Reviews for Star Ruler
No Tutorial, Graphically Ugly, Awkward UI, Controls feel clunky.Gishank | May 8, 2012 | See all Gishank's reviews »
I recently picked up Star Ruler when it was on sale, as I am a big fan of space games, especially those of the 4x genre and Star Ruler sounded highly promising. However after the rather concerning "quick" download (200mb game, in this day and age?) I launched it, I set all the graphics options to high and looked around for a tutorial, after some intensive browsing of the menus I couldn't find one.
"Ok", I thought to myself, no biggy, I looked in to starting up a custom game but due to the vast amount of configurable options (which are a good thing, when they don't get in the way) I decided to use the quick start feature. The game quickly loaded and I was confronted with my rather bland looking planet...
After a few minutes I finally figured out the UI enough to build myself a ship, I chose a cruiser, it spawned and the sense of scale was just silly. The cruiser was about 1/4 the size of my earth-like planet and looked as if someone had quickly thrown it together in blender for a 5 minute 'quickfix' job.
Whilst I could go on forever about the issues in more detail, the title of the review gives a good tl;dr. Avoid this if you want a good X4 RTS.
Almost a Great 4x Space Strategy Game....thedarklite | Sept. 4, 2011 | See all thedarklite's reviews »
Being a fan of large-scale 4x space strategy games, I absolutely loved the classics such as the early Master of Orion games and Space Empires.
Looking for something to fill that special niche, that seems quite devoid of quality titles these days, I turned to Star Ruler. Star Ruler is an indie game developed by Blind Mind Studios that hits the mark in some ways, but misses in others.
Let's begin the review proper.
The game follows fairly traditional 4x roots. You start with a single planet and must colonize surrounding planets and systems, gradually expanding your empire. There are no pre-set races in this game and you must build yours from scratch before starting a playthrough, but that is what most players will likely be doing anyway.
This game excels in it's ship design mechanic where you must intelligently position the subsystems on your ships as directional damage is implemented. There are a great variety of subsystems available and you can make ships as large as you want (larger than planets if you have the resources available). This is only marred by the fact you cannot physically see the components on your ships when they are flying around in space, detracting from the experience slightly.
Star Ruler also features a very extensive tech tree, where a lot of the research is hidden and must be unlocked through researching other techs. The tech tree is very diverse and because of this the game has very high replayability.
The game also uses newtonian physics, taking into consideration such things as a ship's thrust and mass. Planets also orbit there star/s, and the game by default uses a 3d plane - making the map feel huge.
Where the game struggles is in it's diplomacy options and the AI. Diplomacy is there, but is poorly implemented. Trading feels inconsequential and the AI will rarely accept deals that actually are worth your time. You cannot win via diplomacy or peaceful means either. The AI is also inconsistent at times, behaving very slowly at the start of a game - only to suddenly rush you with hundreds of ships about an hour in. That could also be due to my lack of skill too.
The controls are also fairly straight forward, but you must follow the tutorial or you will be left scratching your head.
The graphics are clean and the game follows are rather minimalistic design. Clearly the developers thought less is more. To a degree this is true, and it certainly helps prevent strain on your system. The real complaint is the lack of ship detail and general particles. It could do with a few touch ups, but it isn't really the graphics which make a game.
The score is certainly okay, but I forget it is there from time to time. Ship fire is rather generic, but it is what you expect to hear. Overall, the sound quality is fine but certainly not AAA (just remember that this does come from an indie developer after all).
This is the part that makes 4x strategy games so addicting. The replayability. Star Ruler certainly does not dissapoint in this respect and you can expect every game to play out differently. You might want to start a new match to see what research you should prioritize, to see how quickly you can pump out incredible ships, or to simply wipe out yet another galaxy full of hostile factions. It is quite enjoyable to play over and over again.
Overall score 8/10
It is certainly a decent 4x game, but it is no Master of Orion. If you are a big fan of space 4x then this is certainly for you. If you are fresh to the genre then I suggest taking a look at something like Galactic Civilizations or Master of Orion 2 instead.
Star Ruler is constantly being updated so it is constantly improving and could easily become one of the most memorable recent 4x space games, but until then it feels lacking in parts hard to put into words.
What...is...this?Nick101 | May 31, 2011 | See all Nick101's reviews »
Ok...I never even made it past the tutorial with this. I SOOOO wanted a cool space battle sim....and I read TONS of reviews looking for one and chose Star Ruler, but oh my god it is TERRIBLE. I assumed it would be complex, becuase thats what I wanted, but....the tutorial doesn't even match the simple menu options available! It says to right click and select "Build Ships' but that option isn't even available. Very weird. I can't believe a game would be this poorly developed. But apparently, it is. I've played TONS of RTS games and always found them very intuitive, but this game, is a mess. Totally un-playable. And I'm pissed off because I REALLY was looking forward to playing! Sorry but that's how I feel right now!
I want to conquer them all!robertification | April 12, 2011 | See all robertification's reviews »
I'm a huge fan of games where you have to conquer planets or lands. I was also very enthusiastic when I saw this game. Your goal is to use various weapons, space ships and technology to conquer the universe. You can either explore, destroy or seize all the planets, asteroids and much more things you encounter. There are updates on the way so that means you'll get an almost infinite universe to play in, and that makes this to one of the best games of its kind. The graphics look amazing, and the only thing worth tweaking would be the controls, which are still a bit clumsy.