Windows - 1996
Description of Stars!
Undoubtedly one of the best and most underrated 4X strategy games ever made, Stars! is a massive strategic romp through the universe that plays best in multiplayer mode.
Your goal? To take over said universe... or any of several other victory goals; universal domination is just the most fun and challenging.
What distinguishes Stars! from other galactic conquer titles is the multi-faceted complexity that is concealed beneath a deceptively simple mouse-driven interface. The game runs smoothly in a window, and everything you need to know about your budding empire (or a thriving war machine) can be accessed via menus or shortcut keys. After choosing the size of the universe you want (five sizes are available, from Tiny to Huge), you can add up to 15 (!) other players, both AI or human. Then you can set this up as play-by-email (PBEM) -- a welcome feature that unfortunately not too many games nowadays support.
The beauty of Stars! is that the game gets more complex as you play, without bogging you down with tedious micromanagement. It is not uncommon for a huge battle later in the game to involve hundreds of ships or more, but the interface is so well-designed that managing your fleet is a breeze. The ship design interface is one of my most favorite features in the game: similar to Master of Orion, you can design your own ships by choosing various components.
Stars! boasts even more components, and numerous technologies that can upgrade each area. The computer AI is more than adequate, although the game is most fun in multiplayer mode against fellow human commanders. With a top-notch user interface, addictive "just one more turn" gameplay, and a challenging computer player, Stars! is a worthy entrant in our Hall of Belated Fame.
Aside from dedicated support to the game, developers Mare Crisium are also hard at work on Stars! Supernova Genesis, the sequel that has all the makings of another underrated classic (note: the title got cancelled). Highly recommended!
Review By HOTUD
Captures and Snapshots
Comments and reviews
Webjam 2021-07-04 0 point
You can play Stars! On Windows 10 as long as you install the 32 bit version of Windows 10. It is working fine for me.
aaqarab 2021-04-12 -1 point
One of the best games I never played, and after all not so difficult , the manual is impressive but easy to learn.
KingCrispy 2019-10-03 3 points
I have been playing this masterpiece for 23 years... that alone should say enough... endless variety and endless strategies to explore.
AlEcyler 2019-06-26 1 point
I'd been hunting this down for ages.
This is one of the best 4X games I've ever played to date.
Graw 2019-02-28 0 point
It is best use free Oracle VM Virtual Box in case you own windows 95/98/XP. You can get much better resolution and it works quite well.
It is much better than use it on Win 3.11.
It is really good game, it is pitty that the Stars! Supernova Genesis was not finished.
Your name here 2018-10-28 0 point
Hi, I just wanted to add one comment about the complexity of this game. It lets you design your own race in ways I have never seen in any other game - from the general type (warmongers, star gate specialists etc.), through climate requirements and reproduction rates down to small industrial details. Moreover the choices aren't made in vacuum and picking some options will change the cost of others. You can spend countless hours tweaking and testing your favorite race. On the other hand, you can simply take one of those pre-made by the developers and have fun.
HOW_TO_PLAY 2017-04-04 2 points
I use Daemon Tools Lite to mount and install the game to hard drive. Also, Normal Dosbox won't work because this is a Windows 3.11 game. You will need to do a web search for: Windows 3.11 for Dosbox and follow that setup guide. Once you have all that done, you will need to mount the game like any other game in Dosbox to play it. Hope this helps.
Skypup 2017-01-11 -1 point
Hello...Thanx for providing this 4X strategy game. I read your Abandonwre Guide first by I still have problems understanding how to effectively start this game... After downloading & unzipping the large (windows) download, I get 3 files. A bin, cue and store file. All 3 files are associated with VCG (Virt. Clone Drive) and have the sheep icon next to them. I left click or right click on them, but get 'error - Cannot open VCD'. Am I supposed to do an IMGmount with the big ISO folder within Dosbox? - Any info appreciated.
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