Most addicting turn based strategy ever
This game had me up wayyy pat my bedtime so many times it isn't even funny. I even played a game from the time I got up until early the next morning.
on with the review.
The ability to custom build ships with all sorts of combinations gave your fleets a personal touch unequalled elsewhere (well, except in Master Of Orion II). the endless debates over small ships vs. large, more nukes or more lasers, what planets to turn into factories, etc. kept me going continuously.
the diplomatic system seemed a lot more realistic than in Civilization. instead of declaring wars seemingly at random, the other empires would watch to see if you were massing ships at their borders, would start to like you when you attacked their enemies, and would generally be nice if you weren't being threatening, depending on their attitudes.
the tech system gave you advantages with every advance, and often had me tearing my hair out wondering if I should devote more to weapons or construction techs (more armor). The advantages of warping across the galaxy fast enough to outrace an invading fleet were undeniable.
the planetary management, with its sliding bars of planetary resource management, had me tweaking my planets endlessly for best effect.
Oh, and lets not forget about getting ready for that showdown with the guardian of Orion.
oh, yeah. It also had the best manual I've seen in a computer game.
The micromanagement of a lot of planets gets tedious, especially when the game settings don't do things the way you like, and you forget which planets you have set to special projects.
The Bottom Line
It's the most fun I've had with any space game, and will suck you into its depths if you let it. Building a space empire was never so much fun.