Since the end of the Great War, the galaxy has been quiet. For three thousand years primitive species have had time to grow, to learn, and to look to the stars. There they will find the smoldering embers of that long-ago war, alien civilizations and ancient technology. These discoveries could bring destruction, or they might provide the means to survive the greater challenges ahead.
Stars in Shadow puts you in command of one of seven distinct spacefaring civilizations. Explore the galaxy, rediscover and colonize distant worlds, and build an interstellar empire. Invest wisely in your military -- for this is a dangerous galaxy. Another great war is inevitable, and your people will need strength to earn their place among the stars.
Turn-based fleet combat is the core of Stars in Shadow. The tactical system allows starships to do battle using a wide range of different weapons and abilities. Unlock more powerful technologies through research or diplomacy, and outfit your fleets to best take advantage of your available tools.
The game includes seven playable factions comprising six alien races; your choice of faction will determine which hull types and weapon technologies are initially available to you, and which planetary environments are ideal for your people. Forming alliances, conquering neighboring species, or discovering ancient artifacts may open up additional avenues of research. Each game will offer unique challenges and opportunities.
As you explore the galaxy, a range of different planet types awaits your discovery. Some will be ripe for colonization; others may contain valuable mineral resources. The most prized worlds are those that hold secrets from the past -- artifacts from civilizations that vanished long ago. Research advanced technologies to enable your people to survive on dangerous worlds, or to terraform alien environments to suit your needs.
Once you have established a growing collection of colony worlds, you will need to balance the competing priorities of research, growth, and ship building. You will also need to decide the fate of those alien species that come under your control. Every race in Stars in Shadow has its own abilities and environmental preferences, and by encouraging a multi-species empire you can take advantage of the aptitudes of each. Convincing the members of such a diverse empire to get along may prove challenging, however.
Of the playable alien species, three are "young races", reaching out into the galaxy for the first time. The remaining three are "old races", survivors of a terrible war fought in the distant past, they still hold to their ancient grudges. Which race you choose will affect how your empire is perceived; what trades or alliances may be offered, and whether or not your neighbors are inclined to trust you. However, it is your own actions as leader which will ultimately determine how you are view by other governments as well as by the various populations of aliens you rule over.
The young races include the friendly Phidi, the reclusive Orthin, and the fierce Yoral. The old races are the proud Ashdar, the nomadic Humans, and the ruthless Gremak.