The Complete Neptune’s Pride Diaries

Neptune’s Pride is a slow-form multiplayer strategy game. We got together with our friends from PC Gamer to play. Weeks of bloodthirst, treachery and violence on a galactic scale later, we stopped. Then took a few weeks to recover. And then we wrote about it. The results follow. They say more about the players than anyone would like to admit.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7


  1. Grunt says:

    How are relations between you all after that gruelling ordeal? Same as ever? A bit tense? Can’t be fun knowing you’re all your mates are treacherous back-stabbing front-bottoms.

    Or can it?

    • DrazharLn says:

      “Front bottoms” I like that.

      Your phrase is now my phrase, prepare to be assimilated.

  2. simonkaye says:

    Excellent work, chaps. Inspired me to give Neptune’s Pride a go myself.

    I’m currently embroiled in a desperate phase of expansion. Half the players who started the game dropped out quickly and now their empires are governed by isolationist AI, leaving the whole eastern half of our galaxy empty for the taking. Meanwhile the four active players, myself included, are jockying for position in the increasingly crowded West, with the current leader being hemmed in by three smaller groups.

    And I’ve already been betrayed once! Mildly. But still!

    As someone said, this is a game, this here.

    • Stromko says:

      That happens a lot, out of the three matches I’ve played I’ve seen an average of 2 players quitting early, either they never logged in or only logged in once at the start and forgot about it. My second game, no one left and it was a bit more interesting, especially since there were really no pre-defined power blocks so everyone was in it to win it, took about 3 weeks before it became clear who was going to be in the top 2, and week 4 before we knew who was going to win.

  3. Mario Figueiredo says:

    Admittedly I got tied up with work on the hours following my debate with Kieron and lost track of it. But as soon as I saw this, it brightened my day. I thought: “They are finally going to talk about the game”.

    But alas! It’s instead the Collector’s Edition of Neptune’s Pride, A Space Drama.

    • Rosti says:

      With no pack in cloth map too – truly, PC gaming is dead.

    • battles_atlas says:

      @ Mario

      You want a review of NP, go find a review of NP. Google has plenty – I just checked.

  4. Alikchi says:

    Insert comment about how this game has faults and you should play a different game here.

    Seriously, I’m on my third game right now. Fantastic stuff.

    • Edgar the Peaceful says:

      Yes, I was suprised at all the ‘this game is flawed’ criticism. Neptune’s Pride generated some great slow- burn drama for the RPS/PCG players across a whole month, and led to a gripping, even moving, write up across a few days here on RPS.

      My single game had me gripped for several weeks and a little bit exhausted (due to tension and long-term involvement) at the end.

      I won’t be playing for a while but I reckon it’s a fantastic game.

    • Edgar the Peaceful says:

      One more thing. The allegation that it’s ‘Risk in space’ misses the mark, for me, as it doesn’t actually have the random element of dice rolling. It’s nearer to Diplomacy.

      (Although the ‘massed-fleets’ element does lead it towards Risk I suppose)

    • Adam Bloom says:

      It is Diplomacy, but where Diplomacy has very static game mechanics that lend themselves entirely to diplomatic wrangling, Neptune’s Pride has a lot of finicky little things (research, collecting various fleets, managing your economy) that ultimately end up nearly-the-same-but-slightly-different.

      It really is Diplomacy, though.

  5. amishmonster says:

    I was wondering if any of the participants in this AAR were looking forward to going back to the game? It sounds ultimately kind of saddening, even if the opening majority of it was so interesting.

    Great write-ups, in any case!

    • Stromko says:

      Maybe the fact that they had to take it somewhat more seriously in order to write about it, made it all the more heart-wrenching?

  6. Army of None says:

    I’m playing a game right now. It all seems to be rather good, there’s a bit of roleplaying going on between GORBO THE FUNGAL WARLORD and my own Turtle People. That and some strategizing and early scrabbling for position without stepping on anyone’s toes seems to be rather interesting…

  7. gulag says:

    Oh this game is delicious! I got stuck with an aweful starting position right in the centre of the map, with a rowdy neighbour from the get-go. I’ve had to wheel, deal, cajole, encourage, ego massage and pow-wow like a maniac to avoid getting eaten by the big dogs with the vast backyards, but I’ve finally turned some of my neiighbours against my initial agitator and I’m starting to get a foothold as an info/tech broker. I’ve never had so much fun.

    And for the record, the mechanics may owe quite a bit to Risk and it’s ilk, but Diplomacy is the heart and soul of this game.


  8. Whimsy says:

    Hm… so where do I find more of these slow-form multiplayer games?

  9. Ruffalo says:

    Great write up. I’m intrigued by Neptune’s Fortune, but I think the treachery and backstabbing diplomancy that seem to be the essentail ingredient to winning the game would be too much. I get frustrated enough by the randmoness of AI diplomancy in games like Total:War, and I think I’d start taking it too personally knowing that an actual human could be all too free with repeatedly planting a dagger in my back.