Pandora: First Contact released, claims to be the hex-based successor to Alpha Centauri

It's an odd quirk that many of the games that went on to be major sources of inspiration have had relatively short names. That means we've had Doom Clones, and Roguelikes, and DotA-likes, and other, snappy touchstones. Pandora: First Contact is perhaps best described as a Sid Meier's Alpha Centauralike, which is longer, but effectively conveys the game's aim to be seen as a "spiritual successor" of sci-fi 4X strategy Alpha Centauri .

That's the trailer, here's what it's showing:

"In the future, factions have risen up from opportunities and ideologies independent of governments. Private corporations and religious movements have started wars over greed, ideology and power. Many have died and many lands lay in ruin. Planet Earth has been exhausted and colonial attempts on other planetary bodies have been in vain.

"Finally, after decades of exploration, an interstellar probe has brought promise of a new world many light-years away. The most powerful factions have gathered their best men and women to send on a long journey to Pandora. Far from desolate, the earth-like planet has been found to host a plethora of indigenous life forms. While the gigantic monstrosities inland and at the oceans seem relatively calm, human-sized bugs and fungus are threatening to stop mankind's expansion."

Pandora: First Contact is out now, and available through the game's website . On that site, you'll also find a comprehensive features list, which only serves to reinforce its Alpha Centauri 4X focus. For more, head over to publisher Slitherine's YouTube page, where a variety of videos explain many of the game's systems.

Phil Savage

Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.