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Reach for the Stars: The Conquest of the Galaxy

DOS - 1988

Also available on: Commodore 64 - Amiga - Apple IIgs

Alt name リーチ・フォー・ザ・スターズ
Year 1988
Platform DOS
Released in United States
Genre Strategy
Theme 4X, Managerial, Sci-Fi / Futuristic, Turn-based
Publisher Strategic Studies Group Pty Ltd.
Developer Strategic Studies Group Pty Ltd.
Perspective Top-Down
4.48 / 5 - 23 votes

Description of Reach for the Stars: The Conquest of the Galaxy

The first time I read about Reach for the Stars was in a computer magazine at the local library, after reading about 10 lines of the review one thought flashed in my brain, "I must have this game!" I never found it, so my expectations was huge, also due to the fact that it is regarded as one of the first and best 4X (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate) games.

Even though the interface is well designed and the graphics is ahead of its time, a look in the manual is recommended as one mistake could seriously cripple your ambition to rule the galaxy. The game universe is quite large, and in every star system there can be several planets, so in the late game you'll have to command vast space fleets while keeping your rapidly growing population from consuming all production.

You can choose to play the game on the basic level (default) or advanced level that adds complexity, expanding your options for research (which is quite limited), random events, and more. The AI is excellent, in my first game I was utterly crushed on the beginner level in turn 20.

Reach for the Stars is one of the games the stand the test of time very well. It has it all: gameplay, excellent balance, tough AI, great replayability, addiction and fun-- qualities sadly lacking from many of today's games. After having played the original I can only say that I will be looking for the remake that SSI is about to release within a very short time, and this time I will get it :)

Review By HOTUD

Captures and Snapshots

Comments and reviews

How-to-play-video and-HINTS 2019-05-10 2 points DOS version

Watch this video by SquakeNet - he must've been SOOOOO frustrated, because he didn't figure out the keys before he started playing. Silly boy. :P

This is an example of how NOT to make a game-play video.
If he recorded voice audio as a separate track, he was lucky -- at least when he threw that out the window for all the swearing, he still had all the game beeps to indicate to us that the game didn't like him very much. ;)

Try playing online before downloading. Alt site for this, PC/DOS version:
Hint: the Minus ("-") key helps cycle between open windows.
Hint: the Delete ("./Del") key helps CLOSE the active/highlighted window.
Hint: ESC is your Friend, but only to get you to the "menu bar" (bottom of screen)
Hint: Arrow keys, but not always...
Hint: Destinations are auto-complete, so start typing!
Hint: Don't want all 4 scouts going to one place? Type a smaller number. ;)

Jeff Mullen 2018-06-03 0 point

I wish I could find someone who would allow me to port this old-timer to windows. I can remember playing it long ago, and think it would still have some value. I can't clone it because I could never reproduce that AI.

Zoot 2017-03-18 0 point

I played this game on my mom's 286 back in the day. I loved the game, and I've been playing it ever since. Still have the original box, floppy, and manual. It's definitely stood the test of time, no doubt.

My three favorite games of all time were RFTS, VGA Planets, and Stars! Still playing all 3 today, although Stars! players are hard to find any more.

aureliussr 2016-08-26 1 point DOS version

@B_P, you can use '-' and '=' keys to cycle through the various contexts and then use the "Esc" key to access the menu bar for the particular context you are in.

B_P 2016-06-07 -1 point DOS version

Running this for the first time on mac and have no mouse pointer. I'm ok using keys, but does anyone have a list of shortcuts as I have problems switching between the menus

Tananda 2015-04-30 0 point DOS version

RFTS was a great game, AI is poor but this is meant to be played with friends.

Dan2000 2015-04-11 0 point DOS version

Having played this on shareware with an old friend back in the late 80's, I found this game to be too much fun. I did, however find a flaw, aka cheat for the game. Since I haven't played in decades, all I remember was there was a way to make a purchase, and sell the ship, keeping the money and cloning the point of massive amounts of credits, to buy and build an armada. The one time I used it to it's complete potential, I had 3 armadas of ships, surrounding 3 different planets. The first was smaller, and realistic, maybe about 25 when it was found, there was no suspect. But then, when my friend found the other 2 with hundreds of ships...he used many four letter words to describe the situation. LOL..IT WAS FUNNY but all in all the cheat was not usedagain, to make the game palyable and fair

DanTheTerrible 2014-11-26 1 point DOS version

Reach for the Stars is essentially a computerized version of MetaGaming's boardgame Stellar Conquest (1974). Many of the game's concepts were included in Microprose's Master of Orion 1 (1993). Master of Orion 2 (1996) was more of a departure in that it included elements from the Microprose Civilisation series. Master of Orion 3 was a completely different game, and universally considered poor. Most afficiOnados of turn based galactic conquest games consider Master of Orion 2 to be the best of its time, and it still holds up today (18 years after publication).

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