Pre-ECTS: Startopia

Eidos shows off its answer to Electronic Arts' Black & White.

Despite the fact that Startopia wasn't on display at E3 and won't be shown at ECTS (since Eidos won't have a booth), the strategy game has gotten a lot of attention lately. Eidos didn't publicly unveil Startopia until a few weeks ago because it opted to show a nearly complete product a few months before release rather than hyping up the early concept before there was much of a game to show. The game is currently in the final stages of development at UK-based Mucky Foot Productions, which is composed of a group of ex-Bullfrog employees.

Startopia is a real-time resource management game with a heavy dose of Peter Molyneux's "god game" flavor. Even though the famous designer had nothing to do with Startopia, his influence in the game is evident. Players assume the role of an invisible but omnipresent manager of a space station. Your ultimate goal is to build and expand a facility large enough to accommodate aliens from all walks of life. Some of the challenges you'll encounter include health issues, feuding alien races, overcrowding, unemployment, and so forth.

As you can tell from the screenshots, Startopia uses a robust 3D engine to power its gameplay. You can manipulate the camera completely to zoom in and out of your station's four unique decks, each of which houses different life-support systems. Eidos anticipates that Startopia will release this November.

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