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In the strategic game world, there are many contestants but unfortunately not many winners. The game "Star Reach" in North America and "Space Federation" in Europe, from Interplay belongs to the second category because it fails to keep the player's interest until the end.
As indicated by the name, "Star Reach"'s action is set in space in the 23rd century. After an unsuccessful peace attempt between the seven alien nations present in the galaxy, war spread out like a plague, with each nation trying to take control over the others.
The game features 21 missions from the easiest to the hardest. In the beginning, training missions include a small number of planets (often 2) with no opponents. Further in the game, computer controlled scenarios or human controlled adversaries will challenge gamers, increasing the difficulty as one plays.
There are six different types of planets: Volcanic, Desert, Water, Ice, Moon and Earth. Each planet provides different types of resources. For example, a volcano planet will be very high in minerals, but it is difficult to live there. The planet's type determines the level of minerals, amount of food, inhabitability and also which species can usually be found on this type of planet.
On the planets, you will have to build factories, defenses, biospheres and hydroponics to ensure your colonists a descent life. With the factories and enough minerals, you will be able to build several types of ships from satellites to planet bombers. Minerals are the most important resources in the game, and more than once, you will have to establish a supply link from the locations rich in minerals to your factories.
Although "Star Reach" presents several good points, it suffers from a lack of a few things. The first one is the mouse support. You will have to use the keyboard to do all your operations, including the control of the main ship. Next, if you want to build planetary improvements on planets where you have established colonies, you will have to move your ship to this particular location. This is, in my opinion, the worst thing in the game. This is probably why scenarios do not include systems with dozens of planets like "Master of Orion" or "Spaceward Ho"!
Interplay Productions Ltd. GRAPHICS ------------------ 80% 71 Milton Park, SOUND ------------------ 85% Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RR, England. MUSIC ------------------ 90% Tel: +44-(0)235-821-666 GAMEPLAY ------------------ 75% INTEREST ------------------ 70% Interplay Productions Inc. 17922 Fitch Avenue, Irvine, CA 92714. OVERALL ------------------ 79% Tel: 714-553-6655