The first SimTex that puts their name on the map is also arguably the best games Steve Barcia ever designed in his short career.
This is *the* 4X space strategy game that has it all: solid AI, varied alien races that require different strategies to win, innovative combat and technology systems, intriguing espionage model, and much more. This game never leaves my hard drive since its first release, because of its immense replayablity and nearly inexhaustible strategic combinations. If you can play only one space strategy game, THIS is your best bet.
Note: Pictures of ships needed to pass copy protection are included in the manual file below, thanks to Anym and Bateau :) You *cannot* crack the game, because the game will detect the alteration and automatically makes it impossible to win in later stages. Devious programming by SimTex ;)