Adventure/strategy games based around the phenomenally popular TV programme Star Trek probably account for the largest portion of program code on the planet.
Hundreds of variations, from pitiful PD versions to full-blown implementations with groovy graphics, sexy sounds and more planets than you can shake a stick at.
This latest from Castlesoft is an attempt to parody the genre by lampooning Kirk, Spock, Bones et al, and firing back supposedly witty ripostes to your questions and instructions.The game takes the form of the standard "What now?" adventure, with a picture at the top of the screen depicting the characters you're interacting with or scenes of rooms, store cupboards and so on, that you've blindly stumbled into. Input your name, read a summary of the plot and you're into the game.
There are no effects. Star Wrek is a text adventure with rudimentary pictures bolted on at the top of the screen. Those of you who thrill to phaser zaps, the whoosy of automatic doors and the hum of filithium crystals will be disappointed - there's no sound either.
To overcome the lack of sound and graphic effects, many of the later adventure games feature complex text input parsing, witty commentary and plots with so many twists and turns your fingers had to be prised from the keyboard to get you to stop playing. Not so Star Wrek. Gossamer-thin plots, jokes that the average five-year-old would curl a lip at and so many "bugs" of the "you're standing by Spook's console," "examine console", "the console isn't here..." variety that ten minutes of play and you'll be as frustated as... a frustated thing.
Star Wrek is destined to go where no Star Trek game has gone before - straight into obscurity. Captain Kirk must be writhing in his corset. If the Castlesoft dreams of wealth and fame hinge on the success of this release then they'll remain penniless non-entities for a while yet.
My copy of the game made a satisfying clunk as it struck the dustbin. We don't have to buy the games we review, but you do. Spend your blue and folding on something else.