"Spaceward Ho! is a turn-based science fiction computer strategy game that was written by Peter Commons, designed by Joe Williams (Joedelta) and published by Delta Tao Software. The first version was released in 1990, and further upgrades followed regularly; the current version, 5.0.5, was released on July 8, 2003. The game can be categorized in the 4X game genre (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate) with a theme of galactic conquest. It has received wide recognition in the Macintosh community, for example being inducted into the Macworld Game Hall of Fame.
The gameplay of Spaceward Ho! focuses on efficiently extracting the resources of conquered worlds while correctly anticipating and countering opponents' actions.
Spaceward Ho! can be played against an unusually competent computer AI, or against other human players over the internet (via spacewardho.net). Previous versions of the game allowed also LAN-based networked play, but this feature has been disabled in the Mac OS X version. It has a very simple gameplay compared with most other games in the genre (such as Master of Orion). Depending on the initial settings, games take from about ten minutes to an hour. Its small but dedicated fanbase considers the simplicity to be elegance, and its designers boast that it has gotten faster and more intuitive to play with each new version. All unnecessary complexity has been stripped from the game, resulting in a fast-paced game that still manages to be very engaging."
Source: Wikipedia, "Spaceward Ho!", available under the CC-BY-SA License.