Star Ruler is the perfect example of an indie diamond in the rough. The core realtime 4x gameplay gives you a ton of freedom and ship design is fun and open, while the game progresses to eventually become really hectic. The customization and stuff isn't overdone to the point of being spergy like in some of these types of games. However, the game is pretty graphically poor, there being only two visually distinct sets of ship designs and everything being sort of par for the course budget indie space game graphics. The studio seems tiny though so can't really fault em that. A bigger issue is that the gameplay tends to degenerate into walling off a section of the map well enough that the AI can't bust through easily, and then beelining a ship of such a large scale none of the AIs can deal with it as it blows up planet and sun after planet and sun. The basic resource gameplay is realtime resource chain management sort of similar to Anno games, at which the AI has perfect micro - the difficulty setting seems to be what bonuses they get, and I couldn't find a difficulty at which I could have a back-and-forth fight with the AIs. Either I would crush them outright, fight them to a stalemate then win after two hours of turtling like outlined above, or get totally ♥♥♥♥♥. This game seems to have a lot of potential for multiplayer but there ain't nobody playin this obscure ♥♥♥ indie pile lol. With more dynamic and varied AI this could be great. The sequel will be something to look forward to, though I gotta say an expansion fixing some of this would be better, first.
It's a recommend if you dig stuff like Endless Space and Sins of a Solar Empire with a dash of Anno and a pinch of autism mixed in, then all the polish knocked off