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Star Trek

For: Mobile

Phasers set to fun

Product: Star Trek (mobile) | Developer: In-house | Publisher: Electronic Arts | Format: Mobile | Genre: Action, Film/ TV tie- in, Shooter | Players: 1 | Format: J2ME | File size: 492KB | Reviewed on: N95 8GB other handsets | Version: Europe
 
Star Trek (mobile) Mobile, thumbnail 1
It's a testament to J.J. Abrams and co. that Star Trek's recent outing at the flicks manages to sidestep geekdom and appeal to anyone who likes a good adventure yarn. It really is the kind of family fiesta that could and should drag everyone out of the house for a night at the cinema.

EA's own trek across the universe doesn't quite capture that same spirit - there are no crafty one-liners or cheeky back references to the old series in this space opera.

In fact, taking on the role of a scrolling shooter means that any interaction with Kirk, Spock et al is restricted the occasional talking head, popping up mid level to let you know your weapons are back on line or that you're about to encounter an asteroid storm.

Yet despite this format, Star Trek still manages to retain one crucial element – a sense of fun.

Whilst many scrolling shooters are tougher than an old boot, Star Trek takes a slightly lighter approach - though the principle is much the same. You take control of the Enterprise and guide it around the screen using either the number keys or the D-pad.

As you might expect, there's whole legion of ships to shoot down and asteroids to avoid, but Star Trek keeps you plodding on by dropping power-ups and health boosts throughout space that you can pick up with your tractor beam.

This means that if you can hold your own the game will pull you through, but that doesn't mean there isn't a fair amount of twisting and turning to do first.

With phasers set to auto-fire (which means they latch on to the nearest foe and fire at them until they're obliterated), you take charge of the torpedoes, tapping the '5' key to fire them off in a straight line. Most of the enemies fly past in bursts and it's not actually necessary to take them all out, but doing so does eliminate a large portion of the ammunition headed your way.

A fair slice of play actually revolves around making quick decisions, rather than merely firing at everything that moves. Should you branch out and pick up the 'wingman' power-up that brings with it some invaluable back-up, for instance, when doing so will put you straight in the line of fire?

Even taking too much time to mull such quandaries over makes them null and void, the power-up in question drifting off screen or the Enterprise exploding into a thousand stars if you so much as hesitate on a single point.

And while Star Trek might go easy to begin with, the pace of it remains true to shoot-‘em-ups of all ages. Each challenge really does fly past at lightning speed with the levels on offer coming with wave after wave of different tests.

As well as merely surviving, each flight you take comes with set tasks that, if achieved, relinquish stars you can trade in for upgrades to the Enterprise’s offence or defence. It's a classic system that allows Star Trek's levels to boldly go to deeper and deeper extremes, all while keeping you in touch with a meaner and mightier Enterprise.

So while Star Trek might not deliver an exact replication of Kirk's new found youthful zest and zeal, it does serve up a true space adventure, where predictability and sterility have no place. For a franchise that's over four decades old, that's nothing to be sniffed at.
 
Star Trek
Reviewer photo
Keith Andrew | 21 May 2009
Not the most difficult shooter you'll ever face, Star Trek comes with bags full of variety and a steady sense of progression to do Captain Kirk and his crew full justice
 
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Anonymous | 15:26 - 4 June 2009
worggg will bring brutal vengeance upon thee

worggg.mybrute.com

Anonymous | 15:57 - 27 May 2009
errr... not hard!? Hello? Have you played more than 3 levels?
Anonymous | 07:07 - 22 May 2009
This is the J2ME version, not the iPhone one...