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 (15 reviews) - 66% of the 15 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Mostly Positive (197 reviews) - 78% of the 197 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jan 19, 2017

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Recent updates View all (27)

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!

21 comments Read more

June 12

Development Update: 12 June 2017

There are those who believe that life here began out there, far across the Universe... with tribes of humans who may have been the forefathers of the Egyptians, or the Toltecs, or the Mayans. Some believe that there may yet be brothers of man, who even now fight to survive, somewhere beyond the heavens…

Today's update is small and contains a few bug fixes. Things have been a little bit quiet over the last month as Sven and I both spent time on other projects, but our ongoing efforts to improve the game continue, and we should have an announcement next week on upcoming updates. As always, your feedback and suggestions are important to us. Keep them coming!

Patch Notes for 12 June 2017 (ver. 20368)

  • Fixed a bug that could cause Ashdar fighters to appear in place of the correct race-specific art in some cases.
  • Fixed inaccuracies in the in-game text appearing under a transport's 'Start Trading' button.
  • Selecting Primary Artillery in the tech tree should no longer cause a bug.
  • The prerequisite links in the tech tree for 'Primary Artillery' and 'Stupendous Energy Physics' should now be properly visualized.
  • The prereqisites for 'Stupendous Energy Physics' has been simplified to 'Heavy Ion Beams'.
(Click here to view the complete development changelogs, and here to view the development roadmap post.)

Fleeing from Cylon tyranny, the last Battlestar, Galactica, leads a rag-tag fugitive fleet on a lonely quest: a shining planet, known as Earth!

23 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 (15 reviews)
Mostly Positive (197 reviews)
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