Super Star Trek meets 25th Anniversary: Free Retro Remake updated with new graphics and controls
An old text-only strategy game remade with the graphics of the point-and-click adventure
Published: 18 March 2023, 3:07 pm
Star Trek is a franchise that has captured the hearts of audiences for decades. Star Trek has become a cultural icon of its futuristic technology, captivating characters, and daring adventures.
One of the first Star-Trek-inspired computer games ever created is a text-only strategy game initially written in 1971 by Mike Mayfield. Later it was expanded by Bob Leedom, who also gave it the title Super Star Trek. The most popular version was published in 1978 in the book BASIC COMPUTER GAMES, a collection of program listings collected by David H. Ahl, the founder of Creative Computing.
Super Star Trek was one of the most popular games in the book, and it quickly gained a following among early computer enthusiasts. You can read more about it in this article.
More than 40 years later, a dedicated fan created a free remake of the classic game, merging the text-game mechanics with the graphics of another Star Trek game: The 25th Anniversary. The new game also features the original voices of the cast, taken from TV episodes.
The new game, Super Star Trek meets 25th Anniversary, offers players a chance to relive the glory days of text-based gaming while enjoying modern graphics and sound effects. Players must navigate the galaxy, engage in combat, and save the federation from the Klingon invasion. But with updated graphics and a sleek user interface, the game feels more immersive and engaging.
After the first release in January this year, the game was recently updated with new fantastic cover graphics, a new logo, a new user interface, and a menu screen that allows users to start a new game, continue an existing game, customize options and switch to a different language. Besides, the game is now entirely playable with a controller (cursor keys + Enter), which makes life easier for Steam Deck owners. At the same time, it is also playable without a keyboard, with mouse-only or touch, so it's compatible with tablets and mobile phones.
The game mechanics are the same as the 1978 text-only strategy game. The map consists of 64 sectors arranged in an 8x8 grid. Each sector might contain up to three Klingons warships. In total, there are around 30 enemy ships in the quadrant, and you will have to destroy them before the time expires. The weapons at your disposal are the classic photon torpedoes, 10 in total, or phasers. Phasers consume energy, the same energy that the Enterprise will use to move and raise shields, so you must be careful because you only have 3000 units of energy. Luckily you will find at least one starbase in the quadrant (more, depending on the difficulty). Starbases are fundamental because they are the only way to recharge energy and repair broken systems. In fact, the ship systems can break during combat, and stop functioning, which can be a big problem.
Winning a game is a matter of carefully managing the resources at your disposal, use torpedoes as much as possible, and avoid useless warp jumps.
One of the standout features of Super Star Trek 25th is its attention to detail in the game's UI. In the original game, the player issued commands by typing text with the keyboard. In this version, you interact with the crew of the Enterprise, all beautifully rendered in pixel art that captures the look and feel of the original Star Trek series.
However, Super Star Trek meets 25th Anniversary isn't just a visual upgrade of the original game. For example, the game now includes a "warp map" that allows players to plot their course through the galaxy more easily. Navigation in the original game was painful because you needed to enter the course as a decimal number, and often you were blocked by stars. Now you ask Sulu to "lay in a course," and the sectors map will open. You click on the destination, and it's done. The game challenges remain, but the experience is much more user-friendly.
It is also possible to increase the difficulty level, which was unavailable in the first edition.
These changes help to make the game feel fresh and exciting, even for players who may have played the original game back in the 1970s.
Another fascinating aspect of Super Star Trek meets 25th Anniversary is that it includes the original voices of the Star Trek cast, such as William Shatner (Kirk), Leonard Nimoy (Spock), Nichelle Nichols (Uhura), and others. The author extracted audio clips from the original Star Trek TV series, adding an extra layer of authenticity to the game. Hearing the iconic voices of the Star Trek cast as you navigate the galaxy and engage in combat will surely be a thrill for any franchise fan.
The game is entirely free, and you can download it from this site or emabolo's website. You can also play it on the browser without downloading anything.
In short, Super Star Trek 25th is a fantastic tribute to the classic text-based adventure game that first captivated players over 40 years ago. The game is a must-play for any Star Trek fan who wants to experience the thrill of exploring the galaxy in their very own starship. So raise shields and prepare to boldly go where no one has gone before, with Super Star Trek meets 25th Anniversary. If you liked the game, please leave a comment below.