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Genre: 4X

Group Description

By definition, 4X is the abbreviation of eXploration, eXpansion, eXploitation, and eXtermination, a term originally coined by Alan Emrich. In terms of use and practice, 4X is some what more complex and may have expanded from its original definition.

Traditionally 4X was first popularly used to identify strategy games such as Sid Meier's Civilization and Master of Orion, although 4X games or its characteristics by definition may have existed far earlier than the aforementioned games.

A 4X game must fulfill ALL the following requirements:
  • Strategic Gameplay
    The player usually plays the role of a leader or adviser to a race, faction, country, civilization, nation, or any bunch of blokes in a large scale population against opposing forces. The game genre is usually limited to the strategy gameplay. No other genre's have been identified under 4X.

  • eXploration
    The eXploration category identifies the purpose of exploring surrounding territories, which may signify the use of a map. Exploration is conducted by sending out units to unexplored regions, where newly discovered locations become and remain revealed, depending on the variations of an implemented fog of war effect.

  • eXpansion
    The eXpansion category identifies the objective to expand territory or area of control, usually (optional) after eXploration campaigns have been successfully carried out. The strategy of eXpansion requires a balance between the player's ability to expand as well as the player's ability to defend and hold conquered or areas under the player's control. Existing or new areas/territories (towns, planets, etc.), may then be developed with structural buildings or other enhancements.

  • eXploitation
    The eXploitation category identifies the objective to control resources. Resources may or may not be limited, however the eXploitation category goes hand-in-hand with the eXpansion category as the more territory the player controls, the less the opponent does, thus the more resources the player has to his/her disposal.

  • eXtermination
    The eXtermination category is the result of continuous expansion. Conflict is inevitable and when push comes to shove, extermination of the opponent is eminent. Extermination requires the total elimination of an opponent or to subdue the opponent under the player's direct or indirect control (i.e. vassal, puppet, etc.) via armed conflict or diplomatic devices.

  • Randomly Generated Environments
    See the Games with randomly generated environments game group for further information.

  • Structural Building
    No 4X game has been identified to do without a structural building or similar devices. Anything from a latrine to a planetary doomsday weapon station may be used to further advance the player's purpose.

  • Technological Advancement
    Traditionally, 4X games have identified the use of technology advancements (or popularly known as a Technology Tree). These advancements are usually identified with the requirement to use resources, time to research, upgrade an idea or object, or other steps/factors needed before a certain (new or upgraded) technological benefit, unit, building, or similar devices be available to the player.

  • Diplomacy
    The concept of not being alone in this existence refers to other beings(s) that may have different goals or priorities than the player. Diplomacy is the bridge to those differences of 4X. Diplomacy is used to make allies or enemies, trade resources and information, or even as a channel for espionage. Most 4X games prefer complex uses of diplomacy rather than the standard friend or foe commonly found in non-4X strategy war games.

  • Multiplayer
    All 4X games may optionally be played by two or more human players.
Limitations
For purposes of this game group, games where primary gameplay focuses only on eXtermination without any other possible victory conditions are excluded from this game group.

This means games such as Age of Empires, Command & Conquer, Heroes of Might and Magic, or Warcraft should not go here.

Additional Note:
Some hybrid games do not follow the traditional identification of 4X games, disabling one or more of its common features, yet may officially identify itself under the same genre. Whether or not these games should be included remain open for debate.
Viewing Page 2 of 4 (items 26-50 of 100) Previous | Next
Game Titlesorted in descending orderYearPlatformPublisherMobyScore
Space Empires V2006WindowsStrategy First, Inc.2.10
Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords (Collector's Edition)2006WindowsStardock Entertainment, Inc....
Sid Meier's Civilization Chronicles2006Windows2K Games, Inc.5.00
Sword of the Stars2006WindowsDestineer3.46
Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Warlords2006Macintosh, Windows2K Games, Inc.3.66
Sid Meier's Civilization IV2005Macintosh, Windows2K Games, Inc.4.12
Sid Meier's Civilization IV (Special Edition)2005Windows2K Games, Inc.4.14
Space Empires IV Deluxe2005WindowsAkella3.17
Anacreon: Imperial Conquest in the Far Future2004Windows3.40
Galactic Civilizations: Deluxe Edition2004WindowsStardock Entertainment, Inc.1.00
Galactic Civilizations: Altarian Prophecy2004WindowsStrategy First, Inc....
Sid Meier's Civilization III: Complete2004Macintosh, WindowsAspyr Media, Inc.4.21
Sid Meier's Civilization III: Conquests2003WindowsAtari, Inc.3.86
Master of Orion 32003Macintosh, WindowsInfogrames, Inc.2.41
Starscape2003WindowsMoonpod3.65
Galactic Civilizations2003WindowsStrategy First, Inc.3.64
Hegemonia: The Solon Heritage2003Windows1C Company4.28
Hegemonia: Gold Collector2003WindowsComgame 576 Ltd.3.83
Sid Meier's Civilization III (Gold Edition)2003WindowsAtari Europe S.A.S.U.3.83
FreeCol2003Linux, Macintosh, Windows4.00
Sid Meier's Civilization III - Game of the Year Edition2002WindowsInfogrames, Inc.3.85
Sid Meier's Civilization III: Play the World2002WindowsInfogrames, Inc.3.44
Hegemonia: Legions of Iron2002WindowsDreamCatcher Interactive Inc.3.74
Sid Meier's Civilization III2001Macintosh, WindowsInfogrames, Inc.3.94
Star Lords2001DOSQuicksilver Software, Inc.3.80
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Selected Covers

Master of Orion 3 Windows Front Cover
Front cover for Master of Orion 3
Space Empires IV Deluxe Windows Front Cover
Front cover for Space Empires IV Deluxe

Selected Screenshots

Main Menu - Local Silicoid posing as cover boy uh... cover thing.
Screenshot from Master of Orion 3
Main menu
Screenshot from FreeCol