While the name is overly ambitious, and it could be more helpful for novices, 10 Min Space Strategy
is a rather good 4X (Expand, Explore, Exterminate and Research, or something like that) game that you can play for free.
It’s along the same lines as Galactic Civilisations
, with various factions (that have certain traits) and various mentalities (which have certain traits) meaning that every game can be a bit different. In practice, these differences don’t have much impact on how the game plays. I usually just generate a few random enemies, settle for the random traits I’m given and start the game.
In space, no-one can hear you cliché
The game really hinges around the three types of ship available: fighter, bomber and coloniser. Fighters fight, bombers only bombard planets (they’re useless in a ship-to-ship fight) and colonisers expand your empire. Balancing these ships, and their creation via the buildings on planets in where the fun lies.
Expansion brings its own dilemmas: do you settle on a big world that’s not suited to your race (which will limit its productivity) or do you opt for smaller worlds that are more habitable but might only let you build two buildings rather than four? You might need to colonise a crappy world just to extend your reach further into the galaxy too.
There's plenty of variety on offer, so no game is exactly the same.
Or then again, perhaps you could research the Environment tech furiously so that living on inhospitable worlds isn’t a problem. However, this will leave you lagging behind in the Warfare tech race.
While 10 Min Space Strategy isn’t perfect – there are some pathfinding issues, and the AI can be a bit dumb – it’s a great way to spend a spare half-hour if you’re waiting for something else to happen.
Go download it from indie developer Goblin Lunatics
and see for yourself. Leave your impressions and thoughts on the game in the forum