Neptune’s Pride: Twilight Imperium For Your Browser

9 12 2010
Image courtesy of Neptune's Pride website

The Usual Suspects

Twilight Imperium is one of those big, big, big games that Fantasy Flight Games specializes in – it’s a marvelous mix of politics, war, and trade that make it essentially a Civ game in space. The problem is it lasts hours and can be a bit of a pain in the late game. Finding players for it can be a daunting task.

Thankfully, there are a lot of alternatives. One of the better ones is Neptune’s Pride, a browser game with simple rules – but an epic feel.

Image courtesy of Neptune's Pride website

Minimap of the galaxy














Neptune’s Pride may look like Risk in space, but the several different components result in something very different.

First of all, it’s real time – very real time. People will be moving while you’re off at work, while you’re asleep, etcetera. But everything moves glacially – the universe is usually 30+ light years big – and your ships initially travel at half a light year every 24 hours. Yeah, that’s slow.

This can make games last months – but you’ll only have to invest 15-30 minutes a day to it; more if you want to get fancy with tactics. This is because it’s all stripped down and simple – tech is like Master of Orion – but with only ever increasing levels in Spaceship Range, Speed, Weapons, and Scanning. None of the fancy stuff – you know this game is all about smashing fleets in planetary orbit.

Ships are just ships – no fancy classes or types. Their defining trait is your weapon tech level – the higher it is, the more ships you can blow up.


Images courtesy of Neptune's Pride website

An empire on the march

With all the simplicity in the game, you can expect something to make up for it. That’s the other players. One of the great things about Twilight Imperium is the table talk; it may slow the game down but it was fun. Neptune’s Pride magnifies the table talk into Diplomacy levels. Diplomatic messages, secret couriers, treaties, technology exchanges, and the backstabbing are the big attractions for Neptune’s Pride.

It’s a 4X space game with real people – and that’s a very good thing. Computer AIs may join to round out the game – but there’ll be some very sharp players out there.

So, if you want the rush of adventure and epicness that comes with ruling a multistellar empire – and for free to boot – I’d recommend signing up for a game of Neptune’s Pride.




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