trek73: The best part is the site that hosts it

I somehow escaped playing trek73 at any point over the past 40 years, because I think today was the first time I’d ever seen it.

It’s always possible I did glance past it at some point in the past, but it doesn’t look familiar, and if I have to remember a Star Trek-ish game from some time in the past, it’s more likely to be sst2k or just plain trek. trek73 doesn’t really ring any bells.

2015-02-25-6m47421-trek73-01 2015-02-25-6m47421-trek73-02 2015-02-25-6m47421-trek73-03

On the other hand, that does suggest I can approach it from a fairly neutral angle, and given my long-standing infuriation with games like Star Fleet Battles or my long-standing infatuation with games like the Star Trek arcade game, I think I am familiar enough with the genre to make an honest appraisal.

And my appraisal is … it stinks.

I’ll apologize up front if you’re a big trek73 fan, but the ncurses version I built from the source code is barely playable to me. I have no idea what the controls should be, and there seems to be a huge list of coded commands to pick from.

Which would not be an issue if there were onboard help, or even just a tip to let me know which commands were likely to do what. Even just the question mark for a list. But nobody is willing to clue me in, even if the entire cast of the original Star Trek series is more than happy to yell at me when I’ve got it wrong. Hey, screw you guys for not giving me a break. 👿

Even further complicating things is the lack of line-editing keys, to include any sort of backspace key that I could find. Half my commands are polluted with ^D^D^G^C, so I guess it’s no wonder that they’re yelling back at me while the ship is pummeled by Orion Pirates. They probably think their leader is possessed by Evil Captain Kirk.

I will give it a begrudging point for looking good, and another begrudging point for obviously having a combat and gameplay system that seems to work. But that’s all. It will take me too long to figure out just how to quit for me to get too deep into it.

But before we go, I do feel obligated to mention that the site hosting trek73, in its multitudinous flavors, is probably the nicest, cleanest and most impressive tribute to a program I’ve ever seen. trek73 may stink like a skunk to me, but the host of that site (the only link I have, by the way; trek73 is not in Arch or Debian that I could find) has managed to fluff it up to look like a rose. I can respect that.

Now someone tell me the command code for the self-destruct sequence. 😡

Edit:, 1 p.m.: Wow, talk about bad timing. Just for the record, I set this post up two days ago, which you can see on the dates of the image links. I did not pick the day Leonard Nimoy dies as the day to flog a text-based Star Trek game. How insensitive would that be? 😦

1 thought on “trek73: The best part is the site that hosts it

  1. mulenmar

    I definitely agree with you about *this* version of trek73. The version I’m used to is the MS-DOS version (also on that site) in dosbox. While it doesn’t have the constantly-on-screen display, it does have a command to list all commands (32). You only have to deal with the difficulty inherent to the game mechanics.

    As for the C/curses version . . . there’s a reason some software doesn’t get packaged. Anywhere. Nobody likes it. 😛

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