Star Trek: Strategic Operations Simulation

Atari 5200

Review by Kevin Oleniacz



Graphics: ?

Sound: ?

Gameplay: ?

Overall: ?

Star Trek is perhaps the most beloved science fiction series of all time (in constant competition with the Star Wars saga). Long before Sega entertained gamers with the Genesis and Master System, they brought home the game that had Trekkies banging away at a Star Trek simulation in the arcades.

Besides familiar foes and space hazards, the game bears little resemblance to any of the television shows. The object is to hop from sector to sector and destroy NOMAD, an alien robotic force bent on sending the Enterprise off with a one way ticket to oblivion. The playfield is split up threefold. The smallest section displays your score, shields remaining, photon weapons (which pulverize enemies directly in front of the Enterprise) remaining, and available warp drive power.

The next section is the window which displays the action (via an overhead view). You are alerted to oncoming Klingon Birds of Prey which depending on their color, will either ram or shoot at you or the starbase in that sector. Docking with one of these starbases replenishes your shields, photons, and warp drive power, but avoiding this pitstop altogether awards a handsome bonus. If random anti-matter saucers collide with the Enterprise, your warp drive energy is sucked dry. The bottom of the screen is consumed by a close-up view of whatever objects are in line with the Enterprise.

There are a total of ten sectors containing six rounds each. Four of these rounds involve combat with Klingons. Navigating through asteroid fields or meteor showers while stockpiling supplies from starbases is always the round three objective. The final round pits you against NOMAD. You face it without your photons, relying on cunning and accurate phaser fire to remove it before it removes you. Destroy NOMAD and you advance to the next sector.

If you were thrilled with the challenge in the arcade, you'd be satisfied (for the most part) with this version. All of the essential elements are intact, although the actual onscreen portion of the playfield which houses the action seems very confined and visually unimpressive. The sounds themselves are no more than a few blips and explosions. The Atari 5200 is certainly capable of an adequate duplication of the limited speech from the arcade (proven in their conversion of Berzerk), but it's absent in this game. Graphically, the sprites are not very crisp and are rather void of detail.

In some respects Sega's 5200 endeavor is a fair rendition of the arcade classic, but in comparison to other 5200 titles Star Trek is quite bland and is an otherwise weak title, even for Trek fans.

TIP: Destroy starbases early to stock up on supplies, as up to 127 shield and photons can be stored. In later rounds, avoid the starbases to rack up points.


Go to Digital Press HQ
Return to Digital Press Home

Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:32 PM