Weekly Trek – May 9-15, 2016

While Star Trek has had a great deal of success on television, at the movies, and even in print, it hasn’t done so well in the world of video games.  That’s not to say that there aren’t Star Trek video games.  There have been many of them over the years.  I remember playing the text-only game Star Trek: The Promethean Prophecy back in the 80s.

Despite the relative abundance of games based on the franchise, most of them are…not good.  Some of these issues are due to the games themselves.  There have been examples of wonky controls and buggy software over the years.

But I also think some of the issue comes down to the nature of Star Trek.  Yes, there are starships and the occasional action sequence in the shows and films, but Star Trek, especially in its television iterations, is more about the stories and characters than the battles.  But many of the Trek games over the years have, understandably, focused on the shooting rather than the exploration.  There have been starship combat games like Starfleet Academy and Shattered Universe and also the run-and-gun shooter based on JJ Abrams’ first Star Trek film.

Occasionally, though, a game tries to recreate the feel of Star Trek.  One of the best of these is the Star Trek 25th Anniversary game that was first released in 1992.  The game is divided into seven missions, designed to look like episodes of the series, and gameplay is a mix of starship combat and 3rd person adventuring off of the USS Enterprise.

The PC CD ROM version of the game included newly-recorded dialogue from all of the original series actors.  While the graphics aren’t exactly spectacular, Star Trek 25th Anniversary was and still is one of the best Star Trek games ever made.  And thanks to GOG.com, you can still buy and play Star Trek 25th Anniversary as well as its equally good sequel, Star Trek: Judgment Rites.  At the very least, check out those links to get a look at some screenshots from the games.

- Alan Decker

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