Posted on 03 Feb 2018 by Jay Shaw

History Time: EGATrek

In this instalment of History Time we’re taking a look at one specific game, EGATrek. Somewhat in relation to our previous exploration of PLATO first-person games, EGATrek has its roots in the same era with the creator, Nels Anderson, directly attributing the creation of EGATrek to his experience playing Star Trek on college computers in the mid-1970’s. So let’s dive into what the game is before we get to the interview Nels was kind enough to do.

Firstly, EGATrek is my favourite Star Trek game – others have captured the burden of command extremely well, like Bridge Commander but for me the boot up and go nature of EGATrek trumps them all. Now we’ve got that out of the way, let’s open up DOSBox and settle into our command chair to get some redshirt widows a nice settlement payment for the wrongful death of their spouses. Oh, wait, the Federation has done away with currency. Uh, I guess we can send them a nice pineapple or a squash maybe.

Right away you’re treated to the wonderful title screen with a blocky looking USS Lexington laying into a much smaller vessel like a schoolyard bully. That’s going to be a running theme if you choose the lower difficulty settings. However, for now you’re going to want to move on rather quickly because the title screen also treats you to EGATrek‘s one weak point, the music. It starts out well enough for a game of its era but rapidly becomes grating. Sorry, Nels, I just don’t like it!

Hitting any key will take you to your first choice; whether to take part in a briefing or not. Hitting yes will, predictably, take you into a briefing where you learn you’ve been given command of the USS Lexington and are told about the current state of the galaxy – long story short, the Mongols are blowing up Union stuff and it’s your