A Brief History Of Star Trek PC Games

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1971: Star Trek: A Text Adventure

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The first Star Trek game was created in the early 1970s as a text-based space simulator. Although the game was fairly simple, it marked the entry of Star Trek into the video game world. Over the years, Star Trek has grown into one of the most successful franchises in the world, spawning dozens of games, several movies and hundreds of TV shows. We're taking a look at the games created inside the Star Trek universe as they evolved over time.

Because of the extremely high volume of Star Trek games in existence, we focused on games created for computers. These include games created for Windows, Apple, DOS, Amiga and similar systems. We've dug up as many of these games as possible, although because some Star Trek games created prior to the year 2000 have fallen into obscurity due to their age, there may be some about which we were unable to learn sufficient details to mention here.

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1984: Begin

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The next entry into the Star Trek gaming world was called Begin . This game marked the transition from the text-based game to one that actually required you to use buttons to control your vessel.

1985: Star Trek: The Kobayashi Alternative

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Star Trek: The Kobayashi Alternative is the first in a series of text adventures from game publisher Simon & Schuster Interactiv e . These games focused on the cast of the original Star Trek series as they dealt with a series of challenges.

In this game, you take control of Captain Kirk as you attempt to repair your ship and complete other objectives.

1986: Star Trek: The Promethean Prophecy

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The second Star Trek game by publisher Simon & Schuster Interactiv e was Star Trek: The Promethean Prophecy .

The Promethean Prophecy is centered around the Promethean solar system, which the Enterprise arrives at as part of its ongoing mission of exploration. The ship is then attacked by the Romulans and sustains considerable damage. During the game, players attempt to complete a series of tasks to help the crew survive, deal with the Romulan threat, and explore the Promethean system.

1987: Star Trek: The Rebel Universe

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The third Star Trek game by publisher Simon & Schuster Interactiv e was Star Trek: The Promethean Prophecy .

In this game, you take control of various members of the original cast as the Enterprise makes its way to a mysterious part of space. All Federation ships previously sent to this area have rebelled against the Federation, and it's your mission to discover why.

1988: Star Trek: First Contact

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The last Star Trek text-based adventure from publisher Simon & Schuster Interactive that we are able to find information about is titled Star Trek: First Contact . It focuses on first contact with a new alien race.

1992: Star Trek 25th Anniversary

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On the 25th anniversary of the Star Trek franchise, Interplay produced a game titled Star Trek: 25th Anniversary . This game, like all prior Star Trek games, followed the original cast through a variety of missions. The game has two primary modes of play: Most of the game is played from the bridge of the enterprise, but at times, members of the crew will leave on away missions.

During the away missions, the game behaves more like a click adventure to gather items and investigate the world. The game was originally released on floppy disk, but later it was ported to CD-ROM. The CD-ROM port featured a few improvements over the original, including voice acting from the original Star Trek cast.

1993: Star Trek: Judgment Rites

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The 25th anniversary game was followed up by a direct sequel titled Star Trek: Judgment Rites that was released in 1993. The overall game play is similar to Star Trek: The 25th Anniversary , and the missions are set up to take place directly following the previous game. Like its predecessor, Star Trek: Judgment Rites used voice acting performed by the original Star Trek cast.

1995: Star Trek: The Next Generation - A Final Unity

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In 1995, the Star Trek game franchise transitioned to the cast of the Star Trek: The Next Generation TV series, which had recently finished its final season. The game uses a click-adventure style interface reminiscent of the previous two Star Trek games. The overall game play has been extended, however, with the addition of new parts of the ship to explore (outside of the bridge) and new ship systems to use. At times, the player would also transport off of the Enterprise D to go on away missions.

1996: Star Trek: Klingon

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In 1996, publisher Simon & Schuster made a return to the Star Trek game franchise with Star Trek: Klingon . This game could almost be construed as an educational tool for learning Klingon culture much as a game. The entire game is technically played inside of a holodeck simulation created by Gowron, the Klingon High Chancellor. The purpose of the simulation is to teach the player about Klingon culture and language by navigating a series of social situations.

The player must act correctly in each situation to progress the story. This sometimes requires the player to understand the Klingon language and recognize Klingon cuisine such as Gagh.

1996: Star Trek: Borg

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Star Trek: Borg represented an attempt by publisher Simon & Schuster to build on the success of Star Trek: Klingon . The game uses a relatively similar style of gameplay, but with a completely different story. Players take control of a man named Qaylan Furlong. Qaylan is greeted by an unexpected visit by Q, who gives Qaylan a chance to travel back in time and save his father from dying in battle with the Borg at the Battle of Wolf 359.

Throughout the game, the players must explore the ship to learn about the events unfolding, answer questions from Q, and solve puzzles. This game proved to be overall less successful than its predecessor.

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1996: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Harbinger

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In this game, the player arrive at Deep Space Nine to find the space station has been almost completely abandoned. The station is then attacked by a strange new alien race, and an important ambassador is murdered. With the station poorly manned, it is up to you and and a handful of others to fight off the aliens and discover who killed the ambassador.

1997: Star Trek: Starfleet Academy

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Star Trek: Starfleet Academy gave gamers the chance to live the life of a Starfleet cadet. The idea behind the game is to teach players about the Federation and undergo a series of ship command simulations. If successful, the game ends with the player being promoted to Captain of a star ship.

1997: Star Trek: Generations

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In 1997, Star Trek: Generations was created based off of the 1994 Star Trek: Generations movie. The game follows the same story as the movie, and involves a variety of game play scenarios. Some parts of the game focus on commanding the Enterprise in battles, whereas at other times players control a single-character on away-missions.

1998: Star Trek TNG: Klingon Honor Guard

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Klingon Honor Guard is the first Star Trek game that was straight first-person shooter. Although some prior Star Trek games contained FPS elements, this game differed by focusing entirely on first-person shooter gameplay. Players control a Klingon that has joined the Honor Guard of Gowron, the Klingon High Chancellor. The goal of the game is to use a variety of weapons to fight enemies and keep the Chancellor safe.

1998: Star Trek: Starship Creator

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This game allows players to design their own starship based on the ones seen in the Star Trek universe. After designing the ship, players can then pick crew members and send it out on missions to test its effectiveness. This is helpful, as players can see where the ship has problems during the mission and later improve upon the design.

1999: Star Trek: Birth Of The Federation

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Birth Of The Federation is a real-time strategy game set around The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine TV series. Players can pick between five different factions: the Federation, the Cardassian Union, the Ferengi Alliance, the Klingon Empire or the Romulan Empire. At the beginning of the game, players control a single planet with limited resources. The goal is to grow your control of the galaxy to dominate the other forces through a mixture of diplomatic, economic and military forces.

1999: Star Trek: Starfleet Command

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Star Trek: Starfleet Command puts players in command of various Federation star ships. This is the second Star Trek game published by Interplay and can be viewed as an indirect sequel to Star Trek: Starfleet Academy . The game consists of several levels that often begin as diplomatic or exploration missions, which will require players to talk to NPCs and scan objects. The missions typically turn violent, however, and most of the game focuses on ship-to-ship combat.

1999: Star Trek: Hidden Evil

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Star Trek: Hidden Evil takes place immediately after the Star Trek: Insurrection movie, on the Ba'ku's home world. Following the events of the movie, the Ba'ku and another alien race known as the Son'a now live in peace on this planet, which has unique rejuvenating properties.

During the game, a powerful ancient artifact is discovered, and the player is sent along with Captain Picard and Lt. Commander Data to investigate. Actors Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner perform voice acting for the game. The game play sets the player in a third-person perspective. Characters in the game are 3D models and move in front of a 2D background. The player uses a variety of items to explore the area during the investigation. There are also a few weapons available in order to fight off enemies.

2000: Star Trek: Armada

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Similar to Star Trek: Hidden Evil , Star Trek: Armada takes place after the Star Trek: Insurrection movie and attempts to build on it. The game does not focus quite as heavily on the Ba'ku home world, however, as the game also incorporates the characters and story line of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine .

Also unlike Star Trek: Hidden Evil , Star trek: Armada is a real-time strategy game that place entirely in space. Using a series of star bases, players build ships in order to combat enemies and win battles.

2000: Star Trek: DS9 The Fallen

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Fallen became one of the most successful Star Trek games of all time. The Fallen was published by Simon & Schuster, but it marks a sharp change in game play from the company's last Star Trek game. Instead of the FMV interactive-video model developed for Star Trek: Klingon and Star Trek: Borg , The Fallen uses 3D animated characters that the player controls from a third-person overhead perspective.

Players have the option to play as one of three characters: Captain Benjamin Sisko (played by Kevin Michael Richardson), Major Kira Nerys (Nana Visitor) or Lt. Commander Warf (Michael Dorn). In the beginning, the three characters are onboard the U.S.S. Defiant orbiting Bajor, but Major Kira soon transports to the surface. After Major Kira leaves the ship, both the Defiant and the planet are attacked by an unknown alien race.

Each character goes through a different series of missions that are indirectly linked to each other by the alien attack. Major Kira battles the aliens on the surface, Captain Sisko transports to the alien ship and attempts to stop them there, and Lt. Commander Warf fights the aliens that have boarded the Defiant . The only way to get the full story is to complete the game with all three characters.

Players use a variety of weapons  and tools while fighting the aliens, including the basic phaser and tricorder. At times, it is necessary to use the tricorder to scan for enemies and supplies, and it's also used to find the frequency of force fields in order to shoot through them with the phaser.

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2000: Star Trek: ConQuest Online

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This game was an early attempt by Activation to take the Star Trek game franchise into an MMO format. Players acted as members of the Q Continuum and collected pieces in the form of spaceships, aliens, people and other objects in the Star Trek universe. These pieces were then used to combat other players for control of the universe.

2000: Star Trek: Klingon Academy

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Star Trek: Klingon Academy is the direct sequel to Star Trek: Starfleet Academy , but from the point of view of the Klingon Empire. Thanks to the Klingon's fondness for battle, this game focused more on combat than its predecessor. There are also a few covert missions that require the player to use the cloaking device on the Klingon vessels to escape dangerous situations or to ambush the enemy.

2000: Star Trek: New Worlds

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Star Trek: New Worlds was a real-time strategy game that focused on land battles instead of ship-to-ship combat. Players can choose to play as the Federation, Klingon Empire or Romulan Empire. There are a total of 14 missions that are identical for all factions. These missions focus on building a base to colonize a new world. Considering that the other factions also want these worlds, players will also need to destroy the enemy base in order to gain control of the world.

2000: Star Trek: Starship Creator Warp II

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Starship Creator Warp II is similar to its predecessor from 1998, but with upgraded graphics and an extended list of building options. Ships designed in the original game could also be ported into Starship Creator Warp II . A unique aspect about it, however, is that ships designed with this program could be ported into the 2001 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Dominion Wars .

2000: Star Trek: Voyager: Elite Force

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Star Trek: Voyager: Elite Force launched alongside the sixth seasons of the Star Trek: Voyager TV show. In a sense, Elite Force can be viewed as an unofficial episode in the sixth season, as it attempts to line up with the story presented in the TV episodes.

During the game, Voyager is trapped inside of a mysterious starship graveyard inhabited by hostile aliens. In order to gather parts and deal with the alien threat, the Voyager crew relies on a new group known as "Elite Force" to explore the other ships in the region. Elite Force is a special team assembled to handle extremely hazardous situations. During the game, players control Ensign Munro, the leader of the Elite Force.

2001: Star Trek: DS9: Dominion Wars

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Dominion Wars focuses on the large war fought between the allied forces of the Federation and Klingon Empire against the Dominion and Cardassian Union. Players can choose to play as any of these races. Depending on which race you choose, you'll go through one of two story lines. The Federation and Klingons share a story line, as does the Dominion and Cardassian Union. Although the story lines are different, the ultimate goal of both sides is the same: complete control of a large portion of the alpha quadrant and the wormhole that connects the alpha and gamma quadrants. The game play is best described as a space simulator, but with the option of controlling multiple ships at a time.

2001: Star Trek: Armada II

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In 2001, Activision published a sequel to Star Trek: Armada . The new version maintained the same general type of gameplay, but extended it with more building options. It also added new races from Star Trek: Voyager such as Species 8472.

The story line takes place during the same timeframe as season seven of Star Trek: Voyager . It builds upon the story of Star Trek: DS9 , Star Trek Voyager and Star Trek: Armada . Each faction sends the player through completely different missions, and the complete story is revealed only after the player has completed the game with every race.

2001: Star Trek: Away Team

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Star Trek: Away Team takes place at the end of the DS9 TV series and is centered on seventeen new characters on board the U.S.S. Incursion . This ship and crew are sent by Starfleet to carry out special assignments that range from espionage to combat missions. Players control between four and six of these seventeen characters in each mission. Each character has different equipment and special abilities, which gives players multiple ways to complete each mission.

2001: Star Trek: Starfleet Command II Empire At War

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Star Trek: Starfleet Command II: Empire At War closely follows its predecessor with the same general type of RTS gameplay. The game's primary story line is centered around the return of an alien race known as the "Organians," who then try to conquer all other races in the game. Players take control of one of several existing races and attempt to fight against the Organian conquest.

2001: Star Trek: Starfleet Command Orion Pirates

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Star Trek: Starfleet Command: Orion Pirates was a standalone expansion pack to Star Trek: Starfleet Command II: Empires At War . The game introduces eight new pirate factions. The primary goal of the game is to play as a non-pirate faction and eliminate the pirates. Alternatively, you can also play as one of the pirate factions and wipe out the non-pirates.

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2002: Star Trek: Starfleet Command III

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In 2002, the game developers behind Starfleet Command switched publishers, from Interplay to Activision. Starfleet Command III in many ways resembles its predecessors in terms of gameplay, but the overall experience has been polished from years of development. To keep the game play fresh, the game developers mixed in some RPG-like aspects. Six key individuals are identified on each ship, and each crew member is responsible for controlling a key ship system. Over time, these crew members can be leveled up, which in turn improves the ship system they are affiliated with.

2002: Star Trek: Bridge Commander

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Star Trek: Bridge Commander is fairly similar to the Starfleet Command series in terms of game play, but it was created by a completely different developer, and the two are not directly related.

The game involves two primary modes of game play: bridge mode and combat mode. While on the bridge, players interact with crew members to perform essentially any non-combat-related task. This includes scanning, warping to new locations and contacting alien races. The game switches to combat mode only during combat scenarios, and the player then flies the ship directly and fights the enemy.

2003: Star Trek: Elite Force II

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Star Trek: Elite Force II marks the return of Ensign Munro and Voyager 's special hazard team. The team doesn't remain on Voyager long, however, as the story picks up at the end of Star Trek: Voyager 's final season. The hazard team is called upon to board a Borg ship and help Voyager escape to the alpha quadrant. Afterwards, the team is disbanded.

Captain Picard, however, hears of the hazard team's exploits and transfers Ensign Munro to his ship. The rest of the game is spent rebuilding the hazard team and fighting enemies with a variety of weapons. Like its predecessor, Star Trek: Elite Force II is a FPS.

2006: Star Trek: Legacy

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Star Trek: Legacy was created to commemorate Star Trek's 40th Anniversary. It is probably the most extensive Star Trek game ever created, as the story runs through all of the Star Trek TV series and movies, including the then-new Star Trek: Enterprise .

Game play is focused on ship-to-ship combat, with the player controlling 1-4 spaceships. The battles take place in real time, and the ships cannot be controlled simultaneously. As a result, players must switch frequently from one ship to another. Although the game primarily focuses on the Federation, players can also control ships that belong to various other races including the Klingons, Romulans and Borg.

2009: Star Trek: DAC

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Star Trek: DAC diverges from other Star Trek games in that there is no story of any kind in the game. DAC actually stands for "Deathmatch, Assault and Conquest," which defines the three types of battle scenarios in the game. The game focuses on online multiplayer ship-to-ship combat. As the game progresses, players complete missions in order to win upgrades for their ship, which gives them an advantage against other players.

2010: Star Trek: Online

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Star Trek: Online takes place several years after the last Star Trek movie. Players take command of a star ship belonging to the Federation, Klingon Empire or Romulan Empire. Most of the game is spent controlling the ship to battle NPCs and other players. At times, however, the character can also transport to other ships or planets. When this happens, players will control just a single character armed with a variety of equipment to complete objectives.

2013: Star Trek

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This game is based on the Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek: Into Darkness movies. Player take control of either Captain Kirk or Spock to complete a series of missions. Although the missions are the same for both characters, Kirk and Spock separate for most of missions, and each character takes a separate path. This helps to increase replay value. The game also features a co-op mode that allows two players to play the same level together, with each player assuming the role of either Kirk or Spock.

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