GrogHeads First Impressions of Stars in Shadow

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Screenshots of snake-people swashbuckling around the stars ~

Boggit, 26 May 2018

Developed by Ashdar Games Inc and published by Iceberg Interactive

I’ve been meaning to have a look at this game for some time now and finally have got around to it. Playing Emperor “Gritok the Devourer” of the Gremak Empire – an aristocratic race of four-eyed cobra alien slavers – I took to the stars in a huge Galaxy to try my luck as the mean and nasty imperialist snake people!

Here’s a collection of screenshots from my early expansion into the stars, which gives you an idea of how the game is presented, as well as the sort of options available to players. I liked the artwork, which unlike a lot of space games is nice, bright and colourful – and even a bit cartoony – which added to the fun. I liked what I saw with this game, which reminded me of the classic Master of Orion 2 in terms of gameplay. A big plus is that it is simple to play like Master of Orion 2, yet had sufficient depth to keep my attention.


So here we start at our home planet of Gremal. We’ve already made life a misery for the poor Enfi race that shares our planet having enslaved those centuries before. Now we have a chance to enslave other species to our will.

Our scout cruiser has found the jackpot. A mineral rich, colonisable planet with intelligent life that we can enslave to work for us – the Tinkers – a form of cyborg.


And here is the lucky system. I’ll send a colony ship, plus a transport with extra colonists to dominate this world.


So we’ve done it. Izden 1 is mine. My advisor tells me to produce transport ships to exploit our new found wealth, which I promptly do.


So where next? Yellow stars are a good source of habitable planets, so I’ll scout some more as I consolidate my hold on Izden.


Uh, oh. I’m expanding my population too rapidly to feed them. I must build some farms. But where to do it? Izden is really a mining planet, and I only get so many sites to build stuff. Choices, choices…


Maybe research can help? Artificial Organisms perhaps will be the answer? The tech tree is quite interesting, with technology choices being dependent on earlier decisions.


There is spacefaring life out there. It turns out to be pirates, and they want to enslave me! The cheek of it. That is not how my empire sees things.


So I have my first encounter with the pirates. The combat is very similar to the classic Master of Orion 2 with a player choosing the order of moving, and firing. Being a snake I also have cloaked ships so that I can sneak up on my enemies and strike.


Well, I get my first victory over the pirates. I got cocky though, and for a long time afterwards found myself under constant attack from them until one of my rivals sent a massive fleet against them. It solved my pirate problem, but opened up a whole new one for me.


All in all I can recommend Stars in Shadow to anyone who wants a satisfying but not overly demanding 4X space game. There’s enough depth to keep a player engaged, and it’s entertaining. If you’re into ship design there is an easy way to do it allowing a player to customise at will from the available technology. It’s definitely one of those games to play when you want to chill out with your galactic empire.

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