THE GOOD: Cool ideas, i.e. intergalactic species conflicts,cool techs
THE BAD: some poor graphics, for example the battle scenes and the classic a.i., sending powerful ships in one by one instead of making unstoppable fleets
SUMMARY: I really enjoy this game because you can steal enemy vessels and dismantle them and research their hi-tech parts! I always liked games that allowed you to capture and use enemy technology against them. Besides this it is really fun and kind of reminds me of Alpha Centauri in its custom units and overall fun.
THE BAD: AI weakness in fleet attacks and attack timing.
SUMMARY: Needs a minimum of animation. For instance planet rotation, ship movement, weapon firing could be animated to add pizzazz. If civilian side of the game could be enrichened (in- planet maps and construction sites, more detailed trading such as merchant ships/trade routes, detailed population dynamics etc... the game could really become Civ-in-Space most peole crave for!
THE GOOD: Space Empires IV Rocks! Despite its low quality graphics, it beats the snot out of its competition!
THE BAD: No graphic animations!
SUMMARY: As a long term fan of the space empires series, this game beats out not only its predessors, but its competition as well. I can't wait for those big "Damn the Game Play, Bring on the Ram Hogs" Game Publischer's faces when this goes mainstream.
THE GOOD: Gameplay, Replay Value, Technology, Depth
THE BAD: AI problems, Layout
SUMMARY: Continuing on with the series, Space Empires IV by Malfador Machinations is an excellent example of what small developers are capable of.
The review done here at Neoseeker pretty much describes SEIV and all of its features, so I won't get into too much about them. But to emphasize it again, the gameplay is rich and in-depth with a huge technology tree, and the ability to change practically everything about the game via text files and bitmaps extends the replay value of this already fabulous game for ages.
The only annoyances that I cannot live with is the AI and the layout. From the political point of view, the AI is easily manipulated into poor treaties and trades that in no way benefit them. In ship design, even hundreds of turns into the game, the AI is still using Depleted Uranium Cannons when they have Capital Missiles and other high tech weapons at their disposal. The layout is somewhat clum...