Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares Review

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Publisher: MicroProse
Developer: SimTex

Platform: PC
Reviewed on PC

Windows System Requirements: Pentium 90 MHz, 2x CD-ROM, 75 MB HD space

Master of Orion is a defining game of the 4X genre. 4X games are those that emphasize exploration, expansion, exploitation of resources, and extermination of one's opponents. Just as the Civilization series really established this genre of turn-based strategy games in the hearts of gamers, the Master of Orion series sets the standard for space-based 4X games. A vast improvement on the original Master of Orion, itself an adaptation of a board game, Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares puts the player in the shoes of an alien race that has just developed the technology necessary to spread into the vast reaches of space. Using a predesigned race, or a race with a set of customizable attributes, the player seeks to expand his empire and dominate the galaxy. Through espionage, warfare, politics, or sheer production, the player tries to dominate by either conquering all opposition, winning a diplomatic victory in the Intergalactic Senate, or conquering the ancient Antareans. MOO II can be played against computer opponents, or a combination of human and computer opponents.

Kyle Ackerman

This game is a work of genius. Even by the standards of the time, the graphics and sound were fine, but not state-of-the-art. On the other hand, the gameplay is spectacular. If anything can indicate a game's quality, this does: I am still playing this game. However much technology has marched forward, this game is still good enough to merit a place on my hard drive. Many players have complained about the micromanagement that runs rampant in this game. This is true. Every planet that you colonize, and every fleet you create has its own menus, and requires careful and individual attention. I must confess, I like the micromanagement. I'm in charge of an entire universe, and can unify it under my just and benevolent rule. I also declare that I am the (only mildly disputed) master of Master of Orion II. That may slant my opinion slightly. The game has a few glitches that manifest themselves in multiplayer mode, occasionally crashing the game. Even so, this game is brilliant.

I can only recount the tale of two friends who made a trip to China soon after the release of this game. They brought a laptop and this CD-ROM. Unwilling to miss a brand new cultural experience, and unwilling to miss out on this game, they spent every hour they should have been sleeping playing hot-seat multiplayer games. It's that good.

This game was released in 1996, so if you can even find a copy... buy it!

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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on June 1, 2001 6:42 PM.

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