I Played That! #36: Star Fleet I (PC)

Yes indeed, I paid retail price for a game that looked like the above. What’s more, although Wikipedia says this came out in 1984 (when such graphics on the PC wouldn’t have been too unexpected, I’m pretty sure I didn’t buy this until more like 1988 or 1989.

A was the case with Rogue, Star Fleet I: The War Begins was essentially a pay-for version of a popular, usually free mainframe game, Star Trek. You are in command of a space battleship and searching the galaxy for enemy Krellan (Klingon) and sneaky cloaked Zaldron (Zromulan) ships to destroy. You use phasers and missiles and so forth. What (I think) SFI brought to the Star Trek game was the fact that enemies could transport on to your ship and cause a ruckus, requiring you to dispatch security teams to kill or capture the intruders. That was always a hassle, especially if you had combat going on at the same time.

I played a lot of SFI, but I don’t think I ever really cracked the higher levels of it. One cool thing about it was that it tracked your “Captain” through various missions and ships, awarding you medals and promotions if you did well and busting you down if you, say, destroyed a starship.

When the shareware model took off, I bought another version of this game for Windows. It was called WinTrek, and I’m not sure why I opted for buying it instead of just playing Star Fleet I. I guess the nifty Windows graphics and interface called to me. It wasn’t nearly as detailed as SFI, but good for quick games.

This type of game is still greatly enjoyed. There are a number of current versions (including some with throwback text graphics) available for iPad and the like. I should grab one of those.

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