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If you were looking for a strategy game that has a nice mix of tactical decisions, and a competitive feel, yet still maintains a fast pace, then Nexus 5X might be the game for you.

Releasing into Early Access back in December 2023 as Stellaris Nexus, Nexus 5X is a turn-based strategy game based loosely on Paradox Interactive's Grand Space Strategy game Stellaris, however, it dispenses with a lot of the extra details, instead focusing on the core elements of strategy, and thus greatly speeding up the pace of games. And now it's receiving its full Version 1.0 release!

Here's the launch trailer for Nexus 5X:

The aim is to allow up to 8 players to begin and finish a game of Nexus 5X within 1 hour. Personally, the first game I played of this back in January, it took me around 2-2.5 hours to finish a game, but I'm sure once you're used to it, 1-hour games are certainly doable, and it's a lot faster than say, a game of actual Stellaris, which can easily be 10s of hours.

In my opinion, simplifying everything down so the game can be played in 1 hour works quite well. Even though things are simplified and faster, there's still a place for diplomacy between players here, you'll still have periods of peace and periods of war, as well as trade agreements, and a quiet period near the start as everyone is focused on expanding before they meet.

There are even different victory conditions, the first game that I played with a friend, he managed to have a large enough empire to claim enough votes in the galactic council and end the game, despite me launching a massive invasion against him 2-3 turns before the end, it was too little, too late on my part I'm afraid.

Combat is exciting and engaging, and even if a player is eliminated earlier on, thanks to the quick play times, it shouldn't be too long before your friend who got eliminated can be back in the action.

Nexus 5X is available on Steam now for $12.99. It doesn't natively support controllers, so you'll need to use a keyboard/mouse layout, but as the game is turn-based, reaction times aren't very important. The game is rated Playable by Valve, due to small in-game text, the on-screen keyboard needs to be manually invoked at times, and the aforementioned issue of not supporting controllers, thus needing a controller layout and not showing any controller icons.

Does Nexus 5X sound like your kind of game? Let us know in the comments below!

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Oliver Stogden
Oliver began playing video games at an early age, starting with the SNES console and Commodore Amiga computer. Nowadays, his interest is in the future of portable technology, such as handheld gaming systems, portable power stations/banks, and portable monitors. And seeing just how far we can push these devices.
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