In January, Firaxis announced Sid Meier’s Starships [official site], a new, small-scale space game that’s actually designed by the name in its title. Now we know that it’s coming next month on March 12th, which gosh, is only a couple of weeks away. If only all marketing campaigns were so brief.
The length of its info release cycle is not the only thing that’s small. Starships is only going to cost $15, which is likely a recognition of its compactness as an experience. Making tight-but-dense games has been Meier’s forte for a while now, making either mobile or console versions of his more famous franchises (some successful, some not) or working on games like the delightful Ace Patrol. Like that latter, Starships is coming both to Windows and tablets.
In other words, while this is hexes and Sid Meier, don’t expect Civilization. Starships is about “interstellar adventure, diplomacy and exploration,” and turn-based spaceship combat and ship design. Will it draw players in for “just one more turn”, or is that merely a cliché so often repeated that it’s become an easy, comforting thing to write? Who knows! Nicki Minaj’s Starships draw me in for just one more turn, but of what, I cannot say.
While you wait for the release to roll around, here’s lovely Sid and XCOM designer Jake Solomon sitting over the game, talking design philosophy. Which one would you rather have comfort you through a stressful situation? I vote Sid.