Dragon 32 Universe

Go Boldly In Reverse

I must confess to some considerable surprise that anybody should wish to re-release two games that never made it into the charts originally. These were both put out by Trojan in 19B2, both written in Basic and no attempt appears to have been made to update them. Space Trek is still in the original form, still contains the unforgettable double 'n' in enginneer (Once I couldn't spel enginneer - now I are one!) in the instructions, and unfortunately is as bad as ever. The screen display is too small, totally confusing and the temptation to press the BREAK key is almost unbearable. The game can be played with a joystick or keyboard and adds the comment in the instructions that "This may seem a little difficult at first, but it will only take a few minutes to get used to it".

The object is to destroy all the Trojans in the galaxy in a given time with the aid of a battle computer which will automatically fire the ship's phaser banks when you place the ship in set positions in relation to the Trojans, i.e. from the four conrners and the four sides. There is a range scanner to enable you to see the content of any space quadrant up to seven quadrants until the scanner is damaged when its range decreases rapidly. In order to proceed through the galaxy and reach the objective you have, of course, both impulse drive and warp drive, energy shields and 'dilithium crystals' to take to the star bases, and finally a considerable assistance, to have a pencil and paper to note the positions of the star bases, planets, etc.

Unfortunately for this version of Space Trek both Salamander and Wintersoft produced versions called Dragon Trek; Salamander with a twelve page flight manual, and Wintersoft one much nearer to the original, both of them superior to this. But all three are infinitely forgettable when 'boldly going' in front of an episode of the TV series.

Reversi or Othello as it is sometimes known is perhaps worth a re-issue if coupled with a chess or draughts game as a twosome, but it appears to me a peculiar choice to partner with Space Trek. However, the game is very well displayed: black is blue, but the graphics are splendid. The computer's game is a little slow even with the speed poke and it seems to spend a lot of time 'thinking'. There are four levels of skill, the first of whfch is rather easy as I beat the computer by a wide margin. Armed with a false sense of complacency, I immediately jumped to the hardest level where my ego was dealt a severe blow! This program is superior to the Oasis version which only had two skill levels and I found it quite absorbing. My wife usually beats me at the board game itself, so I have to lose gracefully; with the computer I can turn it off and not tell anyone!

As a whole for those who do not have other versions Preston are to be congratulated for producing a package cheaply, but I feel their later disc package of earlier games are better value for money, and perhaps a better choice. Only one dragon for Space Trek, three for Reversi and four for Preston themselves for offering the re-runs for those who missed the originals. I would suggest that they improve the presentation. Cheapness is no excuse for obvious spelling mistakes!