Star Trek: 25th Anniversary (1992)

I've never been a huge Trek man myself. Out of the series, I've seen only the original series in its entirety and that happened only a couple of years ago. I'm also fairly certain I've seen, if not all, at least most of the movies. The Next Generation and the others are mostly familiar to me only through Picard facepalm memes and what not. As far games go, I'm almost at loss if not counting the adventure titles Interplay did in the early 90's, 25th Anniversary and Judgment Rites. Today I'm going to review the first of the two.

What I recall of the original series, 25th Anniversary does manage to capture the feeling of the show pretty nicely. As an adventure game, it manages to convey more of the story aspect of the series, leaving the action as a secondary matter. Sure enough, there is action in the game in the form of a couple of shootouts and even space battles where you get to steer the Enterprise itself in a bit of a clunky space sim. Out of this comes the biggest minus of the game itself, as the ending battle against 3 Elasi ships is such a cruel task, that instead of playing the game fully through, I just watched the ending on YouTube. And in the end, the finale was a bit of an anticlimax, so I didn't really feel that I had missed anything great.

I'm not entirely sure flying a spaceship requires goggles, but that's pirates for you.
Another minus is the UI. 25th Anniversary is fully mouse-driven, but at the same time, it's not really comfortable UI to use. With the right mouse button, you'll get a menu giving you different options, after which you can either interact on the screen or go to inventory. This whole thing has been executed in such a poor manner, that it just feels overly cumbersome especially in comparison to Lucasarts or Sierra titles of the time. The way the UI works is the most cumbersome on when you need to combine inventory items, as the game doesn't really give any feedback on wrong combinations. This makes some puzzles a bit harder than they really are, especially when you need to jump back in the inventory each time you try a combination.

As far the story goes, 25th Anniversary works like the TV series. Instead of one, long story, the game is segmented into 7 smaller episodes, which take the crew of the Enterprise in different areas of the Federation space, figuring out how to solve issues in a best possible way. Every mission is evaluated and scored. What kind of a speech you get from the Starfleet at the end depends on the score, as if you do well, you are applauded, if not, then reprehended. As you can do things differently, by brawn or brains, there's also some amount of replay value, especially if you want to do everything just right.

I assume Mudd is a fan favourite, so I'll just say that the stories include fan favourites like Mudd.
As stories, the episodes aren't anything really spectacular. You'll solve conflicts and try to further peace in the galaxy, but nothing about it is really stand out material. They're not bad, mind you, and as far I can tell, they're very Star Trek appropriate.

Graphically Star Trek looks okay. It's not as great looking, nor nicely animated, title as what the big dogs of the genre, Sierra and Lucasarts, were pushing out at the time, but it looks decent enough. Music is okay, but the proof of the pudding comes in the form of the original cast, which reprises their roles here, making the 25th Anniversary feel more than a bit like an official season of the original series. But, as I said, I've never been a huge Trek man myself so I wouldn't know how the fans really do feel about it.

With the annoyances in mind, Star Trek: 25th Anniversary is a relatively fun game. There's room for improvement in it, and I'd actually love to see the UI fully revamped as it really is bringing the game down, as well as the clunky space battle bits. Still,  if you are looking for a good Star Trek game it still is a pretty good choice, all things considered.

Star Trek: 25th Anniversary is available through GOG and Steam. And it's not terribly expensive either.



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