Written by  :  Jeffrey Graw (61)
Written on  :  Apr 01, 2006
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

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Despite its age, Starflight is the greatest game ever made.

The Good

When we review and rate old games we commonly fall into a trap. We let ourselves be misled by nostalgia; we see a game through rose colored glasses which causes us to believe that a game is something that it is not.

The best example I can find of this phenomenon is Dune II. Dune II is highly praised by gamers for being what many believe to be the first true RTS. However, Dune 2000, an improved version of Dune II is loathed almost universally; What a Paradox! What hypocrisy!

Gamers will often rationalize this hypocrisy by claiming “this game was innovative,” or “this game was influential.” This line of reasoning does not hold water though. Not all good games become influential (ex. One Must Fall 2097), and even the most innovative games are not always good (ex. Star Crusader). Also sometimes downright bad games can become influential (ex. Super Mario 64 [before the flames start in, consider how you don’t see great games like Keen4, Jazz Jackrabbit, or Sonic 2 anymore]), and games that are devoid of innovation can be acclaimed as the best of in their genre (Ex. Freespace 1&2). It comes down to this: The true test of a game’s worth is the test of time.

Starflight is a game that I know for a fact stands the test of time as I first played the game a mere two years ago. Despite the fact Starlight was made in 1986 it quickly became my favorite game. Starflight gives the players a completely open ended and huge universe to explore and there are literally hundreds of hours of game play to be enjoyed. When I played Starflight I could not help but feeling as if I’m physically in a starship, exploring unknown worlds and unraveling the mysteries of the universe. Speaking of unraveling the mysteries of the universe, the story line in Starflight is as good as I’ve ever seen in a game… and there is a ton of interesting sub-plots to as well. Quite simply, graphics and sound aside, Starflight does everything right.

The Bad

If you're a graphics whore it might be hard for you to get into this game.

The Bottom Line

If you consider yourself to be anything closely resembling a hardcore game, then drop everything you're doing and play this game!