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Have A Gander At Arcen's Space 4X Stars Beyond Reach

There's always a twist

Those Arcen lot do make some interesting games, don't they? From A Valley Without Wind to The Last Federation, the six-person studio skip gaily across genres, getting systems all over their shoes then trailing them into unlikely places. Unlike their previous 4X-y games, though, Stars Beyond Reach [official site] really will be a real 4X strategy game for real, they say. With a few twists, of course.

After months of teasing blog posts explaining ideas and a handful of screenshots, Arcen have now shared a trailer with a smidgen of gameplay and a planned release date: June 5th.

Stars Beyond Reach will plop players down on a planet where some very, very alien races are already established. All the races are said to work quite differently, and they're all different when the AI plays them from when you play them. You can barely even talk to them at the start, with communications coming as incomprehensible garbles of letters, though you can still pick options to yell and hope for the best.

Victory conditions are shook up a bit, not requiring players to do the usual 4X plan of committing to, say, war or culture, but allowing folks to win by dominating other societies in any combination of ways. It's got curious ideas about 4X combat too, with it all happening through war-oriented buildings rather than distinct units. Some of that's in the trailer, so I'll stop rambling and show you:

Cover image for YouTube video

If you'd like to understand more about what you're seeing, Arcen's Chris Park explains in a blog post quite what's going on in each clip. Which also explains far more about how the game works.

Stars Beyond Reach is headed to Windows, Mac, and Linux on June 5th.

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Alice O'Connor

Associate Editor

Alice has been playing video games since SkiFree and writing about them since 2009, with nine years at RPS. She enjoys immersive sims, roguelikelikes, chunky revolvers, weird little spooky indies, mods, walking simulators, and finding joy in details. Alice lives, swims, and cycles in Scotland.