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SummaryCiv in space, but uglier. A good game, but still...
The Good"Alpha Centauri" is pretty much Civilization On Another Planet, and has most of the associated strengths; solid, deep gameplay, addictive and immersive atmosphere, and a great balance between combat, research and construction elements. AC also has a backstory that's actually not bad as computer games go, and unlike Civ it has fairly extensive "Race" modifiers to give each civilization a different approach..
The BadI'm utterly baffled as to how this game as a higher rating than Civ, since it's basically the same game except with some weaknesses:
1. My God, this game is ugly, one of the ugliest successful games ever written for the PC. The color palette is just awful; units all look the same and are about as attractive as Joan Rivers's latest facelift.
2. The technology tree is cryptic at best and confusing at worst.
3. There's just not much here that didn't already exist. The game is graphically no better than the six-years-older Civ II, and it doesn't really add anything gamewise, so why not save a few bucks and play Civ?
4. The unit design system is the pits. There's really no unit design in the game at all; when you get more technology your units' attack and defense numbers improve.