Star Ruler Review (PC)

Posted by David Vizcaino, Nov 25, 2010 10:52

It seems like these days, indie games are giving big budget games a well deserved run for their money. With indie games for just about every genre, it was only a matter of time until some small, independent, studio tackled the last genre mainstream games had a stranglehold on.

What Blind Mind Studios decided to tackle wasn’t your typical action, shooter, or even platforming title, they decided to tackle the Real-Time-Strategy and 4X (which stands for explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate) genres, the likes of which THQ, with its Company of Heroes, Microsoft, with its Age of Empires, and, especially, Blizzard, with it’s recently released StarCraft 2, are the kings of. Star Ruler has a lot of competition, especially since it released around the same time as StarCraft 2, the (current) undisputed king of RTSes. The question is: is Star Ruler a generically named indie gem, or is its name indicative of bland gameplay?

The answer to that question is: Star Ruler is an absolute blast to play! Indie RTS games are extremely rare, if not nonexistent. The amount of detail needed to create a Real-Time-Strategy is typically considered to be way above the financial capabilities, team size, and development time that an indie team has available. Star Ruler is the type of game that proves one cannot judge a book by just its cover. At first glance, Star Ruler truly does look low budget, and even somewhat generic, but, when I dug down deep enough, I found out that Star Ruler was a game that is well worth its $25 price tag.

Star Ruler is one of the most addictive Real-Time-Strategy/4X games I have ever played, granted I’ve never played StarCraft, or any other Blizzard game, but I do have a moderate experience with the genre. Star Ruler is the type of game that, after the first, uninspired glance, slowly reveals its depth through its somewhat simple to use interface. This is one of the few strategy titles that I actually prefer to play entirely through my mouse, simply because the menus are so well done, even if they are quite bland, and finding the menu I want is so simple that I have no need to rely on complicated shortcuts.

The only issue I had with the menu was that I have yet to find a way to select a specific unit (such as a scout ship, dreadnought, etc.) without having to directly finding it on the map, which is an issue because of a non-issue the game has. The size of its galaxy is humongous!

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Our Rating for Star Ruler Review (PC)
9.0 Replay
Star Ruler has no story mode, but its customizable options make it the type of game that will have you coming back for more.
8.0 Graphics
The galaxies look gorgeous, especially when there are a lot of solar systems available, but the ships themselves are boring.
6.0 Sound
The title song is a very well composed piece of music, but it’s essentially the only thing you’ll hear in the game, and once it’s done, it doesn’t loop, so it’s just the beeps of the menus there to keep you company.
10.0 Gameplay
With so much attention payed to detail, Star Ruler is what every RTS/4X game should be.
0.0 Multiplayer/Online Content
I couldn’t find a server to play multiplayer on but, from what I’ve heard, multiplayer is the same as single player, but with human opponents instead of NPCs, and the ability to save multiplayer maps to play again with later.
9.0 Overall
This is the perfect example of a great game. Aside from a few issues in presentation, this game is an absolute blast to play, and a wonderful time sink!

Rating: 4.7, votes: 3

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