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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ancient Space is a downloadable real-time story-driven space-based strategy game with no multiplayer elements. Players are in charge of their fleets (captains are seen through pop-up portraits); consequently, there's a fair amount of micromanagement of resources and ships, which might be frustrating to younger players. The tutorial does a decent job of setting up the action, but players younger than 12 might struggle with the combat. Ships explode during combat, but no humans are shown dying. The game has ties to social media sites, so players could potentially expose personal information.
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What’s It About?
ANCIENT SPACE is a story-driven, real-time strategy single-player 4X game. This means that during the game you'll be tasked with "eXploring" territory, "eXpanding" your empire, "eXploiting" resources, and "eXterminating" opponents. Players take control of a fleet and enter a previously undiscovered area of space known as the "Black Zone." Unfortunately, it's inhabited, and the ruling race isn't happy about your incursion. This means embarking on a lot of real-time space battles as you try to save the fleet. Players will select up to three officers to help command the fleet; each has special abilities that could prove valuable in battle.
Is It Any Good?
Ancient Space claims to embrace the grand traditions of the real-time strategy genre, but it was never a tradition to mire players down in battles that go on and on, forcing them to micromanage. Your tactics and strategy will fly out the window as frustration mounts over prolonged combat scenarios. In fact, the game could be much deeper in its empire scope, combat strategy, and (lack of) multiplayer mode.
But Ancient Space isn't all negative. Its visuals are captivating, especially for a space-strategy game. Its storytelling is very good, and as you proceed from one battle to another, you really get drawn into the struggle for your empire's survival. The control scheme is familiar enough for space conquest and 4X fans to dive in and play. Unfortunately, though, although Ancient Space takes players deep to the outer edges of space, it doesn't go far enough.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the tactics in Ancient Space. We tend to think of strategy as the purview of military commanders, but all of us strategize every day. What sorts of strategies do you use on a day-to-day basis?
Talk about Internet safety and using social media responsibly. How easy is it to expose personal information over social media? Can you do it unwittingly?
- Platforms: Mac, Windows
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: Paradox Interactive
- Release date: September 23, 2014
- Genre: Real-Time Strategy (RTS)
- Topics: Space and Aliens
- ESRB rating: RP
- Last updated: August 25, 2016
Our Editors Recommend
Tough, fresh strategy game is like Civilization in space.
Tower-defense game has refreshing strategy elements.
Kerbal Space Program
Rocket-building sim helps determined kids reach the stars.
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty
Exceptional strategy sequel with some mature themes.
For kids who love strategy
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