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The Good Parts of Light of Altair
Light of Altair is an excellent video game for the $15 they're asking for this entry level economic strategy game for the PC. The concept for this video game is excellent but a little shallow in parts and is an excellent video game for casual gamers to introduce themselves to the genre. Hardcore gamers will be looking for a little more depth and detail after playing Light of Altair but even they'll be entertained for a few hours.
Gamers who love to expand empires and explore will love constructing colonies on planets and building up the resources they need and using those resources to build fleets of ships to take into battle. Light of Altair isn't as combat heavy as other video games in this genre. It uses a concept that's closer to Anno than Sins of a Solar Empire. The combination of game play types is well balanced and provides you with a nice variety to keep you entertained and the game play fun. There are no tactics used in the battles, so your fleets meet and the one with the higher numbers generally wins the engagement.
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The Bad Parts of Light of Altair
Light of Altair eliminates the necessity for deep consideration about how to set up your planets. This lowers the depth of this video game and makes the game play and concepts of this game easier to pick up for casual gamers. You don't have to worry about grabbing the mountains or desert to get a certain resource for trade or placing a city to block a rival's further expansion. What you add to your colony and how you grow your planets is more important in the game play of this video game.
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The Graphical Presentation of Light of Altair
Light of Altair includes a presentation that's not in the same neighborhood as PC video games like Sins of a Solar Empire or Galactic Civilizations. The ship designs are pretty basic and bland and they all look the same no matter what faction you're playing. Even on high resolution the textures of the ships and environments are pretty bad, but for $15 you can't expect a video game to look the best.
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Do You Feel Like Playing Light of Altair Again?
Light of Altair includes a succession of scenarios that puts you in charge of a fledgling colony which you must build up to prosperity in order to colonize more planets and compete with your rivals. Once you have colonized a few planets the game play starts to lose its entertainment value because of the lack of depth in this experience. You place buildings on the map, locate resources, and then use those resources to build fleets to take colonists to new planets and defend your territory.
There's some planning involved in some of the missions, but the early missions are a little slower, so you have time to learn how to play. In the later missions once your rival shows up in the system you'll have to move quickly to limit his expansion and get ready for the eventual fight for territory.
You can choose to stay on a single planet and build it up to dominance and this actually works at times better than expansion. This method is actually cheaper to accomplish and there are advantages to this strategy.
The amount of fleets and forces at your command while playing Light of Altair and what you can do with them isn't as deep as PC video games like Galactic Civilizations and Sins of a Solar Empire. The AI in Light of Altair is a little basic and you'll experience several moments when you'll think the AI is an idiot. As a hardcore gamer it's hard for me to watch ships leap ahead when they should hang back and let the capitol ships fire their heavy weapons.
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One Last Word About Light of Altair
Light of Altair is an excellent PC video game for casual gamers to learn some of the basics of RTS game play but hardcore gamers are going to get bored quickly with this video game. This isn't a deep experience and the game play is a little light on the content, but what is included is entertaining and fun to play.
However for the great price of $15, I highly recommend picking up this game for any fans of the RTS genre, either new players or those looking for something different.