aka: Ascendancy: De Galactische Uitdaging, Ascendancy: Macht der Allmacht
DOS Specs [ all ]
(prices updated 9/29 5:44 AM )

Description official descriptions

Ascendancy is similar to, but nevertheless very different from, Master of Orion. You play one of many races, each with a special ability and special character traits, who set off to explore space, erect colonies (which can each have individual purposes, depending on their raw materials) and engage in battles when you clash with others who have the same goals. Weapons on the ships use power, which has to be supplied somehow.

This game introduces many original concepts, such as the Research Tree - a special scientific display in which discoveries are depicted as icons connected by lines to the "parent" technological breakthroughs and "child" ones, similar to the technology advances in Civilization, but presented in a much more visual way.

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Credits (DOS version)

31 People (23 developers, 8 thanks) · View all

Created by
Made possible through the efforts of
Additional support and content provided by
Packaging and Manual Art Direction and Design by
Packaging Illustration
Manual Digital Enhancement
AIL and VFX libraries by
Special Thanks to the Brøderbund Team
AIL and VFX libraries by
  • Miles Design Inc.
Design & Artwork Coordinator
  • Bill Smith Studio - London
Package Design Art Direction
[ full credits ]



Average score: 78% (based on 15 ratings)


Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 70 ratings with 14 reviews)

Good game killed by braindead AI.

The Good
The scope and the execution were excellent in general -- this was one of the first space games that really depicted depth in space battles. The graphics were good, as was the sound and music. Gameplay was also good, if not totally revolutionary.

The Bad
Totally incompetent AI kills the game. It has no multiplayer, so you're stuck with the AI. The first 500 days or so of the game are exciting, but after that, it becomes far too easy to kill the computer, who just sits there.

The Bottom Line
It was so close, you might just pick it up if you can find it to see the pretty sights. Don't expect to get the longevity you can out of MOO 2, though.

DOS · by Vincent Valentine (23) · 1999

Just play the damn thing.

The Good
Well, for one, the game itself is magnificent - as addictive as Master of Orion with some original twists. It's not quite as elaborate as MOO but is good never the less; the music is short but very good and so are the graphics. The interface is very well-made (mouse controlled) and the research tree rocks.

The Bad
Hmm... could get boring at times, but that's it.

The Bottom Line
Sort of a Master of Orion made by another company.

DOS · by Tomer Gabel (4539) · 1999

Terribly addictive!

The Good
This game does take a little effort (but not too much) to get into but, boy, does it pay off! The graphics are still very crisp and attractive and even rival that of certain brand new strategy games - for a 13 year old game, that's not bad at all!

But there's also the incredibly orchestric music which remains so recognisable and easily trumps the pseudo-modern beat music you find in far too many new games.

The game itself is highly addictive, with the search for new suitable planets while expanding your army being a constant drive to expand. The strategy side isn't too complex yet it's surprisingly deep.

The combat is lots of fun too with the explosions still feeling really sweet. Blowing up alien ships has to be one of the most fun elements of Ascendancy.

The Bad
Well, I have to agree with the biggest criticisms that the game has received in the past.

First of all, the AI isn't that great. There has been a patch that improves it but the original unpatched game saw the AI really badly manage planets. Every planet you captured, you had to completely rebuild from scratch. The AI never posed a real challenge.

The second problem with the game is that some might find the macromanagement tedious after you've captured 50 planets. Maintaining such a large amount of planets means a lot of work and nearly every day you have to create several buildings, start constructing a new ship, etc. My advice is: stick to smaller universes with fewer aliens to compete with. The moment you tackle a large universe, you're doomed to give up out of boredom.

The Bottom Line
This really is a different take on Master of Orion. The difference is that you have much better control over combat and have to maintain planets on a much smaller level. You constantly have to research more, upgrade buildings, build better ships, explore new solar systems, colonize new planets.

This game can really suck you in. 13 years old yet when I played it recently in Dosbox, I couldn't tear myself away from the screen until I had vanquished my opponents! My entire day went up in smoke, something which for me, few modern games are capable of achieving.

DOS · by Icarus Lytton (19) · 2008

[ View all 14 player reviews ]


Subject By Date
Colonization vedder (68275) Feb 21st, 2009


PC Gamer controversy

A minor scandal surrounded the PC Gamer review of Ascendancy. PC Gamer gave the game high marks, and made it an Editor's Choice game. However, the individual who reviewed the game for PC Gamer also turned out to be the author of the game's Strategy Guide, leading many to wonder if the review had been padded in order to boost sales of the Strategy Guide.

In Computer Gaming World #151 (February 1997), a letter by William Trotter was published in which he shared his view on the matter. Summarized, he needed money to pay off repairs on his house and therefore gladly agreed to write the strategy guide. However, the developers failed to give him any information on the game, not even technology trees, and a one-month deadline. So he had no other choice but to play the game non-stop for two weeks, becoming eventually obsessed with it. So when PC Gamer hired him for the review, he really thought Ascendancy was a great game, and he failed to see the conflict of interest. In hindsight, he agrees with the bad review in Computer Gaming World (see MobyRanks), the strategy guide turned out to be pathetic and he didn't receive any royalties from it at all.


  • CODiE Awards
    • 1996 - Best Strategy Software

Information also contributed by Afterburner

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Related Sites +

  • Ascendancy
    official game page at Logic Factory's website, archived copy from 1997 by the Wayback Machine

Identifiers +


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Tomer Gabel.

iPhone, iPad added by Techademus.

Additional contributors: Rebound Boy, formercontrib, Patrick Bregger, MrFlibble.

Game added August 29th, 1999. Last modified August 14th, 2023.