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Take back the galaxy
Predating such galaxy spanning strategy affairs as Supremacy and Imperium Galactica by several years, this neat little game is quite remarkable given its age. It's far from perfect but it must be applauded for its scope and ambition and which is thus worthy of some serious investigation by sci-fi loving retroheads. The player's ultimate goal in the game is to establish a vast empire and which must be gradually achieved by completing missions, trading and of course engaging in combat. Everything plays out in topdown fashion with the player piloting their ship around the galaxy, looking for starbases and other locations of interest. Starbases are where you can pick up missions, trade in collected goods and pick up crew for the ship. When you venture out onto a planet, things switch to a first person view with a change to a sort of arcade-style experience where you must dodge or blow up rockets which are fired at you. Other sections see you racing through asteroid fields while you also have to deal with rogue alien races and even plague which you have to be careful with if you don't want it to spread. Victory is ultimately achieved when you have visited the entire star system and purchased starbases in each area, and can thus claim the galaxy as your own. While Star Empire lacks the depth of later games, given its age it's fairly remarkable little game. There's a lot to keep you busy here and while it's not overly complex, it is quite fun carving out your empire in the stars. Simple visuals aside, this makes for a nicely compelling piece of old-school entertainment.