Fragile Allegiance is a 4X, real time strategy game developed and released by Gremlin Interactive in 1996 for Windows and MS-DOS. The game is set hundreds of years in the future, with the player starting as an employee of a space mining corporation, Tetracorp. There is a total of seven spacefaring species in the game, but only humans are playable. The player starts on May 25th, 2496, and must work to mine and sell as much ore to the group known as the Federation as possible. The player starts with one building and a million credits, and must compete for resources with the six alien races.
Described as a combination of SimCity 2000, Civilization and Risk, Fragile Allegiance uses an icon based GUI for all menus and game commands. Unlike most other RTS games, there is no predefined tech tree, and the player can buy blueprints at any point in the game. Complex diplomacy between players is a must, as the settlements begin to encroach on one another. A prime feature is the lip-synched real-time speech by in-game actors.
Fragile Allegiance was generally well received by reviewers, receiving average to good scores across the board. Its graphics and icon-based GUI drew a good deal of praise, and once the player works out the gameplay the game was said to be engrossing and most enjoyable. Fragile Allegiance was mostly criticised for its difficulty and the micromanagement required as the player’s empire grows, as well as its simplistic combat model and the amount of time required to transport ore, but some of these issues can be solved with in-game dynamics. The ability to buy blueprints at any time in the game also drew criticism.
- Fragile Allegiance was actually a remake of 1994 Amiga exclusive K240, with completely revamped interface & graphics. The core gameplay elements of K240 were retained and many of the buildings, ships and missiles even have the same names and function as those in K240.
- The soundtrack for the game was composed by Patrick Phelan, who also composed the soundtrack for K240.
- Released in 1996 and competed against other empire-building titles such as Ascendancy and Master of Orion 2.
- PC Gamer UK gave it the Game of Distinction award for Christmas of 1996.