Parents' Guide to

Endless Space 2

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Deep galactic empire simulation demands strategic thinking.

Game Windows 2017
Endless Space 2 Poster Image

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If you enjoy Civilization but wish it went beyond conquering a single planet, this might be for you. Much like the original Endless Space, this sequel borrows many of the mechanics popularized by developer Firaxis' classic 4X strategy game. It leads players through each turn, providing alerts about galactic events and prompts to ensure you don't miss any actions, such as commanding an idle fleet, initiating new research, or constructing new facilities on one of your planets. Combat is largely automated and depends on how you've outfitted your ships and how many vessels you have, but you can select specific tactics for your ships or ground troops and then sit back and watch the battles unfold.

But different factions function differently, meaning the game plays very differently if you play as the science-loving Sophons or the insect-like, resource-ravenous Cravers. And a quest system nudges you along specific paths, helping you focus on key short-term goals rather than become obsessed with simply building up an economy or expanding to as many planets as possible. That said, this is not quite as polished as other strategy games with bigger budgets. While the space vistas are undeniably pretty, there's not much eye candy beyond planets, stars, and ships. And while it's surprisingly approachable for such a complex game, certain parts are poorly explained and could prove frustrating for those new to Endless Space or to strategy games in general. That said, there's loads here to recommend for turn-based strategy fans -- and even more for fans of sweeping, interplanetary science fiction.

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