Netrek is essentially a "Star Trek" themed multiplayer "team Spacewar", where 2 teams of up to 8 players each command starships and dogfight the other team in real time (from a 2D top-down perspective), while conquering "planets" that form the effective playing field.
Netrek, originally called XTrek II debuted in 1988 at the University of California Berkeley. It was the first team game on the net, and probably the first game to use both TCP and UDP. It evolved from XTrek, which was written at UCB in 1986 for use by X Windows terminals. XTrek in turn was heavily influenced by PLATO Empire. Netrek league play started in 1992.
There are a number of variants, including Bronco, Netrek Hockey, Sturgeon, Chaos, and Paradise. Bronco is the dominant form.
Netrek is open source and free to play. Servers usually run on Unix systems (including Macintosh), with clients available for Windows (98 thru Vista), Macintosh (OS X 10.4, PPC or Intel), and Linux (and other Unixes).
- "Xtrek" -- working title
- "MacTrek" -- Mac OS X Title
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