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Star Trek: Starship Creator Warp II (Windows)

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MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
2.9
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5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Kasey Chang (3654)
Written on  :  Sep 10, 2001
Platform  :  Windows

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Summary

The novelty wears off after about 30 minutes...

The Good

Ability to design/outfit your starships and crew them, all the Star Trek stuff are here: most of the TNG,DS9, and VOY characters (even the guest stars), ability to design new missions

The Bad

Completely hands-off after you design the starship; The "gameplay" consists of guessing what components would be used on the mission you send the ship on, as the mission is handled automatically; the manual is a HUGE poster; game only runs in 640x480 (if you use higher res you get a huge black border around the screen).

The Bottom Line

Starship Creator Warp II is the latest iteration of the "Starship Creator" where you creat your starship, crew them, and send them out on missions. While this sounds interesting for Star Trek fans, those looking for gameplay won't find much here, as the game has minimal interactivity.

The process is simple: create a personality for yourself (i.e. your saved game). Then you're given a budget, with which you can buy a ship, outfit it, add crew and officers, and send the ship out on some missions. The game is run in a 640x480 part of the screen in the LCARS interface introduced by ST:TNG. The screen does not resize, so if you use higher-res you get this HUGE black border all around.

Buying a ship is easy, and there are several to choose from, but their value don't quite seem right. Those who watch Star Trek would start questioning how would a Galaxy-class (TNG) starship cost LESS than an Intrepid-class (VOY) starship... and other oddities. Then you can swap out a few sections of the saucers, secondary hull, and nacelles to several choices of different styles. However they seem to have no effect on the rest of the design other than the "ship portrait", which is strictly 2D. You get ONE view of the 3D ship, but that's it. Sometimes, there's even SEAMS in where the different pieces fit together on the 2D ship...

After that, you start outfitting the ship with components. In the simple mode, the ship is already outfitted for you, though not necesarily with the best components. In intermediate, the ship is fitted with bare essentials only, and in advanced, the ship comes empty. It's your job to outfit the ship with the components, like sensors, computers, weapons, propulsion, power, and even things like labs, probes, living quarters, holodeck and crew lounge, and so on. With your limited budget, it won't be possible to fit the best components available, esp. when you need to add the crew as well.

When it comes to add the crew, you get a very good list of the Star Trek (TNG, DS9, VOY) characters, from Janeway to Riker, Worf to Kira, and more. However, their ratings are NOT listed in any way, nor do you see any "growth" after missions, so this is more of a guessing game on who to use for what.

Then comes the missions... Each mission will have one or more goals, and depending on how many goals the ship was able to accomplish, you get a part of the overall payoff, which varies from 1000 credits to over 10000. The missions may or may not involve combat, and often depends on certain objects that you may or may not have onboard (labs, probes, science officer rating, etc.)

Once you choose the mission, the game shifts to "mission mode", which is "full screen", though you can also choose "stealth mode", which runs the mission in a small window instead, but either way the crew/ship will make their own moves depending on what wrinkles the mission creator wrote into the script. You have absolutely no control over it. You see this huge starmap (though ALL missions runs on the same map), and the ship moves slowly (click, click) across the starmap. You can engage accelerated mode, but even with that on it takes many minutes to finish a mission where all you do is watch the screen, which is about as exciting as watching paint dry.

The missions are basically dice throwing as your ship goes somewhere, checks if the ship has certain equipment, do something, something else happens depending on the script, another check for certain equipment... Then your ship warps home, and you get to read the mission log on the success or failure of the mission. You can repeat the mission as often as you wish to get more credits. You get over 30 to choose from, but you must switch to higher difficulty to play all of them.

The novelty of crewing your starship and crew wears off after about 30 minutes when you realize that you can't interact with the game at all, and you're simply NOT given any information to make informed choices on what equipment to use, what officers to choose, and so on. The game is so boring, even the ability to export SOME of the ship/crew to Dominion War (multiplayer only) is useless. If you get it for free (like with Dominion War's NA edition) you can give it a try for a fe days, but spending money for it is a waste unless you just want to complete your Star Trek merchandise collection.