Sid Meier's Starships Is Not Great

Sid Meier's Starships Is Not Great

For all I know, Sid Meier's Starships is a fantastic iPad game (and, yes, it's also available on iPad). But I don't know, because I've been playing it on PC, where it kinda sucks.

It's funny how playing the same game on two systems can completely change your experience. On iPad, a game like this probably seems deep, complex, something with some meat on its bones you can chew on while you wait for a bus. On PC, though, the home of Master of Orion and Alpha Centauri and Homeworld, it feels wafer-thin. Here, take a look.

The game is split into two parts: a strategic overlay where you expand your empire, move your fleet and engage in stuff like diplomacy and research, and a 2D tactical map whenever your fleet is engaged in battle. Imagine FTL-meets-Civilization-meets-XCOM. Only not as good as any of those games.

Both parts feel under-cooked. The strategic map gives you very little to actually do, while the combat is bizarrely based on the principles of 2D cover, even though it's a game set in deep space. You'll quickly master the basic diplomacy and build options in the former, and the latter's repetitive battle strategies get boring pretty quickly.


Comments

    all I know, Sid Meier’s Starships is a fantastic iPad game (and, yes, it’s also available on iPad>

    Well that's good to know! :P would have been disastrous otherwise

      The quality of journalism in this country has plummeted. Surely, one of those is meant to be "PC" and the error should have been picked up if the author had published something other than a first draft.

        I thought it was obvious that he was incredulously reiterating the fact it's on iPad. As in "you won't believe it's an iPad game".

    I'm thinking Sid Meier is starting to think he's done all he can with PC versions of his game and will go the way of Peter Molyneux. I won't complain though if I get a decent Railroads or Civ on Android. I'm still waiting for Civ Revolution 2 to be released on Android

      But this is assuming that Meier has direct control over the project, as opposed to this being a project under his general influence/arm's-length involvement where the critical decisions are made by an internal Fraxis dev-team and using the strength of his name/brand as a selling point.

      ...and Railroads on Android? Christ, if that happens, I'll never get anything done! Civ and Railroads! aren't games, they're time machines. A few moments of play results in one being catapulted 12 hours into the future. Every. Single. Time.

        This does scream of a smaller team project with 'Sid Meier' slapped on the front, but I can't help but wonder how much more can be done with Civ. Mind you I thought that about III and then IV after that as well :D

        Don't start an epic Civ game on a huge map at 8pm btw. Work will suffer in the morning for it

          I can't even do that with Alpha Centauri without looking up and discovering it's suddenly September. :p The thing that blows me away about Sid's games (and I mean the actual Sid games), especially with the Civs: how you can play for hours and hours on end and not feel hungry! Countless times in my youth, I've hooked up with buddies for a LAN, gotten together during the late morning/midday-ish, and found ourselves ordering Indian at 2am. Good times!

      Don't hold out for civ rev 2, its an absolute train wreck

    Can't even design your own ships, which should be standard in all space sims.

    I think he should have sold it for 5$ on PC, that would have taken care of allot of the bad rep this is going to get.

    I loaded this game up (no i didn't buy it) just to take a look. After a few minutes I quickly closed and uninstalled it, this isn't something I would pay $15 for, ever!!!

    PS. You can't even change your planet/ship/fleet names!

    Last edited 18/03/15 6:40 pm

    If you want a good strategy game that just screams 'civ in space' then Endless Space already exists and its great.

    Last edited 18/03/15 10:04 pm

    Good to see you start doing some actual journalism Luke, this isn't great, it's basically a link to a video of you talking, but it's a start...

    P.S. Alt+Enter forces programs to run fullscreen, might work for this game, give it a go.

    It’s funny how playing the same game on two systems can completely change your experience.
    But I don’t know, because I’ve been playing it on PC

    What the purpose of that sentence when you haven't actually played the ipad version to properly be able to say it's a different experience?

    After Beyond Earth, this doesn't surprise me one bit :(

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