Stars in Shadow is a turn-based 4X strategy game and a vivid tribute to the genre classics. Compete with alien factions to explore and colonize nearby starsystems, build fleets to defend against rivals, negotiate or conquer them. Win by unifying the galaxy, through diplomacy or force.
User reviews:
Very Positive (54 reviews) - 90% of the 54 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jan 19, 2017

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January 19

Classic 4X Space Title 'Stars in Shadow' (PC) OUT NOW

Four months of hard work in Early Access pays off today, as developer Ashdar Games releases its classic 4X turn-based strategy title Stars in Shadow (PC) on Steam and various other digital download platforms. Time well-spent in the Early Access program has secured much useful feedback and advice from the 4X community, and has ensured that the game is now packed with tons of new features.

Two brand new factions have been implemented, strategic zoom is added, as well as the Galactic Council. Moreover, various new minor races can be discovered and the option to use slaves for scientific experiments is now made available to all players.
Sven Olsen, lead developer of Ashdar Games says: “It’s the achievement of a goal that we’ve been working towards for more than six years, so we’re pretty excited about it. On the other hand, there’s still a lot we want to add to the game, so it doesn't feel as if the project is coming to an end but rather a new chapter in which we plan to work on many new additions to the Stars in Shadow universe..."

Stars in Shadow is now available on Steam and all other major digital portals at a SRP of $24.99. Publisher Iceberg Interactive has set a 25% discount for the duration of the launch week.

3 comments Read more

January 19

Development Update: 19 January 2017

Salutations, sky marshals!

Welcome to the released version of the game! It’s the achievement of a goal that we’ve been working towards for more than six years, so we’re pretty excited about it. However, this is not the end of the road; there’s still a lot we want to add to the game. In addition to the requisite fixes and balance changes, we'll continue to add features and content with regular updates.

Special thanks to our beta testers and those who tried out Early Access and provided crucial feedback! Your helpful comments and suggestions have helped to make this a better game, and will continue to do so. Keep them coming!

Patch Notes for 19 January 2017 (ver. 19491)

Changes and Additions
  • Added a new UI option 'Color planets by Habitability'. This color-codes the planet icons circling the stars on the strategic map by habilitability: white are colonized, gray are uninhabitable, orange have max populations of <8 for your factions, and green have max populations of 8 or more for your faction.
  • Updates to the Ship Designer frames.
  • It is now possible to access various auto-design features from the Ship Designer panes.
  • It is now possible to filter the list of components shown in the Ship Designer panes.
  • Anti-missiles can now be placed in light weapon hardpoints.
  • All light weapons can now be placed in heavy weapon hardpoints.
  • Updated frames and buttons for the strategic ship info panes.
  • It is now possible to instantly refit ships using coins.
  • It is now possible to rename ships.
  • It is now possible to refit a ship to an existing design by accessing the
  • Added Hardpoints dropdown menu in the designer UI.
  • It is now possible to suppress the display of obsolete parts in the ship design pane.
  • Added a 'Mass Refit' option to the ship status pane.
  • Weapon damage range information now appears in the available component list.
  • The "Embark Colonists" pane now includes an option for loading colonists to transports in orbit.
  • Added a "Game Speed" option to the map settings screen.
  • Updated the Research screen frames/tooltips.
  • Battle shields should now prevent 50% of damage from kinetic weapon fire.
  • Force lance attacks should now pierce all shields other than the Temporal Aegis.
  • Added new tutorial notifications in the event of founding your first colony and initial marauder/pirate battles.
  • New tutorial text explaining the Fertility mechanics (displayed with the first starvation warning notification.)
  • Various updates to the in-game documentation text.
  • It is now possible to exit the game directly from the game menu pane.
  • Added implementation and description text for several missing technologies.
  • Fix for a bug that could cause glitches during strike fighter animations.
  • Planet disaster events should no longer strike outposts.
  • Boarding a ship now requires that one of its shields is down.
  • Transporters now function as described.
  • All embarked units now increase the crew rating of their cost ship by +50.
  • Embarked Assault Marines increase crew ratings by +100.
  • Assault Shuttles now make it possible to board mobile enemy ships within range 8.
  • Doubled the number of small craft per hangar mount.
  • Added the ability to disband ground units via the population info pane.
  • Ships equipped with one or more Stellar Surge Beams may now destroy hostile planets.
  • Optimized load-pane rendering.
  • Researching the 'Planet Construction' technology will now allow you to build planets.
  • Added new art assets for Orthin, Yoral and Phidi leaders, Stellar Surge Beam, Transporters and AutoRepair Systems, Farms, Mines, and Markets, and faction-specific fighters and shuttles.
Bug Fixes
  • Clicking on a grey 'Propose' button while the trading pane is open should no longer cause an error.
  • Removed some rounding logic in the population growth rules that was causing confusing behavior.
  • Fix for a bug that could cause a planet to revolt and then immediately rejoin its parent empire, leading to corrupt game data.
  • Fix for a bug that could cause an "ai started up a battle during end-turn" exception.
  • Fixes for some missile animation glitches.
  • Preemptively attacking a raiding pirate fleet should no longer cause a error.
  • Fix for a bug that could cause a starvation notification to persist after the cause of the food shortage had been addressed.
(Click here to view the complete development changelogs.)

Enjoy the game, and see you again soon!

4 comments Read more


“Stars in Shadow is a classic...”

“Proper turn-based combat paired with clever innovations.”
85 – Hooked Gamers

About This Game

Stars in Shadow is a turn-based 4X science fiction strategy game. Explore the stars, settle distant worlds, and build an interstellar empire. Recover ancient technologies and negotiate with alien leaders. Created by a pair of passionate strategy gamers, Stars in Shadow features streamlined empire management, sophisticated turn-based tactical combat, and detailed world building.


  • Epic Scope:
    Starting at the dawn of interstellar travel, progress through four eras of technological advancement. Discover the science of planetary terraforming, upgrade your infantry battalions to battle mechs, and grow your fleet from a squadron of destroyers to an armada of planet-destroying Dread Stars.

  • Varied Factions:
    7 Playable factions comprising six alien races. Each faction has different research strengths and technology options. Forming alliances, conquering neighboring species, or discovering ancient artifacts may open up additional avenues of research. Choose your race wisely as it impacts which worlds will suit you, what trades or alliances may be offered, and whether or not your neighbors are inclined to trust you.

  • Stylized Setting:
    A distinctive comic-book art style and an original, detailed universe backstory draw you into an immersive game world. Interact with a unique cast of alien characters, make friends and influence people, or crush your enemies and see them driven before you.

  • Focused High-Level Strategy:
    Build a vast and varied empire, taking advantage of the unique traits offered by different alien populations and the worlds they inhabit. Experiments on a slave population might diminish your popularity in the Galactic Council. A streamlined resource and planetary improvement model keeps the game moving even when your empire grows large.

  • Deep Turn-Based Tactical Combat:
    Face off against your opponents in complex 2D turn-based tactical battles. Counter your enemy’s missile barrage using point defense or interceptors, then close to energy weapon range! Stars in Shadow’s tactical engine includes several features rarely seen in turn based games. Multi-ship commands keep even large fleet battles fast-paced, and smart unit behaviors allow tight control with minimal micromanagement. Auto-resolve battles that are a foregone conclusion, while retaining the ability to replay any engagement to see exactly what happened.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10
    • Processor: Intel Core 2.6 GHz or equivalent
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 4000 Series or better
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Stars in Shadow requires the OpenGL framebuffer extension. This extension is present on almost all graphics drivers released after 2010, but laptops made before 2010 with vendor-locked graphics drivers may not be able to run the game.
    • OS: Windows 7,8,10
    • Processor: Intel Core Duo 3.0 GHz or equivalent
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA Geforce 400 Series or better, 1 GB RAM
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
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Very Positive (54 reviews)
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