Almost there! Less than 100 games needed to reach our MobyGoal of 1,500 documented arcade titles!

Ascendancy (DOS)

78
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.9
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Ran Prieur (19)
Written on  :  Feb 03, 2004
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful

write a review of this game
read more reviews by Ran Prieur
read more reviews for this game

Summary

Quirky, atmospheric, low-stress, a classic!

The Good

This game has more "soul" than almost any other PC game. By that I mean something like the integration of graphics, music, and content to generate a deep sense of the game's personality or atmosphere. The graphics are amazing for 1995. I never get tired of the music, which is very spacey but also a little like an old Morricone soundtrack. It's got a great-looking and easy to use 3D star map, and 21 species with cool pictures and their own musical themes (which you only get to hear for a minute).

As a reviewer wrote elsewhere, this is the most low-stress of all strategy games. You never feel hurried, and apparently you can keep playing indefinitely. Some players won't appreciate this.

The Bad

There's no way to know what a new item DOES before getting it, so no basis for a decision on which technology to research.

The help-click feature is a joke, compared to games where it's done well, like the Heroes of Might & Magic series where you can right-click on practically anything and get useful information.

As everyone has pointed out, all interactions with computer opponents are clunky.

I suppose this is asking too much of the programmers, but after the mind-blowing diversity of the species descriptions, gameplay-wise they're just about identical. Tree people, giant amoebas, and microscopic parasites all build the same industrial-style planet improvements and research the same technologies.

The Bottom Line

Beautiful, compelling, somewhat flawed space-conquest strategy game.