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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 15 February 2009
In 1999, in the wake of the the huge success of Civilization II Sid Meier & Brian Reynolds released a logical sequel: a colonization ship, Unity, is launched from Earth on the path to self-destruction. An inboard malfunction and assassination of the captain divides the colonists into several competing factions. Planetfall is carried out under emergency pods - and clearly not according to planed. And the fun begins...

The environment on planet Chiron is not very friendly. Not only do ground tiles need to be terraformed before put to use, but the native lifeforms are not terribly friendly either. Of course the real threats will always come not from beasts but from fellow humans. From technophiles and warmongers to religious zealots and Ludditic environmentalists, you will have enough choices to find your favorite faction.

This is one of the best 4x-TBS games ever produced (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit & eXterminate) and no amount of somewhat dated graphics can reduce its gameplay qualities. The tech-tree is rich, the units well designed and the improvements perfectly balanced. This one of those timeless games that prove how bad an idea Limited Installations truly is!

I must have being looking for years to find the expansion to the original game (Alien Crossfire) at a reasonable price. This bargain-priced package includes both - and it is DRM free!

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on 8 May 2011
Shame this looks so dated and has so many hurdles to jump through to get it to install on Vista or Windows 7.
It does install by the way, and plays very well. It has a totally different feel to Civ games while being obviously closely related. THis might just be the subject matter, but it feels very fresh after trawling through the restrictive tactical options available in Civ 5 for instance.
It just look terrible stretched on a 23" monitor (windowed mode has real issues for me) so bad that it's hard to make out from the lego block sized definition what is supposed to be what at first.
I played it for a good few hours, then stopped, wishing Sid would remake it for modern machines so my old eyes could get to grips with it.
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on 11 October 2009
A have wasted hundreds of hours on this little gem. Pretty much everything has been said about it, in reviews for other editions of it. This is basically the Planetary Pack.

The one thing it does it that it immerses you in the change the technology brings to your faction. There are a lot of secret projects and technology advances that completely change the way the game is played. Sure, this is true for other games, like the Civ series, but the quotes and the films are still absolutely top notch.

Other things that I really like are the society values and policies model. You can, as you develop learn to embrace new ideals chance pretty much everything, giving a profound effect on everything. Civ 4 implemented some of this, but not enough, in my opinion. There are differences between a cybernetic, libertarian Data Angels faction and a Hive, run with an iron fist, geared to expand to fill every niche of the planet.

A game you have to own. Graphics and sounds are dated, sure, but the atmosphere and gameplay will shine through.
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on 23 July 2012
It is advertised as Windows 7 compatible, however after a full day of trawling through various forums and support pages to no avail. I have installed this game several times with various patches, add on's, compatibility boxes ticked and editing .int files I am no closer getting this to run. I am not pc illiterate but nor am I a programmer but this is not an 'out of the box' product. I am now unsure if the challenge of getting this to work outweighs the actual game play? guess I'll never know.
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on 7 November 2010
This game is in my view one of the best ever produced; but do not buy it expecting it to be as finished or polished as say Civ IV or V, it is much older, hence its price. You will also need to do a little work to patch it if you, like I, still run XP!

But the work is worth it; although the graphics are a little clanky, especially the videos, do watch them - they are fun and like so much of the rest of the game's trappings they add immensely to the storyline. A lot of gamesplayers may miss the point with this game, because it's almost as much a free-form interactive novel as it is a game and I think to get the best out of this you need to be into SF. That being said, I found the gameplay easy enough to pick up and the more you play it, the more you will realise that there's more to it than meets the eye.

I particularly like the fact that the game uses a kind of DS9 soundtrack of strange unearthly noises rather than music - for me this did give me a feeling of being somewhere else. Also, you will find that as the game progresses, so the good early choices may need to be reversed, as there are benefits to doing things you had not thought of before!

So, I heartily recommend it - this and Fall From Heaven I and II (Civ IV mods) were why I spent a fortune on getting a high-poer stable XP platform to play them.
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on 9 September 2010
Although in this day, the graphics are lacking... this game is very absorbing. Like Civ 2 set on a different planet, in the future.

If you like Civ games, you will like this, even though it is a bit old now!
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VINE VOICEon 26 March 2010
I purchased this game when it was orignally released as well as the add on pack 'Alien Crossfire' when that was released too. I have played it more or less since then. It is a very absorbing game which eats time like very few games do. Often you will find yourself looking at the clock and not believing the time! The idea of the game is simple. Factions are different in their ideology - whichever one you choose offers advantages that the other does not have but allows for a different style of play if you choose them. You build your empire and once in contact with other factions you can begin to trade with them and even forge alliances. If I had two minor issues with the game it would be that the AI can be a touch moody and once an alliance is broken it never is quite the same. The AI is moronic at times despite having no chance of victory. Worst of all though is that sometimes it can be difficult to pick out where your units are on the map as it can feel a touch cluttered. These are minor niggles to be honest and don't spoil what is a thoroughly addictive and enjoyable game. If you are looking for a low cost strategy game and have yet to try Alpha Centauri I can thoroughly recommend it. It has all the things you would expect and excellent gameplay. A must have in my view.
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on 13 November 2010
It is a common misconception these days that the Greatest Game ever is whatever "Call Of Duty" was most recently released. Well This is wrong, for truly who can recreate the awesomeness of this game. From the Quotes that appear constantly throughout the game to the Art and deep interactive story that is created by the game, nothing since has come close to being quite the same as this game.
One of the most gratifying things about this game is the feeling of accomplishment and responsibility you feel towards your nation and the entire planet (quite literally). After playing for a while you will quickly come to understand the personalities and natures of the 7 leaders. The quotes and pictures truly bring them to life and you begin to feel a connection to them. YOU feel betrayed when your Pact-Brother/Sister turns on you. YOU develop a hatred for that leader who is constantly going against you. And these feelings carry on into future games; Will you ever trust Morgan again? How could you ever forgive Yang for so-and-so. It becomes a truly personal experience.

This is Just reinforced as you realise that you can build your own units; Want a whirly terraformer of Doom? No problem, just design it. This can give your armies a personal touch and makes the game even more enjoyable.

As well as the Quotes and Art two other things bring the game to life; The Interludes and the Secret Projects. The Interludes provide the narration of the story and come in a few main branches (Such as the main story and the Mindworm person and other things such as contacting aliens) and the videos for the secret projects truly bring it to life. One that especially gives you a feeling of being part of the game is the Command Nexus where you see a figure looking at the game screen. All of this combined make a great game and a truly worthy buy.

Unfortunately a sequel will not be released. Due to a joint ownership of the game and since the creator Brian Reynolds is now doing something else it is unlikely there will ever be a sequel however there is a Civ 4 Mod for it. Sadly I believe that no game will ever come close to this again but if one ever does I bet it will Have Brian Reynolds at the steering Wheel!
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on 6 October 2010
The game is a variant/spin-off of the Civilization series, however rather than being a watered-down imitation it's at least as good as Civ with a unique twist that makes the whole build-a-world scenario logical and the subsequent interactions and conflict feel historically inevitable rather than just introduced game mechanics. The dynamic landscape introduces an additional facet that the later Civ games have yet to emulate.

Thoroughly recommended to anyone who enjoys 4X games - massive replayability through factions which are genuinely distinct rather than the simpler variations-on-a-theme used by Civilization. I loved Civ1-4 (let's draw a kindly veil of silence over the embarassing Civ5), but consider the gameplay here superior and am still coming back to it many years after release.
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on 12 September 2012
Made by the same developers as Sid Meier's Civilisation, this Turn-Based Strategy game released in 1999 gives the player the task of building a nation in the 22nd century. This game feels very much like a follow-up to Civilisation, as it takes place during a fictional future in which space travel is the norm and a new planet is to be colonised. Along the way are other fellow factions which can be friends or foes. As in Civilisation, diplomacy is key. Negotiating with other nations is a key strategy and will allow you to form treaties and pacts, which make your life easier. Instead of barbarians you find planetary lifeforms called Mind Worms. These lifeforms will attack any player and are generally a nuisance. They are a good reason to protect your cities well, but also give your units a good way of strengthening up.

Discoveries are important, as they allow you to research new technology, build extra units and unlock extra strategies. You can take part in Secret Projects, which allow you to get several bonuses after dedicating time into a long project. You start with space troopers and later on get vehicles, laser squads and water vessels. You get extra units as you discover new inventions and these units are customisable by the player. You can focus on four areas, Population, Exploration, Infrastructure and Combat. At any time, you can change your main focus which allows you play whichever role you want to, whenever you like.

You'll want to expand your territory, and otherwise build a strong foothold within the planet. The stronger you are, the less likely you are to be picked on by the other nations. The music is tense and the sounds work really well, from the industrial noises, to the voices of diplomats and the horrifying wriggling noises of the Mind Worms.
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