Imperium Galactum for the Apple II

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Came also out for:

Atari 8-bit
Commodore 64

Game description:

Not to be confused with the much, much later Imperium Galactica, this was the first fully-functional commercial “4X” space game to hit the U.S. Many of the most important features in later 4X games appeared in this one: ship design, guerrilla warfare on captured planets, troop transports. It did not feature tactical space battles, however.

The main game screen displayed a grid of dots, with star systems shown by a larger circle with a color representing the star’s type. Stars could have zero, one, or two inhabitable planets. Warships could be custom designed and were tracked individually with a maximum of 255 war ships per player in existence at one time. Transports could carry either colonists and troops and traders carried metal or food surpluses to where they were needed. During an invasion, the respective armies from each player would fight until one force was destroyed. However, planets thus captured could suffer from guerrilla resistance for several turns and if not eradicated could overthrow the invaders or assist your opponent’s armies in the event of a counter invasion.

Given the tiny systems it ran on, this game did a very good job of simulating many important considerations, and was the first introduction of some of the things that have become staples in 4X space games; most notably ship design and refits.

What I think:

A complex game…typical for SSI.

But I don’t like it as much as some other SSI games. You have to wait for everything quite long and you can’t do certain things at certain points…


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  1. Countless teenage hours were spent in my basement with my Apple 2c and my high school friends playing this game.
    We would sit around taking turns entering moves at the computer. Meanwhile, we would play tabletop games or paint miniatures or just BS about stuff. I recall some all-nighter events where we were doing this.
    We even had a single elimination turney where the last two survivors of one match would engage the last two in a another for a last man standing game.

    Life was simple. We were trying to make it incredibly complex to avoid boredom. 🙂

    Thanks for the video and the memory lane.

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