Star Trek

A Trek Through Time

The film version isn’t the only reboot of Star Trek.
Author: Aram Lecis
Published: May 29, 2013
page 1 page 2   next
It would appear that roughly every two decades we get a total reboot of the Star Trek franchise. Sure, there are plenty of interstitial releases, such as all the films between the original show and The Next Generation and offshoots like Deep Space 9 and Voyager cropped up ahead of the JJ Abrams reimagining. In much the same way Star Trek as a video game franchise has gone through several distinct phases.


Back during the dawn of computer gaming (and I do mean the dawn) Mike Mayfield hacked out a surprisingly still playable text version of Star Trek that had you captaining the Enterprise and tasked with destroying a Klingon invasion. Originally programmed in 1971, I remember typing it out by hand in BASIC on my Timex Sinclair in the very early 80’s. In practical terms the Star Trek computer game was as influential on early computer gaming as the show was on 70’s science fiction. You’d be very hard-pressed to find an early PC game developer who hadn’t spent time with Trek.

As the years went on there were always new games in the franchise popping up because if there is one thing that sells to nerds, it’s Star Trek. As adventure gaming entered a golden age in the early 90’s a trio of excellent Star Trek adventure games showed up. The first two, 25th Anniversary and Judgment Rites from Interplay, brought the original crew back together (and featured the final appearance of DeForrest Kelly as Bones) for an really good series of stories that was considered the “fourth season” of the show. These games also remain playable today. The final entry of that trio was A Final Unity, the first game from The Next Generation series. A Final Unity was incredibly well produced for the time and featured excellent FMV along with both ship combat and away missions.

In the years since then we’ve seen a litany of other games, focusing on everything from strategic command (Bridge Commander) all the way down to individual ground combat (Elite Force) mixed results and no real seminal releases. That same period saw the slow decline of both the television and film series until the franchise was languishing at the end of the last decade. Then one day a frustrated JJ Abrams decided he wasn’t ever going to get his hands on Star Wars (turns out he just needed patience) and took the helm of a franchise he admitted to know very little about.
page 1 page 2   next