Ancient Frontier: Steel Shadows


I always enjoy those beautiful, clear night skies full of shiny stars — a spectacle that we humans have cherished for thousands of years.  Despite this, I am always wondering when we humans will be travelling throughout space from one planet to another. What would it be like? Who will be in charge? Will we encounter Aliens or be robbed by space pirates during our travels? If, like myself, you are asking yourself the same questions, don’t look further. All will be revealed in Ancient Frontier: Steel Shadows!

Ancient Frontier: Steel Shadows turn-based strategy / RPG game, developed and published by Fair Weather Studios, where you take control of a fleet of pirates within the space universe of Ancient Frontier.

If, like me, you haven’t played the original Ancient Frontier, I strongly recommend watching the extremely well put-together tutorial before playing the game. It will only take you around ten minutes from start to finish. When you’re ready to start your first game, you’ll be prompted to choose which level of difficulty you’ll like to play. In the beginner level, the resources and battles will be easier, whereas if you decide to play either on the veteran or epic difficulties, the resources will be hard to find, and the damage will be permanent.

There are two main areas in this game: the battles and the management screen. In the management area, you’ll be able to see your fleet of vessels. You can also buy new ships and items, and hire new crew members from the market tab. You can also undertake research, and see your next three quests and missions. Regarding missions, there are three types available to you. You can choose to jump onto your next story mission or opt for a bounty or simulation missions. If you complete a Simulation Mission, you’ll receive experience points which will be distributed equally towards the vessels that participate in that specific mission.  Be rewarded with extra resources if you complete a Bounty Mission.  What I really like in this game is that you can choose which mission you want to play. If you're going to amalgamate resources, keep playing bounty missions and when you are ready, jump back into the story mission.  

There are three main resources, Hydrium (which is the currency in this game), Proto energy (which you need in order to deploy vessels into each mission), and Data (to research new technologies). If you have enough Proto energy, you’ll be able to deploy your entire fleet into each mission (story, bounty or simulation) if you wish to do so. If you don’t have enough Proto Energy, make sure to select the most suitable vessels for that mission. To do that, just left click on each spaceship to see all their statistics and abilities.

The battle phase varies in size depending on the mission. So far, the biggest layout that I have encountered is 32 X 32 hexagon tiles map. Your fleet will start on the south side of the map. On the top right corner of your screen, you’ll be able to see your objectives, and which turn you are in. The left corner of your screen will display the vessel abilities as well as the movement and action points. The action points are represented by red orbs, and movement by blue orbs. Every time you activate an ability, it will cost you a minimum of one action point. As you progress through the game, you’ll buy new items for your ships and hopefully get new abilities to use in combat. The other things you’ll see on the map are scattered resources. To collect them, you must move one of your spaceships onto that specific tile to pick it up. As soon as you complete your main objectives, you’ll win the mission and receive the rewards promised to you.

You might encounter an event after finishing one of your missions, where you’ll be given up to three actions to choose from. Just be wise and you’ll be alright!

I enjoy the story and the cutscenes when you manage to destroy a main ship (boss) and the graphics are really great and polished. The soundtrack is pretty good too, and the interface is easy to use. Personally, I am going to check out their first game, Ancient Frontier!


+ Great graphics
+ Plenty of spaceships
+ Three different types of missions
+ Threes different level of difficulties
+ Fun, addictive and challenging


- No achievements or trading cards

Review Summary

Take command of a band of space pirates across the universe of Ancient Frontier. A great turn-based strategy/RPG game set in space!

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Zeepond Rating: 7/10