Riding on the success of Civilization: Beyond Earth comes a game from the legendary Sid Meier that explores the idea that there are other planets colonized by humans. Building up your modest fleet of starships, you seek out these planets to bring them under your fold. While Sid Meier never did promise another great strategy game with Sid Meier’s Starships that would satisfy fans looking for an answer to Master of Orion, with a price of SGD 15, one would expect something decent at the very least.
And decent would be the best word to describe the game as everything is decent at best when compared to other titles out in the market. Everything in the game is rather straightforward and if a word can be used, it would be casual. From the selecting of your leader (following Civilization: Beyond Earth theme) to managing each planet that comes under your fold via influence, everything is kept as simple and straight forward.
Planet upgrades are divided into increasing production of the game’s 4 main resource type while starship customisation are also kept simple so that you don’t end up spending hours tweaking your starships. Even the weapons are non-complex with Lasers being the long range type, canons being better at shorter range and torpedoes playing the missile type. Stealth and deployable fighters do add the extra bit more for tactical strategy but nothing too complex. But having said all that, everything is still nicely balanced so that you can’t just build one kind of starship and hope to steamroll through the game.
While it is tempting to say that with all this in mind, Sid Meier’s Starships seems to be made for the iPad before porting over to the PC, it was quite the opposite according to the man himself. The game was never intended have the depth of Civilization but rather something more straight forward which makes it suitable for the iPad as well. That would probably explain the level of depth the game has and the price of it which I have no complains about (although selling it at 12.90 might sweeten the deal a little more).
At the end of the of the galactic cycle, Sid Meier’s Starships is meant for times where you are free for a short game and not conquer an entire galaxy one planet at a time while devising a million and one counters to your opponent’s next move. While PC gamers might complain at the lack of graphics considering the raw power of an average PC, iPad users will find it more towards the current trend of apps in the market now.
Overall still a decent game to add to the library, Sid Meier’s Starships is a good stepping stone into the strategy depth of other Sid Meier’s games or for those looking for a casual game to play during pockets of free time.
Ratings: 3.5 out of 5 Stars.
by Kenneth Wong
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