StarDrive 2

Game review by
Sarah Van Boerum, Common Sense Media
StarDrive 2 Game Poster Image
Turn-based strategy explores space colonization, warfare.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Strategy used to build colonies, discover planetary resources, negotiate with rivals but also to engage in ship combat, conquer worlds. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Choose from an array of alien races, customize their traits to your play style, begin their quest to colonize new planets. 

Ease of Play

Turn-based strategy has a learning curve, but difficulty levels can be adjusted to suit player needs.

Violence

Only seen during fights with enemy battleships in form of lasers beams, gunfire. Battles are lengthy, but no blood, gore.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Draws on many of the same features, missions as the first game.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that StarDrive 2 is a downloadable 4X turn-based strategy game in which players explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate by designing, building, and customizing everything from battleship fleets to alien races. The game centers on space travel and finding planets that can be colonized for your civilization to live. Players also will engage in space combat and alternately can play a battle arena mode wherein they have to build ships to fight enemy alien races; combat is limited to laser blasts and gunfire, and although there are explosions, no gore or blood is shown. Players have to research the properties of planets to decide whether or not they're habitable and can maintain life, as well as create diplomatic relations with other aliens so they can avoid conflict. Gameplay is lengthy, and players will be engaged for hours at a time to build and maintain their worlds.     

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What's it about?

STARDRIVE 2 lets players use strategy to go on numerous campaigns, building and customizing alien races while using resources at hand to colonize planets. Much of the game is trial-and-error-based, so you must try different tactics to preserve your people while expanding your galactic territory. That means engaging in trade and diplomacy with different races while researching topics (food, man power, fuel, fleet resources) that prove beneficial to your empire. Battles will ensue, as it's impossible to keep the peace with other conquering civilizations, and fights break out over key planets.

Is it any good?

If you're into any type of strategy game, StarDrive 2 is right up your alley. The goal is to explore, battle, conquer, establish diplomacy with other races, and maintain life on several planets. Players pick and customize a race of people to traverse the solar system, using their home planet as a base where you use its resources to help you colonize other planets. That means figuring out the makeup of the world and whether it has the necessities to sustain life and keeping it within your borders to receive any bonuses from its settlement. Of course, you'll also need to build space fleets to protect your territory in combat, which takes time and know-how, since each portion of a ship has to be hand-picked and built.

StarDrive 2 has so much going on, and there are hours of gameplay in each aspect, from building and maintaining planetary life to researching scientific advancements to engaging in combat. Fortunately, the game comes with a tutorial and helpful hints to guide and provide detailed information during points of uncertainty. But we did find the game lagging during certain points, mainly during battles, which seemed to take a while to fight and finish; because it takes a lot of patience to direct your ship to fire at the enemy, fights can feel a bit slow and anticlimactic. But overall, once you understand the tactics and strategy of the game, it's all about staying one step ahead of your enemies as you continue planet exploration and diplomacy with other colonies. The nice thing about StarDrive 2 is that it's ever-changing, so you have to learn and adapt as scenarios change, making it a game that's not easily beat.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about space exploration and the vastness of the solar system. Do you think there are other galaxies beyond our own? Do you think there's life beyond our planet?

  • Discuss the mechanics and engineering necessary to build a space fleet. How much time would it take to build a single ship? What kind of features would you want to include on a ship you would build? Do you think it would be necessary to include weapons?

  • Which resources would you need to colonize a planet? Identify some qualities that make a planet habitable as well as some that make it uninhabitable. What are some resources that could be brought from Earth to help colonize a foreign planet?  

Game details

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