eXpositions 60

Crossing The Rubicon: Defining The 4X-like Genre

Preface Classifying games into genres is a challenging endeavor. The terminology for describing games is often loosely defined, or is understood differently from person to person. Even when there is common language, new games are routinely created that seem to defy categorization. For instance, what was once a well-bounded RTS genre is now routinely a mashup of MOBA and RPG […]

Interviews 30

My Visit To Stardock Studios ’17

It was mid-October when I pulled up to an unassuming two story, suburban office building, not entirely sure what to expect. Today was the day for eXplorminate to venture into “meatspace.” Thanks to a series of fortunate coincidences, I had the distinct pleasure of paying Stardock’s Michigan-based office a house call. Company head Brad Wardell, who we last interviewed over […]

eXcursions 0

Monday eXcursion: Antihero

I first heard about Antihero and its 4X-ish underpinnings over at Pocket Tactics a mere three years ago (2014 for those counting). I was immediately struck by the general design of the game for three reasons: 1) it had 4X elements (duh) 2) it looked to be a rare member of the “compact” world of 4X games with short playtimes […]

Boardgames 16

4X Board Game Review: Runewars

Preamble: A Thought on Board Games Before diving into this review, I want to set the stage: I have a deep appreciation for a good board game. While I love strategy and 4X video games, I also adore a great many board games – from raucous social deduction games like Mascarade or Spyfall to more cerebral affairs like Tigris & […]

eXpositions 51

All That Glitters Is Not Gold

With the release of Endless Space 2 (ES2), a wave in the space 4X ocean has crested. The “Big 4” space 4X games –  Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars (MoO:CTS), Galactic Civilizations III (GalCiv3), Stellaris and ES2 – have all landed within the past year along with major expansions for GalCiv3 and Stellaris amidst a host of other titles. […]

Featured 15

Stellaris ReeXamination #1

The case files for Stellaris are curious. When it launched earlier this year, expectations for Paradox’s “4X meets grand strategy in space” were quite high. And for a good reason! Paradox’s long-running Europa Universalis and Crusader Kings franchises are highwater marks in the world of strategy gaming. Stellaris was poised to build on that accomplishment, and indeed it has been […]