Help me explore and conquer the final frontier.
May 19, 2009 11:08 PM   Subscribe

Trying to remember the name of a spaceship video game from the late 90s to early oughts.

You could play as one of 4 factions: human, two alien races, and pirates. Game play consisted of going around the level killing bad guys, damaging their colonies on planets and then dropping one of your own colonies on top of it to finish them off. You could also collect power ups which appeared as broken shards of ships floating around space or you could buy them at one of your race's space stations.

Here's what the game looked like from memory.
posted by cabbages to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I remember a game for the Mac (possibly Windows too) from a small publisher, possibly Ambrosia SW. There was a research component where you could upgrade your ships (faster, better weapons, better hulls). The icon for the game may have been a planet with wings or a ring around it. Does this sound right?
posted by zippy at 12:01 AM on May 20, 2009

Definitely not Alien Crossfire - that was an expansion pack for the classic strategy game Alpha Centauri, which was nothing like the arcade-type game the OP is describing.
posted by CRM114 at 12:19 AM on May 20, 2009

The game I'm thinking of had very simple gameplay. Get planets, do research on ship upgrades, send swarm of ships to take over enemy planets. There were up to four races controlling the four quadrants of the screen. One of the factors in the game was the distance between planets - by the time your super-advanced fleet arrived at a planet, it might be outdated.
posted by zippy at 12:52 AM on May 20, 2009

Is it Ares?
posted by TungstenChef at 1:20 AM on May 20, 2009

You're thinking of Escape Velocity, by Ambrosia SW
posted by crayz at 1:40 AM on May 20, 2009

Your drawing and description of combat and colonization also reminds me of Escape Velocity. I don't remember multiple races so much as a Rebellion vs Confederation vs pirates though. You start as a captain of a small craft and as you upgrade, each side tries to pull you in, eventually making the other side your enemy. Sound familiar?

(Some fun cheats in there too, so you could try out the super sweet ships like the Kestral.)
posted by Jorus at 5:30 AM on May 20, 2009

Master of Orion. includes a screenshot.
posted by devbrain at 6:29 AM on May 20, 2009

I know this is not the game but Star Control was sort of like the game you are describing. In fact Star Control 2 is one of the greatest games ever. You basically fly around the universe making allies, mining worlds, fighting aliens, building your ship, and fooling around with blue alien babes! If you cannot find the game you are looking for, you should check it out.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 6:43 AM on May 20, 2009

There's no separate races and no powerups from broken ships- aside from the scrap metal you could harvest after a battle- but everything else sounds a bit like Spaceward Ho!
posted by The Man from Lardfork at 7:26 AM on May 20, 2009

How about The Ur-Quan Masters, which is a remake of Star Control 2.
posted by theiconoclast31 at 8:20 AM on May 20, 2009

Your image certainly looks like Escape Velocity, but the description doesn't sound right.
posted by ludwig_van at 9:01 AM on May 20, 2009

Landfork got the game I was thinking of: Spaceward Ho
posted by zippy at 9:30 AM on May 20, 2009

Response by poster: My brother came to the rescue, its Stellar Frontier. Those other games sound awesome too so I'll probably check them out soon. Thanks!
posted by cabbages at 3:35 PM on May 20, 2009

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