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Critic Reviews

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81 (Apr 30, 2013)
For a game designed and developed primarily by only one man, the range and scope of StarDrive’s design has had to have been a monumental undertaking. To succeed where entire teams of 4X designers have failed, is simply remarkable in my opinion. While I’ve listed my fair share of shortcomings with the game as it is, it is important to realize that the game itself is still a good game that is fun to play as long as you aren’t experiencing some of the actual technical issues that I experienced on my laptop. StarDrive is a solid title that is enjoyable but not infallible, and much like every other title in the genre, has its own shortcomings that may prevent some players from enjoying the game.
Gameplay (Benelux) (May 29, 2013)
Een welhaast bovenmenselijke prestatie voor een eenmansteam dat met nog wat extra polijsten bij de groten in het 4X-genre had kunnen behoren. Nu blijft het bij een verdienstelijke poging.
Game Informer Magazine (May 10, 2013)
While StarDrive can be a lot of fun for patient, detail-minded strategy players, it still feels like a game in process. The focus on conquest or alliance as the primary victory conditions is limited; I’m hopeful that new diplomatic, economic, or other paths to a win are patched in over time, but they’re not present as of this writing. I also long to see more opportunities for cool social and story interactions with the awesome alien species you encounter, if only because I adored the art and culture design that went into each one. Finally, I ran into my fair share of technical problems, including a couple of crashes, sound cut-outs, and slow-down. That latter problem only showed up once hundreds of ships were active across the largest available galaxy size. Even with its foibles, StarDrive is a rare treat for those with the fortitude to marshal past its rough spots; invest the time it takes to understand, and the galaxy has a lot to offer.
games xtreme (Jun 19, 2013)
StarDrive brings some interesting new features to the space 4X genre but it's not very well balanced and could use a good deal more polish. Worth it if you don't mind the steep learning curve and the limitations imposed by a single-player experience.
Gaming Nexus (Aug 19, 2013)
“StarDrive” is squarely in the space-based 4X tradition of MoO and GalCiv. If you have played a game in that genre, you will be immediately familiar with “StarDrive”. It does nothing really new, and does not advance the genre in any important way. It is not a bad game, it just is not a very good one. It was not entirely finished when delivered and patching is ongoing, so perhaps some of its more obvious flaws will be remedied, but as for now this is a forgettable game.
70 (May 03, 2013)
Si l'on tient compte du fait que StarDrive a principalement été développé par un seul homme avec un tout petit budget, le résultat final est un véritable tour de force. Car le jeu contient bien tous les ingrédients d'un 4X spatial : gestion de planètes, diplomatie, combat spatial, etc. Sans oublier quelques idées issues de Master of Orion II, comme l'espionnage et la conception de vaisseaux. Hélas, StarDrive possède par ailleurs presque autant de défauts que de qualités. L'investissement reste envisageable pour les fans du genre en période de disette, mais n'espérez pas y trouver une nouvelle référence.
GameStar (Germany) (May 27, 2013)
StarDrive ist im Moment eher ein Mod-Gerüst als ein vollwertiges und ausgereiftes Spiel. Aber die bereits fertigen oder zumindest angekündigten Community-Mods sowie die Weiterentwicklungspläne des Entwicklers dürften noch für viel Freude unter 4X-Fans sorgen. Spielerisch setzt StarDrive zwischen die etablierten Genre-Stühle - und das ist auch gut so: Dank seiner Versorgungsmechanik gibt sich das Spiel komplexer als Endless Space, aber deutlich weniger zugänglich. Die Echtzeit-Schlachten fallen magerer aus als in Sins of a Solar Empire, dafür erfordert die Logistik mehr Grips. Und die wenig prominenten Unterschiede zwischen den Rassen sowie das Flottenmanagement entfalten weniger Tiefgang als in Sword of the Stars 2, dafür funktionieren die KI und die Diplomatie deutlich besser. Kurzum: In StarDrive steckt noch eine Menge Potenzial, das aber erst noch entwickelt oder »er-moddet« werden will. Langfristig könnte StarDrive daher eine sehr lohnende Investition sein.
Also, making the galaxy feel more alive wouldn’t hurt either. It’s all a bit soulless right now, even the other races have limited interactions available. I’d hesitate to spend the full £24.99 on this game – not right now anyway. Wait for a better discount, or wait until they’ve made some improvements to it. As it stands, there are bigger and better titles to be excited about.
StarDrive è un mix tra RTS e gestionale 4X che aggiunge alle classiche meccaniche del genere la possibilità di pilotare direttamente l'ammiraglia della propria flotta. Un titolo decisamente vario da una parte, con pianeti e flotte da gestire, e altrettanto limitato vista la troppa semplificazione di alcuni elementi come la componente diplomatica. La semplificazione ci regala un'interfaccia accessibile e punta i riflettori sula complessa customizzazione delle astronavi, ma il risultato lascia un retrogusto amaro in bocca, reso ancora meno piacevole dalle potenzialità del titolo. Se a quanto sopra aggiungiamo glitch e bug in quantità, risulta evidente la necessità di aggiornamenti corposi, sperando che le vendite iniziali del titolo concedano a Zero Sum Games i fondi necessari per un supporto adeguato.
Despite its problems, Stardrive does a lot of things very well and I’d really like to give it my recommendation…except for the hefty pricetag. It’s hard to justify recommending Stardrive over Galactic Civilizations 2, Sins of a Solar Empire: Trinity, or AI War: Fleet Command when those games offer more content for less money. If you’re a big fan of space-themed 4X games, and find it on sale, I’d say you should pick it up. But everybody else is better off leaving this one for the space-bears.
Girl Gamers UK (Jun 28, 2013)
The truth is that StarDrive is a mixed bag when it comes to the various different components that make up the game. Some work, some not so much, with much of the game seeming to be incomplete. The game feels unfinished at the moment, but has the potential to be something quite special – it is just going to take some time and some hefty patches. Fans of the genre could do far worse than to jump into StarDrive right now, but waiting will undoubtedly result in a far better game.
The Digital Fix (May 06, 2013)
“Potential” is bandied around a lot in gaming circles, particularly as the vibrant indie scene opens up cottage-industry development in a wave not seen since the 1980s. In StarDrive’s case it’s especially relevant. A number of features aim for the stars (sorry) but don’t always reach the target. So if you’re risk averse and want to settle into something mainstream, you’d best look elsewhere as you’re likely to see the rough edges instead of the potential for growth. For anyone interested in 4X games or strategy in general, StarDrive is worth considering, but don’t expect a highly-polished product or you’ll be disappointed. There’s a real buzz around the game as fervent fans clamour to give their input but whether this momentum will carry on after release date is another matter. We at The Digital Fix will be watching for sure.
60 (May 09, 2013)
Stardrive a une approche sans concession de la stratégie 4x assez intéressante. Relativement simple dans ses mécanismes de gestion, il demande tout de même d'être pris en main avec précaution, car chaque élément à un gros impact sur votre partie. À l'opposé, la customisation fouillée des vaisseaux devra être étudiée avec minutie pour être efficace au cas par cas, quand l'économie interdit des flottes trop massives et inutiles. Une bonne base, mais il reste beaucoup de progrès à faire sur de nombreux points (IA, interface, optimisation...)
GameSpot (May 13, 2013)
StarDrive's problems make it difficult to recommend without reservation. The ability to design your own ships, the unique diplomacy system, and the colorful factions make StarDrive an entertaining strategy game, and the mod support bodes well for its future. However, StarDrive promises more than it delivers, making it feel more like a beta than a finished game. It has great potential, but at this time, it's best to wait until the game is feature-complete.
Too many others, not least the UI, feel as if they’re still work in progress. It’s work that I have little doubt Daniel DiCicco will get to, given time, but at present the missing bits and pieces leave his title short of full coherence. As it was when I previewed it, StarDrive is a promising collection of features waiting for a cascade of finishing touches to fill in the gaps and make it a world-devouring whole.
60 (May 18, 2013)
Jeg savner også mer dynamikk og overraskelser, som kan friske opp spillopplevelsen og tvinge meg til å tenke nytt underveis. Det er ingenting i veien for at slike ting kan introduseres etter hvert – utvikleren har gjort det klart at han har mange store planer for spillets fremtid. Men det hjelper ikke nå. Hvis du elsker interplanetarisk krigføring bør du absolutt ta en titt på dette spillet, men er du mer interessert i imperiebygging bør du nok heller vente å se. Hvem vet – kanskje høsten eller vinterens StarDrive er den perlen det burde vært i dag.
XGN (May 23, 2013)
StarDrive beloofde in onze impressie veel goed te gaan doen, maar het uiteindelijke product is nog niet helemaal wat we verwacht hadden. Toegegeven, het spel speelt lekker weg en kan je uren bezig houden. Daartegenover staat dan weer dat het spel te veel tekortkomingen heeft om echt te stralen. Voor nu lijkt het spel nog in bèta te zitten, dus laten we hopen dat Zer0 Sum Games de problemen snel weet op te lossen. Alleen dan kan StarDrive nog gered worden!
Darkstation (Jun 03, 2013)
A very ambitious undertaking, StarDrive has a lot of promise. There’s a lot the developer hopes to add, and he plans on supporting the game for the foreseeable future, but the package as it stands is a bit of a hard sell to all but the most patient and driven 4X fans. If you are willing to dig deep, there are some diamonds to be found in this rough. If not, you may want to wait for this package to fill itself out a bit more.
59 (Jun 03, 2013)
Ich bin eingefleischter SciFi-Fan und vor allem groß angelegte 4X-Weltraumstrategie hat es mir schon immer angetan. Ich habe Sins of a Solar Empire geliebt und mit Master of Orion noch im Jahr 2007 unzählige Stunden verbracht. Umso mehr frustriert mich das verschenkte Potential von StarDrive: Das unfertig wirkende Interface, die unkomfortable Frachtersteuerung, das undurchsichtige und gleichzeitig flache Wirtschaftssystem sowie die fehlende Kontrolle der Flotte im Gefecht trüben den Spaß. Während ich über die schwache Kulisse noch hinwegsehen könnte und der starke Schiffseditor mich über Stunden beschäftigt hat, reißen mich die oberflächliche Diplomatie und die furchtbar schlecht funktionierende Automatisierung der Kolonien immer wieder aus dem Spiel. So bleibt leider nur eine Menge verschenktes Potential und ein Spiel, das - um bei der einleitenden Metapher zu bleiben - , dringend noch ein oder zwei Jahre im Echtzeit-Fass hätte reifen müssen.
Destructoid (May 24, 2013)
It doesn't add anything drastically new to the genre, and thus there isn't much reason why you should get it when titles like Galactic Civilization II are better and cheaper, or the contemporary Endless Space -- for all its flaws -- offers a more unique take on the 4X experience.
GamesRadar (May 08, 2013)
StarDrive is not a bad a game, per se--but it's a lot like the games that came before it, and does little to differentiate itself from the pack. It has character, sure--what game with samurai bears wouldn’t? But when it comes time to get out there and explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate? You’ve played this before, and it was probably better. If you’re simply looking for a new game to dominate the universe in, StarDrive will serve you well enough, but those looking for a new and novel experience will need to set course for elsewhere.
Game Revolution (Jun 01, 2013)
Hours in, I was a believer in StarDrive. I saw a hundreds of hours potentially flying by as I came up with genius new ship designs and fleet formations that would make the difference in sprawling, climactic battles. But none of that ever happened. I spent a lot of time getting attached to ships that would ultimately just be grains in a sandstorm. And once that disappointment had truly settled in, there was nothing left but a bunch of menus, and a cold, empty galaxy expanding endlessly around me.
IGN (May 13, 2013)
StarDrive is a poorly constructed clone of Master of Orion. Behind its nice alien species graphics, there's little more than a collection of bland, samey gameplay regardless of what race you play as, tedious ship customization, and an AI that seems set to galactic griefer mode. You're better off setting out to conquer an alternate 4X universe.
Polygon (May 07, 2013)
StarDrive has a deep reservoir of potential. The ship-building and fleet composition would be enough for many games to stand alone, albeit in a smaller package, and there's a charm and wit to the alien races and artifacts that dot its universe. I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy some of my time with it. After every crash, it wasn't long before I started the game up again to continue my space-faring odyssey, until, that is, I got bored with the lack of objectives beyond simple galactic citizenship or bloodthirsty conquest. Beyond the technical problems — which are significant — in its current state, StarDrive is a collection of neat systems and cool ideas that fail to form a cohesive game.

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