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Pandora: First Contact End of Spring 2013 – Beta Still Open

By on February 1st, 2013 9:48 am

Pandora: First Contact | Science fiction 4X turn-based strategy game

Slitherine and Matrix Games have set the release date for their latest science fiction 4X turn-based strategy game for the PC, Mac and Linux, Pandora: First Contact. “The game is set to release towards the end of spring.”. ~Slitherine Ltd (January newsletter). In the game’s product page at Slitherine one can even see a more precise date: Jun 15th, 2013.

Pandora: First Contact is being developed by Proxy Studios, and is part of SpaceSector’s “Sci-Fi/Space Games You Can’t Miss in 2013” list. Pandora is not your usual star empire strategy game but a sci-fi 4X game where all the gameplay takes place on a single planet. Influences from games like Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri and Civilization are evident, and the publishers even recognized it officially. In their January 2013 newsletter they say: “The game follows in the footsteps of classics like Alpha Centauri and Galactic Civilizations”, and they add “[but] it’s something really novel in the genre of civilization-style games.”.

We announced the start of Pandora’s open beta registrations back in November of last year, but it’s still going and you can jump in by registering at the Pandora Beta sign up page. For more information check the game’s webpage at Matrix Games.

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  1. killias2 says:

    Maybe I’m pessimistic, but I have this troubling sense that this will be a lightweight 4x more like Warlock or Civ 5 than Alpha Centauri. AC is fu***** insane. I went back and played a fair amount last year, and you can pretty much do -anything-. Design your own units, restructure the world, sea-cities, etc. etc. I really hope they don’t botch this.

    • Adam Solo says:

      I didn’t play Warlock: Master of the Arcane but calling Civ 5 a lightweight 4X is probably an overstatement ;) (even considering the vanilla version) But yes, Alpha Centauri is special among 4X games. It’s very complex and the atmosphere is very rich. And, the fact that you can customize units helps in that richness, something Civ lacks but probably doesn’t need anyway.

      • killias2 says:

        Warlock is certainly more lightweight than Civ 5, but, in comparison to AC, C5 is pretty dern lightweight. That’s all I really meant by that.

    • Stupid Space Lizard says:

      And here I am hoping it does end up having some resemblance to Warlock ;) Seeing as how their other game supposedly had a heavy tactical slant it might not be too far off.

      I wouldn’t set my expectations to AC though, especially with a small team.

  2. Ashbery76 says:

    Unclaimed Worlds and Alpha Centauri have worlds that actually look Alien.This planet looks too much like Civ from the screenshots.

    • Adam Solo says:

      There are some shots that look more alien than the one in this article. However, I generally agree with you that Pandora’s world doesn’t look that alien, and looks very close to Civ (Earth) in many areas. I even come to wonder if they used the same game engine or something. But I imagine that Civ5’s engine is custom made? Well, it probably looks more like Civ4.

  3. Loyal_Viggo says:

    I signed up for the beta a while back now and still no news, which I guess is explained by your comment Adam that this process is still open…

    • Adam Solo says:

      They opened the beta registrations back in November but, as it seems, they have (re-)opened it now to the general public. I also registered, today, again, and am still waiting for confirmation. However, I did register back in November and I could swear I saw a build for download. But, I’m not so sure now. Anyway, now seems to be for real.

  4. Smoking Robot says:

    CIV 4 in outer space. If it doesn’t suffer from the dreaded TFS (tiny fonts syndrome) I’m on board.

    • SephiRok says:

      Let us know (the devs) and we can do our best to fix any legibility/presentation issues. I’m totally on board the tiny font hate train.

  5. ray says:

    At first glance, this seems a miss for me. The reasons; hostile alian life forms = monsters. New tech = Magic.. Hex based dull world. It seems we cannot get beyond a fantasy interpretation of what an alien world might be like. Some different goals other than “agrresive aliens and/or other settlers might have been nice. Goals such as seasonal changes that are harsh forcing a player to camp down over a winter and just survive -i.e. a robust base bullding game with relavant structures above and below ground. This format (yawm), sounds too familiar. I would guess that if you want CIV in space, wait for the next mod for CIV 5

  6. Njordin says:

    Did anyone actually play this game? i´m looking forward to it and i´m also wondering if this game is more like CiV5 ( please not that easy and streamlined ) or more like CiV4 with addons, maybe even like AC.

    • Adam Solo says:

      The next wave of beta testing should open up soon. I didn’t try the game yet but plan to very soon. I intend to publish a preview somewhere in the near future.

  7. Edward Ryan says:

    Hi I hope this will be really good! if this game is anywhere near as good as Alpha Centuri then it’s time to find a bunker and settle down because it will be a long time before I come out again.

    I played that game so much I think I wore out the disk :).

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