Ascendancy was regarded as one of the best strategy / simulation games of the mid-90’s and won several awards for its excellence. Now it’s 2011 and Ascendancy is back and better than ever, with an updated interface, smarter AI and new features that are bound to get any fan of the genre excited. Though this isn’t a brand-new game, there is enough here to make you take a second look.
Ascendancy is a space strategy game where you have the choice of twenty-one different species to command and lead tospace superiority. Each species has its own personality, style and special ability, which range from faster technology development, faster space travel or the ability to get out of hostile diplomatic situations. Each species feels much different from one another and you will really have to play around with the game to see which species best fits your play style. Soon after you choose your species you are brought to your home planet where you must develop your infrastructure and start your research. Within a few minutes you’ll be creating colonies, researching new and powerful technologies and building ships to expand your empire. At this point, the game opens up to your specific play style and you are able to customize your experience. Whether you are the gentile diplomat looking to create a galaxy-wide alliance or the ruthless dictator seeking to destroy all other forms of life, Ascendancy allows you the freedom to play any way you wish.
What makes Ascendancy really unique and different from other strategy games is the level of customization available for your colonies and ships. The tech tree in the game is very detailed, and this level of detail gives you the opportunity to create a ship or colony with a very specific purpose. You can have a colony built of nothing but labs which will contribute greatly to your research ability, or a colony that is completely industrialized and can create capital ships in just a few days. You can create a ship that is built to invade other species or have a ship that will block other ships from entering your star system. The amount of depth this game contains is immense, and you can spend hours playing with all the available tech.
All that is well and good, but how much of it applies to the new version of Ascendancy? Well, there are a number of added features to the latest release that make a great game even better. Ascendancy now has a new interface that is optimized for the iOS touch interface. You will still recognize all the functions but now you’ll be able to control them without a mouse: manipulating your star map with your finger, for example.
Rotating and panning the map feels great and is a vast improvement over the original version. Other improvements include an auto-manage feature which corrects one of the biggest problems with the original game. Often when you created a colony or invaded a sparsely developed alien colony, you would have to manage each improvement. Over the course of improving an entire planet, you might have to oversee the construction of 60 or so improvements, one-at-a-time, for each individual planet. If you had ten planets developing at once, this process became extremely tedious. Though micromanagement is fun for some, having the ability to automate the process helps immensely, and that is exactly what this version delivers. Now you can focus on the aspect of the game that you like the most. The one problem that most people encountered in the original game was the artificial intelligence. When the game was originally released in 1995, many complained about how easy it was. A patch was released to tweak the difficulty and make the AI smarter and more competitive, but since the internet wasn’t as advanced then as it is today, many people missed out on the addition. In this version, that AI patch is integrated into the game, and as such you get a complete package right from the download.
Overall, Ascendancy is an excellent game and definitely worth the price of the download. It would have been good to see some of the graphics updated to compliment the new interface, but this doesn’t hurt the quality of the game. Ascendancy provides hours of fun and the game is highly recommend to any gamer out there willing to spend a little time to learn it. Your reward for doing so is playing one of the best space-strategy games around.
This review is based on a retail copy of the iOS version of Ascendancy by the Logic Factory.
Ascendancy is available for purchase from iTunes for $4.99. Click HERE to go directly there or visit The Logic Factory’s website for more information at http://www.logicfactory.com
Images were provided by The Logic Factory, Ascendancy is a copywright of The Logic Factory, All rights reserved
- Updated Graphics
- Engaging Gameplay
- Great Price
- Game is Still a Little Imbalanced