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First started in late 2007, Kasey's Mobile Game Review (then just a regular feature of Kasey's Korner) started as a simul-post between here and IGN. Later I realized there's no reason to post it twice, when I can use the traffic on my own site. so, here we are, in 2010, and the mobile game industry has grown a bit. What do you think?

KMGR of "Star Trek"

Enterprise replica in VulcanImage via Wikipedia

EA managed to snag the Star Trek mobile game license. And what did they produce? A Galaga clone. No, I'm NOT kidding.

You control the "Enterprise". Your "campaign" consists of 12 missions divided into three race campaigns, against Klingons, Cardasians,and Romulans. And all you do is destroy/destroy/destroy. You can earn "stars" by completing special mission objectives, such as "kill all squadron leaders" or "kill 80% of all enemy ships", and so on Three stars per mission... First one is just finish the mission. 2nd is moderately difficult, but doable after a bit of practice. Last one is downright difficult. You can also get stars for special achievements, but those would be extremely difficult, such as "getting through all four Klingon missions without a restart". The stars can then be redeemed for ship upgrades.

There are four areas of the ship to upgrade: torpedoes, phasers, shields, and tractor beams. Each can be upgraded three times, at considerably cost. First level is just 1 star, second level is 3 stars... Third level is 5 stars. As you can get a max of 3 stars per mission, and some objectives are just about impossible to accomplish, you will have to pick and choose. However, the top level upgrades are very powerful. Top level tractor beam will grab smaller enemy ships and either toss them away, or toss them into other enemy ships. Top level torpedo are homing, which follows the target. However, those require FIVE stars to get, and requires previous level upgrade.

So you move the Enterprise up and down, left and right. Torpedoes and phasers fire automatically. Enemies move up and down the screen, left and right, diving and swooping. Klingon Birds of Prey, Cardassian Hideki fighters... then later you run into larger ships... Klingon K't'inga and Vor'cha cruisers, Cardassian Keldons... stationary defense turrets and barrier lasers.... The screen can get VERY busy, esp. when some enemy ships seem to be kamikazes... until you study their pattern and avoid their paths.

You pick up powerups too. Deflector shields bounced enemy shots back at them. Torpedoes and phaser enhances your ship. Your tractor beam pulls in goodies, either repair kits or enemy survivors from wreckage. Repair kits help you restore ship, while crew gives you extra points. Wingmen gives you two smaller ships that flies in formation with you shooting torpedoes, while phasers and or torpedoes gives you an extra weapon (until you are hit 3 times). You can also pick up chain phaser or homing torpedo powerups, but those are short duration. You also pick up special weapons, such as EMP bomb. When things are desperate, you can activate the special weapons, if you have any left. EMP Bomb, erases all the shots on screen as well as freezes all enemies on screen. The ultimate would be the phaser cannon, which basically is a death beam... Just sweep it across the screen, and it will wipe out enemy shots as well as enemies. Unfortunately it only last about 10 seconds. :D

And this game is all action. All shot avoidance. It really is a Galaga clone, albeit pretty. Enemies come in very predictable pattern, though the shots are aimed at you, so by staying in particular place and move at the last second you can avoid a lot of the shots. The trick is, of course, to not get killed. Killing enemies is almost secondary. Those upgrades does come in handy at later levels, as you are able to engage more targets at once.

All in all, Star Trek the game is basically a Galaga clone, albeit with a bit of Star Trek trappings. It's not really in the spirit of Star Trek, but it is a pretty decent shooter. While some sections are nearly impossible without the right upgrades, the "dreaded" Romulan campaign turned out to be a breeze. Graphics are quite good for a mobile, but it has two large black borders on either side of the screen, and that's bad. Sound is okay, and vibrations are just simple shakes when a big enemy ship gets destroyed, nothing else. This game is a compentent shooter, and nothing more.

Overall rating: 6.5 out of 10.
Pros: good graphics, good challenges at each level
Cons: it's STILL a glorified Galaga (tm), nothing more

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