Game Reviews

Star Trek Trexels

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Star Trek Trexels

I've already explained on these pages why The Next Generation is better than the original Star Trek.

But there's no denying that Kirk, Spock, Uhura, and the gang are the most iconic of the Starfleet crews, as is the architecture of the Enterprise and the planets visited by the Federation.

Perhaps this is why YesGnome appears to have based the visuals of Star Trek Trexels on the earlier adventures? Or perhaps the relatively simplistic structure of the early episodes lends itself better to quick bursts of gameplay.

Who knows?

Well, I will soon, and so will you, because I'm spending a week with the game and reporting my findings here.

First impressions

Star Trek Trexels revels in the old school.

It takes most of its visual cues from The Original Series. A lot of the interface design, the character's costumes, the oooohWOOOO... woo woo woo woo woo... - it's all very James, and not very Jean-Luc.

It stars George Takei as a narrator, there are apparently set to be many appearances from past Star Trek characters, and the setup is classic Trek: a Federation ship is destroyed by a mysterious race of beings after it encounters them within the Trexelian Expanse, at which point your ship is sent to investigate.

Trexels has a good pretext for using familiar themes, but its derivative gameplay is less forgivable. It borrows from card battlers like Rage of Bahamut (tapping a button to progress through a single-player campaign) and from building-management games like Tiny Tower.

Not bad games to crib from, but they're not exactly fresh ideas either.

Day 3: To boldly go

I've been on away missions with my crew, getting into fights and then later negotiating intensely with Klingons. I've started building up my ship with all sorts of special rooms that increase my soft currencies of Command, Power, and Research. I'm exploring the recently discovered planet of Chonon. I've hired Pavel Chekov. I'm doing well.

Captain Tevik and his crew may be probing into areas where "no one has gone before", but there's an easygoing and relaxed atmosphere here.

Completing missions is a simple case of tapping Energy crystals and then pressing a prompt to progress further through the campaign, all the while monitoring two meters and ensuring the one signifying progress is ahead of the one denoting damage.

New rooms take a while to build and upgrade, so the construction period presents you with a good opportunity to collect resources being produced in other rooms, or take part in the space combat mini-game in which you blast approaching space debris in exchange for resources.

I quite like the speed at which things progress, but it's already very clear that Trexels is not going to be for thrill-seeking Trekkers.

Day 7: Where most people have gone before

I really like the user interface for Trexels. I remember watching the series as a younger man and thinking about how cool it must be to press all of those magical colourful touchscreen buttons.

Now I can replicate the actions of Data and co. on my iPhone. It's a tiny element of the game, but it's attention to detail like this that makes the whole experience so enjoyable.

I'm assigning crew members to rooms in my starship so that I can build up more resources, which I spend in turn on building new rooms, or going out on missions to move the story forward, or training my officers at Starfleet Academy so that they perform better on missions.

In the last few days I've fought the Borg, discovered strange artefacts, gone on missions in the Holo Deck, found new planets, and met new civilisations - in short, everything a Star Trek fan would hope for.

And Trexels is aimed squarely at these fans.

Outside of the neat design and thoughtful use of the licence, this is a slightly stingy time-sink free-to-play management game that isn't actually free to play.

There are wait timers on everything you do; resources have to be managed constantly; and you have to wait interminably for the ability to build certain rooms - unless you're willing to pay extra.

Trexels is to Star Trek fans what Tapped Out is to Simpsons fans - a branded spin on games like FarmVille, Megapolis, and Hay Day that contains just enough interesting content to justify its existence.

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Star Trek Trexels

You've played games very similar to Star Trek Trexels, but if you're a Star Trek fan, that probably shouldn't put you off too much
Peter Willington
Peter Willington
Die hard Suda 51 fan and professed Cherry Coke addict, freelancer Peter Willington was initially set for a career in showbiz, training for half a decade to walk the boards. Realising that there's no money in acting, he decided instead to make his fortune in writing about video games. Peter never learns from his mistakes.