THEN

Star Trek: Strategic Operations Simulator (Sega, 1983)

Platforms: coin-op, Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Vectrex

Actually, to say that Sega originated the Star Trek game would be a disservice to years worth of work by budding programmers. These programmers infringed on Paramount’s copyrights back in the days when the studio conveniently looked the other way, happy to have anyone remember Star Trek, as opposed to the studio’s spree of web site shutdowns in the 1990s. Sega’s vector arcade game combined the resource management elements of the age-old Star Trek computer game with some elements of a first person shooter…make that only a few elements. The coin-op drew heavily upon the look of the “Kobayashi Maru” simulator depicted in the second Trek flick, which – for the time – was really cool. (Actually, now that I think about it, it still is.) The object of the game is simple: defend Federation starbases and wipe out those pesky Klingons, all while closely monitoring your phaser, shield, and warp engine energy levels.Sound easy? It
wasn’t!

Later levels had whole fleets of Klingons occupying the same sector of space as the Enterprise, making it rather difficult to survive. The home versions – among the first home video games ever produced by
Sega – lacked the graphic and audio flair of the coin-op, but retained most of the game play elements.

Grade: A+

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