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:
Mixed (13 reviews) - 61% of the 13 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Mostly Positive (198 reviews) - 78% of the 198 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jan 19, 2017

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July 25

Development Update: 25 July 2017

With infinite complacency, men went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over matter. No one gave a thought to the older worlds of space as sources of human danger, or thought of them only to dismiss the idea of life upon them as impossible or improbable. Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.

Work continues on our first DLC, which we will have a formal announcement for in a few weeks. In addition to some balance tweaks, today's patch includes a variety of low-level infrastructure changes. In particular, we have made modifications to the graphics engine to improve performance when loading or processing turns, so if you notice some graphical glitches, please let us know. As always, your feedback and suggestions are important to us. Keep them coming!

Patch Notes for 25 July 2017 (ver. 20752)

  • Revamped the Loading and AI Turns wait animations, and made changes to the graphics library so that star/planet/map animations will continue in the background (instead of freezing) during wait times.
  • Revamped the Load/Save dialog.
  • Increased the base resource yields of most alien native populations.
  • Reduced the cost of Bombers by one-third.
  • Increased the cost of Strike Fighters and added Antimatter as a prerequisite for the Multirole Fighters tech.
  • Increased the cost of Heavy Railguns and halved damage.
  • Deflector screens now absorb 50% of kinetic weapons damage, while Battle shields now absorb 70%.
  • Decreased the damage of Neutron Beams.
  • Ashdar Colonials fighter squadrons now have one additional fighter per Hangar module.
  • Increased the damage of Pulson Launchers from 35 to 50.
  • The technology 'Energy Torpedoes' is now called 'Plasma Projectiles' and requires Plasma Focusing.
  • Increased the research costs of all late game technologies.
  • Adjusted the wording in various resource descriptions to help clarify the distinction between the resource names (Labor, Science, Coin, Metal, Food) and the associated activities (Production, Research, Trading, Mining, Farming).
  • Fixed a bug in the tactical weapon selection UI that prevented the first item in a ship's weapon list from being consistently selected when selecting a ship.
  • Fixed a glitch in the planet farming/food description text.
  • Fixed a few description text errors.
  • Added new UI scaling rules for very high resolution monitors, and changes to avoid blurriness on high DPI monitors.
  • Made improvements to GoG Galaxy achievement/stat error handling.
  • Updated the Visual Studio runtime libraries to the 2017 versions.
  • The 'simplified graphics' rendering mode is now enabled by default for all Intel HD 3000 and Radeon HD 7800 Series cards.
(Click here to view the complete development changelogs.)

By the toll of a billion deaths man has bought his birthright of the earth, and it is his against all comers; it would still be his were the Martians ten times as mighty as they are. For neither do men live nor die in vain.

9 comments Read more

June 23

Development Update: 23 June 2017

Query: Shall we find something to kill to cheer ourselves up?

We have a few bug fixes in today's patch, and I have some information to share about the content of our first DLC, which is in the works. As always, your feedback and suggestions are important to us. Keep them coming!

Patch Notes for 23 June 2017 (ver. 20397)

  • Fix for an issue in some of the game's random number generators, which was causing some native races (such as Threshers and Tinkers) to be unusually rare on some map sizes. All native races should now spawn at the intended rates.
  • Unresearchable techs should no longer appear in any of the tech tree panes. (In earlier builds, the presence of such techs could cause various bugs.)
  • Morale reports for planets that have been lost should now be correctly removed from the notification list, rather than causing exceptions.
  • The instant refit feature should now correctly trigger the "Harder Faster Better Stronger" achievement.
(Click here to view the complete development changelogs.)

In the Works: New Playable Faction -- Tinkers

We've started work on our first DLC expansion. We'll talk more about the features and schedule in the coming weeks, but for now I'll introduce you to a new playable faction in the expansion: the Tinkers.

The Tinkers are a race of cyborgs who toil at the command of Dzibix, a megamachine which has spread across the majority of their arid homeworld of the same name. It's not known to outsiders whether Dzibix is some kind of precursor relic, or just a machine god that the Tinkers invented. It's not all that clear whether the Tinkers know the truth themselves, but they take its prime directives very seriously: Augment! Toil! Expand! And to better serve their machine god, they have made themselves into a cybernetic civilization.

The Tinkers are not one of the Elder Races that took part in the Great War, but in their zeal to obey Dzibix's directive to expand, the Tinkers attempted to establish extrasolar colonies long before the restoration of the warp-lanes by attaching engines to asteroids and comets and converting them into slower-than-light colony vessels. Most of these outposts failed, and their remnants can be (rarely) encountered in the current game. The expansion will allow you to take control of the Tinkers homeworld of Dzibix itself.

Tinkers prefer arid environments that do not interfere with the machinery of their cities which sprawl across the landscape; water is an unwelcome obstacle to them. This intense industrialization ravages the environment of their colonies, but the Tinkers as cyborgs have reduced their need for food and the produce of nature. Having largely abandoned their natural life cycle, Tinkers reproduce slowly unless production is specifically allocated to this purpose. In harmony with their machine bodies and the orderly society it affords them, Tinkers do not know sadness or unrest; only duty.

As befits a cyborg society, the Tinkers are superb engineers. Although their ordered machine society does not always come up with the most creative new technologies, they excel at advanced production techniques, miniaturization and repair. Their vessels are ruggedly armored and equipped with mobile fabrication systems which allow for rapid repair of damage and replacement of expended ordnance. Accordingly, Tinker ships are typically armed with smart missiles and automated fighters -- which, to the Tinkers, are essentially the same thing.

That's all we have for now. Stay tuned!

Did you hear that, meatbag? I'LL BE BACK!

26 comments Read more


“A worthy tribute to the classic Master of Orion games of times past.”
84 – CyberPower PC

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

“An indie game truly for the 4Xer to revel in.”
90 – Gamewatcher

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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Mixed (13 reviews)
Mostly Positive (198 reviews)
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