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Cart #startrek1978-1 | 2021-04-12 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

Star Trek txt game ported to PICO-8

I'm finally happy to post the final release of my adaptation to PICO-8 of the 1978 game "Super Star Trek". The original game was written by Bob Leedom and David Ahl and published in the book BASIC COMPUTER GAMES - Microcomputer Edition. It was an early example of a space turn-based strategy game, and it was entirely text-based.

The original game was based on a CLI and text parser. This version is entirely based on a graphic user interface and can be controlled with the PICO-8 buttons, so it's a big change. But I'm very happy because I kept most of the original gameplay and mechanics intact. At the same time, I added music and animations. Besides, it's my first PICO-8 game!

How to play

  • use ⬅️➡️ to select a command, and 🅾️ to confirm. Normally ❎ cancels a command.
  • your goal is to destroy all Klingons before time is over. Time passes when you warp to a new sector;
  • you start in a random sector. There are 64 of them divided into an 8x8 grid;
  • first of all, use the long-range sensor scans (LRS) to see if there are Klingons in the surrounding sectors - unless you start the game in a sector with Klingons, in this case, you can attack directly (see later);
  • with LRS, you will see a number for each sector. The first digit is the number of Klingon ships, the second the number of starbases, and the third the number of stars. Eg "205" means there are 2 enemy ships;
  • if you have identified a sector with Klingons, use WRP to see the map and select the sector you want to jump, then press Z to go there;
  • before attacking, you need to raise your shields. Use SHE to divert energy to shields; a value such as 500 should be fine;
  • if there is only one ship, it's a good idea to use photon torpedoes because they don't consume energy. You will have to select the torpedo course;
  • if there are multiple targets, select the phasers. Select the energy you want to use for the phasers and fire. Phasers attack all enemy targets automatically; if you are attacking multiple enemies, the energy will be split, so use more energy when attacking more than one ship;
  • after you have attacked, the remaining Klingons will attack you;
  • you will notice that energy will be consumed quite soon. You need to find a starbase to replenish your energy. Once you have found a sector with a base, use the impulse engines to go close to a starbase and then dock (DCK);
  • ship devices can be damaged during fights, this will affect the behavior of weapons, shields, sensors, etc. Docking at a starbase will automatically repair your systems
  • The game generates a random captain name at the beginning of the game, and stores it on the cartdata together with your hi-score. If you win, the game will show both your score and the hi-score. If you want to reset the hi-score, open options, and select "new captain". This will reset the hi-score and generate a new name.
  • There are 4 difficulty levels from 1 to 4. By default, the game is set to 3. If you find it too difficult or too easy, open the options and select "more difficult"/"less difficult".

I hope you like it, and let me know your comments.

UPDATE 1.01:

  • Now you can use UP and DOWN to raise/drop shields faster
  • You can now press 🅾️ during the title screen to show all the text, then press again to continue.

More info about the original game:

P#90275 2021-04-09 15:25 ( Edited 2021-04-12 21:49)


This is super neat! Very straight to the point game once you get acquainted with the controls. Great port too! The animations are simple enough to not distract from the game but also get you the information you need.
Thanks for sharing this with us :D

EDIT: oooh baby I got killed twice for the same reason: everytime I dock to replenish my ship, my shield drops to 0 and I don't realize it. That's rough. But I'll get through it!

P#90286 2021-04-09 17:00 ( Edited 2021-04-09 19:18)

LOL, yes, it happens! I thought about automatically restoring the shields after docking, but I decided to stay faithful to the original game in the end.

P#90299 2021-04-09 19:44

WOW, well done
Love it how you revamped this forgotten classic :)

P#90306 2021-04-10 01:08

Completed it with just a day to spare! Really great, love the idea of reviving text-based games with just enough sound and graphics to make clear what's going on. I've never seen star trek but based on your cart I assume it's about a spaceship doing genocide.

P#90316 2021-04-10 08:17

Ahaha yes, this is a thing that always troubled me. The plot says you have to kill them before they reach the HQ (Earth) but as a matter of fact, they don't move and don't attack unless you disturb them. Picard would never do this.
Besides, the fact that the Enterprise alone can defeat 20-30 Klingon ships is really unrealistic.
Anyway, that was the original idea, who am I to discuss it :)

P#90317 2021-04-10 08:53
:: dw817

Quite possible the greatest turn-based game of all time, @emabolo. Thank you David H Ahl for your years of dedication in the very first videogames ever written for computers.

Suggest you have up and down arrow keys active in selecting a field area such as shields.

LEFT and RIGHT, same speed as is.
UP and DOWN, 10x that speed.

P#90328 2021-04-10 18:38

Ah, that's a very good idea. I'll do it soon. Thanks!

P#90355 2021-04-11 14:09

Hi! This game is really addicting hahahahaha

I had a mission going pretty well, but whe I went to a starbase to dock, my docking port was too damaged for it. Does that mean I have no more way of docking, or is there any way to heal a specific device like the docking port so that I can use the starbase again?

EDIT: My question still stands, but I just started a new mission and finally beat it! Took me 4 tries to do it, but Captain Tosz was successful! Thank you for introducing me to this game, emabolo :D

P#90400 2021-04-12 14:24 ( Edited 2021-04-12 14:48)

I'm glad you like it, FlyingSmog!
Every day there is a chance that one of the damaged systems is repaired, so the only possible strategy is to warp to other sectors until the docking port is repaired. But considering that you don't have many days to waste (at least at difficult level 3), if your energy is almost depleted and the docking port is damaged, you don't have much hope.

Damage to the systems plays a vital role in this game. In my version, I tried to change the math a bit so that it's less random and more related to the hits received by enemy ships. But sometimes, I miss the totally random events of the original game. Like, you reach a new sector filled with Klingons, and for no reason, the screen stops working, and you are blind. I wanted to work more on this aspect, but I used almost all the 8192 tokens, so I think the game mechanics are going to stay like this :)

P#90401 2021-04-12 15:34

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