TL;DR – A fantastic addition to the base game that really improves the exploration phase.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Review – Last year I got back into Stellaris a 4X space strategy game, a combination that feels like a video game designed just for me. Over the years it has had a lot of improvements building upon the strengths of the base game. Since then there have been a couple of expansion packs and DLCs and today we are looking the latest addition for the game Ancient Relics.
The core component of this new story pack is the addition of archaeological digs and from this the addition of minor and major artifacts. As you explore out at the start of the game you may stumble across archaeological digs on random planets. These require a science ship to work them much like anomalies but with a little twist. There is a random element in the process where you have a chance to improve until you crack the next level. Most of the digs have multiple levels that you have to progress to before you can complete it and earn research points, resources, or more.
TL;DR – Every single feature of Civilization 6 (at time of posting) in one map, this time with Lakes, Seas, and Oceans
This week we got the latest update to
Civilization VI: Gathering Storm, and along with the boosted Industrial Zones
and several pages of patch notes there was the announcement of the game adding
water features to its growing list of geographical features. We have mapped Civ
VI in the past as part of our Map-It Project, and I
am always a completionist, so I thought it would be quick to add in a couple of
lakes. Well three solid days of work later and it was not the quick job I
expected, but it was a rewarding one as I got to learn more about the geography
of the Earth while brushing up on my Māori.
Now as always, a couple of notes before
we start, first the Civilization boundaries on the map are based more on
clarity than anything else, so in most cases, they conform to their modern
counterparts. We have also worked using the commonly implemented political
borders, not necessarily what nations claim, and this means making some
judgement calls which you will see below. Also, while all attempts have been
made to make sure that everything is accurately placed, putting this together
meant working from multiple different sources, and map projections, and as
such, no matter how much you try there might be some slight discrepancies here
We will be mostly going over the new additions and changes to the map in this update, if you want to learn more about some of the location choices that we made you can find more detail in our First Full Civilization Big Map and out Gathering Storm Update Map.
Finally, after the break there will be a lot of large images, so now is the time to check that you are on WiFi and are not using Mobile Data. Also a quick shout out to sonicmyst, God of Kings, Eagle Pursuit, Zaarin and SeelingCat over at the Civfanatics Forum for helping me with some of the obscure lakes I was having trouble locating.
– It builds on everything that worked in the base
game and then adds features that make it a must play
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Last year I had a look at a really interesting strategy game about starting the first ever colony on Mars. Just in its name, Surviving Mars, it told you just how hard it would be to build and sustain life on a hostile planet. You could set up a colony only to sit there and watch it die because you accidentally set up a negative feedback loop. But while this can be devastating, the game is always there tempting you to try again, and when you succeed there is so much joy in that moment. While I enjoyed my time in Surviving Mars, it did feel like it had yet to reach its full potential. Well, today we are going to look at the newest expansion Green Planet to see if this helps to fill in the gaps in the base game with copious amounts of Martian concrete.
So to set the scene, you are the commander for the first colony being sent to the red planet. When you arrive Mars is a bleak, hostile, but also a deeply beautiful place. It is a planet filled with promise but also death. You need to build up resources, construct domes to protect your people, provide oxygen and water, and keep it safe from all the disasters that can strike. However, while surviving is fine, there is a next step that you could take. Because what if we can shape Mars to be friendlier, what if we could turn it into a green planet?
TL;DR – While the big up-front features are interesting,
for me it was a lot of the small quality of life changes that really stood out
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Now, if you have read anything on our site before, you will likely know that I quite like the Civilization series. Well, I have had my hands on the new expansion Gathering Storm for a couple of weeks now and have been able to play a number of games with many of the new civilizations, so I think I have reached the point where I can give the game an informed review. With that in mind in today’s review, we will be looking at the civilizations, the main features, the improvements, and then the production to see what sort of expansion Gathering Storm is.
So to set the scene, if you are not familiar with the game, Civilization VI is a turn-based strategy game of the 4X persuasion. This means that instead of moving all at once, each player takes their turn to build wonders, move troops, and explore the map or whatever they are trying to do. Your aim is to build the biggest empire through economic, military, scientific, cultural, or religious means (or all of the above). Thus you eXplore, eXpand, eXpolit, and eXterminate. Gathering Storm is the second expansion pack for Civilization VI after Rise and Fall, which has historically meant that this is the last expansion for the game, but we’ll see about that.
– Every single feature of Civilization 6 (at time
of posting) in one map
This week, well two days ago at the time of writing, the new and second expansion for Civilization VI called Gathering Storm was released. It added new Civilizations, City States, World Wonders, Natural Wonders, and most interestingly Geographical Features (see all new features HERE). With that in mind, I knew I had to immediately jump in and update our Full Civilization VI Map.
Now as always, a couple of notes before we start, first the Civilization boundaries on the map are based more on clarity than anything else, so in most cases, they conform to their modern counterparts. We have also worked using the commonly implemented political borders, not necessarily what nations claim, and this means making some judgement calls which you will see below. Also, while all attempts have been made to make sure that everything is accurately placed, putting this together meant working from multiple different sources, and map projections, and as such, no matter how much you try there might be some slight discrepancies here and there.
Finally, after the break there will be a lot of large images, so now is the time to check that you are on WiFi and are not using Mobile Data.
TL;DR – Stepping into the storied world of 4x, Stellaris takes us into space and taps into that love of exploration among the stars … or just conquering everything you see, with deep systems that give you the kind of customisation that you need in a empire building game.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Strategy games are my jam, I love building up an empire, mining all the minerals, spawning all the Overlords, launching all the nukes. As well as this, I am a huge sci-fi fan, so when you add a strategy game, to a space setting like Sins of a Solar Empire, Birth of the Federation, or Space Empires 3, well then you are on to a winner. However, while I had picked up Stellaris back when it first came out it didn’t quite gel with me but recently I took another shot at it with the Utopia and Distant Stars DLC and found that ‘one more turn’ grove. So now that I have played a couple of games of it, including some multiplayer, I have a better idea of the game and feel confident in my review.
TL;DR – As a game it is a really interesting puzzle to get right, mimicking real life in some ways, but it would be good to take it a step further.
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
When it comes to settings for films, TV, books, or games nothing is an easier sell for me than setting something on Mars. Whether it is your Red Mars trilogy, your Total Recall, your The Martian, whatever it may be, I am just engrossed with our red neighbour floating out in the void. So with this in mind, we are looking at a game today that simulates what it would be like potentially to create a colony on the red planet and well be prepared going in that you probably going to kill your colony a couple of times.