Star Command ReviewBy: Kris Keilhack
December 4, 2006
Long-time computer gamers may remember an ancient multi-platform (PCs as well as mainframes) unofficial Star Trek “simulator” that appeared under a variety of titles, versions and guises. I personally grew up with a 2nd hand Atari 2600 and a copy of Star Raiders, a similarly themed spin-off title, before progressing to a shareware version of EGA Trek on my old 286. Now that experience is available in a slightly tweaked and updated form for Palm OS devices.
For a basic overview of the history of this game as well as a summary of its lineage, please see its Wikipedia entry. The Palm OS version is, by all accounts, mostly similar to the later graphical PC versions of the title such as EGA Trek.
- Faithful recreation of the classic '70s & '80s hacker/programmer classic
- Surprising amount of depth once you delve deeper into the game
- An authentic Classic 'Trek experience if you can overlook the lack of licensed content
- Rock solid app that is stable and playable on a nearly every Palm OS handheld made in the past six years
- “Krutons” and “Zingers” don’t have quite the same cachet as “Klingons” & “Romulans”
- Steep learning curve due to the numerous commands and obscure button labels
- No sort of in-game tutorial, documentation or help screens
- Nostalgia plays a large role in determining the game’s value to some gamers
Star Command is a fun diversion that is perfectly suited to the Palm OS. Indeed, it is especially enjoyable on older OS 3/4 devices or mono screens. The old-timers amongst us will be especially intrigued by this recreation of a game that wasted many mainframe CPU cycles -- long before Tetris was around!
3 / 5 (for the average contemporary gamer)
4 / 5 (if you played and enjoyed one of the original variants years ago)
Star Command is compatible with Palm OS 3.5 and higher. It will run on older greyscale handhelds as well as color and high resolution screens on the latest models. It occupies 314k of memory. The full version costs $12.00 to register and there is a free trial that will allow you to play through the 3rd rank, where cloaking Zinger's begin to appear.