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Star Trek: ConQuest Online

Score: 70%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Genetic Anomalies
Media: CD/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Turn-Based Strategy/ Online

Graphics & Sound:

Make sure your video card can handle 16-bit color depth at 800X600 screen resolution -- thatís the only thing that Star Trek: ConQuest Online runs in. That being said, you can guess at what the graphics might be like. Actually, they are not that bad. Although very 2D and colorless, they are very detailed and not too bad. The game is played on a virtual game board, so everything is in 2D, but the detail on the ďgame piecesĒ is great. I would say that the overall graphics were okay at best; for the individual parts, I would say that the graphics are great. Game board -- not so good. Game pieces Ė so good.

I was very disappointed with the sound. There is no speech during the tutorial (itís a lot of text) and the sound effects are weak and few and far between.


Gameplay:

So what the heck is Star Trek: ConQuest Online? Well, Iíll tell you what it is and highlight the important terms. Star Trek: ConQuest is an online turn-based strategy game that is similar (in style) to chess, set in the genre of Star Trek.

    Online: The only thing you can do with this game while offline is play the cumbersome tutorial and manage your game pieces.

    Turn-based: The reason why this game will fail in the realm of online games is found in one word -- turn-based. There arenít many people out there who want to hook up over the internet to play someone in a turned-based game. I admit, the game is fun, and there is no way to make it real time, but no one really wants to play multiplayer turned-based games on the net.

    Strategy: As depicted from the Q faced box, this is a game of cunning, guile, and mainly strategy. If you donít like to think five moves ahead, find another game.

    Chess: This game plays somewhat similar to chess. Let me explain. The game foundation is the same. You have to make a move in response to your opponents move while setting up your next move. More on this later.

    Star Trek: Well, if you know even a little about Star Trek (and I know you do), then you will have no problem understanding each game piece. Everything is set in the Star Trek universe.

Okay, hereís the game. You are a Q (apparently, there are many Qs in the universe), and your opponent is a Q. The object to the game is to beat the other Q. When a Q starts and ends a turn on a planet he doesnít control, he loses. The Q is the ďkingĒ piece. The game runs on the point system. You get points from your Q and all the planets that you control. You use points to deploy, move, attack, and defend pieces. Star Trek: ConQuest Online consists of three phases: deploy, attack, and movement. The pieces span different Trekkie races (Federation, Borg, Klingon...) and items such as ships, people, and objects. Each piece has abilities and point allocations. You start your registered character with 40 or so default pieces. To add rare and more powerful pieces to your arsenal, you can trade with other players, auction off for other pieces, or purchase them (this is where the credit card comes in).

Overall, the game is fun, but turn-based multiplay gets very old, and donít insult me with this purchase addition pieces stuff! This game will not make it. It is a shame because itís a good game; itís just not implemented right.


Difficulty:

If you play someone who is no good, you will win easily. If you play someone who is good, you will lose easily. If you play me, itís a toss up. As far as the gameplay goes, it has a tough learning curve. The basic game is somewhat easy to figure out, but the advanced game is difficult to get the hang of. This is a good strategy game, but it is hard to play if you want to play well. I think that conceptually it is easy, but the interface and other governing factors make it hard.

Game Mechanics:

I hate the mechanics. The interface could have been a lot better, and the mouse mechanics just suck. As you know, almost everything you do on a computer is left-click oriented. Well, Star Trek: ConQuest is entirely right-click oriented. It is confusing and awkward. The interface could have been done better. I canít really explain it, but it needs less layers. If you play it, youíll see what I mean.

For the software installation, all you do is pop in the CD and let Windowsí autorun take over. After the software install is done, you have to register the game using the CD key on the jewel case and a credit card. Yes, this is a free online game... well, kinda. You donít have to enter in a credit card number right away, but you may need to later. Although Star Trek: ConQuest is a free online strategy game, you have to purchase additional game ďpiecesĒ to play. That is where the card comes into play.

Star Trek: ConQuest Online is a fun turned-based strategy game that looks good, gets old fast, is difficult to play, and has an aggravating interface. I really donít think this game will make it big. I hope all you Star Trek fans prove me wrong.


-Storm, GameVortex Communications
AKA Jeremy Kelso

Minimum System Requirements:



Windows 95/98/2000/ME, Pentium 75, 8 MB RAM, 70MB HD Space, 16-bit SVGA card, 4X CD-ROM, Sound Card, Mouse, Keyboard, 28.8 Kbps internet connection
 

Test System:



P2 338 Windows ME, 128MB RAM, Diamond Viper V770 Ultra w/32MB RAM, 5X/24X DVD-ROM, Monster Sound MX400/4 point sound, ADSL internet connection

Windows You Donít Know Jack: 5th Dementia Windows The War in Heaven

 
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