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Anacreon is a 4X strategy game in which the player's objective is usually to take over the galaxy. While the game is quite dated at this point, it executes it's features in such a manor that other games of its genre have been unable to simulate.
Anacreon starts you off with one planet, a few surrounding planets which you will have to scope out with Probes, and a small amount of time. Any time you do not use during your turn will carry over to the next turn along with however much time you are usually alloted per turn. This is to ensure that you get plenty of time for the turns that really matter, yet still have to deal with a kind of urgency not always present in some turn based games.
The game, which uses old ASCII graphics as opposed to complex maps, simplifies exploration and concentrates on fleet development and keeping a stable economy. You will find yourself having to specialize certain planets and trading with others, as certain planets are more suitable for certain materials than others.
Every planet follows a tech tree which starts from before civilization to creating gates in space allowing for instantaneous travel. As you capture independent planets that are below you in the tech tree, their technology will increase rapidly, but until they reach a later stage, they are largely useless.
Pretty soon you'll be coming up against other Empires at which point the game gets a little harder. Independent planets are usually easy to take, as you can pick and choose planets with technologies that are usually far below your own, but the other Empires will be coming for you.
Battles are simple and easy enough to execute. Your fleet is divided into ships of the same type, and you order them to move forward a level or to attack targets in range.
- HOTU - Game can be found here.