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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.


Ascendancy DOS Detailed view of a planet. This one has highly developed research / industry capabilities.
Ascendancy DOS Selecting a structure to build on the planet surface
Ascendancy DOS ... or offensive ones. Despite the silly name, the "Long Range Orbital Whopper" is the best defensive weapon available to a planet.
Ascendancy DOS Race display

Promo Images

Ascendancy Screenshot
Ascendancy Screenshot
Ascendancy Screenshot
Ascendancy Screenshot

Alternate Titles

  • "Ascendancy: Macht der Allmacht" -- German title
  • "Ascendancy: De Galactische Uitdaging" -- Dutch title

Part of the Following Group

User Reviews

Terribly addictive! Icarus Lytton (23) 4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars
A good, addictive space sim lucian (40) 4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars
Quirky, atmospheric, low-stress, a classic! Ran Prieur (19) 4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars
Good ideas... but an idea is not enough. Technocrat (201) unrated
Both better and worse than MOO somebody (6) unrated
Not as bad as its detractors claim. Afterburner (496) 3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars
A wonderful game, a classic MojoHelperMonkey (42) 3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars
A Pretty Good turn-based strategy game, but with a few flaws. Longwalker (768) 4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars
Fun at first, but ultimately unsatisfying. PCGamer77 (3225) 2.6 Stars2.6 Stars2.6 Stars2.6 Stars2.6 Stars
A unique, fascinating game. Rick Jones (111) 3.4 Stars3.4 Stars3.4 Stars3.4 Stars3.4 Stars

Critic Reviews

PC Gamer Nov, 1995 93 out of 100 93
PC Games (Germany) Sep, 1995 92 out of 100 92
PC Joker Sep, 1995 83 out of 100 83
Power Play Sep, 1995 80 out of 100 80
Score Oct, 1995 8 out of 10 80
High Score Feb, 1996 4 out of 5 80
PC Player (Germany) Sep, 1995 77 out of 100 77
Gameplay (Benelux) Dec, 1995 76 out of 100 76
PC Attack Oct, 1995 76 out of 100 76
Retro Archives Mar 08, 2021 13.5 out of 20 68


Topic # Posts Last Post
Colonization 2 vedder (57623)
Feb 21, 2009
Ascendancy 2 1 john smith (1)
Sep 02, 2008


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

    Related Web Sites

    • Ascendancy (official game page at Logic Factory's website, archived copy from 1997 by the Wayback Machine)
    Tomer Gabel (4634) added Ascendancy (DOS) on Aug 29, 1999
    Other platforms contributed by Techademus (336)
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