Alpha Centauri

Alpha Centauri is a 4x turn-based strategy game by Sid Meier, and is something of a sequel to the Civilization games, taking place after the conclusion of the Space Race endings.

humanhive.gif ladydeirdre.gif univofplanetsm.gif morganindustsm.gif spartanssm.giflordsbelieverssm.gifpeacekeeperssm.gif[[1]]
The faction leaders in Alpha Centauri. From left to right: Chairman Yang of the Human Hive, Lady Deidre of the Gaians, Provost Zakharov of the University, Nwabudike Morgan of the Morganites, Colonel Corazón Santiago of the Spartans, Sister Miriam Godwinson of the Believers, and Commisioner Pravin Lal of the Peacekeepers.

The setting of the game is that a colonization mission on the spaceship Unity was sent by the UN from the war-torn Earth to the Alpha Centauri system, starting in 2060. As the ship approached the target planet, Charon, a malfunction on the ship brought the crew out of statis, and the captain of the ship, Captain Garland, was assassinated. The crew of the ship splintered into 7 different factions, each with their leader, and independently descended to the planet's surface to start their own colonies. On the planet, the factions discovered the native life included a pervasive fungus-like growth that covered large stretches of the planet's surface, both on land and sea, as well as dangerous mind worms that swarm out and paralyze victims with "psychic fear", then burrow into their skulls and deposit their larvae, which eat their way out. You take control in the role of one of the faction leaders, trying to lead your faction to prosperity, while defending against threats from the native life and interacting either cooperatively or violently with other factions.

While the single-player can only have one winner, and the game ends when the player is eliminated, the multiplayer can have cooperative victories. There are a number of possible victory conditions that can be met. One is the conquest victory, which is reached by eliminating all the competing factions. Another is the diplomatic victory, which involves convincing the majority of the other factions to vote for you as the planetary leader. One is the economic victory, which requires you to amass enough of an economic advantage to corner the global market. The last victory condition is the technological transcendence victory, where the player is able to assimilate with the intelligent native fungus, surpassing all other factions.

1. Pictures from http://www.huntnworld.com/alpha.html

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