Stardrift Empires drifts far into the depths of boredom
Like clicking on stuff? Oh goodie – you’re going to love this heaping helping of Facebook minutiae. Stardrift Empires is a strategy game of the most boring breed, and unless you have a fetish for watching numbers change, these aren’t the droids you’re looking for.
For full disclosure, I personally have no aversion to repetition so long as it’s fun. I’m a huge fan of Musou games (Dynasty Warriors, Samurai Warriors, etc.), and I’ve invested hours of my gaming life grinding in RPGs as well. Stardrift Empires, however, takes tedium to a new low, presenting players with little more than a few still images and demanding they build an empire by way of clicking a “start” button over and over and over again.
Upon setting out on your journey with Stardrift Empires, the game presents players with a quick and dirty explanation of why you need to stake your claim on the galaxy. Story elements are almost nonexistent here, and the game takes its sweet time getting underway.
It’s perhaps best to think of Stardrift Empires as a menu system rather than an actual game, with two main elements to guide you through your adventure: quests and missions. Quests lead the player by the nose with respect to what needs to get done; missions are essentially maintenance tasks (haul cargo, raid ore, etc.) required to complete quests. You’ll literally spend days working on these errands – again by clicking “start,” “upgrade,” or “build” repeatedly – and if you manage to stick with the game long enough to get to the “good stuff,” you’ll be rewarded with essentially more of the same.
Though you can set off on multiple missions at once, you can only upgrade/build one structure at a time, as well as have only a single research active. Considering the time it takes to complete these portions of a given quest, Stardrift Empires consists of a lot of clicking, leaving the game to do something else for a while, and returning for more clicking. There’s simply no way to sugarcoat it – this is one of the absolute most boring experiences available on the Facebook platform.
It doesn’t help that the interface is borderline broken. Rather than present players with a game all on one screen, the menu system in Stardrift Empires scrolls up and down. It’s difficult to navigate, messy, and outside of a mild sense of accomplishment when a quest reaches completion, there’s almost no impetus to push on.
Visually, static artwork is all players can look forward to in terms of production values, and Stardrift Empires is all but devoid of sound. Occasionally, menu screens will fail to fully load, and though the only actual animation in the game consists of simply designed progress bars, Stardrift Empires still eats up CPU resources like a hog at a trough.
Stardrift Empires makes a poor first impression, and it all goes downhill from there. This isn’t so much a game as it is an exercise in futility – click a few times, leave the game alone for a while, and come back to see a few numbers have changed. Most folks frequent Facebook to escape this type of work, not to be subjected to it.