In this complex, space strategy game you generate a new universe for each game, so no two games can ever be the same. You choose from dozens of major and minor racial attributes; the universe size, density, and starting player positions; as well as the winning conditions the suit your playing style.
An important part of game strategy is in designing a race. The Custom Race Wizard lets you choose from 6 predefined races or create a custom race based on one of the 6 races. To create a custom race, you can select from 10 primary and 14 secondary racial traits, each with attending technical advantages and disadvantages. After selecting traits, you can specify environmental tolerance and production and research capabilities. The number of choices allows for endless tweaking of races to adjust for what you learn in each game played.
You can choose from over 2 dozen hulls and almost 200 ship specific technologies. The Ship Builder lets you easily design and change specialized starships and starbases. The game also features tons of cool technology including over 220 complex tech items such as stargates, wormholes, minefields, terraforming bombs, devious new cloaks, shield sappers, anti-matter generators, armed starsbases, and more.
You can play alone against the AIs (computer players); play with your friends on one machine, through your LAN, or within a BBS; or submit turns over the Internet by e-mail. Because the game is turn-based, players don't need to be online at the same time you have the freedom to play people with different schedules and in different time zones. Stars! includes 6 complex, honest computer opponents who don't cheat. So when you're playing solo against the game, or include one or more in a multi-player game, you get a complex, balanced opponent worthy of your time. Each AI is based on a different race design so you have a variety of strategies to deal with. Stars! lets you play with any combination of up to 15 other human and computer opponents.
The game also features an interactive tutorial, great 3-D graphics that illustrate planet and ship types and technology levels without getting in the way of game play, a dynamic and flexible interface, and more.