History of Star Trek games

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The enduring popularity of the Star Trek science fiction franchise has led to numerous games in many different formats, beginning in 1967 with a board game based on The Original Series and continuing through the present with online and DVD games.

Board games[edit]

  • Space Checkers, a variant of Tri-dimensional chess, produced by Pacific Game Co (1965)
  • Star Trek Game, the only game based on the original series to be released during the show's run, produced by Ideal Toys (1967)
  • Star Trek game, produced by Hasbro (1974)
  • Star Trek game, produced in UK by Palitoy (1975)
  • Star Trek game, produced by Milton Bradley, based on Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
  • Star Trek: Starfleet Game, a promotional game released by McDonald's to coincide with the first movie (1979)
  • Struggle for the Throne, produced by FASA (1984). Players control factions fighting in a succession crisis in the Klingon Empire.
  • Star Trek: The Adventure Game, produced by West End Games (1985)
  • Golden Trivia Game: Star Trek Edition (1985), Golden Books
  • Golden Trivia Cards: Star Trek Edition (1985)
  • Star Trek: The Game, produced by Classic Games (1992)[1]
  • Star Trek: The Final Frontier, produced by Toys & Games Limited (1992)
  • How to Host a Mystery, produced by Decipher in a Star Trek: The Next Generation version (1992)
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation Interactive VCR Board Game – A Klingon Challenge, the only Star Trek: The Next Generation video board game, although a second game involving Q and The Borg was planned. This game was produced by Decipher (1993)
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Romulan Challenge, produced by MMG LTD (1994)
  • Trivial Pursuit: Star Trek Edition VCR Game, a "Sci-Fi Master Game" supplement for the main game, made by TelStar Video Entertainment (1995)
  • Monopoly, produced by Hasbro licensee USAopoly in three versions; one representing the original Star Trek series (2000), another featuring Star Trek: The Next Generation (1998), and Star Trek: Continuum Edition Monopoly, covering all five series (2009)
  • All About Trivia: Star Trek, released by Fundex Games. A trivia game with material specifically based on The Original Series and the first six feature films (2009)
  • Scene It? Star Trek, developed by Screenlife and Mattel. Contains Star Trek TV and movie clips from all 5 live action series and the first 10 movies (2009)
  • Star Trek: Expeditions, developed by Reiner Knizia and WizKids, taking place in the new continuity established by the latest movie (2011)
  • Star Trek: Fleet Captains, developed by WizKids, a tactical game where players create fleets out of a selection of Federation and Klingon ships and battle to control hex based sectors (2011)
  • Star Trek Catan, created by Mayfair Games, is a TOS themed version of the board game The Settlers of Catan (2012)
  • Star Trek: Attack Wing, published by Wizkids in 2013, and based on the "FlightPath maneuver system" from the Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game under license from Fantasy Flight Games, is a tactical miniatures wargame.

Tabletop wargames[edit]

Card games[edit]

Role-playing games[edit]

Official game titles include the following:

Starship simulator games[edit]

Starship simulator games which are set in the Star Trek universe occupy a large role in the history of video games. Some of the earliest and more influential space simulator video games were Star Trek games designed to run on mainframes. One of the earliest games in this category was the Star Trek text game, which originated as a BASIC program on an SDS Sigma 7 mainframe system in 1971 and was ported to many different systems. Decwar in 1978 was also a groundbreaking game. Another is Super Star Trek, an early text-based, DOS-based game. This game created an impressive starship experience using only text-based commands and graphics. The game Begin is considered notable for having a convincing model of game dynamics, as it has very few random elements, and is highly mathematical.

Starship simulator games create the experience of commanding and operating a starship, and usually allow the player to handle a variety of functions, and to allocate resources such as ship power and systems. Some early Star Trek games in this category have had a huge effect on subsequent games in their genre, often leading to new level of depth and complexity in programming and/or gameplay. This game category includes both computer games and non-computer board games, since the Star Fleet Battles game series provides a starship simulation, and is wholly a tabletop board wargame. As well as the Star Trek RPG by FASA which allowed players to take charge of specific areas of a ships functions (such as the engineer allocating power) during combat.[citation needed]

Star Fleet Battles is different from most other wargames, which usually indicate unit strengths with simple numerical ratings. SFB players are able to deploy and manage power for a variety of ship weapons and resources. This is done via an elaborate Energy Allocation mechanism where even partial points of energy can be allocated to a number of different systems. Federation Commander is the continued development of this system in a more fast-paced version. Instead of the Energy Allocation system it uses an innovative tick sheet system, which manages power use for each ship, and also tracks which weapons and systems are in use. The Star Trek: Starfleet Command computer game is based upon Star Fleet Battles.

In Star Trek: The Role Playing Game, produced by FASA, players actually had individual bridge functions during combat. This at one point became a separate game known as Starship Tactical Combat Simulator. The Captain determined the strategy, the Engineer was responsible for power management and allocation to different systems such as weapons and shields, the Helmsman for firing weapons, the Navigator for managing deflector shields, the Communications Officer for damage control and so on.

Netrek was released in 1988, and was probably the first game to use both the TCP and UDP protocols, the first Internet-aware team game, the first Internet game to use metaservers to locate open game servers, and the first to have persistent user information.

In later years, fewer games were produced within this genre, and more games were produced in the adventure games genre. The first new recent game was Starfleet Academy, which incorporated many Star Trek elements, but was criticized for depicting starship operation as more akin to fighter planes than capital ships. A sequel, Klingon Academy, was actually quite different, and was one of the first games to depict starship operation with an appropriate amount of complexity.

The Starfleet Command game series released by Interplay was based largely on the tabletop game Star Fleet Battles, and comprised Starfleet Command, Starfleet Command II: Empires at War, and Starfleet Command III. It constitutes one of the most definitive current games, depicting a wide array of ship systems and Star Trek storylines. This series had a more naval flavor, and depicted a number of ship systems. This series spawned a very large multiplayer ladder competition first with the "Starlance" system, and later on the "GamerZone" ladder. The main multiplayer setting is the "Dynaverse," which began as an official server hosted by Taldren, and has continued as a private effort (an earlier, unauthorized adaptation of Star Fleet Battles as a computer game was SSI's The Warp Factor in 1982).

Star Trek: Bridge Commander was another addition to this genre, reflecting the more deliberative, command aspects of this experience.

In late 2006, Bethesda Softworks released several console games which carry on the tradition of classic Star Trek ship simulator/combat games, Star Trek: Legacy for the PC and Xbox 360, Star Trek: Encounters for the PlayStation 2, Star Trek: Tactical Assault for the Nintendo DS and the PlayStation Portable and Star Trek: Conquest for the Wii and PlayStation 2.

Several online games have appeared on the Internet. Vega Trek is a game mod which is planned to eventually become active as a multiplayer game.[3] Flashtrek: Broken Mirror, first created by Vex Xiang, is one of the online Star Trek games, and is entirely browser-based. It has spawned several sequels. One sequal was created by Vex Xiang, and multiple others were created by fans. A new game, simply titled Star Trek: Broken Mirror, is being developed primarily by a man named Darkwing. The web site of this new game is http://www.brokenmirror3.com.

In May 2009, Star Trek DAC was released. This game is a starship shooter in a top down style based on the movie titled Star Trek, by J.J. Abrams and features the original score from the movie. Some reviewers do not consider it to be an effective simulation of starship operation.[4][5]

Pinball games[edit]

4 pinball games have been based on the Star Trek series:

Video games[edit]

Arcade[edit]

Year Title Platform
1982 Star Trek - Strategic Operations Simulator Arcade
2000 Star Trek: Borg Contact Arcade
2002 Star Trek: Voyager – The Arcade Game Arcade

Computer[edit]

The history of the Star Trek personal computer game franchise began as early as 1971, with a Star Trek text-only computer game written in BASIC. Many PC titles have since been published, and the franchise was one of the first based on a TV program to break into the young PC gamer market in the 1990s.

Interplay, Simon and Schuster, MicroProse and Activision released most of the best-known Star Trek games between 2000 and 2003. Titles like Star Trek: Armada, Star Trek: Elite Force and Star Trek: Bridge Commander were all published during this period, as were over half of all the other major Star Trek PC games. The absence of new titles after 2003 was due in large measure to a split and subsequent lawsuit between Activision and Viacom which ended in 2004.

With the departure of Activision in 2003, the franchise under the tenure of Paramount effectively came to a close. Since the end of 2005, CBS has assumed most franchise management, including games and other products. Even with no new licensed titles released during 2003-2006, the older games like Armada and Elite Force still have an avid fan base which keeps the small community going. Development of the new Star Trek: Online title is complete and the game was made available for sale on February 2, 2010.[6]

Commercial games[edit]

Year Title Platform Developer, publisher
1971 Star Trek (text game) multiple Mike Mayfield
1972 Star Trek (script game) PDP-10 Don Daglow
1972 Star Trek (script game) PDP-10 Don Daglow
1973 Super Star Trek multiple( BASIC) David H. Ahl
1976 Galaxy 8008, 8080, SCELBI Bob Findley, SCELBI COMPUTER CONSULTING
1977 Star Trek Apple 1 Bob Bishop, Interface Age
1979 Apple Trek Apple II Wendell Sander, Apple Computer
1980 c. 3-D Star Trek Atari 800 Color Software
1980 Star Trek 3.5 TRS-80, Apple II, Atari 800 Adventure International
1981 Tari Trek Atari 800 Quality Software
1981 Begin: A Tactical Starship Simulation DOS
1982 The Warp Factor Apple II, DOS Strategic Simulations, Inc.
1983 Star Trek: Strategic Operations Simulator (ports) VIC-20
1985 Star Trek: The Kobayashi Alternative Apple II, C64, DOS Simon & Schuster
1986 Star Trek: The Promethean Prophecy Apple II, C64, DOS Simon & Schuster
1987 Star Trek: The Rebel Universe Atari ST, C64, DOS Simon & Schuster
1988 Star Trek: First Contact DOS
1989 Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Transinium Challenge DOS
1989 Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (DOS game) DOS
1991 Begin 2 DOS
1992 Star Trek: 25th Anniversary DOS, Macintosh, Amiga Interplay Entertainment
1993 Star Trek: Judgment Rites DOS, Macintosh Interplay Entertainment
1995 Star Trek: The Next Generation – A Final Unity DOS, Macintosh Spectrum HoloByte, MicroProse
1995 Star Trek: Klingon Windows Simon & Schuster
1996 Star Trek: Borg Windows, Macintosh Simon & Schuster
1996 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Harbinger DOS, Macintosh Stormfront Studios, Viacom NewMedia
1997 Star Trek: Starfleet Academy Windows, Macintosh High Voltage Software, Interplay Entertainment
1997 Star Trek Generations Windows MicroProse
1997 Star Trek Pinball Windows Interplay Productions
1998 Star Trek: The Next Generation: Klingon Honor Guard Windows, Macintosh MicroProse
1998 Star Trek: The Game Show Windows, Macintosh
1998 Star Trek: Starship Creator Windows, Macintosh Imergy, Simon & Schuster
1999 Star Trek: The Next Generation: Birth of the Federation Windows MicroProse, Hasbro
1999 Star Trek: Secret of Vulcan Fury cancelled Interplay Entertainment
1999 Star Trek: Starfleet Command Windows Quicksilver Software, Interplay Entertainment
1999 Star Trek: Hidden Evil Windows Presto Studios, Activision
2000 Star Trek: Armada Windows Mad Doc Software, Activision
2000 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Fallen Windows, Macintosh The Collective, Inc., Simon & Schuster
2000 Star Trek: ConQuest Online Windows Genetic Anomalies, Activision
2000 Star Trek: Klingon Academy Windows, Macintosh 14 Degrees East, Interplay Entertainment
2000 Star Trek: New Worlds Windows 14 Degrees East, Interplay Entertainment
2000 Star Trek: Starship Creator Warp II Windows
2000 Star Trek: Voyager – Elite Force Windows, Macintosh Raven Software, Activision
2001 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Dominion Wars Windows Gizmo Games, Simon & Schuster
2001 Star Trek: Armada II Windows Mad Doc Software, Activision
2001 Star Trek: Away Team Windows Reflexive Entertainment, Activision
2001 Star Trek: Borg Assimilator cancelled Activision
2001 Star Trek: Starfleet Command II: Empires at War Windows Taldren, Interplay Entertainment
2001 Star Trek: Starfleet Command: Orion Pirates Windows Taldren, Interplay Entertainment
2002 Star Trek: Starfleet Command III Windows Taldren, Activision
2002 Star Trek: Bridge Commander Windows Totally Games, Activision
2003 Star Trek: Elite Force II Windows, Macintosh Ritual Entertainment, Activision
2006 Star Trek: Legacy Windows, Xbox 360 Mad Doc Software, Bethesda Softworks
2009 Star Trek: DAC Windows, Xbox 360, Macintosh, PlayStation 3 Naked Sky Entertainment, Paramount Digital Entertainment
2010 Star Trek Online Windows, Macintosh Cryptic Studios, Perfect World Entertainment
2011 Star Trek Infinite Space Cancelled as of 2012, Windows, Macintosh GameForge
2013 Star Trek Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 Digital Extremes

Console[edit]

Year Title Platform
1979 Star Trek: Phaser Strike Microvision
1982 Star Trek: The Motion Picture (video game) Vectrex
1983 Star Trek: Strategic Operations Simulator Atari 2600, ColecoVision
1989 Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (NES game) Nintendo Entertainment System (cancelled)
1991 Star Trek: 25th Anniversary Nintendo Entertainment System
1992 Star Trek: 25th Anniversary Game Boy
1993 Star Trek: The Next Generation: Future's Past Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Star Trek: The Next Generation Game Boy, Nintendo Entertainment System
1994 Star Trek: The Next Generation: Echoes from the Past Game Gear, Sega Genesis (Mega Drive)
Star Trek Generations: Beyond the Nexus Game Boy, Game Gear
Star Trek: Starfleet Academy Starship Bridge Simulator Sega 32X, Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Crossroads of Time Sega Genesis (Mega Drive), Super Nintendo Entertainment System
1997 Star Trek Generations Sony PlayStation (PSX)
2000 Star Trek: Invasion PlayStation
Star Trek: Voyager – Elite Force PlayStation 2
2004 Star Trek: Shattered Universe PlayStation 2, Xbox
2006 Star Trek: Tactical Assault PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS
Star Trek: Legacy Xbox 360
Star Trek: Encounters PlayStation 2
2007 Star Trek: Conquest Wii, PlayStation 2
2009 Star Trek: DAC Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Star Trek: The Mobile Game iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch)
2013 Star Trek Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows
Star Trek: Rivals iOS

Electronic and casino games[edit]

  • Star Trek Super Phaser 2 Target Game is similar to Laser Tag (1976)
  • Star Trek Phaser Battle Game is similar a tabletop arcade game
  • Star Trek is a casino slot machine game designed and marketed by WMS Industries since 2008[7]

Handheld electronic games[edit]

Numerous stand-alone electronic handheld and tabletop games have been produced by manufacturers like Bandai, Coleco, Konami, and others. Pair Match, manufactured by Bandai in 1984, appeared in several Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/3419
  2. ^ Startrek.Com : Chat
  3. ^ Posting on official website[dead link] for Vega Trek.
  4. ^ review, gamesradar.com.
  5. ^ Game review, gamespot.com.
  6. ^ Star Trek Online website
  7. ^ Green, Marian "A matter of persistence…", Casino Journal.com, June 1, 2012

Further Reading[edit]

Historical[edit]

External Links[edit]

  • Current online games, at trekcore.com.
  • 20Q Star Trek - An online artificial intelligence game that covers all classic Star Trek TV shows and movies, plus characters, gadgets and locations