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.
All Reviews:
Mostly Positive (208) - 79% of the 208 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Jan 19, 2017

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Buy Stars in Shadow


Recent updates View all (29)

August 29

Development Update: 29 August 2017

Our first DLC, Legacies, has been formally announced. For more info, check below the patch notes.

Today's patch includes a number of economic balance changes, and adds zoom levels to the tech tree. A full map of the tech tree can be found here (3 MB). As always, your feedback and suggestions are important to us. Keep them coming!

Patch Notes for 29 August 2017 (ver. 20909)

  • The technology tree view now has two additional zoom levels. Use the new zoom icon at upper right or the mousewheel to change zoom levels.
  • Phidi, Algorians and Pell now have the 'Friendly' racial trait, which eliminates the "Alien Rulers" morale penalty.
  • The shipbuilding cost discount provided by Shipyards no longer stacks (more than one Shipyard at a particular colony will provide no additional discount).
  • Surplus food is now converted to coins at a rate of 1/4 (rounded down).
  • Upkeep costs for all ground units have been halved.
  • Upkeep costs for most ships have been increased.
  • Upkeep costs for planet defenses greater than level 1 have been increased.
  • Mercenary upkeep costs are now visible in the mercenary hire overlay.
  • Ground unit upkeeps now appear as a seperate item in the economic on-hover text.
  • 'Subspace Networking' now reduces shipbuilding Labor costs by 25%, down from 50%.
  • Made tweaks to the DLL loading process to attempt to fix the "debug.dll too old" issue.
  • Fix for a bug that was causing Tinkers and Androids to suffer the 'Alien Rulers' morale penalty.
  • Opening and closing the tech pane should no longer reset the currently selected tech.
  • Made tweaks to the GLSL compiler to improve compatibility with Linux/Wine. (Wine compatibility remains officially unsupported/experimental.)
(Click here to view the complete development changelogs.)

Legacies DLC Preview
The Legacies DLC is targeted for release in September. It includes a new playable faction (The Tinkers), a new minor faction (The Arda Seed), and a number of new features.

New Minor Faction: The Arda Seed

Little is known about the details of why the Great War was fought, and who was on which side, but it is clear that even the great technological prowess of the Ashdar and Gremak of the Golden Age was insufficient to prevent the collapse of the warp lanes, which were created by a civilization even more ancient and more advanced than they were. The legends speak of a culture known as the Arda, who dwell in the depths of hyperspace and who were responsible for the creation of the hyperspace network that made warp travel possible. For whatever reason, it seems that the Arda abandoned the combatants of the Great War and either allowed or deliberately caused the destruction of the warp lanes, ending the war and leading to the fall of the civilizations of the Golden Age.

However, three thousand years later, the warp lanes have abruptly and unexpectedly become reactivated. The reborn civilizations of the galaxy do not understand why they are now able to return to the stars, but they are about to find out.

In the depths of hyperspace, there is an ecosystem of autonomous, self-replicating biomechanical entities created by the Arda for the purpose of maintaining the infrastructure of the hyperspace network. Slowly, over the millennia since the Great War, this Seed of the Arda has been reconstituting itself, and repairing and restoring the mechanisms that make the warp lanes functional. To continue this work, they have had to make forays out of hyperspace into the galaxy in order to collect important resources. In the current game, the player has already encountered low-level agents of this ecosystem in the form of the troublesome Star Harpies. As the player learns more about the source of these pests, they will encounter even more dangerous entities who can be formidable foes or helpful (but demanding) allies, depending on how the player chooses to deal with them.

The Star Harpies in the current game are agents of the Arda Seed, collecting resources needed to further their mission to repair and expand the hyperspace network. The Harpies and other, more powerful Seed units operate from hidden Warp Nodes, which are planet-like objects embedded in hyperspace, and which allow the operation of the warp lanes. The units of the Seed are mindless automatons, which will attack anyone who interferes with their activities. In the early game, the Seed units function primarily as space monsters. Learning about the Seed and investigating where they come from can not only eliminate the threat of attacks from these space monsters, but can potentially earn great benefits in science and the practical use of the hyperspace network.

The Arda Seed faction represents the next step in uncovering the story of the causes behind the Great War, which will continue to be expanded upon in upcoming expansions. The Arda Seed will employ a number of new starship and station types, and make special use of several new gameplay features.

New Arda Seed-related Features
New “Hyperspace Anomaly” locations
A Hyperspace Anomaly is a bubble of real space-time trapped in hyperspace. It acts as a star system in game terms, usually with one “planet” (the Warp Node). Ships can travel to and from the Hyperspace Anomaly as if it were a star system, if the owning faction has the proper sensor technologies; otherwise, they are invisible on the map.

A Warp Node is a construct created by the Arda (and their servants), that is part of the infrastructure of the Hyperspace Network that allows the Warp Lanes to function. It behaves like an uninhabitable planet (like a gas giant), but can support orbital infrastructure.

Technology Boosts and Researchable Artifacts
Codices are tradeable items which provide a tech boost for a specific technology. They can be looted from derelicts, traded from allied factions, or purchased from the Herald.

Artifacts are tradeable items that, when researched, provide benefits such as a tech boost, a unique technology unlock, or other special ability. Like codices, artifacts can be looted from derelicts, traded from allied factions, or purchased from the Herald.

Herald Encounters
Although most of the Arda Seed units are mindless automatons, there is an intelligence of sorts at work behind them. Players will be able to encounter and negotiate with “The Herald,” a virtual entity who speaks on behalf of the Seed and who will trade information for the resources which they need to conduct their activities. The Herald travels throughout the galaxy, and can provide a friendly faction with information about the state of their rivals. Players who gain sufficient influence with the Arda Seed will no longer be automatically attacked by their minions, but beware: the goals of the Arda Seed go far beyond simple repair of the warp lanes, and the Herald will be a demanding ally. On the other hand, the Seed’s warp nodes contain treasure troves of ancient information for those bold enough to plunder them and brave the consequences.

That's all for now. See you again soon.
9 comments Read more

August 29

Stars in Shadow DLC ‘Legacies’ to Release September 2017

Publisher Iceberg Interactive and developer Ashdar Games announce the release of Legacies, the first DLC for Stars in Shadow, their critically acclaimed vivid tribute to 4X classics. In Legacies ancient races who are re-emerging after the Great War will return as a playable faction and as a minor faction. The DLC is currently slated for a September 2017 release.

It’s been three thousand years after the Great War and the collapse of the hyperspace lanes. The galaxy is reawakening, thanks to an unknown influence who has restored the warp lanes back into operation. Who restored the warp lanes, and for what purpose?

Legacies introduces a new playable faction, the cyborg Tinkers. The Tinkers are a race of cyborgs who worship Dzibix, an ancient mega machine located on their arid homeworld that has grown to cover most of the planet and has achieved at least minimal self-awareness. To appease their machine god the dutiful Tinkers have converted themselves into cyborgs and remade their society as a cybernetic civilization.

Also joining the galaxy is a new minor faction: the hyperspace-dwelling Arda Seed. The Arda Seed will employ a number of new starship and station types, and make special use of several new gameplay features.

The Arda Seed faction represents the next step in uncovering the story of the causes behind the Great War, which will continue to be expanded upon in upcoming DLC.

Legacies Features
    New playable faction: Tinkers
  • New population type: cyborgs
  • New planetary special: Planetary Debris Rings and Asteroid Bases
  • Space Habitats and Re-deployable Mobile Stations

    New minor faction: Arda Seed
  • New “Hyperspace Anomaly” locations
  • Technology Boosts and Researchable Artifacts
  • Herald encounters
+ New technologies, weapons and encounters

Stay up-to-date with the latest Stars in Shadow news and information on the official website, on Facebook at and on Twitter at
15 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
Customer reviews Learn More
High Volume of Negative Reviews Detected:
Exclude  or  View Only
Review Type

Purchase Type


Date Range
To view reviews within a date range, please click and drag a selection on a graph above or click on a specific bar.

Show graph

Display As:
Show graph
Hide graph
Showing 167 reviews that match the filters above ( Mostly Positive )
There are no more reviews that match the filters set above
Adjust the filters above to see other reviews
Loading reviews...