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Star Fleet I: The War Begins! (DOS)

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MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.8
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Kasey Chang (3654)
Written on  :  May 14, 2001
Platform  :  DOS

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Summary

Extremely repetitive, only good for nostalgia's sake

The Good

Lots of things to control, like navigation, sensors, weapons, security, boarding party, tractor, and more. Simple and clean interface (it's text, of course!)

The Bad

Extremely repetitive. All you do EVER is to "kill enough enemy ships before the time runs out". Warp into quadrant. Cruise the sectors until you locate starbase, killing the odd enemy along the way. Refuel (recharge), go out and shoot a few more enemies until your energy runs low, go back for recharge, repeat until time runs out or you killed all enemies. You'd be bored to death before you finish!

The Bottom Line

Star Fleet 1 is a straight adaptation of the mainframe "startrek" game with many enhancements (such as color and so on) where you must clear the "quadrant" of enemy presence, with limit starbase(s) available for resupply and limited amount of supplies you can carry.

The game is essentially luck and resource management, as you do not know where the starbase is when you enter the quadrant. You must locate the starbase yourself by cruising around, and hopefully not to be overwhelmed by enemy ships before then. Once you resupplied, you go out on hunting expeditions to take down more enemy ships, go back for more supplies, and hopefully reach your "quota" of kills before time runs out.

The game is heavily depedent on luck as your sensor range is limited and you do not know what lies beyond a certain distance, making long-range/high-speed travel dicey. Finding the starbase is a matter of dumb luck unless enemies are already attacking the starbase (in which case it'll declare a mayday). On higher levels you're limited to a SINGLE starbase, so either you find it first or you will lose. As your energy won't regenerate, you must carefully ration your energy before you need a recharge, and maintain a reserve for contingencies. Energy use is also highly random, as enemy ships cause random amount of damage, you cause random amount of damage on them (so a 150 pt phaser blast may or may not kill the enemy ship depending on distance and any "evasive manuevers"). Even torpedoes can miss, and you carry limited number of those.

Star Fleet 1 adds security, saboteurs, boarding party, and tractor beam. You can now capture enemy ships (worth 2 kills) but you also have to deal with saboteurs who wants to damage your ship. While another set of objectives is welcome, it's also highly random and simply another set of things to do instead of giving you a true set of command experience.

All in all, it's rather nostalgic, but if you want a TRUE sense of Star Trek type starship combat, check out Star Fleet Command from Interplay.