Battlestar Galactica Deadlock

Battlestar Galactica Deadlock

I don’t know where to start. And I don’t like that I can’t give a thumbs up AND thumbs down. But this will be a long review.

First, for a game billed as a strategy game, there is but one strategy. And that is to build enough ships to make seven ship fleets to protect each of the four quadrants of your map. This is not difficult with the exception that you play on the highest of three difficulty modes. Once you figure this out, this is where my biggest problems comes into play

  1. This is not a strategic game. It’s a reactive game because the Cylons always have the initiative. They will attack your fleet or your planets and you simply react to the attacks - the entire campaign, until the very end.

Real player with 1824.5 hrs in game

Read More: Best Space Sci-fi Games.

“Sometimes you have to roll a hard six."

  • Commander William Adama, Battlestar Galactica BSG 75


While “Battlestar Galactica: Deadlock” it’s own game, the basic mechanics of the previous game “Starhammer: The Vanguard Prophecy” are there, with vertical movement now more refined and group moves, making the movement of fleets early on much easier. Players of that game will feel right at home, and if you don’t have the previous game, it’s a crime not to pick it up on a sale - it’s that much fun.

Real player with 435.9 hrs in game

Battlestar Galactica Deadlock on Steam

Ancient Frontier: Steel Shadows

Ancient Frontier: Steel Shadows

This is a fantastic little gem of a game. Very moody and thematically perfect for the tone it tries to set.

Its a turn based strategy game very similar in gameplay mechanics to games like X com, Fire Emblem, and other turn based fare, only instead of commanding characters, you command ships, ranging from quick but deadly little fighters, to huge battle cruiser/carriers that come with disposable “body guard ship” as well as a few other surprises that were quite pleasing. Its truly an addicting title, with great music, recently added passable voice acting (some of its really good, such as the pirate queen and her entourage, including one guy who does a minor role as a pirate who sounds like a pro, to others which sound a bit plain and uh….not-so- pro. Its a mixed bag, but thats ok because it really helps with the immersion anyways).

Real player with 154.6 hrs in game

Read More: Best Space Sci-fi Games.

Having played the original Ancient Frontier, I really welcomed the new addition of Steel Shadows. Everything in the game is improved over the original and it is clear that the developers listened to the players and thrown in some of their own ideas for good measure.

New and good things:

  • new faction and ships, which previously were unavailable;

  • new feel (pirates);

  • new side mission types;

  • new graphic assets;

  • new story with a mix of characters old and new (nice for the veterans of the original, but the newcomers won’t feel

Real player with 113.9 hrs in game

Ancient Frontier: Steel Shadows on Steam

Ancient Frontier

Ancient Frontier

The voice acting and storyline start off really really bad. But like a fungus it grows on you and now I’m quite liking it. I had originally complained of it being awful, but a few missions in, the dialogue between missions starts making sense in the style it’s presented and after a while it comes into it’s own and you start to appreciate these characters making the journey with you.

Botom line it’s pretty fun. There’s plenty of RPG elements, battle damage and mission consequences carry over from one mission to the next and there’s a nice tech tree and progression for all things from ships to ship components to crew. I’m enjoying the ways I can use a few ships with tech and crew or just a large fleet to go about my missions. There’s a lot of random elements that can happen so there’s replayability too. You can go about the campaign mission a second time using different ships, techs and strategies and there looks to be a few unique mission choices that you can do differently.

Real player with 79.0 hrs in game

Read More: Best Space Sci-fi Games.

Turn-based tactical goodness… in SPACE!

For a game out of nowhere, Ancient Frontier offered me a highly pleasant surprise. Good turn-based tactical games are not overly abundant to start with, so I decided to bite the bullet and buy on a whim. Something I rarely do, but boy am I glad to have done so.

The game is all about the tactical missions. There are two main campaigns, which apparnetly can take around 100 hours to play through. No multiplayer or skirmish mode.

Missions bring you varying quantity of one of the three main resources (“material,” “fuel,” and “research”). The first allows is used to buy new ships or components and repair battle damage. Aside from being required as well to purchase new ships, the second resource is an all-important balancing mechanism. Since each ship class (and modifier components) alter the cost of deployment for each mission. Take too many expensive ships too often on missions, and you will run out… which will probably end your playthrough. The last allows investing in upgrades to each ship class, or to research new and more efficient modifier components.

Real player with 66.3 hrs in game

Ancient Frontier on Steam



Good game for the price.

Clean, Simple, Fun.

Found the instructions clear and informative

  • Crushed the impossible AI on my 5th game.

Real player with 18.2 hrs in game

Interesting little side-scroller. Simple but fun concept, easy to pick up and play. Not much meat to it once you master the basics but for what it costs it’s definitely worth it to give it a go and see if you like it.

Real player with 6.2 hrs in game

Expansion on Steam

Galaxy Admirals

Galaxy Admirals

Wow, this game is fun. Basically I had some money in my steam wallet and this looked interesting, so I picked it up, at first glance the UI looks like a mobile port, but the game works fine with mouse and runs really smooth on my PC, looks pretty good too when you have the graphics cranked up.

Gameplay: This game is a turn based strategy game set in a solar system, unlike a lot of turn based space strategy games this game has no extra fluff, no CCG elements, no 4X style campaign mode, just a simple to learn, but suprisingly complex strategy game. The twist with this game is that everything on the map rotates around the center, although it seems like this wouldn’t matter as relative positions would stay the same, that actually isn’t true, because everything orbits at the same speed things closer to the center go around faster than things on the edge, these rotations really add new depth and it takes some time to get used to, but the devs have really taken advantage of this with delayed attacks and timed bombs that can take advantage of the orbiting system.

Real player with 56.5 hrs in game

“Even if you don’t think you’ll like it, just spend the 2 dollars to buy it. It is worth WAY more than the 2 dollars it costs, and even if you don’t like it, it’s only 2 dollars that you wasted!”

-Original Review

Alright, I decided I should put more effort into it. This game is better than all other turn-based space strategy games because:

*Doesn’t do too much behind the scenes, so using the highest quality setting won’t affect performance 90% of the time, and means most computers that aren’t 5 years old and slow as fuck can run it with no problems, even at the highest quality setting.

Real player with 16.3 hrs in game

Galaxy Admirals on Steam



Horizon is an attempt to capture the Master of Orion (MOO) spirit and has a huge inspiration from it in many regards. Yet the game simplifies many aspects of its famous reference, sometimes for the better, sometimes sacrificing features which made its 21 and 18 years old elders become legend.

I can recommend this MOO-lite 4X game to people who are new to the genre as a very decent introduction, although seasoned 4X players (who have tried Imperium Galactica series, GalCiv series, Endless Space, Space Empires series to name a few) may find it pretty shallow and fielding little replayability at the end. Also its graphical style, general atmosphere and pretty easy to grasp gameplay are perfectly suitable for children (even overgrown ones) while still offering enough challenge at first.

Real player with 66.8 hrs in game

Wow, just wow. Finally the 4X space strategy game that is at least as good but probably much better than master of orion I and II. I can’t believe it, especially with the mixed ratings that it got. I could write pages and pages of text about it to show how good it is, but nobody would read it so ill try to keep it short and simple. Here it goes:

  • The game is a typical 4X strategy game where you build and colonize new planets to expand your empire. You build ships and conquer worlds! The strategy part can be pretty deep. Long range view of things is needed for you to succeed at the highest level of difficulty.

Real player with 66.8 hrs in game

Horizon on Steam

Master of Orion

Master of Orion

One can fix the bugs, glitches and even contents with enough patches. However, one cannot fix bad gameplay design decisions no matter how much one can pour its money and time. The new Moo is the prime example of the latter.

I had been maintaining weapon mod list thread in the official Moo forum until I gave up on the game.

This game massively suffers in three areas: combat, content, and game design which is terrible.

I am not even going to talk about the tactical battle being real-time instead of turn-based, or staranes instead of free movements, because those issues are actually trivial issues compared to what I am going to discuss here.

Real player with 277.8 hrs in game

Pretty but Dull.

Because of the fixed and predictable tech tree each game tends to unfolds the same way.

Your opponets don’t have any unique and destinctive tech, they have what you have, or will have or use to have. Hardly makes it woth spying on them.

Combat is dull:

You start over here, they start over there and you charge one another. As there is very little input from the player you end up being a spectator in your own game. yay

You don’t decide what to shoot or who to shoot at, the AI does that for you.

Real player with 259.3 hrs in game

Master of Orion on Steam

Master of Orion 1

Master of Orion 1

I played this game when it first came out kids. That’s right. I played on DOS. My CPU was so slow in late game you’d hit ‘next turn’ and go grab lunch and PRAY it was done when you got back. Games took a while.

Back then you kept your games on a shelf, in boxes like freakin' board games. Back then you went to a physical store and walked around trying to decide what to buy because the gaming magazines with reviews lagged behind the release of games so you had to decide what was good by the box art.

Real player with 4370.9 hrs in game

Minimal micro-managing. Multiple choices: play one of 10 species; 1-5 opponents; 4 “galaxy” sizes; 4-5 levels of difficulty; up to 15 random events, positive or negative that may or may not occur. There is usually more than 1 choice, often 2-4 of next level of technology to focus research on (computer, construction, force field, planetology, propulsion, weapons) and options via sliding bars to apportion research points among categories; likewise choices @ ea planet to apportion among shipbuilding, missile bases, industry, ecology, tech. You have shipbuilding choice features (size/ propusion/weapons/special features); espionage/sabotage/limited interactive communication choices; ship/fleet combat. Graphics limited (2D). If you want to spend less time learning the game and just playing, this is an easy game to learn and can readily be made more challenging by your selection of species, level of difficulty and size of star domain. If current tech-graphics and very detailed management are more to your liking, you will want a more modern version of MOO or one of the more recently developed similar themed games.

Real player with 1154.0 hrs in game

Master of Orion 1 on Steam

Master of Orion 2

Master of Orion 2

This is probably the game I’ve played most of. The game’s difficulty relies on how you choose your race, or your race traits. It takes foresight and decision making calculation (skill) to become an effective leader. Noted, it is still possible for the most skilled players to loose on the ‘impossible’ difficulty.

Best 4X game i’ve played thus far.

Big (+)’s

-Music is good (excluding variety in it though)

-AI play their set difficulty level

-Custom race traits are resolute and have sensible outcomes

Real player with 155.6 hrs in game

I’ve received this game from a friend.

How one can rate masterpiece? Masterpiece is a game that is complex, with many possibilities, allowing experimentation on one hand, but on the other it has easy GUI, navigation and is not overloaded with too many statistics, options, etc. (this is where MOO3 failed). Such game also should have good music and good graphic with nice effects (this game also had this when it was published). Many games tried to copy from this game, but most failed.

At the beginning I strongly recommend to tweak dosbox settings, the default Steam window setting is barely playable. Edit the dosboxMOO2.conf file, change the lines to:

Real player with 96.7 hrs in game

Master of Orion 2 on Steam

Master of Orion 3

Master of Orion 3

I first experienced this game after I returned from a failed trip to leave the nest back in 2003. It was supposed to release in November 2002 in time for the holidays, when my father actually pre-ordered two copies, but instead was severely pushed back to FINALLY release at the beginning of February 2003.

To put it mildly, the game was a disappointment to the franchise. Years later it remains ‘the game that should not exist’ for all who really loved the genre. Infogrames had ambitions to make a Master Of Magic reboot after this project was finished. Unfortunately for them, and perhaps FORTUNATELY for so many of us, the company went bankrupt a couple months after Orion 3 released.

Real player with 494.9 hrs in game

Master of Orion 3 is the follow up of a series of games that were among the first of the 4X (explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate) style of science fiction empire building games. If you are not familiar with 4X games, you start from a single planet exploring and expanding out to form new colonies. Typically you research new technologies, build up planetary and system economies and starfleets, and exploit resources to further advance your empire into the surrounding space. You meet other empires doing the same and you can trade resources, have diplomatic relations, and even have war with these other empires who are all advancing their own causes as you are. I bought all three Master of Orion games from the 1990’s on up and have many more hours than listed above (there is a fourth iteration of the game as well.) I remember waiting with bated breath for MoO 3; it promised a deeper (than the other MoO games) complexity and immersion into the interstellar commerce, politics, scientific research, and warfare among various star faring races and was supposed to be the epitome of the genre. Sadly, there were flaws including not so great AI, dull bland colors, and a general feel of not being quite complete. However, I still enjoyed the game with the AI and, more satisfyingly, online and it never locked up. It was the first game I ever played online. The ship design is intuitive and straight forward. Though you cannot upgrade existing ships, you can update the design of older vessels that have proven their worth. I no longer own the version that I bought originally but I have the version that came in a package of games (along with the grand refurbishment, or redux, of Master of Orion that came out a few years ago) and it plays much better than the original MoO 3. The game gives you a feeling of deep, unexpIored, beckoning, space not unlike Stellaris. I own and still play all 4 versions. I do not know what you look for in a 4X game but if you like them you should give Master of Orion 3, and its sister games, a try.

Real player with 359.2 hrs in game

Master of Orion 3 on Steam