Star Trek Conquest
Captain's log, stardate 1604200.8. The crew and I have decided to begin this review of a Star Trek game using the tired old clich of pretending it's the captain's log. Later on we might do some jokes about Klingons on the starboard bow and William Shatner's funny old pop records and oh just forget it.
According to the back of the box, Star Trek Conquest is "a blend of intense action and strategy". According to reality, it's a lazily made piece of shovelware requiring as much strategising as it takes to close a fridge door, coupled with action which is less intense than making toast.
As far as I recall Star Trek follows the adventures of the Enterprise crew as they explore the galaxy trying to expand humanity's knowledge and understanding of other planetary cultures. It's basically about a bunch of nosey space hippies. Not so Star Trek Conquest. It is set during "a time of unrest", when "all of the major races are at war" and "diplomacy is dead" and "the Romulans have called Jean-Luc Picard's Mum a c***".
The point is, you choose which race to play as (Federation / Romulan / Klingon / Breen etc.) and set about trying to murder everyone else on a ridiculously simple strategy map that looks like it was drawn in 1992. Each race has different strengths and weaknesses. There are three whole variables: attack, defence and movement.
During your turn you can buy ships from a boringly limited selection, commission an Admiral (they vary according to their skills in attack, defence and movement, astonishingly) or use a special weapon (there are six). You can build defensive outposts and starbases to protect your territory. You can set up mining colonies and establish research stations to increase your income and the purchase rate for special weapons. This is the entire extent of the game's resource management element.
When you encounter a hostile force, you have three combat options. Pick Instant and you'll be told immediately who's won the battle. If you choose Sim, you can issue orders to your ships - telling them to go on the attack will lower their defenses slightly, and vice versa. Arcade lets you control one of your ships directly, using the nunchuk's analogue stick to move it about and the remote to aim and fire. It works well enough, but there's hardly much depth here.
Which just about sums Star Trek Conquest up. The strategy element makes the first level of Advance Wars look like Kasparov versus Deep Blue. There's not even a story to follow. Once you've won a campaign, all there is to do is set different variables or pick a new race and start again. The skirmish mode lets you skip the strategy bit and just shoot spaceships, but there are much better spaceship-shooting games out there.
Even at GBP 19.99 Star Trek Conquest isn't worth the asking price, even if you're a "Trekkie" (or "Spockstic" as I prefer). The game only offers a couple of hours' entertainment and they'd be better spent watching the TV show or one of the films, or trawling the Internet for erotic Wesley Crusher fan fiction.