More than six hundred years in the future, the universe has become a strange and exciting place. Recent contact has been made with an alien species, the first such contact the human race has had.
It has been revealed to the leaders of Earth that the Human race had been ignored until this point, simply because it was not considered strong enough to join with the alliance of alien powers that had previously kept law and order throughout the universe.
This alliance, however, had itself recently come under threat from the fierce and predatory actions of a group called the Ur-Quan Hierarchy. Now the Alliance has arrived on our doorstep, and they beg for our assistance. Should we help?
Star Control is a curious mixture of styles. A comparison with the space/trading classic Elite springs to mind, but it isn't quite as simple as that. Like Elite, this game combines elements of strategy and arcade action, and the two games do share a similar science fiction scenario - but Star Control is by no means a clone.
The game is split into three distinct sections: Practice, Melee and Full Game. In practice, players simply get the chance to acquaint themselves with the mechanics of the arcade section. This is very much like the old Atari coin-op Asteroids, except that the obstacles are not rocks, but well-armed and intelligent alien spacecraft. The confrontation takes place as a one-on-one fight, with control being a matter of rotation and thrusting in the required direction.
The Alliance and the Ur-Quan both have four types of craft at their disposal, each having its own distinct handling and weaponry characteristics. In two-player mode, each player controls a different side. Player Two in the playability stakes, Star Control is a winner. Arcade fans may be a little disappointed by the shallow nature of that side of the game, but strategy freaks and potential space generals will go absolutely nuts for this one.
I enjoyed the two-player dogfighting, but that's not really the point of the game, is it? The strategic element is not guaranteed to set your pulse racing, unfortunately. Arcade nutters should steer clear of this one - it's for tactical types only.
Complete game using the Psytron.
Functional and well-defined, but far short of spectacular.
Like the graphics, the sonics do their job... but only just!
Grab Factor 71%
Asteroids fans will lap it up, and strategy fans may be hooked.
Staying Power 69%
Possibly a little too easy for any kind of lasting affection.
A reasonable strategic outing marred by the limited arcade section.