Starbase Orion by Chimera Software, LLC icon

Starbase Orion ($4.99) by Chimera Software, LLC is a turn-based, multiplayer strategy game that utilizes iOS 5’s new Game Center features to allow you to play with or against up to three additional people. Explore, expand, exploit and exterminate you way through this complex galaxy of adventure. Regularly priced at $7.99, get it on sale for $4.99 for a limited time.

Starbase Orion by Chimera Software, LLC screenshot

As turn-based strategy games go, this one is geek heaven. Its visual style, game structure and space-themed design is reminiscent of popular turn-based games of the ’90s. Send a scout ship to explore nearby planets. Colonize and expand territories. Create research labs, hydroponics facilities, star bases and all sorts of empire-building structures. As your empire grows, invade and overthrow other empires by developing a strong military and defeating the enemy in epic space battles.

There are two modes, single player and multiplayer. Beginners to this type of gaming will want to start off playing single player games until they understand the deep complexity of the turn-based strategy genre. There is a comprehensive tutorial to help get you, step-by-step through the start of the game. Unfortunately, the tutorial is tucked away in a menu that you have to keep accessing every time you come across something unknown.

The incredible feature of this game is the online multiplayer mode. You can play against friends or strangers. Choose one-on-one, team play or free-for-all gaming. Game Center will sync with each player’s device, allowing everyone to play whenever they like and not have to play at the same time.

Overall, this universal, turn-based strategy game is incredible and anyone familiar with this genre should start building their space empire with it now. Those not familiar with the complex and in-depth slow-to-grow style may find it a bit overwhelming at first, but with patience and lots of help from the tutorial, “newbies” will find themselves fitting in with the elite gamers of the world.