Every Monday at 7:00 PM PT, a talented crew roleplays their way through the galaxy to fulfill a mission: to boldly go where no one has gone before. Follow the adventures of the USS Sally Ride on Shield of Tomorrow on Twitch.
Great video game adaptations catch multiple elements of what makes a franchise so fun. Often, only a handful of games that have the name of a franchise go on to live in the hearts and minds of fans. Star Trek has been around since before video games were really a thing, and it has a few games that fans remember as if they were beloved episodes of their favorite series. For those fans who may not have been around when these games first came out, many of them are available to purchase and play. Until we start to catch up on that pesky holodeck technology, these titles are the closest we’re going to get.
Star Trek Strategic Operations Simulator
This wireframe game shares a lot of similarities with its more famous competitor Star Wars The Arcade Game. Both feature warbly synthesized speech of iconic characters. Both featured unusual control schemes in both sit-down and stand up versions. Both feature vector renditions of their franchise’s version of version of space combat. But Star Trek Strategic Operations Simulator is indeed more strategic than it’s fast-paced competitor. The warp button, for example, is deliberately placed away from the other controls to make warping away from battle a hard choice to make. The sit-down cabinet for this game takes it in the end, because it looks more like a classic Star Trek captain’s chair.
Star Trek: 25th Anniversary
There had been text-based Star Trek adventures in the early days of computer games, but none really connected with the fan base like the Star Trek: 25th Anniversary game released in 1992. This game blended two genres that were in their heyday at the time; the point-and-click adventures led by Sierra and Lucasarts and flight combat simulators like Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe. It also arrived during the era of the CD-ROM upgrade, where fans could hear the members of the Enterprise crew give voice to their beloved characters once again. A sequel featuring more episodes, Judgment Rites, was released in 1993.
Ship-to-ship combat is a big draw for fans of Star Trek that love video games. This 1999 release put players at the helm of their very own starship, angling deflectors and desperately hoping for one last phaser burst to put down an enemy ship. The style of combat was based off the legendary Star Fleet Battles tactical board game and later entries in the series drew elements, ships, and aliens from that branch of the universe.
Star Trek: Voyager Elite Force
The first-person shooter came into its own in the 2000s when franchises like Medal of Honor and Call of Duty became perennial best sellers. Every genre and franchise took a shot at releasing an FPS and Star Trek was no different. While Star Trek is known more for its shop-to-ship combat when it comes to action, this action game featured solid gameplay and great voice acting from the characters created for the game and the cast of Voyager. Elite Force was, in many ways, a perfect encapsulation of what Voyager has become; a genre entry pushing the Star Trek universe into unexplored areas and doing it surprising well.
Looking for more interesting antics online from the Star Trek universe? Be sure to tune into our Star Trek RPG show, Shield of Tomorrow on Geek & Sundry Twitch and Alpha every Monday starting at 7PM PT.
Want more Star Trek?
- While not official, Artemis Bridge Simulator offers a great starship experience
- Check out this brief history of Star Trek tabletop games.
- Learn about Star Trek Adventures – the RPG system used on Shield of Tomorrow!
Feature Credit: SEGA
Image Credits: Interplay, Activision
Rob Wieland is an author, game designer and professional nerd. He writes about kaiju, Jedi, gangsters, elves and is a writer for the Star Trek Adventures RPG line. His blog is here, where he is currently reviewing classic Star Wars RPG adventures. His Twitter is here. His meat body can be found in scenic Milwaukee, WI.