The brain and the brawn

With a new job just started, I don’t have as much time for games as before. In particular, I’m a lotless willing to try out new things, since I don’t really want to waste time learning anything (I already need to do that at work!). So it’s nice to see some games that spice things up while not requiring you to get out of your comfort zone. If that sounds totally lazy, that’s because I am such a person.

You will probably want to run the keys setup program. The default keys are 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
You will probably want to run the keys setup program. The default keys are 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. The game clearly runs in VGA, as seen in the intro and final screens, but the game interface as shown here seems to be based on EGA colors only.

Star Control has two different game modes: the melee part, where two ships dog-fight in space, and the startegy part, which I suppose is about… strategizing or something. I don’t exactly know, because I didn’t try it. I didn’t have to.

Indeed, upon starting the game, a menu will ask you whether you want to play the full experience, or just duke it out against a friend, or the CPU, in some space battles. The space battles work similarly to Asteroids, except in a competitive arena. Choose a ship, and destroy the other ship. Once a ship is destroyed, the next (different) one takes its place. This goes on until one side runs out of ships. It’s probably been cloned countless times. The ships are somewhat unbalanced, but it’s pretty fun, just like Worms was.

The Hierarchi sounds more evil, but they really are both just weird mixes of alien races.
The Hierarchy sounds more evil than the Alliance, but they really are both just weird mixes of alien races.

The full game, like I said, has full-blown star wars. But what if I’m a lazy bum, which I am? Do I miss on the full experience? Well, not entirely. I can choose to let the computer play the strategy part for me while I focus on the melee battles only. Or I could do the opposite: maybe my reflexes suck, and I only care for the strategy. No problem, let the CPU do the dirty work while I focus on napoleoning my way through.

The players screen is highly configurable: you can even choose to let two CPU players fight it out. Good for betting.
The players screen is highly configurable: you can even choose to let two CPU players fight it out. Good for betting.

Star Control, although its sequel far moreso, is also (in)famous for its copy protection system, which required items included in the big box. I have never seen it myself, since I only have the jewel box version of Star Control 3, which included 1 and 2 as well in a separate disc and no freebies. This is actually a problem because, under Windows 95, the game seems to ask those questions at the start all the time. I can’t answer them, so I’m thrown back to Windows. It does seem to work fine under DOS, though. On a more unfortunate note, I just can’t get the Adlib sound to work.

As said before, there are two sequels: Star Control 2, which is usually considered superior, but for some reason doesn’t work on my PC. And Star Control 3, which is a little weird in its movement and perspective choice. Can’t say I like it too much. Perhaps it’s just not old school enough.

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