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GameTap: Sins of a Solar Empire Review

Thierry Nguyen of GameTap writes: I'm pretty convinced that Sins of a Solar Empire is some sort of stealthy time machine. How else could it be that I can start a new game, and then look at my watch what is surely only a single minute later, only to see that I've actually jumped four hours into the future? Sins is either a prototype time machine, or its developers have tapped into some sort of time-perception-altering sorcery. Either way, it's basically why it's taken me over a week to write this review.

Sins is technically a real-time strategy game in space, but it actually dares to do something pretty hefty: It takes the 4X (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate) genre of strategy games--think Civilization or Master of Orion--and adapt it to real-time. As a result, Sins sits comfortably between sci-fi strategy games like Homeworld and MOO; both "like Homeworld but with the speed dialed down and a bit more planet conquering" and "like MOO2 but without an end-turn button and cooler battles" are pretty fair descriptions of Sins.

Pros: Fantastic blend of real-time and turn-based space strategy; manageable interface throughout; it's just plain cool to have huge fleets of spaceships zap each other.

Cons: Interface could still use a minor bit of polish; somewhat inadequate documentation for such a deep game; overall feel of features and polish is at 99 percent instead of 100.

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