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Star Control logo

Star Control O nce again evil does battle with square jawed good, in a futuristic strategy. The prize? Earth. The game? Star Control. Is it playable? You bet...
The gameplay is centred around single ships in head-to-head-combat. Each side can have up to seven different craft in their fleet, and the object is to completely annihilate all opposing craft; simple, eh? By playing in the mele mode you only get to experience the arcade side, but select the strategy option and the game takes on a completely different style. The objective is still the same, only now you can colonise various planets, build new spacecraft, fortify and mine different areas of the space system, and make lots of money by exploiting various planets. All this takes place in a style very similar to Virgin's Supremacy, with an almost identical starfield. You even get little animations in the corner of the screen.

Each ship comes with a weapon and special ability unique to its class. They range from basic lasers, to flame throwing mega-guns. Special abilities cloaking devices, teleporters or homing missiles - one even has a squadron of interceptor fighters. The controls are simple. Left and right to rotate the ship, forward to accelerate, fire for the guns and back for the special.
You can play against a computer or a friend, or play as a cyborg or Psytron. In cyborg mode you work out the strategies while the computer fights. Psytron mode means you fight and the computer does the thinking.

Though very simple at times, the graphics are more than adequate for this game. Each ship is completely different, in armament and look. This helps make the game very playable.
Sadly this is a meg only game. It comes on two disks, but I found you only needed to swap once when the game had loaded. It uses Accolade's usual code wheel protection, although it's executed very humorously.
This game has lots of original and some bog standard ideas. But although it's very playable, I doubt if Star Control has much in the way of lasting appeal.
Mark Patterson.

CU Amiga, March 1991, p.65

Highly playable, but lasting appeal...

Star Control logo

Accolade, C64 10.99 cassette, 16.99 disk; Amiga (1 Meg only) 24.99

Star Control The year is 2162, and the Earth has a treaty with the Alliance of Free Stars. It appears that the alliance is under threat from an evil empire, the Ur-Quan Hierarchy.
From the initial menu, you can choose two purely arcade selections: the practice and melee (both ship-to-ship combat), or you can dive into the Full Game where a semblance of strategic play comes into effect with mining, colonising and fortifying as options. This Full Game area comprises of nine different scenarios, the first choice being aimed towards the beginner. For those players who skip through all nine missions you have the option of editing and creating your own with a separate customisation utility.

For those readers looking for some serious strategic play within Star Control I have some bad news. There's not a lot here to get your teeth into. Yes, you will need to mine and colonise to form some sort of economic base before going for the alien's throat, but you tend to feel that serious thought is wasted as most of the strategy tends to become a pretty random affair.

The arcade ship-to-ship combat can be fun, for a few minutes, but then you shouldn't be buying Star Control for the pleasure of shooting aliens. There are far more superior arcade games out there which specialise in blasting and maiming. The good points of Star Control? Well, the graphics are nice and the sound is okay and the... erm... well that's it really.
The bottom line? Forget it.

Zzap! Issue 72, April 1991, p.28