Star Nations

by Al Giovetti
Price: $60
Genre: strategy
Release: September 96
Developer: Dream Media Productions (Montreal)
Producer:
Publisher: Megamedia
Phone: 408-428-9920
Website: www.megamed.com/gamedev/gamedev.html#starnations
Requirements: Windows 95

History: This company has been producing the Megapak, Mega TriPak game bundles for several years. Now they are breaking into producing their own games instead of marketing other companys older and lesser titles. And they have three games on their plate right now. starnatsm.jpg - 23.2 K

Plot: You take the role of a ruler of the stars, who must use his skills as an entrepreneur, adventurer, crusader, and administrator. You will have the freedom to carve out your own destiny as and evil or benevolent ruler and all the different variations in between. Out there waiting for you in the galaxy are eight other human or artificial intelligences that are waiting to react to the way you play or carve out their own destiny.

Game play: The game centers around exploration, colonization, trade, and combat. Exploration involves finding and charting star systems and new inhabitable planets. When encountering aliens you may need to establish relations and embassies and negotiate military and trade treaties.

Colonization requires you to manage those colonies, byt interacting with governors, generals, research development teams, and other advisors. To develop colonies into peaceful utopian states, you will need to balance industry, commerce, taxation, politics, and crime. Natural disaster, climate control, food, water, and oxygen production are other factors you control.

An entire system of trade can be developed with mining, manufacturing, research and development, supply and demand, and diplomatic trade agreements. Once the correct supplies and research is obtained, computers and electronics, power systems, biologicals, shields, and other commodities and high tech items can be manufactured and used to build and improve structures or for trade with alien races.

Interface: Pure Windows 95 interface and icons, complete with pull down menu selections for file, game, reports, build, and help. Under the pull down menu is the main screen system which changes depending on whether you are on planet or out in space. The right hand of the screen has a bar for structures, panets, solar maps, disk utilities (save, load, etc.), and next active unit.

A panel below the main screen gives details on the planet you are on or selected on the map. The panel shows eleven statistics on the map: power output, productivity, pollution, noise, income, maintenance, salaries, demolition, food required, water required, and power output.

In space a solar system is on the left of the screen and two ship-to-ship cameras are on the right of the screen. The cameras help you to look before you leap. Wealth in population, bionics, machines, and energy is shown under the pull down menu bar in iconic symbols.

Combat:

Artificial intelligence:

Graphics: High-resolution three dimensional, light sourced, texture mapped, shadowed graphics of ships, structures and other views are seen through the main screen.

Voice actors:

Musical score:

Sound effects:

Multiplayer: Network, modem, or internet play supports up to eight competing and/or cooperative players.

References:
Scott Udell, Computer Games Strategy Plus, issue 70, September, 1996, pg. 52-54.