Starship Kingdom
Written by Daniel Westerstal   
Sunday, 11 February 2007

Starship Kingdom is certainly not the first galaxy conquest game created, what does the game bring to the table?

The king has died without leaving an heir, the once mighty starship kingdom is falling to pieces as more and more stars declare independence. Your house has declared the rights to the throne, the enemy house has not taken that lightly and war is on. To complicate matters a bunch of stars has declared independency from any of the two houses, those bold stars also need some special attention. The story in Starship Kingdom leaves some questions, for example how was the old king? Why did so many stars declare themselves independent from any of the houses? Who is the enemy, are they evil or just another power hungry bunch? I would have wanted a more detailed story, which also evolved during the game.

Playing Starship Kingdom is a breeze if you played the Lux games, Risk or any other board game. Plan your moves, attack with your battleships and conquer galaxies, invest in new ships and research. It sounds like a straightforward and simple game, and in some senses it is (nothing wrong with simplicity). But most of the maps in Starship Kingdom require you to do some thinking, for example you need to get hold of the most strategic parts of the map in order to be victorious. The game also contains a number of stats so that the player knows which ships are the most suitable for battle.

It’s possible to watch the battles in a 3D-view similar to the old Homeworld-games by Sierra. The ships pull up to each other and start fighting. You can’t affect the outcome of the battle after you have commenced it. I admire the graphics in the battle view, the explosions are pretty tasty. Luckily you can choose not to watch the battles, and you might want to do that because they get kind of boring after 20 times.

In most other board games it’s possible to play more sides than two but not in Starship Kingdom. The game is limited in the sense that you will always war against the red house and the independents, there are no other sides. Starship Kingdom also comes with a multiplayer mode over the Internet, it’s a fun and welcome function. But once again it is limited because you can only play against one other player.

Another thing that I miss in Starship Kingdom is interaction between the warring factions. A diplomacy part of the game where you can make peace and form alliances would be nice. Of course you would need more sides in the game than just two for the function to be useful.

The soundtrack is only heard in the menus of the game, maybe because it would have been two irritating to have within the game. I would have wanted more tracks and then have them play while you play.

Starship Kingdom is pretty much Risk or the Lux-games in space. It has some limitations and the story could have been more detailed. But I believe that there is room for a sequel containing a good story and multiple factions.



Related: Ancient Empires Lux, Star General, Alpha Centauri
Developer: Apezone
Website for Game: http://www.apezone.com/starshipkingdom.php
Publisher: N/A
O/S: Windows 98/ME/2000/XP/Vista
Cost of full game: $19.95
Year of Release: 2007

Requirements:
1 GHz Intel or AMD processor, 3D graphics card capable of 1024x768.
Tested on:
AMD Athlon 64 2.2 GHz, 2x512 MB RAM, Geforce 4 64 MB, Windows XP.





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