Empire of the Eclipse looks to bring 4X space sims to the App Store

First things first: In videogame terms, “4X” does not mean “four times” but literally four Xes – explore, expand, exploit and exterminate – and is used to describe massive, sweeping strategy epics. The upcoming Empire of the Eclipse looks poised to bring that sort of heavyweight gameplay experience to iOS hardware, putting players in charge of a fledgling empire as it takes its first steps into the stars.

The first unusual thing you’re likely to notice about Empire of the Eclipse is that its subscription based rather than free-to-play. That means there’s no “pay money to speed it up” mechanic, but you can still expect substantial wait times while things happen: building shipyards and flinging fleets around the galaxy takes time, after all. The idea is to keep the game from turning into mad rush of blitzkrieg-style attacks and instead force players to actually formulate and then execute strategies with an eye to the long term. Fortunately, push notifications can be enabled to keep players abreast of the action as it happens.

Players will be able to mold their empires along one of three specialties – military, research or trade – each with its own set of unique victory conditions. Gamers who embrace a warrior doctrine must conquer the galaxy through brute force, for example, while those who prefer a mercantile approach will find victory in wealth. Forming alliances with other players, and knowing when and how to break them will also be an important part of the formula.

Empire of the Eclipse Empire of the Eclipse

Empire of the Eclipse isn’t a fast-paced game in which victory goes to the one with the speediest fingers or deepest pockets, but instead offers the opportunity for players to engage in a slower, purer strategy exercise that keeps everyone on an even playing field. This definitely looks like one to keep an eye on. Watch for it to hit the App Store on May 24.