Sword of the Stars: Collector's Edition  - Review

Sword of the Stars: Collector's Edition
Ages: Everyont 10+

I am addicted to RPG games, my bookcase is filled with SiFi and, with the exception of EVE Online, there are never enough of deep space games to satisfy me. Sword of the Stars works on both levels. Interesting to find an RPG game with such a robust story and full blown graphics.

Graphics: Everything is set against the backdrop of black space so that ships, explosions, meteor showers, zooming into hyper drive stand out - but best of all are the images of planets hanging in the void, which adds to the feeing of deep space and the reason for conquest. Management control with sliders and pie charts looks like a fancy PowerPoint presentation but it works.

Sound: Battle sounds are good enough; musical themes for each section much better than average, from heavy percussive music to new age wispy interludes and adds much to the game. Voiced commands for the different species, humans included, are excellent - nice to know that they cared. Silence can be an awesome experience in space - try turning off the sound for awhile.

Game Play: It's us against them - and he who gets there first gets most of the resources and that means ships and weapons. The them includes Hivers - which look like big insects; Tarkas - which are lizard-like humanoids and the Liir - a squid-like race, advanced in bio-engineering and the most peaceful-like. Because travel is different for all four races - it becomes the core strategy. Designers of theme parks and zoo games for kids have recognized that players might just want to have fun playing the game without the tedium of managing the game's resources and made a sandbox level where funds and management are taken care of. Kerbose has recognized this and has minimized the management and assigned the resource allocation to sliders. A good idea that I hope catches on. Of course, when you give up control, you also give up some of the specific information you might want to use to tweak the system. Win some , lose some.

Story: It starts out with the Earth and it's exploration spacecraft being destroyed - that's the reason for being mad. One senses that more could have been developed with the interspecies characters, and writer Arinn Dembo does so with The Deacon's Tale, the book included in the box. There is also an add on game which is an extension of the story - Born of Blood, which I did not play.

Fun Factor: Yes
Female Factor: Human and alien species
Player Friendly: Very

Reviewed by: Maryanne Kushnir - 06/08

  • Sword of the Stars: Collector's Edition
  • © Lighthouse Interactive/Kerberos
  • Platform(s): WVISTA XP W2K
  • To Order: Win http://www.amazon.com/ $28.99