Reach for the Stars

Moby ID: 3048


This is an updated version of the venerable MS-DOS-era Reach for the Stars, the 4X game before the term was even invented. Start with a simple planet, build and research better stuff, take over other planets, and eventually control the whole galaxy. Let computer ministers handle the research and building while the human player handles overall strategy. Includes improved graphics (naturally) and special scenarios.

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Credits (Windows version)

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Average score: 60% (based on 16 ratings)


Average score: 3.0 out of 5 (based on 2 ratings)

A solid C+ effort

The Good
First I would say that RFTS is a great concept. The potential of this type of game is tremendous. All you have to do is look at the Master of Orion series to see how much fun a game like this can be. Oh, and since I brought up the MOO subject I would like to say that there is enough original material and thought that RFTS does look and feel different (Translation: its not a MOO clone).

RFTS often times will begin to impress you with something (graphics, sound, gameplay) but then it will simply not deliver. A good example of this can be found in the cool opening sequence, the graphics in it and in the first few screens that you play are outstanding. But as you continue your play you begin to see that other more important areas of the game (I.e. the battle screens) were left unpolished. In the combat screens it is simplified to the max and very little time was spent (it seems anyway) in making this an interesting place to play. (Bad considering you spend most of your time there)

I think probably one of the most enjoyable aspects of RFTS is in some of the mechanics of the game. A good deal of attention and thought went into the tech trees and species. And I even prefer the look of the human ships in this game as opposed to MOO 2. I think overall the "guts" of the game are outstanding. (Gameplay, writing, ect)

The Bad
As I hinted to above RFTS major problem is a lack of polish. The game itself is what I would say is about 75% to 85% complete. Now don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean it has bugs and is unplayable, that is just not the case. The problem is that RFTS needs a little here and a little there to make this game a classic. What it needs is some extra features and some more flashy graphics in key areas to keep everyone’s attention. It could also use a second or even third campaign set.

One major gripe that I have is that in the middle of the big campaign I have to switch to another species. Now this isn’t too bad as long as when I go back to my old game that nothing has changed. Unfortunately a great deal has changed. In the campaign I played I lost 2 colonies and an untold amount of ships that were in a system that simply dropped off the map when I returned to the controls of the humans. Not to mention It is nearly impossible to defeat the horde of advanced enemy’s that attack you.

The Bottom Line
Don’t get me wrong about this game, it does have enjoyable parts and can be quite fun at times. The problem is that RFTS has the potential to be a game as good as Civilization and Master of Orion. Its unfortunate that more time and thought didn’t go in to this one.

Windows · by William Shawn McDonie (1131) · 2001

Disappointing game, I really wanted to like it, but its off my Hard Drive now.

The Good
The automatic queuing of builds was good.

The Bad
the main map could not be zoomed. Ship combat was poor. Choose some setting and watch it happen. It is the equivalent of rock, scissors, paper in space.

The Bottom Line
Graphics were ok. The interface was a bit difficult to used to. Ship combat was bad....the equivalent of rock, scissors, paper in space. Techs were not very interesting. We are still waiting for the next game to take the 4x crown!

Windows · by Mike Kent (1) · 2001


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Kasey Chang.

Additional contributors: Rebound Boy.

Game added January 19, 2001. Last modified February 27, 2023.