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It’s always been a surprise that more games haven’t followed in the footsteps of Crusader Kings, but Star Dynasties looks to give it a go. It’s a space strategy game about growing your space empire, getting space married, and having space affairs. It left early access at the beginning of the month.
Here’s a trailer that was released alongside the launch:
The story goes that humanity had begun to colonise space when the destruction of earth plunged “the galaxy into a new Dark Age.” The game then takes place centuries later, with the simple, feudal (but spacefaring) society that remains unable to “comprehend or advance the technological artefacts they use to survive.”
I guess all the engineers lived on earth or something, but in lieu of bringing your enemies to heel with better technology, you “herd your unruly vassals, build political alliances, and navigate a web of agendas, political intrigue and social obligations.” Of course, when your character dies, you continue to play as one of their heirs.
One of the challenges in attempting to conquer Crusader Kings’ territory is that Paradox Interactive’s series has already had several generations to cement and refine their rule. The original Crusader Kings was dry and fiddly, and its two sequels have made great strides towards accessibility. Star Dynasties has its own ideas, but I wouldn’t start playing it with the expectation that it will nail everything on the first go.
That said, there’s a demo available via the Steam page so you can try it out, and it has mostly positive reviews despite plenty of complaints about balance and a fiddly UI. If you do want to take the plunge, the game currently costs £24/€26.