The best turn-based, science fiction strategy game of its day. Master of Orion, or MOO as it is known, set the standard for science fiction based empire building games. Its advanced diplomacy system allows for victory to be achieved entirely through trade and diplomatic means. The Galactic Council can vote you in as the ultimate ruler. Of course, nothing says that you have to accept their ruling should it go against you. Which brings us to the other method of victory: war! Choose to ignore the ruling of the Council, and find that every other ruler has turned against you, sending fleets and saboteurs to bring you to heel.
MOO provides you with a very granular level of control over your empire. You control the production, pollution, and population of every world under your control, as well as its technological research. If yours is a peace loving species, forgo research into the more aggressive spheres such as weaponry, and instead concentrate your race's creative energy on production capacity, or powerful shields and cloaking devices. You can design ships with whatever technological advances you have discovered (or stolen through espionage) and combine them into great fleets capable of destroying all opposition.
Once you discover that you are not alone in the galaxy, through exploration and colonization of distant worlds, you can also establish trade and diplomatic relations with other races. This provides you with numerous opportunities such the free exchange of technology and ideas with your allies, to espionage and sabotage against those who dare oppose you. The detailed diplomatic capabilities of the game are a wonderful break from so many strategy games that limit your interaction with your opponent to who can kill who first.
One complaint about the game is its lack of multi-player play. The game begs for a way to compete with your best friend for galactic control. Yet, the compelling features that make Master of Orion such a great game will continue to draw players back for years.
Graphics: Very good at the time of publication, the graphics complement play well.
Sound: Sound effects and music are used in a very limited fashion. Good when they turn up.
Enjoyment: An extremely enjoyable and immersive experience!
Replay Value: Ten races, varying galaxy sizes, and difficulty levels allow for nearly limitless replay.
Master of Orion overlaps with Civilization insofar as you are the leader of one of several races. Technological advance, realm expansion and combat are all key elements. Where it differs is in being set in space.
The planet Orion itself is a lush, fertile planet with vast mineral resources. It is guarded by the Guardian - a powerful vessel which you have to defeat in order to plunder Orion's riches.
As you attempt to expand your empire, you will have to trade and steal technologies form rivals, again much like Civ. Your ships can be improved over the game, in terms of engine power, shields, cloaking devices and weapons, and different combinations of these can be integrated. Resource management is largely set using sliders, which reduces the amount of time spent on micro-management.
People who downloaded Master of Orion have also downloaded:
Master of Orion 2: Battle at Antares, Master of Orion 3, Master of Magic, Panzer General 2, Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, Civilization 2, Panzer General, MechCommander Gold
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