Master of Orion 2 is a classic 4X turn based game which was released in 1996. Alan Emrich originally coined the 4X term where the four Xs as an abbreviation for “EXplore, EXpand, EXploit, and lastly Exterminate. Master of Orion truly embodies these goals and perhaps even adds a final X with Experience. MOO2 is the best game of the trilogy (why MOO3… Why?). If there is ever a fourth installment, it will hopefully embody the timeless essence of Battle at Antares.
Grow your seedling civilization to a galactic superpower from the comfort of a colorful and stylish interface. Develop planetary resources to develop a strong economy. Manage your economy and population growth to expand and empire. Build colony ships to colonize new worlds and expand to new solar systems. Construct massive warships to protect your civilization. Diplomacy allows for trade and research treaties. Further diplomatic efforts may lead to fruitful and powerful alliances. Spies have the ability to sabotage rival structures or steal technology. If friendly spies are caught in enemy territory however, it will yield a penalty to diplomatic efforts with the aggrieved civilization.
Researching new technologies is another integral feature to Master of Orion. Some races can only research one technological advancement in a section, which will force the empire to make challenging strategic choices. Races like the Psilons can research all the advancements in the technology tree. The design of the ships is an integral aspect to successful game play. The turn based combat system is exciting and sometimes challenging in the early game. Stacking heavy lasers eventually becomes game breaking, as dreadnaughts will one shot enemy fleets.
All the varying races have unique personality and racial characteristics which mirror their design aesthetics perfectly. The ant-like creatures known as the Klakons rely on a unified government to compliment their ordered society. Where as, the aggressive Sakkra warlords prefer a feudal system of government. The race design feature is especially fun, though it can enable builds that are simply overpowered.
A personal favorite victory method involves the complete domination of every empire in the known universe. Build large fleets of pre-designed or customized star ships to decimate rival space ships and defend friendly colonies. However, other species within the galaxy may not be so warlike and desire a more peaceful road to victory. Navigate the difficult political landscape to become the next galactic chancellor.
Over 20 years later, Master of Orion 2: Battle at Antares is still one of most enjoyable 4x games available. MOO2 is a classic 4X game and a quintessential experience for lovers of the genre. So sit back and prepare for countless hours guiding an alien civilization to greatness.