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Master of Orion

aka: MOO, Master of Orion 1, Master of Orion Classic
DOS Specs [ all ]
See Also
(prices updated 9/18 10:01 PM )

Description official description

Master of Orion overlaps with Civilization insofar as you are the leader of one of several races. Technological advance, realm expansion and combat are all key elements. Where it differs is in being set in space.

The planet Orion itself is a lush, fertile planet with vast mineral resources. It is guarded by the Guardian - a powerful vessel which you have to defeat in order to plunder Orion's riches.

As you attempt to expand your empire, you will have to trade and steal technologies form rivals, again much like Civ. Your ships can be improved over the game, in terms of engine power, shields, cloaking devices and weapons, and different combinations of these can be integrated. Resource management is largely set using sliders, which reduces the amount of time spent on micro-management.

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Screenshots

Promos

Credits (DOS version)

43 People (29 developers, 14 thanks) · View all

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Sound Software
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Music Producer
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Lead Testers
Manual Art
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Manual Design & Layout
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[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 76% (based on 15 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 111 ratings with 10 reviews)

Total Classic

The Good
During the early 90's (where has the time gone?) Microprose was simply a hit machine. Pirates, Civ, X-Com, Railroad Tycoon, and of course Master Of Orion. In some ways you could call this game CIV in space. However I dont think it does this title justice. In many ways this title takes a complex and sometimes boring Catagory (space) and turns it into a easy to learn and fun game. MOO has all the classic marks of a legend. Its easy to learn, addictive, constantly challengeing, replayable, Different gameplay (i.e. the game can be played in many differnt ways), great music, and terrific design. A great deal of attention and talent went into MOO and it shows.

The Bad
Not a great deal, some of the ship views were a little bad.

A part of me would have liked to be able to research all the different tech, however the fact you cant makes you want to trade and do business with other allens.

The Bottom Line
Great classic, Highly recommended

DOS · by William Shawn McDonie (1130) · 2001

A great game.

The Good
First of I liked the gameplay, it is just wonderful. You can pick from about 9 different races, all with their various strenghs and weaknesses. You then pick your name and your homeworld's name, and a color for your flag and ships. You then go into the main gamescreen where you control the game. There you can colonize worlds and build ships and send fleets to do war on the other races. You win by being elected govener of the universe. If you like strategy games you'll like Master of Orion.

The Bad
At times it was irritating that the diplomacy was as limited as it is, but thats a small complaint.

The Bottom Line
Master of Orion is a great game, that is easy to learn, but hard to master, as the old maxim goes. Definently a game that any strategy gamer should own, and if you like sci-fi games, this should be in your game library.

DOS · by Wolfang (155) · 2001

A great classic by all standards.

The Good
Seems like everyone with the exception of Tony Van like this one :-)

This is a really classic game. I accidentally got this from someone back in -- I think it was '94, checked it out and loved it ever since. It's a bit hard to get used to the interface (as in most MicroProse games), but once you got used to it you'll never let go. The graphics are but OK and the music is practically non-existant, but it didn't stop this game from presenting the gamer with AMAZINGLY addictive gameplay. It is one of the most addictive games I ever played, along with the classic Civilization and Master of Magic, I just couldn't let go of it.

The strategy is great and innovative (they fixed the lack of colony manipulation in Master of Orion 2), and the combat is really great by any standard. The Guardian is also a great gimmick and adds a lot of flavour to the game.

It is a classic game which should be played by everyone.

The Bad
Well, as I already mentioned, the colony manipulation/evolution is rather neglected (which was fixed in the sequel), and there is practically no music. The sound effects are cool though.

The Bottom Line
A classic game. Play it. Now. Or you'll go to hell.

DOS · by Tomer Gabel (4539) · 1999

[ View all 10 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
Help me get into this game Mobygamesisreanimated (11068) Apr 29th, 2009

Trivia

Jerry Pournelle

Famous Sci-Fi novelist and long time technology columnist Jerry Pournelle frequently mention his appreciation for Master of Orion i his Chaos Manor columns. He's often stated its one of his all time favorite games.

References

When playing against the Meklars, one of the names for the leader (picked randomly from a pool in the NAMES.LBX file) is TX-1138. Likely a reference to George Lucas's movie THX-1138, which he himself has referred to in little in-jokes throughout the Star Wars movies.

Star Lords

Star Lords was a sort-of prototype game for Master of Orion. It was released as freeware in 2001.

Spaceward Ho!

Master of Orion borrows several game elements from Spaceward Ho!.

Awards

  • Computer Gaming World
    • June 1994 (Issue #119) ā€“ Strategy Game of the Year
    • April 1996 (Issue #141) ā€“ Introduced into the Hall of Fame
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) - #33 in the ā€œ150 Best Games of All Timeā€ list
  • Game Bytes
    • 1993 - Strategy Game of the Year
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 12/1999 - #64 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking
  • Gaming World
    • 1993 - Premier Award Computing
  • PC Gamer
    • April 2000 - #37 in the "Readers All-Time Top 50" poll
    • October 2001 - #31 in the "Top 60 Games of All Time" list (They go on to credit the game for the creation of the '4X' genre of strategy gaming ('explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate').)
    • April 2005 - #44 in the "50 Best Games of All Time" list
  • Pelit Magazine
    • 1994 - Best PC Game
  • Strategy Plus
    • 1993 - Strategy Game of the Year

Information also contributed by Adam Baratz, Entorphane, Michael Palomino, PCGamer77, Scott Monster and Technocrat

Related Games

Master of Orion 3
Released 2003 on Windows, Macintosh
Orion: Prelude
Released 2013 on Windows
Orion Quest
Released 1984 on Commodore 64
Orion Burger
Released 1996 on DOS, Macintosh
Star Wraith 3: Shadows of Orion
Released 2002 on Windows
Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares
Released 1996 on DOS, Windows, 1997 on Macintosh
Invasion Orion
Released 1979 on Apple II, TRS-80, Atari 8-bit
Master of Magic
Released 1985 on Commodore 64, 1986 on ZX Spectrum

Related Sites +

  • 1oom
    unofficial game engine recreation under GPLv2 - requires a copy of the Master of Orion (v1.3) LBX files.
  • Fan-made Patch 1.40m
    fan-made patch for Master of Orion (v1.3)
  • Master of Orion on the Mac
    An article on Low End Mac about the Macintosh version of the game. The writer describes his experiences originally running the game on his PCs when it was released and his attempts to enjoy the game on his Macs. The article effectively takes the form of a retrospective appreciation of the game, with an underlying point regarding the backwards compatibility of Apple's hardware (Jul. 1st, 2008).

Identifiers +

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Tomer Gabel.

Macintosh added by Terok Nor.

Additional contributors: Kalirion, Zeppin, Patrick Bregger, Plok, J D.

Game added August 13th, 1999. Last modified August 14th, 2023.