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The first time I read about Reach for the Stars was in a computer magazine at the local library, after reading about 10 lines of the review one thought flashed in my brain - I must have this game! I never found it, so my expectations was huge, also due to the fact that it is regarded as one of the first and best 4X (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate) games.
Even though the interface is well designed and the graphics is ahead of its time, a look in the manual is recommended as one mistake could seriously cripple your ambition to rule the galaxy. The game universe is quite large, and in every star system there can be several planets, so in the late game you'll have to command vast space fleets while keeping your rapidly growing population from consuming all production. You can choose to play the game on the basic level (default) or advanced level that adds complexity, expanding your options for research (which is quite limited), random events, and more. The AI is excellent, in my first game I was utterly crushed on the beginner level in turn 20. Reach for the Stars is one of the games the stand the test of time very well. It has it all: gameplay, excellent balance, tough AI, great replayability, addiction and fun-- qualities sadly lacking from many of today's games. After having played the original I can only say that I will be looking for the remake that SSI is about to release within a very short time - and this time I will get it :)
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