Nice galaxy. I'll take it.
For an old-school slice of galaxy-building fun, then this neat little adventure is well worth a look. It's far from perfect but is ambitious and well executed enough to overcome any shortcomings due to its age and remains a surprisingly deep title. Your overall goal in the game is to create a galaxy-spanning empire but before you can achieve this, there's plenty of trading, exploration and combat to be done first. The whole thing is played from an overhead perspective, with the player in control of a dinky little spaceship which must be flown around the map, as you look for starbases and other points of interest. Landing at a starbase allows you to pick up missions, trade for resources and pick up new crew, while there are alsoplenty of planets to explored and mined for minerals. Making planetfall switches the game to a first-person perspective and adds in a little action, while aliens are also encountered in space and which must be terminated with extreme prejudice. Progression opens up new planets, missions, equipment, and starbases, with the game ending when all of these are controlled. Although obviously lacking in the complexity of Supremacy and Imperium Galactica, this is quite a neat little game. There's plenty to occupy your time, with heaps of missions to complete while the action sequences are fairly simplistic but fun nonetheless. The visuals are pretty basic but the game rolls along nicely anyway thanks to the fact that it is well designed so if you're into retro sci-fi strategy, then check this out.
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.