Master of Orion Hands-On: The Good and the Bad

As a reboot of one of the most beloved strategy game series of all time, Master of Orion was always going to have a tough hill to climb. Namely, it must answer the question: “Why does this exist?” Happily for MOO, it has a strong answer to this: it’s an entry-level strategy game. Unfortunately, there’s still a lot of work to be done beyond that.

The Master of Orion series is what’s called a space “4X” series, short for “explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate.” You start from one planet, and expand your empire to take over the galaxy — it’s like Civilization in space. MOO’s empires are pure sci-fi goofiness, adapted from the rest of the series: humans, yes, but also the catlike Mrrshan, the robotic Meklar, the genius Psilons, and the intelligent warlike space bears called the Bulrathi. M OO is turn-based on the grand strategy scale, with fast and shiny , if overly simple, combat between fleets.

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