Impulse is the digital distribution platform of US based publisher and software developer Stardock (Sins of Solar Empire). Stardock has experimented with online distribution for quite some time, giving its real debut with Galactic Civilization in 2003. Since 2008 Impulse also hosts third-party products from other major and minor publishers around the world. Additional it provides some exclusive inhouse games and application software only available here.
As with Steam, you are required to use a local client that handles downloads, shopping and so forth.
In 2008, the Impulse digital distribution system rose out of the Stardock franchise in order to expand its digital downloading capabilities. It allows many developers who are just in the beginning stages of their business to digitally distribute their games through the Impulse client, which is installed on the user’s computer. It also features some titles from some of the more popular developers.Impulse’s homepage features many game titles, including several titles from lesser known developers. Some titles are displayed as a slideshow, while others are displayed as thumbnails. It also features other updates, such as announcements and recent articles. There are also search options along the bottom of the upper animation, including genre links, to help users narrow their search. Users may also use a search option in the upper left that allows them to search for specific titles by name. After selecting a game’s thumbnail, a product description page opens. This page features: the title’s description, screenshots, ratings, technical information, similar titles from the same publisher, the price, and the option to buy online from Impulse by adding the title to your virtual cart. Selecting checkout will allow users to purchase and download games from Impulse. An account with the site is required, which can be created from the checkout page. After this, users go through the usual process of paying for the title through the website. Then, the game is downloaded through the client to the user’s computer. Games purchased through Impulse can be downloaded to different computers an unlimited number of times. Some problems have been associated with the Impulse client, including the inability to play purchased games due to an error message claiming that the title is unauthorized. When attempting to complete the authorization process, users cite another error message that prevents them from completing the process and playing their game.