Try to save your crumbling sci-fi empire in the Alliance of the Sacred Suns demo

An image of the game map from Alliance of the Sacred Suns. There is an eagle-shaped constellation and the names of various science fiction worlds within it.
(Image credit: KatHawk Studios)

"A thousand years in the future, humanity's last empire stands on the brink of collapse," reads the intro text for Alliance of the Sacred Suns, which is a really good pitch. The sci-fi grand strategy and 4X hybrid has a new demo out on Steam, which you can play right now, where you take on the job of a new emperor or empress responsible for keeping the disaster that is humanity's future from becoming worse. 

It's a unique pitch, a strategy game where the player cannot micromanage their empire but must use personal relationships with powerful people and politicians to rule. Putting people you trust, and who trust you, into positions of power is how things get done—not by commanding individual fleets around.

Your goal is to prevent humanity's slide into a dark age by restoring the strength of your imperial house and the central government, while other noble houses are just as happy to strengthen themselves. Of course, there's not just other humans to worry about. Aliens can see that humanity is weak as well.

If you, like me, are seeing the paralells to 1997's Emperor of the Fading Suns, you're not wrong to. Both of these games definitely take inspiration from the space feudalism of old sci-fi like Frank Herbert's Dune or Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun. 

You can find Alliance of the Sacred Suns on its own website, and you can find the demo on Steam.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.