Star Reach is set in space in the 23rd century. After an unsuccessful peace attempt between the seven alien nations present in the galaxy, war spread out with each nation trying to take control over the others.
Gameplay is real-time, simultaneous action/strategy and blends economic strategy with outer-space combat. The player is in command of an expedition to conquer and control a galaxy of alien worlds. Victory is achieved by controlling every planet in the galaxy or by destroying enemies' headquarters. The player is in control of a vast fleet to assist in setting up colonies on other planets that can be used to take advantage of the available resources for production of goods for trade or production of weapons.
Star Reach (also known as Space Federation) is a game that has you commanding one of the seven races that are at your disposal. There are a variety of maps to select from. Each one has different goals and differs in size (1-4 players) and difficulty.
You can choose if you want to play as a ship or a phantom. The ship mode allows you to get right in the combat while the phantom mode is more like a traditional RTS game that involves you having an aimer where you issue commands. There are pros and cons to each control type depend on your strategy. The ship allows you to help attack enemy strongholds, but you run out of fuel if you don't dock at friendly planets once in a while. The phantom allows you to quickly give orders to units and check on planets, but you can't help attack with your friendly units.
Basically, when you play the game you will have a certain number of planets and the enemy will too (depending on how many players are in the match). In the planet view mode, you can look at what is built, build a new building, check the economy, produce units, create trade routes, etc. You can produce a number of things including Satellite defense systems, troop transports (used to take over enemy/neutral planets), fighters, bombers and the like. In order to get all of these nice units in the production list, you must build another factory which, in turn, requires good economy and a lot of resources from the strip mines.
In most maps, if you destroy all enemies by capturing their planets, you win. The sound and music in Star Reach are pretty good. I find that the music gets repetitive and some of the ships attacking sounds aren't as fulfilling. Overall, I would say this game is well worth a try; me and my friend have had very long nights playing it as its pretty darn fun. Give it a try!
Space Federation (or Star Reach as it is known in the U.S.) is fun action/strategy space opera that tries to combine the furious action elements of Star Control and solid AI of Master of Orion but ends up being merely a marginally above-average game that has nowhere near the appeal or longevity of its predecessors.
Not that it doesn't try-- Space Federation at first glance seems to have it all: attractic VGA graphics, intuitive ship controls that allow you effortlessly switch between different strike crafts in your fleet, planet micromanagement options, and even diplomacy. Each of these modules is implemented well, and there is little you can find fault with when you analyze them separately. The problem, however, is that the whole simply is not equal to the sum of its parts. They feel disjointed together, and the inconsistency is even more pronounced because of the game's real-time gameplay. Having to micro-manage your planets in the midst of a furious space battle, for example, is a little inconvenient to say the least.
Overall, Space Federation tries to be too much, too soon. None of its gameplay elements is as good as its counterpart in classic space strategy games, and the sub-par enemy intelligence and scarcely different alien races only make it worse. Definitely a game whose pretensions exceed its grasp, but manages to be entertaining for a few hours that anyone should spare for trying it out. Once in a while, you'll spot a glimmer of a brilliant game struggling to get through. Unfortunately, that happens not nearly enough. Only try this marginal game if you are really bored of classics, e.g. Master of Orion.
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