Last Updated on September 16, 2023
One of my favourite strategy games ever is Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, essentially the sequel to Civilization II. In the game, you control one of 7 factions that have crashlanded on a planet (Chiron) orbiting Alpha Centauri.
Designed by Brian Reynolds, the game stands up nearly 30 years later. I’ve got it installed on my Steam Deck, one of the few strategy titles I feel works on the handheld gaming PC – but that doesn’t mean it is perfect all these years later.
This explains why an open source remake (GLSMAC) is in the works, which reworks the graphics engine, improve network options, AI, and much more. GLSMAC requires the original game assets (you can buy Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri on GOG.com) like many other fan updates of classic titles, which is useful for avoiding legal action.
SMAC offers a whole new take on the Civilization experience, carrying on from the science victory of the original two games and upping the challenge considerably. Where you had barbarians, you now deal with alien lifeforms. Where there was wealth, the currency is energy. And new alliances are made with factions that are more idealogical than national.
In fact, if you haven’t played SMAC already, now is the time. The GLSMAC project won’t be complete for a while, after all.
Check the video above to see some recent progress.
Gaming since 1984, retro gaming since 2004. Contributes to Linux Format magazine and MakeUseOf.com.