STAR TREK: TNG / Absolute / NES

Star Trek: TNG came out very late in the life of the NES, and is basically a shoestring budget port of the superior PC / SNES / Genesis versions tossed out there to make a profit on whatever was left of the NES market at that point.

Though it was released in 1993, the bridge of the Enterprise looks like some simplistic window from a 1986 NES game, and this is where you'll spend the vast majority of the game. At the outset of each new game, Picard doles out some random mission by e-mail, and the objective is to guide the ship to the location he gives you and then take care of it one way or another.

You interact with the game solely through your officers, represented by a simplistic row of communications badges at the bottom of the screen. When you click on one you get a digitized pic of their mug plus the two or three functions they can perform for you, although you'll actually control most of their actions yourself. Travelling to planets or sectors is automated, and simply consists of telling Data to Warp Factor Fuck You, but you can guide the Enterprise around your immediate area manually and have to sometimes to put it into planetary orbit. You never actually seem to beam down for away missions, but you'll sometimes have to beam people off of a planet as part of a mission.

There's a shit ton of fighting other ships, much more so than in the show. Often there's no option for communication, when you warp into a sector, they just jump you and start firing away automatically. You talk to Worf to tell him to raise the shields, and then you order him into combat which is like a really simplistic, clunky version of Wing Commander where you just sit still in one place and rotate in circles trying to keep your phaser on a ship that is strafing around the Enterprise and periodically taking pot shots. You can also lob photon torpedoes, which are horribly inaccurate and hard to lead.

If you survive these battles, you give Jordy the order to repair damage. Of course, like the rest of your mutinous crew he doesn't do much of anything himself, and you have to play some crappy, repetitive maze mini-game to re-route power to the right systems or whatever.

Riker just seems to be there to remind you what the current mission is. Riker is a furry.

Though you can lose missions, the game doesn't end - it just takes you to the next random one and I guess the one you failed gets shuffled back into the list later. I'm not sure if the ship can get totally blowed up, enemies don't seem to fire back enough.

I haven't played the other versions so I don't know if they are vastly superior and this one was just some crap shovelware, but what it basically breaks down to is a cheap space combat sim with a few other crappy mini-games thrown in and a very low-budget look and feel.

Videos :

* Gameplay Video