[[caption-width-right:190:This...isn't actually what we meant by "PlanetOfHats."]]

''Spaceward Ho!'' is a TurnBasedStrategy FourX game in which you compete with human and/or computer players to [[GalacticConqueror dominate the galaxy]]. It was conceived in TheSeventies, designed in TheEighties, born on the UsefulNotes/{{Macintosh}} in 1990, and has been refined and ported ever since. ({{iOS|Games}} and {{Android|Games}} versions are now available.)

The game's developers see its streamlined simplicity as its key strength. Depending on initial settings such as galaxy size, games typically last from ten minutes to an hour.

!! Tropes featured include:

* BlackAndGreyMorality -- Each planetary conquest involves complete eradication of the biosphere, from innocent colonists to the last single-celled lifeform. Backed into a corner? [[DoomsdayDevice Invoke Armageddon]] and randomly destroy half the planets in the galaxy, not even sparing your own citizens!
* ConfusingMultipleNegatives -- "Aren't you sure you really don't want to have nothing to do with not launching the armageddon device?" (Your options are "Unsure?" and "Not Unsure?")
* DisneyOwnsThisTrope -- The intended title of ''Star Command'' was already taken--not by Disney, whose ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory'' franchise was still a few years off, but by a Farallon software package used to control Star networks.
* EasterEgg -- There are special joke messages if you abandon planets called "Hope" or "Ship", christen a tanker "Valdez", or use [[Film/WarGames "Falken" and "Joshua"]] as your name and password.
* ElaborateEqualsEffective
* [[ExcitedShowTitle Excited Game Title!]]
* GameplayAutomation -- You can have the computer play in your stead for any length of time, and even configure its play style to your liking.
* HolidayMode -- Planets can be seen wearing Santa hats on Christmas and pilgrim hats on Thanksgiving.
* IdleAnimation -- The planet on the title screen will tap its foot and [[GunTwirling twirl its gun]].
* LivingShip -- Biologicals.
* NoFairCheating -- The computer will rat you out to your opponents if you've hacked the game to cheat at multiplayer.
* NoRecycling -- Averted; junked fleets can be used as scrap metal.
* PlayableEpilogue
--> When you kill all enemy colonies, you win. You're free to keep playing, but there won't be any resistance from the bad guys, since they're dead.
* ReferenceOverdosed -- Planet names include Literature/{{Barsoom}}, [[Franchise/{{Dune}} Arrakis]], [[Literature/EndersGame Ender]], [[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings Gollum]], [[Franchise/{{Superman}} Krypton]], [[Franchise/StarWars Yavin]], [[Franchise/StarTrek Cardassia]], [[Film/{{Coneheads}} Remulak]], [[Franchise/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy Zaphod]], [[Disney/{{Dumbo}} Dumbo]], [[WesternAnimation/SylvesterTheCatAndTweetyBird Tweety]], [[ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes Hobbes]], [[UsefulNotes/AppleII Woz]], [[Music/JohnLennon Lennon]]... [[LongList There are more.]]
* RockBeatsLaser -- Some shield technologies, by ascending effectiveness:
--> Quark Shell
--> Delta Wave
--> Refractor Field
--> Gluon Armor
--> Hide behind a big rock
* RuleOfFun -- The developers' justification for EasyLogistics, among other things.
--> Fun is our number one goal, and we have sacrificed realism for fun everywhere we could.
* SpaceWestern -- The game's frontier motif actually came from the idea of putting hats on the planets to convey their status, not the other way around.
* SpiritualSuccessor -- ''VideoGame/SwordOfTheStars''.
* TechTree -- There are linear paths for shields, weapons, range, speed, and miniaturization, as well as "radical" research, which might provide a dramatic breakthrough in any of the above (or grant other kinds of boons).
* {{Terraform}}
* VisualPun -- Ships can have nosecones shaped like human noses.
* WarHasNeverBeenSoMuchFun
* WorkingTitle -- ''Frontier [=MacSpace=]''.