This is a PICO-8 conversion 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.

Some months ago I converted the original BASIC code to LUA, but porting it to PICO-8 was a different type of challenge. In the original game, you enter commands like NAV, LRS, SHE, etc. When you move the ship or fire torpedoes, you have to enter the direction in polar coordinates, and so on. It's entirely keyboard-based. Clearly, this had to be changed because PICO-8 doesn't have a keyboard. The game must be controlled with 6-buttons only.

How to play:

  • use ⬅️➡️ (cursor keys) to select a command, and Z to confirm. Normally X 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 is a star between you and the enemy, the torpedo won't work; you can try to move using impulse engines to able to fire torpedoes, but the Klingons will attack after your movement, so normally it's better to use phasers in this cases;
  • if you try to use warp engines while you are under attack, Klingons will fire before you leave the sector;
  • 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 PICO-8 memory 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 (with "P" or clicking the pause icon) 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". If you try to increase more than 4 or reduce to less than 1, the game will ignore you.

Looking forward to receiving your comments.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 stars
(5 total ratings)
Made withPICO-8
TagsPICO-8, Remake, Retro, Sci-fi, Space, Turn-based Strategy
Average sessionA few minutes
InputsKeyboard, Gamepad (any)

Development log


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JESUS CHRIST THIS IS GOOD. Honestly kind of addicting. Well done!

I'm glad you like it! If you have suggestions, let me know!

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This is beyond excellent! I discovered the original game just today, and having a blast. But now, after playing your version, didn't know my day could get any better.

Thanks a lot for your comment. I really appreciate it. I wanted to add some more features, but I used almost all the PICO-8 tokens. Let's see what I can do in the future :)

LOVE THIS. Thanks for satisfying my Star Trek and pico-8 fanboy needs. <3

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Thank you! I'm glad you like it. I'll post my text-only version too sooner or later.

Nice. I've got a Star Trek text adventure on my page. You play as Miles O'Brien attending Worf's "bachelor party".

Oh for heavens