Saturday, July 6, 2013

Advertisements for a pair of 1980s Star Trek games

We're on a robust "Star Trek" kick these past few months in our family. It was kickstarted by Sarah's anticipation for "Star Trek into Darkness"1 and our subscription to Netflix, which allows us to watch all of the TV series and most of the theatrical films.

Sarah started with The Original Series, devouring many of those episodes. She is now moving into the Next Generation episodes, discovering the world of Picard, Data, Q and the Borg.

With Space and The Final Frontier in mind, here are a pair of advertisements for Star Trek-themed games from the February 1983 issue of Dragon magazine.

Star Trek: The Role Playing Game

This game was published by FASA from 1982 to 1989. The basic game cost $25 and was known, among other things, for playing a little fast and loose with Star Trek canon.

Star Trek: The Correspondence Game

This game, from ECI, was part of the genre of play-by-mail games that was popular before computers and the instantaneous-communication nature of the Internet took over the world. It offered players an opportunity to use their imagination as they captained their own Federation starship.

According to the advertisement, game play consisted of:
  • Each move we send will be a complete narrative description of what happened as a result of your last actions!
  • You'll get a ship status report, detailing Crew Status, Department Status, Technical Status and Damage Control Reports!
  • You will be able to write THREE PAGES of description for ANY ACTION YOU WISH TO PERFORM!! You can use any or all of your crew at YOUR DISCRETION! There are NO special action charges, no limits on what YOU can decided to do!!!
  • Each month you'll receive a newsletter telling the stories of the most exciting adventures, giving hints on play, and sometimes running contests with cash prizes!!

Certainly a different world of gaming than today's button- and click-driven world of videogames and computer games.

If you have any memories or insights regarding these games, share them in the comments section!

1. I thought "Star Trek into Darkness" was entertaining, but was disappointed by its lack of originality and its need to restage key moments from a certain classic movie.

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