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Star Control is a science-fiction wargame which pits the forces of the Alliance of Free Stars against those of the predatory Ur-Quan Hierarchy. The games are designed so that you can ease into play, familiarizing yourself with menus, options and player controls. The Alliance and Hierarchy each possess different types of warships. Each vessel has its own maneuvering and firing characteristics, plus a unique special power that you can employ when circumstances dictate.

The game has two modules: the Melee, in which you can simply blast the computer or another player to smithereens using one of 16 different ships, in either Hierarchy or Alliance fleets; or, should you wish for a more challenging game, lets you play one of 9 preset scenarios.


Star Control DOS Title screen (MCGA/VGA)
Star Control DOS Life world, otherwise known as Target Practice (EGA/Tandy)
Star Control DOS "Mmrnmhrm", you say? Oh, I see, you're busy eating... PLASMA DEATH. (EGA/Tandy)
Star Control DOS Chenjesu Broodhome (MCGA/VGA)

Promo Images

Star Control Magazine Advertisement
Star Control Magazine Advertisement
Star Control Magazine Advertisement
Star Control Magazine Advertisement

Alternate Titles

  • "starcon" -- Common abbreviation derived from DOS executable

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Stellar battle at its finest Chris Wright (105) 4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars
Great concept, painful implementation. Vaelor (381) 3.25 Stars3.25 Stars3.25 Stars3.25 Stars3.25 Stars
I think this game is one of the most entertaining stragedy games and creative Aj Hege (6) 3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars
A solid game worth playing. Tomer Gabel (4634) 4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars
Great game for its day WizardX (117) unrated
I still can't believe its not really that good of a game! Yeah Right (57) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
Space Wars revistied and turbo-boosted Tony Van (2855) 4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars
A great game bested by its sequel. Fafnir (105) unrated

Critic Reviews

Video Games & Computer Entertainment Jan, 1991 9 out of 10 90
Power Play Jan, 1991 77 out of 100 77
PC-Spiele '92 1991 7 out of 10 70
Computer Gaming World (CGW) Nov, 1992 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars 70
The Retro Spirit Dec 10, 2007 3 out of 6 50


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The "special thanks" in the manual list off an equally large number of sci-fi authors whose work in some way influenced the game. It's fairly rare for game designers to be so rigorous in documenting their inspirations.


The vast majority of captain names in the game were taken from various famous and semi-famous sci-fi sources. (far too many to list here. For example, there's a Syreen Captain Alia (from Dune) and an Earth Captain Pike (from Star Trek))


From almost the very beginning of his video game design career, Paul Reiche III has revisited the theme of pitting varied teams of carefully balanced but widely varied opponents against each other, first in 1983's Archon and most recently in 1998's The Unholy War (and its Japanese analogue, Little Witching Mischiefs).

Star Control also falls in the middle of this chain, and its heritage is plainly spelled out phonetically in its abbreviation:


  • Computer Gaming World
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #127 in the “150 Best Games of All Time” list
Information also contributed by Pseudo_Intellectual

Related Web Sites

  • ComSim Central (Info on getting the game, and lots of scenarios for the full game.)
  • The Dot Eaters (The Dot Eaters: Videogame History 101 An extensive history of videogames, including computer games and the work of Paul Reiche and Freefall Associates.)
  • The Pages of Now and Forever (This site could perhaps be called the heart of the Star Control fan movement on the 'net.)
Tomer Gabel (4634) added Star Control (DOS) on Aug 11, 1999
Other platforms contributed by PCGamer77 (3225), Martin Smith (79100) and Servo (57355)
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