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Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares (MOO2) is a 4X turn-based strategy game set in space, designed by Steve Barcia and Ken Burd, and developed by Simtex, who developed its predecessor Master of Orion. The PC version of the game was published by Microprose in 1,996, while the Apple Macintosh version was published a year later by MacSoft in partnership with Microprose. The PC version was on sale as a download until late 2,010 when Atari silently removed the game from their on-line store. While the game is no longer on sale directly from Atari copies can be found on Amazon and other stores. Despite it's age the game still has a large fan-base and is still played online.
Master of Orion II won the Origins Award for Best Fantasy or Science Fiction Computer Game of 1,996, and was well received, although reviewers differed about which aspects they liked and disliked. It is still used as a yardstick in reviews of more recent space-based 4X games.
Victory can be gained by military or diplomatic means. Major elements of the game's strategy include the design of custom races and the need to balance the requirements for food, production, cash and research. The user interface, which is mainly mouse-based but includes keyboard shortcuts, provides a central screen for most economic management and other screens that control research, diplomacy, ship movement, combat and warship design.