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Gameplay Overview

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Pandora: First Contact is a science-fiction 4X strategy game. That means you will eXplore the world of Pandora, eXploit its natural resources to eXpand your faction from a tiny colony to a sprawling empire, and eXterminate the opposing factions and hostile natives.

Object[edit | edit source]

You can achieve victory in one of three ways:

  • through economic dominance (accumulate enough credits to buy 75% of the other factions' economies)
  • through military conquest (control 75% of the planet's population)
  • through scientific transcendence (research 75% of the game's technologies)

However, for most of the game, you should focus primarily on increasing your faction's power in any way you can; all of the victory conditions require you to do a lot of growing before you can meet them.

The Basics[edit | edit source]

The game takes place over a series of turns. On your turn, you can give commands to any or all of the forces under your control. Each of the other factions (including the natives) each get a separate turn, and then it will be your turn again.

The main screen of the game shows an overhead view of Pandora, divided into a hexagonal grid; each grid space contains features that define how it behaves. All edge of the game map "wrap around" to the opposite edge (i.e. the map is toroidal); for example, if you move off the top of the map, you will find yourself on the bottom.

Your Capabilities[edit | edit source]

You have two primary tools for interacting with the game world: cities and units.

Cities are centers of industry and commerce, and are used to generate resources, claim territory, and create units.

Units are people or vehicles that you can move around the map and use to explore the world and fight your enemies.

You start with only a handful of tools at your disposal, but you will be continually unlocking new ones by researching technology.

The Factions[edit | edit source]

Six rival ideological factions from Earth have launched their own missions to colonize Pandora. You will lead one of these factions; the others will be controlled by other players or by the computer (on smaller map sizes, not all factions may appear). Each faction has different advantages and disadvantages, but all follow essentially the same rules. All are in competition to win the game, but that doesn't mean you'll be fighting each other all the time; you can use diplomacy to form beneficial relationships, as well.

There are also native aliens controlled by the computer. The aliens follow different rules from the other factions and are more of an obstacle to overcome than a rival player.