Stars in Shadow Has Been Released

Posted on 20 Jan 2017 by
Stephen Haselden

After a mere four month stay in the Steam Early Access program, the comic book styled, traditional, 4X strategy game Stars in Shadow, has graduated to full release status today. Not only has it fully arrived on Steam and currently sitting at a lovely 87% “Very Positive” user score, but the new 4X kid on the block is currently on sale until January 26th with a nice 25% off discount.

During its brief stay in Steam Early Access, with the help and support of its loving 4x community, Ashdar Games has listened and implemented plenty of new features into the Stars in Shadow release version. Several new factions, new discoverable minor races, the Galactic Council and of course, best of all, the ability to turn those useless slaves into something more useful, like scientific research to benefit your faction.

I’m sure theres more to come from this already solid title, so stay tuned with Pixel Judge for further updates and a full game review coming sometime soon – as long as Simon and Omni stop giving me extra work that is 😛

Official Press Release

Haarlem, The Netherlands – January 19th, 2017 – Four months of hard work in Early Access pays off today, as developer Ashdar Games releases its classic 4X turn-based strategy title Stars in Shadow (PC) on Steam and various other digital download platforms. Time well-spent in the Early Access program has secured much useful feedback and advice from the 4X community, and has ensured that the game is now packed with tons of new features. Two brand new factions have been implemented, strategic zoom is added, as well as the Galactic Council. Moreover, various new minor races can be discovered and the option to use slaves for scientific experiments is now made available to all players.

Sven Olsen, lead developer of Ashdar Games says: “It’s the achievement of a goal that we’ve been working towards for more than six years, so we’re pretty excited about it. On the other hand, there’s still a lot we want to add to the game, so it doesn’t feel as if the project is coming to an end but rather a new chapter in which we plan to work on many new additions to the Stars in Shadow universe…”


Stars in Shadow is a turn-based 4X science fiction strategy game. Explore the stars, settle distant worlds, and build an interstellar empire. Recover ancient technologies and negotiate with alien leaders. Created by a pair of passionate strategy gamers, Stars in Shadow features streamlined empire management, sophisticated turn-based tactical combat, and detailed world building.


  • Epic Scope:

Starting at the dawn of interstellar travel, progress through four eras of technological advancement. Discover the science of planetary terraforming, upgrade your infantry battalions to battle mechs, and grow your fleet from a squadron of destroyers to an armada of planet-destroying Dread Stars.

  • Varied Factions:

7 Playable factions comprising six alien races. Each faction has different research strengths and technology options. Forming alliances, conquering neighboring species, or discovering ancient artifacts may open up additional avenues of research. Choose your race wisely as it impacts which worlds will suit you, what trades or alliances may be offered, and whether or not your neighbors are inclined to trust you.

  • Stylized Setting:

A distinctive comic-book art style and an original, detailed universe backstory draw you into an immersive game world. Interact with a unique cast of alien characters, make friends and influence people, or crush your enemies and see them driven before you.

  • Focused High-Level Strategy:

Build a vast and varied empire, taking advantage of the unique traits offered by different alien populations and the worlds they inhabit. Experiments on a slave population might diminish your popularity in the Galactic Council. A streamlined resource and planetary improvement model keeps the game moving even when your empire grows large.

  • Deep Turn-Based Tactical Combat:

Face off against your opponents in complex 2D turn-based tactical battles. Counter your enemy’s missile barrage using point defense or interceptors, then close to energy weapon range! Stars in Shadow’s tactical engine includes several features rarely seen in turn based games. Multi-ship commands keep even large fleet battles fast-paced, and smart unit behaviors allow tight control with minimal micromanagement. Auto-resolve battles that are a foregone conclusion, while retaining the ability to replay any engagement to see exactly what happened.

Comments (1)

Posts: 52
Stephen Haselden
Posted 20 Jan 2017, 18:35
Had the chance to ask Sven Olsen from Ashdar Games a few questions last night, here are his responses:

Elethio: Was it a conscious design decision to leave custom races out of the final release? If so I'd be interested to hear the reasons.

Sven: Yes: it was a conscious decision. We wanted to make sure each of the races really played differently, and if you hand people too many customization options, it can work against that goal.

Elethio. Are custom races slated as a potential feature still?

Sven: We've talked a little about it. I think there's room to keep the character of the races we've got, while still adding interesting customization options to the game setup. Something along the lines of alternate leaders could work.

A MOO2-style racial perk grid isn't something we're planning on though.

Elethio: Do you have any plans to enable modding and Steam Workshop features?

Sven: If there's interest, I'd certainly like to support modding. Right now, the main problem is that I don't have the free time to really set things up, but the game is very much designed to be modder friendly -- a few of the beta testers have even done some modest modding of their own builds, when they disagree with me about certain balance choices :)
Edited on 20 Jan 2017, 18:37