Videogame (1982). Avalon Hill. Designed by David Peterson. Platforms: AppleII, Atari8. C64, DOS, PET, TRS80.
Andromeda Conquest is a game of turn-based interstellar warfare which uses text menus and somewhat rudimentary two-dimensional displays to represent conflict between various Galactic Empires. Each player begins as absolute ruler of a species which has recently invented a Faster Than Light drive, with the intention of expanding out into the galaxy, conquering and colonizing inhabitable solar systems before defending them against other aggressive civilizations. The gameplay somewhat resembles that of Risk (see Risk 2210 AD); it is important to gain control of resource rich systems and construct large fleets in preparation for the inevitable war. While the game can be played with only the computer as an adversary, this is an unsatisfying experience – other humans are needed to provide effective opposition.
The game is now of largely historical interest. It shows strong influences from earlier board and counter Wargames, notably in its use of paper maps and data sheets to record the state of the galaxy and in its conditions for victory. (The first player to control ten star systems wins outright, though in practice success is often determined by the initial distribution of resource-rich uninhabited planets on the two-dimensional galactic map; players with many such systems near their homeworld have a significant advantage.) Nevertheless, Andromeda Conquest is much less sophisticated than contemporary Wargames such as Godsfire (1976) or Web and Starship (1984), both in its gameplay and in its lack of a detailed, cohesive background. It is perhaps most interesting as a rare example of a strategic Videogame of galactic conquest which is not a 4X Game – a form that rapidly came to dominate computerized expressions of this theme after the release of Reach for the Stars in 1983. [NT]
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