Master of Orion

DOS game, 1993

MicroProse Software
1st-person, Top-down
Managerial, Sci-Fi / Futuristic, Turn-based
DOS (1993), Macintosh (1995)
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Master of Orion screenshot 2Master of Orion screenshot 3Master of Orion screenshot 4Master of Orion screenshot 5

Master of Orion is loosely based on the game Master of Magic. It is a turn-based space strategy, that is focuses on building and expanding galactic empire. You start as a ruler of one space civilization. You stand against several other space civilizations, each of them has some unique characteristics and features. Your goal is to conquer the rest of the galaxy, which can be achieved in two ways. One of them is a classic one - by using militarily and destroy all opponents. The second way is the way of diplomacy - to maintain friendly relations, start alliances and finally at the election, get elected as the ruler of the galaxy. Diplomacy is the strength of Master of Orion, unlike in Civilization.

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Game review

MoO is a space thrust strategy based on building and expanding the galactic empire. You begin as the ruler of one cosmic civilization. There are several other cosmic civilizations facing you, and each of them has some unique feature.
Your goal is to control the rest of the galaxy. This can be achieved in two ways. One of them is classic - to defeat militarily and destroy all opponents. The second way is the path of diplomacy - to maintain friendly relations, to form strong alliances and finally to be elected ruler of the galaxy in elections. Diplomacy is a strength of MoO, unlike, for example, Civilization.

Even if you are with every friend, you cannot afford to lag behind in the economic and military field. The only way to ensure peace and relative security is to be the strongest. The key to increasing the overall strength of your civilization (and the number of your electoral votes) is research into new technologies. The tree of technology is different in every game, your scientists will never be able to invent everything. Some important technology may be invented by someone else. Then you can get it in several ways. To conquer a planet of that opponent - that means war with him and his allies. Or spy on technology - it's expensive and unreliable and it cools relationships very much, and in the end it can lead to war. Or exchange the thing for something else, but first you have to have something the other would cost. The research is set on the main screen with the Tech button.

There are many, many technologies, and they are divided into several types. Computers, structures, shields, planetology, propulsion and weapons. You can invent several things at once. There are many ways to proceed, such as inventing everything at once, or inventing weapons first and then inventing economic technologies in temporary safety, or inventing economic things first and then inventing weapons much more easily from higher production. However, it is not possible to follow only one line in the long run. There is no need to discuss that it is good to have better weapons than the enemy. But in order to be used, it is necessary to have an appropriate economy. In time, you will invent how to increase the number of people on the planet, and better computers that will allow people to build and use more factories. But factories produce pollution that drains part of the production, so ecological technologies must also be invented.

When you pay attention to warfare, you will find that you have the opportunity to create several types of ships. Each can be equipped with different weapons, shields and attachments, and from each you can make a virtually unlimited number of pieces, I think about 32,000, but I've never had that many. But even ship maintenance is quite expensive, too many ships slow down research and so on. There can be six concurrent types and they cannot be upgraded. If you want more, you have to cancel some type, that is, all manufactured ships. It follows from all this that less is sometimes more. Creating new types is under the Design button.

The panel on the right screen on the right shows the status of the planet. Using five sliders (how to say slider in Czech?), The planet's production is divided into shipbuilding, shield and missile construction (def), factory construction and stock production (ind), population growth and the elimination of industrial pollution ( eco) and research (tech). If the eco is insufficient (it writes waste), the pollution of the planet increases, the total production decreases and then the population until the extinction of the planet. Otherwise, you can divide the production in your own way.

Useful hotkeyes:
'B' on the main screen allows you to demolish redundant missile bases if you forget and build too many. They also put a lot of strain on the budget.
'C' shows how many spies have been caught. If you have overall security at zero, you won't find anything, and they will steal all your technologies. Espionage and counter-espionage are set up under Races.
'=' on the research screen compares all indicators to the same level.

on the main screen, press ALT to type EVENTS. It shuts down random events, earthquakes, crystal, supernova and more. Normally I don't like cheats, but this one doesn't give me an advantage over others, and I don't like it very much so that I have such a significant interference in the game.

The controls are quite simple and intuitive and the help is sufficient, so you can quickly learn it yourself. Just that you need to know a little English.

Sometimes the game wants you to identify a picture of a ship. You have three attempts, and if you fail, the game will end and the autosave will be cleared. Ship images are in the SHIPS_1B.GIF file.

Reviewed by Anonym – 1. april 2014


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