't just garbage, it's the same garbage we've had for twenty five years and for less than half of this ridiculous price.

Steam has denied me a refund because I spent 4.4 hours trying desperately to figure out why this game is supposedly worth $40 and they now refuse to return any game that you've played longer than 2 hours... you won't even get through the damn unit production and maneuvering tutorial in 2 hours. Don't waste your money.

Yes, I'm salty right now... I just flushed $40 down the toilet that I could have used to support TWO developers who are making games worth playing, but instead I'm stuck with this steaming heap of poo that I will never play again.

NOTE TO THE DEVELOPER: Convince Steam to give me a wallet refund and I will happily delete this review and never look back, because at the very least you'll have proven to me that you're not actually a thief. As it stands now, I'm pretty sure you're just a thief.
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69 of 89 people (78%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
6.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 26
To start I was a beta tester for this game for several months before it launched so I have many more hours with the game than Steam reports.

I've played tons of 4x games over the years from MOO to Gal Civ to Sword of the Stars to Endless Space to Stardrive to Distant Worlds to... you get the idea. This game offers several unique things that keep me coming back to it:

+ Importance of long-term planning: In most 4x games if you run low on a resource you can just shift population around to fix things quickly. Not so here. You need to carefully plan out your economy, planetary governor focuses, and so much more. The level of in-depth empire management this game offers is only matched by Distant Worlds in my opinion which is a good thing.

+ Research: Finally a unique approach to research split between developing general fields of research areas that generate specific technologies over time. It takes a little getting used to, but overall it is nice to have something different from the standard tech trees most other 4x games offer.

+ Combat (specifically fighters): Finally a game where I can design and build proper carriers with swarms of fighters and bombers to use in combat to overwhelm my enemies. Point defense systems can shred fighters though, so a constant balance is needed. This is a game where you can study an enemy's ship designs and build counters to those designs which is always nice to see.

+ Strong AI: I've seen the AI expand agressively when appropriate and seek friendly relations when I am in a position of stength. AI can be a weak point for many 4x games, but so far I've happen pleasantly satisified with my computer opponents thus far.

- Exploration: The dev tried to add in some interesting things like anamolies and wormholes to help make the galaxy feel more interesting, but most systems will feel very bland as you search the galaxy. The lack of unique things like minor races and chained events/quests makes exploration a little dull, but then again that is to be expected in a game of this scale with so many systems to explore.

Overall this is an easy recommendation from me. The dev is very active and responsive and they deserve credit for the great game they've put together. If you are a 4x fan who enjoys empire management on a large scale this game is for you.
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84 of 113 people (74%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
8.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 23
I had the fortune to play the Beta before release and have been pleasantly surprised after initially being unaware of the game. I’m now totally hooked on Polaris Sector to the point that I would rate this game more highly than any Space 4X release in the last 12 months, including Galactic Civilizations 3 and Stardrive 2.

Here are the top reasons why:

1. There is a competent AI which is impressive for a new release. The AI builds decent colonies and uses well designed ships. If you are too aggressive too early an invasion will often falter and you have to think about what you are building against the AI and how to best deploy them in combat.

2. The game is well balanced and avoids out of control exploitation. For example, you can't build early game unbeatable doom fleets, you don't find huge amounts of weapons late game that are worthless and so on.

3. The colony governors are really good. I don’t feel the need to excessively micromanage colonies which vastly reduces the tedium mid to late game. In fact the game shines mid to late for various reasons including the ability to significantly speed up the game.

4. There is a surprising amount of content for a new release. The game includes an end game threat that had me starting at the screen with my mouth open in shock (noting that I consider the Shakturi in Distant Worlds to be total wimps), a novel ship based espionage system and a good ship design system where component selection matters in-game.

5. There are some really cool Spiral galaxy maps to play which can make the game really interesting strategically. For example you might start in an outer ring and find yourself blocked by other races from accessing inner rings or the core without using star tunnels and tankers to provide enough range for early to mid-game fleets.

6. During the beta I have had no crashes at all and just a couple of bugs which the developer promptly responded to.

Some cautions to consider:

1. It’s primarily a war game and although there is some variety in the domination victories (e.g. technology), there aren’t a wide variety of victory conditions.

2. The innovative research is great but it takes a game or two to really get used to it so some patience is recommended.

3. There is some exploration but it could use more events and anomalies to spice it up.

4. The combat is fun and tactical but isn’t as pretty as some other games.

5. A Battle Arena to test designs would have been great but unfortunately not in the game.

6. The tutorials are very limited so checking some Youtube videos might help.
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77 of 107 people (72%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Recommended
15.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 22
900 star's, 9 races, external threats, pirates, ship designer, espionage, research and Explore, what more do you want?

rename your own planets and star's, ships and almost anything else is possible in the game and very easy to alter to you own tastes and speed

easy to mod :)

some great endings, average play time on smallest map's can be a few hours, on the largest maps with all settings on max, it can take a few days to a week to finish one game, and each game is different, each star system is re done each new game load, so re play value.

200+ hours tested on the beta, with 13 hours spent pre release on this version your getting now, so stable, works great on windows 10 low on resourses, high in value and game play, and best of all....... fun

i may be biased so don't take my word for it, play it now and make your own mind up while you wait for more mods to be announced while you learn how to play and win and own your own part in history, as will you conquer all? or end up a forgotten race of nobodies
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53 of 69 people (77%) found this review helpful
Recommended
216.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 25
Its not good and its not bad as well, what irritates me is the major micro management, like when you have carriers and fighters are destroyed, it just does not refill them by itself, you first have to go to a planet, build them again manually, load them manually into carrier hangar, that is a bit tedious. The other thing is when fighters missiles is finished in a battle, you have to tell them manually to go and refill, first land them, then launch them again, no auto refill.
The ship design is ok, i like it but still LOVE Star Drive 1 ship design.

At this moment for me the best game still is Distant Worlds Universe. I just love the scale and the private sector system. Only drawback, you cannot terraform and ship design is a bit tedious or crap way. If it had like Star Drive 1 ship design then the game would have been complete.

I find the AI in Polaris Sector not so good when it comes to politics. I have tried several games now and its basically, give me this planet or these resources and if you say no its war. The AI declares war very quickly, basically like Star Drive 2. So the politics not so good in Polaris Sector.

At this moment i will give it a YES but just barely made me choose YES. I will revise after playing some more.
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33 of 37 people (89%) found this review helpful
Recommended
32.1 hrs on record
Posted: April 10
I have mixed feelings.

I think this game probably has the best tech tree of any 4X game ever and that's saying something. The tech tree is original, fun, allows for rapid adaptation of strategy, but really, most importantly, it shows us something new that we haven't really seen before in the increasingly tired and already-done-before 4X genre by splitting fundamental and applied sciences and allowing research focusing w/ priorization. True game design innovations don't really happen that often, but this game genuinely has one in its tech tree.

Other people have criticized the game's tendency to go "on the rails" (i.e. the game plays itself), and I don't agree. I played in a galaxy w/ 800 stars and if you don't have macroeconomic automation, that just gets tedious. And most of the automation is around invasion and colonization, which are things I *really* don't want to micromanage. But if you do, the game absolutely lets you. The automated construction of planetary buildings seemed totally fine to me because most planets can only get a very limited subset of buildings anyway and if you wanted to micro it without going nuts, you could use build queue templates to do that. I personally found myself wishing the automation was even more automated than it is. One thing that kept cropping up for me was that some planets would max population and all population would be completely allocated. Only unallocated population can be used to colonize a planet and the automated colony ships would queue up at fully allocated planets, waiting for 1000 population to free up when that was impossible instead of just going to a planet where it was actually possible for population growth to happen. That forced me to micro a bit to unblock my expansion and by late game, that was pretty unwelcome. That said, the population growth mechanics in general just seemed really artificial and strange.

Fleet combat is OK. Not great, not bad, just OK. I'd have liked to see more utility modules that give more variation in strategy. Weapon variety starts to fall over near the end of the game where high damage torpedoes become increasingly critical and alpha damage starts being more important than anything else. Basically I think fleet combat in general needs more variety and balance tweaks. Shields should recharge much more quickly, kiting should be a more viable strategy, utility modules should get more emphasis, broadside combat should get more emphasis for capital ships (i.e. put all the big hardpoints on broadsides, small turrets only for 360). There should be utilities that can only be placed on smaller and medium ships to force fleet variety instead of the usual 4X late game battleships-only BS.

Espionage system is utterly useless and feels like it was tacked on as an afterthought. Diplomacy system is better than average, though I felt like AI was perhaps a little too aggressive diplomatically speaking on Normal and Hard difficulties.

But I think the biggest complaint I have is the end game. I won't spoil it for you, but due to what I believe is a known bug, the win condition can become completely impossible because certain enemies have unbounded growth. That said, as I was getting to late game and essentially steam rolling everything in sight and thinking, "Man, game got too easy all of a sudden", the game flipped things around and made things much more challenging.

I have very mixed feelings though on the end game. It's sort of the opposite of deus ex machina. Out of nowhere, with no prior warning, you essentially get a boss fight that you likely were not preparing for. At least in MOO, you know the Orions are a thing and you probably have to fight them at some point. In Polaris, poof, Big Bad, and now things are going horribly wrong. There's no strategy you just have to research stuff fast enough and then build up a big fleet before the Big Bad gets too big. If they get too big, welp, too bad, you lose. Or rather you don't lose but you can't win. And that sucks.

Should you buy it? Depends on if you can stomach the current just-shy-of-AAA price tag. I think it's a good 4X game with by far the best tech tree of any 4X, but it's crippled by a bad end game and inconstent AI that's either way too hard or way too easy and uninspiring fleet combat. Overall, I liked it. I got a good 30+ hours out of it over a couple games. I think the endgame badly needs a patch. I think the rest of my criticism needs a sequel. I don't think this will end up being a game that I drop 100+ hours on though, and that's usually the point where I feel $40+ is justified.

Depending on what the modding community releases though, I could definitely see myself revisiting the title and getting my full $40's worth.
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33 of 38 people (87%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
84.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 2
This 4X game may not have that much graphics. But it makes up for it with these things.
- Formidable AI that can ruthlessly crush you if you turn the difficulty up.
- Research system is different from other 4X games in a good way.
- Ship designing is fun.
- Good challenging tactical combat. A thinkers game not only strategicly but tacticly as well.
- Unusual spy system. You build stealth ships that spy instead of sending agents.

The only thing i could wish for is--
-The techtree has about average numbers of tech but there is room for more tech. But that's a common thing we always wish for in 4X games.
-No characters such as governors or fleet commanders.
-No campaign but that part is kinda expected of a 4X game.

It has room to grow but overall it's a good game that's worth the money if you need a braintwister game right now.
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