User Reviews

Stellar battle at its finest DOS Chris Wright (105)
Great concept, painful implementation. DOS Vaelor (381)
I think this game is one of the most entertaining stragedy games and creative DOS Aj Hege (6)
A solid game worth playing. DOS Tomer Gabel (4646)
Great game for its day DOS WizardX (117)
I still can't believe its not really that good of a game! DOS Yeah Right (57)
Space Wars revistied and turbo-boosted DOS Tony Van (2855)
It's easy but it's fun. Two player games are memorable. ZX Spectrum Emlyn Hughes (10)
A great game bested by its sequel. DOS Fafnir (105)

Our Users Say

Platform Votes Score
Amiga 8 3.1
Amstrad CPC Awaiting 5 votes...
Commodore 64 Awaiting 5 votes...
DOS 58 3.8
Genesis 11 3.5
ZX Spectrum Awaiting 5 votes...
Combined User Score 77 3.7

Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
The in-game graphics are nothing to shout about, but the sound is excellent. Indeed, a lot of the games turned into a bizarre version of "Name That Tune", or rather "Name That Sample"! Star Wars and Star Trek have both been sampled here, and the end result is excellent. One-player mode isn't really that bad either. The full strategy game is quite compelling, and the option to play either side is rather original. Not a lot of Megadrive games have really impressed me lately, but Star Control is a game that's well worth a look.
GenesisMean Machines (Jul, 1991)
In the two-player head-to-head stakes, this takes first prize. It's brilliant fun taking on another human player and using cunning, skill and tactics to take out his fleet. Many of my lunchtimes (and beyond) have been taken up with very noisy mega-battles with Gary Harrod! Playing it on you just isn't anywhere near as much fun - even the excellent presentation, brilliant sampled sound effects (see how many old b-movie sounds you can identify!) and a weirdo strategy game don't help. I think it's simply because you can't turn to the Megadrive and shout gleefully at it when you've just wiped out its best ship! So think long and hard before you buy this game - if you've always got a second player to kick ass with, it's highly recommended. Solo players just won't get value for money out of the product.
Commodore 64Play Time (Apr, 1991)
Star Control ist ein amüsantes Spiel, die Regeln für das strategische Spiel sind einfach, stellen jedoch ein Vielzahl von Optionen zur Verfügung. Der Arcadeteil bringt eine nette Abwechslung zum anstrengenden Nachdenken und ist leicht zu meistern. Die Möglichkeiten, den Computer entweder für die Strategie oder den Kampf einzusetzen, sind auch nützlich.
80 (Aug 14, 2006)
Despite the complaints, Star Control remains a fantastic game and a blueprint for what many would call one of if not the best game ever, Star Control II. The gameplay is superb in its simplicity, and the wide variety of ships allow for numerous strategic possibilities. Though you won't find twelve megabits of graphics or music on the cartridge, mastering each ship and taking on others in the melee mode is terrific fun, making for a Space War-style “fighter�? with arguably more depth with just three buttons than Street Fighter II did with six. The strategy portion is just the icing on the cake.
Truth be told, this game is really a 16-bit, 12 meg, 1990's version of the Atari classic, Space War! Overall, this is a very enjoyable game. It was the two-player action that hooked me. I also admired the way the programmers incorporated a "personality" into each craft. Furthermore, the packaging is exceptional. The box contains well written documentation, a separate booklet describing the alien races and their ships (which is HIGHLY enjoyable and perhaps necessary to figure out what some of the ships are doing when they are attacking you) and an innovative advertising gimmick for Ballistic's games in the form of collectible cards. Check out Star Control - it's worth a good long look.
AmigaCU Amiga (Mar, 1991)
Once again evil does battle with square jawed good, in a futuristic strategy. The prize? Earth. The game? Star Control. Is it playable? You bet... The gameplay is centred around single ships in head-to-head-combat. Each side can have up to seven different craft in their fleet, and the object is to completely annihilate all opposing craft; simple, eh? By playing in the mele mode you only get to experience the arcade side, but select the strategy option and the game takes on a completely different style. The objective is still the same, only now you can colonise various planets, build new spacecraft, fortify and mine different areas of the space system, and make lots of money by exploiting various planets. All this takes place in a style very similar to Virgin's Supremacy, with an almost identical starfield. You even get little animations in the corner of the screen.
DOSPower Play (Jan, 1991)
Was auf den ersten Blick so simpel aussieht, entpuppt sich nach mehreren Partien als knackiges Strategiespiel. Der Computergegner ist hartnäckig, schnell und gemein - für Freunde bissiger Computerstrategen ist Star Control ein Fest. Der Actionteil wird erst auf einem schnellen AT vernünftig spielbar. Dann wird Star Control eine wahre Freude: Vor allem die superfiesen Zweitwaffen machen den Kampf zur Schau, außerdem ergeben sich durch die 14 Schiffstypen immer neue spannende Duelle. Wer auf einen guten Mix aus Action und Strategie steht, sollte sich Star Control kaufen, ein zusätzlicher Joystick wird empfohlen.
GenesisPlay Time (Oct, 1991)
STAR CONTROL mag auf den ersten Blick als ein furchtbar primitives Spiel erscheinen. Die Actionsequenzen sind nicht gerade das, was man von 16Bit erwarten kann. Vertieft man sich aber etwas in die geschaffene, umfassende Welt zeigt sich, daß das Spiel von seiner guten Durchdachtheit lebt. Dazu tragen auch das Handbuch mit seinen ausführlichen Erklärungen über die verschiedenen Rassen, deren Schiffe und Eigenarten, sowie die einfache Benutzerführung in den strategischen Szenen bei. STAR CONTROL mag seinen Besitzer ziemlich lange am Bildschirm fesseln.
DOSPC-Spiele '92 (1991)
Dieses Programm ist sicher nicht jedermanns Sache. aber wenn Sie Computerspiel-Veteran sind und beispielsweise »Archon« kennen, dann wird Ihnen »Starcon-trol« (die Namensverwandtschaft ist wohl Absicht) gefallen. Auf jeden Fall sollten Sie mal ein Probespiel wagen.
Commodore 64Commodore Format (Mar, 1991)
It's by no means a mainstream game and that may put off more people than it attracts. Star Control makes a challenging strategy bash for those who fancy a long lonely slog but it's not the final frontier.
GenesisRaze (Oct, 1991)
Star Control is not the same game you may have seen on the PC. This version has certainly been, er, simplified. Admittedly, it now has far greater appeal, but those expecting a deep, complex game will either disappointed (if they're a strategy fan) or happy (if they're not) that they can now get their hands on a playable version of Star Control. There is certainly no other game like this on the Mega Drive, and that alone should warrant at least a look.
Strategy takes a back seat to arcade action in this graphically intense ship-to-ship combat simulation. Despite (or maybe because of) its lack of depth, it remains an enjoyable challenge.
Amstrad CPCComputer and Video Games (CVG) (Apr, 1991)
Two opposing fleets meet in the inky vastness of deep space to mimic the ageing coin-op Space Wars. Admittedly, Star Control spruces up the original with some space-going strategy thrown in, but the concept's real flaw is the fact that the baddie fleet has one ship which can singlehandedly wipe out the whole of the opposition!
Remember the ancient Space Wars coin-op? This is much the same, but with extra ships and extra strategies. Unfortunately, the good guys never win because the bad guys have got all the good ships, so it's very one-sided. A pretty good laugh in two-player mode, Star Control is worth a look.
GenesisPower Play (Oct, 1991)
Das Strategiespiel mit Actioneinlage wäre ja nicht schlecht, wenn man nicht die Amiga-Version ohne Änderungen aufs Mega Drive übertragen hätte. So bleiben Ruckel-Scrolling, winzige Sprites und digitalisierte Soundeffekte, wo es "normale" Mega-Drive-Effekte auch getan hätten - klar, daß die Cartridge dann 12 Mbit verschwendet.
GenesisVideo Games (Mar, 1991)
Abseits aller technische Kritik ist Star Control ein interessantes Modul für Strategiefreunde. Das Spiel ist komplex und ausgefeilt, trotzdem leicht zu lernen und macht auch nach Wochen noch Spaß. Wenn Sie die lahme Technik nicht stört, sollten Sie mal reinschauen.

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Glancing at the packaging and the manual Star Control looks like an exciting game, but your enthusiasm will begin to wane from the moment that you boot it up for the first time. Perseverance may yield some rewards, but there is little here to attract the average games player for very long.
Commodore 64Zzap! (Apr, 1991)
The year is 2162, and the Earth has a treaty with the Alliance of Free Stars. It appears that the alliance is under threat from an evil empire, the Ur-Quan Hierarchy. From the initial menu, you can choose two purely arcade selections: the practice and melee (both ship-to-ship combat), or you can dive into the Full Game where a semblance of strategic play comes into effect with mining, colonising and fortifying as options. This Full Game area comprises of nine different scenarios, the first choice being aimed towards the beginner. For those players who skip through all nine missions you have the option of editing and creating your own with a separate customisation utility.
Zusammenfassend kann man nur feststellen, daß diese schlaffe Mischung aus Action und Strategie ihr Geld nicht wert ist.
DOSThe DOS Spirit (Dec 10, 2007)
Alt i alt, dette er spillet som startet det som skulle bli til en episk reise i en mulig framtid for jorda, men den biten kommer vi til i morgendagens luke!
Was soll ich also abschließend sagen? Ein Durchschnittsmagermix aus Action und Strategie, dem es an Highlights fehlt, und der mit 85 DM als zu teuer bewertet werden muß.
ZX SpectrumComputer and Video Games (CVG) (Apr, 1991)
If you think this is a brill space strategy game, guess again! It's essentially the ultra-ancient "Space Wars" with bolted-on strategic bits, and very dull it all is too. One for nostalgia fans with slow reflexes.
AmigaAmiga Joker (Jan, 1991)
So gut sich das auch alles anhören mag, so schlecht wurde es in der Praxis umgesetzt: Was sich nämlich hier auf dem Screen tut, ist mehr als traurig, das ist einfach unterstes PD-Niveau! Die Menüs sind unsagbar trist, und die Raumschiffe werden als winzige Pünktchen dargestellt, die sich nur mit Mühe erkennen lassen (nur wenn sie sich einander annähern, kommen sie kurzfristig größer ins Bild). Dazu ist die Steuerung per Joystick ziemlich träge, mit der Tastatur geradezu katastrophal. Dabei wäre das Spiel ansonsten eigentlich ganz gut ausgestattet, z.B. übernimmt der Computer auf Wunsch den Action- oder den Strategieteil, und man kann die Raumschiffduelle beliebig lange üben. Aber was hilft‘s — bei derart erbärmlicher Grafik und nur ansatzweise vorhandener Spielbarkeit in den Actionszenen?!
GenesisThe Video Game Critic (Oct 27, 2007)
Unfortunately, most of your ships have all the maneuverability of a bathtub, with super wide turn radiuses that will make you absolutely miserable. I like how the screen zooms in when the ships are close together, but it's cheesy how ships bounce off stars and planets like pinballs! I may not fully grasp the strategic aspects of Star Control, but I know the shooting action sucks, and that's half the game right there. I suspect this was originally a PC title due to sparse sound and graphics that appear to have been designed for a higher resolution display. For brainiacs who overcome Star Control's ample learning curve, the game offers plenty of options, including the ability to let the CPU control the strategy or melee portions for you. Personally, I'd just as well have it do both, and then turn itself off when it's done.