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Startopia (PC)

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      22.03.2011 08:22
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      A humourous sci-fi management game full of replayability filled and plenty of laughs.

      If managing and rennovating a derelict space station in a region that has just experienced an intergalactic war among different alien species matches your career planner, then you need to jump right into Startopia.

      Although now an aging and sometimes difficult to find game, Startopia still has a leading role in a genre which has been overlooked completely by game manufacturers. You will not find another experience like it! The game takes place after a great war has just ended and you are being hired to take over the management and rennovation of abandoned and damaged space stations scattered throughout the galaxy. Each level requires you to complete a series of objectives ranging from the setting up of a hospital to treat the war wounded to the running of a rehab facility and tourist destination.

      You are gently eased into the world of space station administration via a tutorial level plus constant advice throughout the game from your patronising and sarcastic AI assistant VAL. VALs tone of voice and comments will bring much joy to fans of Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, as the books and movies obviously had a huge influence on the style and humour of the game and you will find constant references to the series.

      The interface is simple and easy to pick up and each level slowly introduces another aspect of gameplay at a decent pace. Everything you learn from the last level can then be implemented into the next to help you progress more comfortably. For example, on one of the early levels you must setup a sickbay and cure a set number of patients whilst maintaining a low mortality rate. As you move onto new stations completing other tasks you still have access to medical technologies allowing you to rake in extra cash by curing patients and keeping your station disease free. Diseases can start as a small outbreak to spreading throughout the station and in some cases, leading to monsterous consequences!

      The game uses energy or 'e' as a currency and so not only must you watch your balance to keep the accountants happy but you will need that energy to power your station, low funds means low power!

      The station is layed out in a dohnut shape consisting of 3 levels, the lowest level contains all your basic facilities for running the station. The middle section is for tourist and leisure facilities. The top deck is a biodeck, basically an artifical reconstruction of a planets surface that allows visitors to experience a piece of home and the player to grow plants. The player has access to simple easy to use landscaping tools to change the enviroment of the biodeck to the visitors and players needs. Plants grown on the biodeck can be harvested into cargo crates of varying kinds dependant on the plant type, these in turn can be used or sold to passing traders.
      The station is divided into sections seperated by automated bulkheads. The player must invest a set amount of energy to open and rennovate these sections for use. once an entire deck has been opened it is possible for the player to move the camera in full circle around the station and end back at the point they started.

      To help with the running of the station the player is given 'Scuzzer' droids to assist in the assembly of structures and cleaning and mainentance tasks. Additional employees need to be hired from the various alien species visiting your station to run the different facilities. Each species specialises in a specific task and so it is upto the player to ensure they have sufficient staff to keep the facilities manned at all times.

      The game offers alot of levels, each with unique objectives to be achieved and once completed the player can move onto trying the sandbox mode offering free building of the station of their dreams or adding objectives such as obtaining a target energy level or removing some squaters from the other side of the station. The game features basic combat using a set of waypoints to rally your employees and simple click to set a target.

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      14.12.2009 02:36

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      A masterful cult gem

      Startopia is a game that I greatly admire because while it wasn't a huge commercial hit, it fared very well with critics and with the audiences who did buy it. It takes the well worn cliches of the sim genre and turns them on their head, allowing you to manage a spaceport, while imbued with a very unique sense of humour that's as witty as the script of any indie sci-fi film. For the thinking gamer who wants something different but equally excellent, this is one to get (and it costs peanuts now, too).

      What I like so much about it is how unique its general tone and style is; you have to please several different races of aliens at once, some who often have different interests than others, and sometimes it will get ugly, meaning you will have to employ force to protect your own interests. It also has more intimate tasks such as keeping your employees happy by ensuring that they are fed and adequately cared for. This is a game with supreme depth, and really allows you almost totally free reign of the spaceport.

      Aesthetically, it is also very pollished and has a unique artistic style that has never been replicated. The aliens all have very inividual looks that would not be amiss in a film or a piece of literature. The port itself also is intricately designed. The audio is great too, and in particular the voice work, which benefits greatly from the smart, witty script.

      My only complaint is that it isn't very easy for new players to get to grips with; the learning curve is very steep and the game makes little effort to help you through it.

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      31.07.2002 23:06
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      • "Multiplayer doesn't really work over 56k"

      Power, yes POWER! Oh sorry, I was just expressing my love for management games, honest. Well funnily enough, Startopia is not one management game, but several "all rolled together, shoved into a rocket and flown to a donut!" That donut is a space station (a Torus if you want to be technical, a dump if you don't), that has been ravaged by a galactic civil war. A chain of such stations exists, and over 10 missions (10 LONG missions I might confirm) you'll need to manage a whole host of things and be challenged by a wide range of scenarios. Keeping the 9 VERY different alien races aboard your Torus happy is just the start. Industrial development, entertainment complexes, terraforming, trade, religion, combat, medicine (a la Theme Hospital), tourism, rehabilitation and farming are just some of the things you'll get up to in the lusciously rendered and detailed fully 3D world! The combat system is a beauty to use, with no confusing statistics and health bars; the only strategy is choosing someone with good skill, dedication and loyalty levels, adding interesting decision making to the game. Rather interesting also is the concept of recources; there is just one, Energy. Not only does it power your station but it works as currency too; visitors pay in energy for facilities, but may also release additional positive energy (aka hapiness) which contributes to your funds. This creates an interesting power-purchase share that is a challenge to balance. All told, the game is a decent challenge. The only complaint for some may be the initial confusion and the sometimes tricky interface. Once you've familiarised yourself with the races and the weird and wonderful structures etc. and learnt how to use the interface properly, you are guaranteed a funny and challenging management game. And when it's all over? The sandbox or multiplayer modes give you unlimited replay! May the Force Be... oh wait, wrong one!

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        08.04.2002 03:19
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        I feel I must begin with an apology, or rather an excuse for not doing many ops for a while, but I’ve been busy doing stuff and learning what sounds “good” from a guitar. One speciality of which I’ve come to a conclusion I cannot perform, the other reason is I’ve also been getting into Franks Herbert’s Dune novels and so far I’ve got through the first ten pages of the third novel in the series: Children of Dune. Actually I might do something on that…but anyway let us begin). I first heard about this game in a PC Gamer mag, which gave the game 88% and I then played the demo that was released the following month, and seeing as I had a bit a surplus cash to spare I went and got it at £30, although that was when it came out. Today you’ll be able to get it really cheap, I just went to ebay.co.uk and it’s only £5. “Set in the aftermath of a huge intergalactic war between powerful and aggressive alien races, a once thriving network of space stations and planets have been left lifeless…you will lead the way in rebuilding the network of space stations to a standard accepted by the individual alien races” reads the blurb on the back of the beautiful and colourful CD Case of Mucky Foot’s latest craze game Startopia. So I put the disc in and up came the menu and to my sheer delight stood out the option to install “Direct X 8a”, so both that and the game were installed in a matter of minutes. The opening cut-scene is a somewhat classic distorted version of Space 2000 (or Space 2001, I forget), the only exception being the object thrown into the air is not a bone but a donut that goes nicely with the shape of one of the space stations that you’ll have to run. The game begins with the artistic menus that come up and go away (you’ll know what I mean if you get the demo or buy the game), which is always nice to see that Mucky Foot have thoug
        ht of things outside the game too. The game plays like nothing else, playing smoothly at the most complex situations. A smoothness, that is in fact dear reader, a lie. My PC, a P3 800Mhz, at points in the game that didn’t seem hectic at all, performed a huge treacly meltdown, similar to the likes of Monopoly Tycoon. You’d agree that the game itself is pretty good looking if you’re a theme-management fan like me so if you would please permit me to give you all the things you want to know about the game itself I would be more than enthusiastic to show you the highs and lows of intergalactic supervision. What do you have to do? You have to set up and manage a sort of tourist hangout place that must cater for 8 species of alien, them being: Groulien Salt Hogs, Greys, Kasavagorians (Gors), Grekka Targs, Kamarama Farmers, Zedem Monks, Polvakian Gem Slugs and the Dahenese Sirens. In each mission you have a different specific objective that resides along with having to set up and manage your station. It may seem quite daunting at first but VAL is always there to assist you in almost every step of the way. VAL? VAL (a Virtual Artificial Lifeform) is your Advisor and he makes the missions more of a walkthrough assisting you in almost every aspect of what is going on and what to do. In fact it’s really quite hard to tell what he’ll say next, as there are only so many repetitive lines he can say like during a breaching for example. His English accent and slight snobbery makes him one of the best advisors I’ve played in a management game. Next to the one off of Bullfrog’s Dungeon Keeper of course, and as an added bonus he has thus excelled one’s literacy as well. Energy In Startopia, you play not with money and dollars that we would be used to in other management games such as Theme Park and Rollercoaster Tycoon, no. We play with energy. Energy comes from your won
        derful and generous visitors spending hard earned energy on things like Din-o-mats (diners to you and me), and other things on the Entertainment Deck, but also as a clever twist which I’ve noticed whilst playing a sandbox (skirmish) level, that your recycler actually feeds back energy your energy collector once it has recycled some disposed junk. Actually it’s more surprising than you’d think because a little cone thing on the top activates after a while and beams a green laser at your energy collector wherever you have chosen to place it. The Three Decks There are three decks on each station each with their own purpose: The Technical deck - Where most of the management work takes place, here you can trade with passing merchant ships, you can interrogate prisoners, cure ill aliens aboard your spacestation, recycle waste, create any sort of crate with the help of a factory, basically this deck includes all the industrial side of the game. The Entertainment deck - Where aliens can actually enjoy being on your station. You can get loads of new things for this deck, ranging from music shops to Cocktail bars to Oroflexes. This one is usually always a pleasure to watch the money come rolling in when you get sick of the Technical deck. Although it’s a same Muckyfoot didn’t think of having a Casino which you could have built on this deck, and even then there’s so many rooms you can build that I never got to try them out before I completed the game. The Biodeck - a place where aliens can hang out thanks to the technology of Nano-soil and a glass roof. This part is brilliant and beautiful, you have four tools at your disposal, which include: temperature, humidity, relief of the land and water. By clicking the left mouse button the function of the tool is increased, so if you left clicked on a piece of Biodeck with the relief tool, the land goes up, and vice versa, if you click the right mou
        se button it does the opposite of the tools function. The temperature and humidity tools are brilliant, because they affect the type of land that you can create below you, so one minute you could have desert, then rock, then jungle and then snow! With these different terrians you can grow different plants with the help of karmarama farmers, which can be sold (if you’re that desperate for energy), or just to keep to make a nice garden for your visitors to enjoy. I don’t really love the water feature here though, because when you create water it sort of comes out in blocks, and then smoothens out. And even then when you have the land frozen around it shouldn’t the water freeze to? There are little things like that, which would add just a bit more class to the game, but really it’s pretty good on its own anyway. I always wanted to see and play a game that would include more than one level to work on and I guessed right when I knew that things can get quite hectic, but thanks to a pretty nifty map that flashes on certain sectors for certain reasons that’s all made easier. Wonder if they’ll take my Theme Supermarket idea up…er, no. Downsides Like all games, none are perfect and this game does have some slightly disappointing downsides. First of all is its combat interface, attacking or defending a sector in the game isn’t really very…how to put this, efficient. See hiring aliens to fight for you is fine, it makes sense that only four types fight for you because the others won’t, as they’re probably peaceful or something. To attack an enemy alien you have to click the cursor over him to bring up a small crossfire over his head, as you keep clicking this crossfire will grow making sure that more of your troops will attack that certain alien. Very well, but this could prove a bit pointless when it takes about 15 clicks to get 4 of your troops to attack him. I
        do find this to get incredibly annoying, as taking over your enemies probably could have been a lot more enjoyable. The second mishap is promoting the aliens you’ve hired or residents as they call them in the game. This I can see the point of but it seems as though every five minutes your residents start quitting which is really a waste of time. Last of all is what most mags like PC Gamer are saying: “it’s too short”. There are a total of nine missions, which may seem incredibly short but vary from 1 to a couple of hours to complete each mission. The nine missions are linked with who you work for though the game you work for all the alien types and on one other mission you work for the Galactic Rehabilitation Authority. I found myself finishing the game but then playing the pretty decent skirmishes, but with a goal I shouldn’t have to get. The goal being that even though I had completed the game, there were still about 20 or so rooms that I hadn’t built. The game I feel progresses far too quickly and this lets it down in a big way. One more moan is that the last race of alien of the game, Polvakian Gem Slugs, are utterly annoying. It seems that they only get in the way and add to any little annoyances towards the end of the game. Gem Slugs cannot be hired for any task, which makes them an annoyance sometimes rather than a pleasure. I think instead of having to make luxury apartments (“Slugpartments” as they’re called) specifically for them, they should just retain that snobby attitude but just use the same rooms as all the other alien races on board. Conclusion I do have to stress that this is a seriously easy game to knock, but that would be understandable because it is really as short as they say it is. But if you do like these kind of games I implore that you at least visit one of the many Startopia websites download the demo from there. Apart from a few minor
        upsets, this game proves to be a humourous and in most places a well-thought game that has as much colour as B&W, it’s just far too short.

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          23.10.2001 04:32
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          Where do I start with this game, Startopia has to be one of the best games of the year by a long way. It combines the city building of Sim City with real time battles of something like Red Alert and resource management. This game play combined with superb graphics, sound and features make for a very addictive game indeed. ** Game Blurb ** ?Set in the aftermath of a huge intergalactic war between powerful and aggressive alien races, a once thriving network of space stations and plants have been left lifeless. You will lead the way in rebuilding the network of space stations to a standard accepted by the individual alien races. Thus begins the hilarious battle of wits and cunning. Do you squeeze out your enemies with financial ruin, or simply blast them back into space?? ** Game Styles ** There are two game styles in which Startopia can be played. These are Sandbox mode and Mission mode. In the mission mode you are attached to a space station and are given a set of tasks, which you have to complete. These tasks are varied and as you play these missions you learn about the different features of the game. Before you can start the missions you have to complete the minimum training missions, so you get the basics of how to play the game. In Sandbox mode you can either play against the computer or against three other friends. You basically each start on the space station and the person who takes control of stations wins. I haven?t played this mode yet as I am still working through the missions, but I can see this mode of play being very addictive. The learning curve of this game is very quick, you start off feeling like ?where do I go from here? but if you follow the missions through you get to know about the different parts of the game. ** Game Play ** The basic premise of the game is that you are the space station manager. It is your job to manage the resources of the station t
          o the ends that you have been employed. This maybe to create a penal colony and reform 100 inmates, this might also be to grow and harvest 100 crates of food. This game has so much detail that you will never run out of things to do, you will never get board. There are 9 different races, each of them has their different skills and can do different things. Some are religious, some are farmers, some are warriors and some are good at making things. To complete your missions you have to employ these different races to make you station run, make a profit. The easiest way to make a profit is to make things in your factories or grow things on your bio decks and sell then to traders that pass by every now and then. The station has three levels. The first level holds basic structures such as start ports to get people and goods onto your station, communication devices, factories and many other buildings. The second level is your pleasure level; this has all your shops, bars, hotels, pleasure and entertainment facilities. The third level is the bio deck; this is where you can grow your food, medical supplies and other goods. To do this you have to terra-form the deck be it more land, more water, make it rain more or make it hotter etc? Once you have declared war on one of the other stations managers you can take over another section of the station. To do this you need people to fight for under your employment. Once they are they will automatically fight your enemy, but you can direct your attack at people and buildings by setting priority markers. Once set your forces will converge on the selected target. The interface takes a while to get used to, but with a few hours you get used to the interface and it becomes very easy to use. From this interface you can promote your employees, to make them more productive or keep them with you (as they will quit!). You can also declare war on one of your neighbours if you want to. You can e
          ven click onto one of your employees of your station and get a first person view of where they go on the station. This doesn?t really have any use, but is an impressive feature. ** Graphics and Sound ** Both the graphics and sound are very, very good hence the very high specification of computer needed to play the game. The graphics are very detailed which makes the game extremely fun to play, as it looks so good. The sound for the game is also very good; there are different sounds for each of the races, which make the game sound very good. I can?t praise this game enough as it does sound and look exceptional. Along with the sound of the character and buildings on the stations there are many traders, each with their own phrases are sayings, very cool! ** System Requirements ** Minimum • Operating System: Windows 98 • CPU: Pentium 2 350 MHz • RAM: 64 Mb • Graphics: 100% Direct X 8.0a compatible 8 Mb 3D Accelerator Card • Sound: 100% Direct X 8.0a compatible • CD-ROM: Quad-speed (4x) drive • Hard Drive: 350 Mb free disk space • Input Devices: Mouse and Keyboard Recommended • CPU: Pentium 2 600 MHz • RAM: 128 Mb • Graphics: 100% Direct X 8.0a compatible 32 Mb 3D Accelerator Card • Sound: 100% Direct X 8.0a compatible • CD-ROM: Eight-speed (8x) drive or faster • Hard Drive: 500 Mb free disk space ** My Thoughts ** This is a very well put together game and I have no complaints bout it. The graphics and sound are superb; the game play can get you lost for hours on end. The only thing that is a problem is the fact that the game need a very good computer to run it, other wise you will find that the game slows down a lot, especially when there are several players on the same station. Overall this is one of the best games that I have ever come across, this is defiantly worth trying out.

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            12.10.2001 23:20
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            While obviously inspired by building simulations such as SimCity, Startopia owes much of its gameplay and solid mechanics to another wildly fun and hilarious simulation, Dungeon Keeper 2. Instead of being stuffed in a claustrophobic dungeon, players graduate to the more complex high-tech world of space station construction and the high-tech headaches associated with it. After a cute nod to 2001: A Space Odyssey, players are led through five tutorial missions on the basics of setting up ship. It takes a few missions to understand the unpacking system, but soon a basic facility is up and running. Basic amenities, however, won’t satisfy any civilized race for long. The game gradually introduces new buildings to incorporate on the three different levels of the station: Engineering, Entertainment, and Bio-Decks. If Dungeon Keeper 2 was a devil’s food cake, then Startopia is the three tiered anniversary cake with all the tasty frosting. The buildings are imaginative and well designed. Especially nice is the Love Nest, a bordello of sorts for sensuous telepathic individuals who sit on heart shaped Love Chairs and sell good vibes. Denizens are both customers and workers with basic needs like food, sleep, and love. Each alien has a unique name and hobbies, which adds to the experience of caring for them. Keeping everyone happy and healthy is quite a chore, but ultimately rewarding. Having three different playing fields to run simultaneously becomes somewhat of a juggling act. One mission has managers set up a hospital on the first level and entertain those who are healed on the second deck. Neglecting the second deck will garner several warnings from health inspectors, who discover it's full of trash and infested with space rats. The constant running between decks is another facet of the challenge and increases the toughness and depth. As if babysitting three levels aren't a handful, managers must eventually take over
            adjoining deck sections of the giant donut in the sky. Beware of rival managers also looking to expand. The graphics and sounds are excellent and enhance the ethereal feel of the station. The music is unique per deck and the Entertainment Deck’s rocking beats from the cosmic disco are just what the game’s gray Roswell alien doctors ordered. The aliens are alternately cute and menacing, peaceful and violent. Each animation is indicative of the race as well; the four-armed farmers of the galaxy are laid back dudes with a cool stroll, while the brutal Kasvagorians stomp about the station with purpose and vengeance. Random events spice up life in space. Spies will sneak aboard and try to assassinate your alien population or sabotage buildings. They're easy to spot with their trademark creeping, but hard to stop if they prowl to a different deck during a harried time of building. Solar flares provide welcome energy, the currency of the galaxy which visiting traders will be happy to take off your hands, especially the main trader Arona. Arona’s deep Aussie voice and laughable wit will distract you from his sky-high prices. Other events, visitors, and witty comments from your computer assistant abound. There are minor issues within the game that distract you from the mounting challenges. The camera swivels with the right control key, but often the view strays towards the ceiling or plummets to the floor, a minor irritation that becomes a large problem when frantically fending off attacks or hunting spies. Robot AI is decent, considering the number of areas to patrol, but the amount of trash generated is hard to control, causing you to set aside pressing matters in favor of menial micro-management. These inconvenient frustrations don't destroy the game but may force some station managers into early retirement. The intense gameplay, though, will likely call said retirees back to active duty. After finishing the s
            ingle player missions, you can seek human competition for control of the station via the Internet. Startopia also offers a sandbox mode where you can dictate the conditions of the station. Those who can handle the furious pace and are addicted to the frantic fun will undoubtedly return to the game repeatedly for more enjoyable governing fun. Startopia represents a paradigm shift from a single playing field to three or more. Gamers have to balance developing existing areas with expanding into new ones to achieve success. Finding the perfect balance isn’t easy, but those who do will discover a subtle style of gameplay that demands more than other programs of the genre. While not for the uninitiated, the title is well worth the time and energy invested in learning. Any manager worthy of his or her salary should be reprimanded for missing this one.

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              11.10.2001 01:59
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              When I first saw the review on startopia in a gameing magazine I instantly wanted to buy it. I love simulations and even more space sims. The screen shots that the magazine showed me all that I needed to know. The only problem was that I had to wait 8 months until it came out in the shops. I had forgotten about the game until several of my friends started talking about it, by this time it had already been out in the shops for a week. So I decided to buy the game. First thing that I have to say is WOW, the game loaded slow on my 400Mhz computer but while the sim is running it runs quite fast. The ingame graphics are the best that I have seen and the manuravalability in the game is easy using the shift key and the mouse, or just the arrow keys. The game is quite hard to master. As there are so many buildings to build and rooms to discover that it will take several hours of gameplay to find out about everything. There are several illnesses that the aliens can catch. Some rooms need extra facilitys which need to be researched by the research team which you pick out of your space stations guests. There are several types of alien which visit your space station, each are experts in different fileds. Ie the priests set up a church on the bio deck and earn you money by getting followers. Or the big bad aliens are sercurity. The one part of the game that you must absoloutly see is the starup movie. Its very good and funny. I like this game and think that anyone would enjoy it no matter what the age. it has a sandbox mode whihc is just build your own space station with no objective or you can carry out the missions. This game has a high playability figure and I just like playing it(Although if i play it for more than 4 hours at a time i get bored). This is definatly a game to buy if you like sim games or space games. Also before I wrap up, the game has a slight dungeon keepers II feel about it.

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              19.08.2001 23:08
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              Startopia is a cross between Dungeon Keeper, Simcity and Theme Hospital. You play the role of ‘Galactic Administrator’ and are assigned missions by the various alien races. Initially I had a terrible time just getting the game to play. As soon as it was loaded it informed me that I didn’t have the correct color to play – it plays in 16 bit or higher, a bit strange considering my computer plays in 32 bit!! After a lengthy phone call to the technical service line they informed me that I would have to download a patch to correct these errors – good start isn’t it! The game itself isn’t very original but is quite good fun to play once you get the hang of the controls. The basic interface is very simple to use but the camera angles are a real pain, back and forward are easy but trying to turn round can be awkward and took me a while to get the hang of. The game consists of 10 missions and a sandbox where you can build without any set goals. So far, I’ve played 7 missions and they get progressively harder as you advance. The first few are very straight forward, for instance in the second one you have to build a hospital unit – the win condition being that you have to cure 100 patients but you can’t have anymore than 10 deaths! It took me three tries to get it right. Another mission is to build a prison correctional facility where you have to rehabilitate 100 prisoners but have no more than 10 escapees – believe me, it’s not as straight forward as it sounds!! The setting for the game is a space station that has three decks – the first is the technical deck, the second is the pleasure deck and the third is the bio deck. You have to build a ‘home’ for the various aliens that visit your station and supply them with all the basic needs including a berth (sleeping quarters), a lavatron (bathroom) and a dine-o-mat. You can also build a disco, a recre
              ational bar and a lovenest, which probably doesn’t really need any explanation!! On the bio deck you can hire a race called Karmarama to do gardening and depending on the type of soil (whether it’s hot and dry or wet and moist) the plants they produce will grow into different items like food supplies, medical supplies and luxury goods. Playing around with the different soil types is very ‘hit and miss’ but some of the results can be fun. It took me ages to try and figure out which conditions were right to ‘grow’ food supplies (part of one missions win scenario) and to be honest I still don’t really know but I did it! The currency used in Startopia is energy and sometimes it can be incredibly difficult to get the balance right – if you run out of energy, you lose. Everything costs energy to build and maintain but on the plus side the aliens have to pay to use your facilities so you can get some back. There are also ‘Starbursts’ which allow you to gain more energy to store in an Energy Collector (sounds like a bank to me). The most disappointing thing about Startopia is not being able to actually create the space to build in yourself like you could in Dungeon Keeper. Everything has to be built within the space station confounds which are just large rectangular ‘rooms’. I did like the way the different rooms were constructed, they give you the hard plans and when you’ve placed it where you want it then has a pop-up menu giving you the different individual items to put in, for instance with the berth you have the option of how many sleeping pods you require and whether you want to include a light and an image projector (TV). This allows you to expand rooms when needed and you don’t have to build too big to start with! So far, I’ve enjoyed playing Startopia and if you enjoy playing games that include building and maintaining communities then I wou
              ld recommend it. Some aspects are quite challenging and the small manual that comes with the game doesn’t actually tell you anything so it’s a bit ‘hit and miss’ to get it right. I cheated and went on-line to find some answers! One last note, you can play Startopia on-line against other gamers but I haven’t done this so I can’t say whether it works very well or not.

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                30.07.2001 17:58
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                With Startopia we're given in management a Spicchio of an old star base, with the purpose to arrange all the equipment better to accept the various extraterrestrial races of passage. The title of the Eidos is a building game, so how in many other preceding (from Sim city and Theme Park) we'll be we to install the very numerous structures on the ground according to the credits which we dispose of. The space station is divided in particular on three levels, one above the other. In bass we've the hold they dock from the merchants' spaceships and the fundamental buildings of the commerce (read stores), of the refreshment, of the rest and the services (hospital, toilet, Etc prison). Complete the zone radars, energy recharges and possible factories for the production of objects and raw materials (thanks to the capacity of its automata to recycle the materials). Arrived of above V' is a quite such, but dedicated its guests' entertaining bridge: besides specialized shops (discs, Videogames) etconj Etc, to futuristic merry-go-rounds, to the discotheque, at Super luxury hotel we find also a kind of futurist Postribol managed by attractive winged nymphs. Beyond we find the zone of the transparent space station: under the big glass windows there is a kind of biosphere where cultivate plants and have the guests entertained with artificial Laghetti: the care of the ground is to total discretion of the player what, with wise Mouse blows (according to a method taken again by the old one Populous) you'll be able to create mountain blows, ditches, and lakes, changing from the desert environment to the alpine one. The sequence of the missions shows the variety of present situations well in Startopia: we'll respectively have as I sweep the institution of a hospital and the care of a colony of miners patients, then the success in fact moles I deal in with the attainment of 100.000 credits th
                anks to the art of the sale and the gain, and still, the building of a criminal settlement and at last the baptism to the art of the war and the occupation of you stand out kept of star base in hand from other shopkeepers. Yes, because it's possible to open the barriers between a part of the star ship and the other, to enter with the private guards to our service. All the staff, to part the building Droidi and of vigilance, Assoldato goes between the Avventore of the space base. Everybody has your specialities: the Salt Pigs are working optimums, the medical grey averse childs, while the sirens with your sky-blue singing will make the customers glad in the garden of the love. Every extraterrestrial has a name of yours, the origin, the hobby, the abilities and at last your needs very current, very intelligible from who has never played, for instance, to Theme Park or The Sims (want of food, entertainment, Etc love). The graphic engine Startopia is really amazing for who dated in mind the titles in parallax of the Bullfrog: an optimum 3 d to floating video camera, with in more the possibility of taking the adventure individual's sight than our star base. The big number of personalities on the screen never goes to detriment of the fluidity, accomplice a cautious use of the Texture and the number of the polygons of the extraterrestrials. Exhilarating the loud effects: every alien talks a language of its about the stars, with which they'll try to communicate with us when we’ll click above. A last sign the interface all the buttons were pratically taken away from the screen, delegating everything to the use of the Mouse: simple, essential and immediate.

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                  12.07.2001 03:54

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                  Promoted as the game of the year by some this game has many top atributes. For those who like management games like me it certainly is a good game. It has a good learning curve where you are lead through the games many features step by step by a computer which is at times quite ausing. Also the graphics are excelent and the gameplay is good. The game does however have a few faults. One is the incredible system requirements it demands especially when your spacestation grows in size you can find on an average computer mines a 450mhz you grind to a juddering halt and start to skip about in slow jumps instead of smooth scrolling. Another problem is the sameness of some of the levels when you are faced with an empty station each time you end up thinking oh no not this again do I really have to start this from scratch. If you are a big fan a management sims and God type game plus you have a very good computer I would recomend this game as a must buy. If not then you might want to spend your cash on something more substantial.

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                  25.06.2001 09:14
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                  Theme Park and Sim City meets Theme Hospital, with a bit of Settlers in Space thrown in, that’s about the best way to describe this excellent and just released game from Eidos Interactive and Muckyfoot. The game is immense, and has plenty of options, which include online playing capabilities and is tipped to be THE next big strategy simulation game craze and my first impressions are, IT WILL. So what is Startopia all about? ------------------------------- Well, you are given the responsibility of running a alien space station, but these are no ordinary aliens, they are very particular aliens, and require certain things to help them survive, make them happy, cure their ailments and even be reformed from criminals. There are 3 different modes of playing the game, I myself have only tried the first option, and absolutely loved it, the three different modes are: Mission Mode: ------------ This is the mode I have tried myself, basically you are given a task to solve with each mode, this can either be, just building up your settlement to a certain size and keeping them happy and entertained, trading and earning a certain amount of energy credits or you may have to either cure sick aliens or rehabilitate alien criminals. The first few levels are pretty simple, but as the game goes on, you are thrown problem after problem, and you must solve them using your tactical brain. Sandbox Mode: ------------- This is just a build and enjoy mode, in other words, you have no true aims, just build up the colony, keep them fed, cured and entertained, whilst trading amongst other things. Multiplayer mode: ----------------- In this mode, you are allowed to play with someone on the other side of the world, over the Internet, I have not tried this mode neither, so can’t really comment on it. So what does the game play like? -------------------------------- Well, with it bei
                  ng a 3-D strategy simulation, the controlling of the game needs a lot of getting used to, as your building area is in fact confined to an enclosed space station and if you don’t have a very decent computer and graphics card, it can be very irritating, but if your computer is at least a Pentium 400 with a decent graphics card, then you can play the game without much trouble. The graphics a very good, and you are enabled to zoom right in to the aliens and actually ask them questions like “Is the alien hungry?” to which he will answer you; this gives you the idea of what is missing in your space station There are some excellent things you have to build to keep your aliens happy, things like Love-nests and Disco’s, these will enable the aliens to veg out and get some much needed love. Honestly, there are too many things to mention and I have only actually played four levels, so what else awaits me is unknown. You also need to employ the aliens, to help you run the station smoothly, but you must employ the right aliens to do the correct jobs i.e. The Salt Hogs will do all the dirty and general work like running your Re-cycling plant, then you have The Greys, these are your future doctors and medical assistants, so make sure you employ the correct aliens for certain tasks. There are nine different alien species, and you have to keep each race happy, healthy and employed. There are three levels or decks to the space station, first you have the Technical deck, this is where all the Hospitals, Living quarters, Recycling plant, Energy collector, etc utilities are housed. Then you have the Pleasure Deck, this is where your aliens will have their fun and relax in Hotels, Disco’s, Pleasure rooms, etc. And finally you have the Bio Deck; on here you grow food and plants (I think, as I am yet to reach that far). The game is real fun to play, but at the same time, can be very challenging and time-consuming, s
                  o look forward to not seeing any proper living creatures for a while, whilst you get enthralled by this excellent game. I have only played the game because a friend actually got it sent to him from the USA, It has only just been released onto our shelves at a cost of around £20.00, so if you are into this type of game, I strongly recommend you get out and buy it, as it is going to be a MASSIVE hit, so remember, you read it here FIRST!

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                    20.06.2001 02:34

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                    Startopia has a good chance of being game of the year because its utterly superb. This real-time stratgy game takes place in the vast-ness of space after the apocalypse. It is your job to rebuild and maintain the many tube like space stations through-out the galaxy and generally re-build the empire. In the process you'll come accross many, many wierd and wonderful alien creatures, of which you'll have to look after and provide suitable accommodation for. --Graphics-- The graphics in this game are absolutely astounding. If you have a high spec machine you should play at one of the high resolutions. --Playability-- Startopia is a very addiction strategy game, which will probably have you playing for weeks and weeks, and probably even weeks after that... I my opinion this is one of the best, if not the best game I've seen this year. Buy it, play it and enjoy.... By Dooyooexpert...

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