Starion Tactics offers an experience that strips out most of the tedium found in the 4X strategy formula. Unfortunately this may be a case of throwing the baby out with the bath water. While faster paced and more combat oriented than a standard Civilization title, Starion Tactics doesn’t bring enough to the table to draw you in.
Tactics plays out like a checkers match, except before much of the fun begins the pieces must be bought and built. In a turn by turn fashion each of the participants in a match scouts planets, collects resource (there’s only one) and builds units. Once a game gets going however, the tactical side of things opens some.
Combat is a mute note as ships are very generic, ranging from small fighter craft to larger cruisers with little separating one ship or faction from another. A solo match requires some forward thinking against AI, though it could hardly be called challenging. There is an option to use an added card system to spice up the otherwise straightforward experience.
Visually indistinct ship models, a limited crop of world types, and a static space sky box offer no memorable morsels to chew on. The in game UI is serviceable but often feels cluttered and it becomes difficult to track an armada as an empire’s planet count climbs past six. Starion Tactics has a one note music score, and one of two outcomes quickly come to pass: the music either fades into a dim dusty part of a players mind, or they mute the game.
With no narrative to speak of besides some window dressing background there’s little reason to devote much to this game, especially considering its $20 asking price. If Starion Tactics had released as a mobile title it might have been something to experience. As a standard PC title its a definite pass; unless you’re desperate for a space skinned checkers game this is it.