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[PC] [MAC] Pandora: First Contact

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[PC] [MAC] Pandora: First Contact

Unread postby dinopoke » 03 Mar 2013 06:21







Pandora: First Contact is a science fiction turn-based strategy game on an epic scale. In the future, mankind has discovered a new, earth-like planet, capable of supporting life, it has been dubbed “Pandora”. This planet features a wide variety of eco-regions, from the frozen ice lands of the north, to vast deserts and lush tropical forests in the south. It is also far from desolate, hosting dangerous alien wildlife that are more than capable of wreaking havoc on the invading humans, from deadly swarms to agile predators, and there is even talk of a giant in the oceans!

In the rush, various factions have risen up in a battle to gain supremacy over this new world. As they strive to take control, each faction will research and develop numerous new technologies, discovering new weapons and industry, whilst opening trade agreements and forging alliances with other factions to gain a foothold. As they spread they will discover ancient ruins and artifacts from alien civilizations that will grant advantages over their rivals.

Utilizing a vast technology tree, factions will discover new technologies that will improve their colonies, with upgrades such as new buildings, operations, weapons, units and many more…

New weapons technologies even allow you to design your own units, choosing from a variety of different classes, weapons, and armor to maximize their strength and efficiency on the battlefield. Tailoring them to fight the war you have chosen!

Use powerful military operations such as drop pods for behind-the-lines attack or unleash hell with black hole generators that can destroy entire landscapes.

Expand your colonies with new cities, ensuring that you manage production whilst keeping the population happy. But remember the more you expand your borders the closer you get to other factions’ borders, so diplomacy must also be incorporated into your strategies.

It is important to remember that not all factions are peaceful and friendly so never let your guard down as you boldly discover this new and dangerous land, taking every opportunity that presents itself to gain the necessary advantage to control the planet!

  • Survive encounters with the planet's dangerous wild life. Agile predators in the steppes, deadly insect swarms in the jungle, or gigantic creatures lurking in the abyss of the oceans.
  • Ruins and artefacts, the relics of an ancient alien civilization long forgotten, provide bonuses.
  • Progress through a vast research tree spanning dozens of technologies that provide new buildings, units, weapons, and more.
  • Negotiate trade or research pacts with other factions for mutual benefits. Forge alliances to stand united against common foes.
  • Found new cities to expand the borders of your empire. Manage cities by selecting what structures they build or units they recruit and by assigning priorities to your colonists.
  • Shape the landscape with terraforming: construct farms, mines, forts, or other improvements to increase the productivity of your colonies or to fortify positions.
  • Command vast armies on the battlefield against enemy factions, making use of the variety of terrain types to gain an advantage.
  • Unleash hell on your opponents with powerful military operations, ranging from drop pods behind enemy lines to black hole generators eradicating entire landscapes. ... a-preview/

So, what’s really different about Pandora?

At this point I can say that Pandora will feel very familiar to anyone who played Civilization games. And, it will feel particularly familiar to those who played Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri. But, I already spot some differences that make Pandora a unique experience.

First of all, the economy works substantially different from other 4X games I’ve played. Well, at least in the particulars. The production model is more dynamic, more global, and will necessitate a bit more of micromanagement from your part, since now production is not only a function of potential resources, and population allocation (labor allocation), but also a great deal about stock management. And since the stock depot is global, it may have an effect on every cities’ production.

Having more research points and minerals in stock will breakthrough techs and produce new units more quickly, as long as you can also allocate more of your population accordingly. In other 4X games you can only change your population allocation in order to affect production, since resources don’t accumulate but are considered always to be available at the same rate. In Pandora, with the same population amount your production may still vary substantially as production will also depend on how filled your stocks are.

The ability to customize units is also a substantial departure from the Civ model, but not quite from the Alpha Centauri one.

Pandora’s look and feel is obviously different, and it does succeed in creating its own particular atmosphere. After a while you do feel immersed in Pandora and it doesn’t feel like you’re playing any other game but really a new experience.

The UI is also very slick and feedback friendly, so that’s also one very good thing I can say about the game at this stage. ... till-open/

Slitherine and Matrix Games have set the release date for their latest science fiction 4X turn-based strategy game for the PC, Pandora: First Contact. “The game is set to release towards the end of spring.”. ~Slitherine Ltd (January newsletter). In the game’s product page at Slitherine one can even see a more precise date: Jun 15th, 2013.

Pandora: First Contact is being developed by Proxy Studios, and is part of SpaceSector’s “Sci-Fi/Space Games You Can’t Miss in 2013” list. Pandora is not your usual star empire strategy game but a sci-fi 4X game where all the gameplay takes place on a single planet. Influences from games like Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri and Civilization are evident, and the publishers even recognized it officially. In their January 2013 newsletter they say: “The game follows in the footsteps of classics like Alpha Centauri and Galactic Civilizations”, and they add ”[but] it’s something really novel in the genre of civilization-style games.”.
Last edited by dinopoke on 21 Nov 2013 18:31, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby icycalm » 03 Mar 2013 07:30

Jesus christ this sounds awesome. Will look into it tomorrow and it'll definitely knock something else off the frontpage.
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Unread postby icycalm » 05 Mar 2013 04:56

I read up on it. It sounds like a cross between Alpha Centauri and Colonization -- there's no need to mention Civilization, since its features are included in Alpha Centauri. Curiously, though the devs mention Alpha Centauri and Civ as inspirations, they don't mention Colonization. Maybe because of the (undeserved) bad reputation that this game has. Personally I couldn't be happier by the influence, and indeed the entire model the game is going for.

Then you've got hexes from Civ5 -- but with stacking -- and also the vehicle customization from Alpha Centauri -- which I never paid any attention to because it was rather superfluous and not very well thought out, as this feature tends to be in most games in which I have encountered it (see also, for example, Front Mission).

This, on the other hand, is good:

Adam Solo wrote:Research plays a bit differently from other games, namely from Civ games, as a tech tree is not explicitly presented to you (as of yet at least), and the outcome of each tech breakthrough is also not all revealed. But, in a way, research in Pandora works rather similar to Alpha Centauri’s research model, since there you also don’t have a clear idea of how to beeline towards a certain tech.

In Pandora, you do have an idea on what each tech purpose is, and what sort of outcome it may unlock. But, while each tech describes what future tech it leads to, it’s somewhat hard to have a sense of what needs to be researched in order to reach a certain more desired and more advanced tech. It’s not the same as going with Alpha Centauri’s blind tech progression, where you can only choose a research area but not the tech itself, but still a somewhat more mysterious way to unlock new techs.

I don't seem to be able to find a video of the game, and I'd be very interested in seeing it in motion, etc. My main concern is that I fear they won't be able to match Alpha Centauri's backstory/atmosphere aspect, which is understandable on the one hand since it's the most atmospheric strategy game ever, but nevertheless disappointing on the other. Simply going by that one character pic in the preview it looks like the art team is not very inspired on that front. And the factions etc. sound like a blatant copy off Alpha Centauri's, which is not necessarily a bad thing since they were awesome, but it does point to a lack of inspiration on Pandora's team's part nevertheless. And the fact that multiplayer includes only 6 players could be a letdown. I think Alpha Centauri had, what, 7 or 8 factions? And then Civ3 took the number up to 15, so if 6 sides is all you get here, it will be somewhat disappointing.

So, not quite No. 1 most wanted material, but quite close to it, so all in all the game is going on the frontpage somewhere, and knocking down Tomb Raider, which is apparently coming out today.
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Unread postby dinopoke » 15 Mar 2013 07:08

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Unread postby dinopoke » 21 Nov 2013 18:31

The game has been released.

Official site:







Space Sector's first impressions: ... pressions/

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