First announced in January, Sid Meier’s Starships, from 2K and Firaxis Games, hits iPad, Mac and PC this week, challenging players to command a fleet of starships with the goal of building a Federation and achieving intergalactic peace. The game is set in the same narrative universe as Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth, which focused on humanity’s life on an alien planet. In Starships, players explore the other worlds ultimately settled by humanity in the same universe.
Sid Meier’s Starships offers turn-based strategy gameplay, in a setup customizable by the player. Users choose their affinity, from Supremacy, Harmony or Purity, each with its own game-changing stat. The Supremacy affinity, for instance, starts the game with one random Wonder already constructed.
Within each affinity, players can choose one of eight different leaders, also with different perks. One leader may start with an extra city at the beginning of the game, for instance, while another may reduce the cost of building new cities, and so on.
Games can be further customized in terms of map size, number of opponents, opponent difficulty and desired victory condition (Domination, Population, Wonders, Science, or any of the above).
During each game, players travel to neighboring star-systems to complete missions and gain influence. Once players have gained influence in a system, they’ll receive resources from it. Gain enough influence and the system is added to the player’s Federation.
These missions include turn-based battles with a variety of goals (destroy pirates, protect colony ships, control an outpost, etc.), and see players commanding each unit of their fleet on the map, firing on opposing forces while taking into account their defenses, distance and nearby obstacles (asteroid fields, for instance).
As players complete missions and accumulate resources, they can spend those resources on upgrading their ships with better defensive and offensive capabilities. Users can also build additional cities within their star-systems, or upgrade planets to improve their resource production on each turn. Gamers can research new technologies affecting their overall Federation and Starship fleet, open diplomatic (or not) relations with other leaders, and more.
Sid Meier’s Starships will launch on iPad, as well as PC and Mac, on March 12. The game will cost $14.99, and supports iPad 2, iPad mini and up. Civilization: Beyond Earth players who purchase Starships will have access to unlockable bonuses, including new planet types and missions.