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 that was entirely text-based.

I first 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 six buttons only.

How to play:

  • Use ⬅️➡️ (cursor keys) to select a command and Z to confirm. Usually, 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 that 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. E.g., "205" means there are two 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 500-900 should be acceptable;
  • 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 be able to fire torpedoes, but the Klingons will attack after your movement; up to you to decide;
  • 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, affecting 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 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 four 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 four or reduce to less than 1, the game will ignore you.

If you liked this game, don't forget to try my other version Super Star Trek meets 25th Anniversary.

Rated 4.3 out of 5 stars
(10 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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A beautiful version!  Nice and clean!

Thank you Koloth!

Awesome remake of the super star trek game!
In fact it's better even my previous favorite remake (EGA Trek - yes that DOS remake ;-) ) with way better controls (especially the torpedo targeting) and streamlined UI.
The only improvement I could think is making the battles tactical instead of them be based on resource management (energy & torpedoes) something that, to be fair, even the original game lacked.


Thank you! If you liked this PICO8 version, I recommend you play my other version (Star Trek 1978 meets 25th anniversary). Exactly the same mechanics, but you are inside the bridge of the Enterprise with Kirk and Spock.

The improvement you suggest is a significant change: early games like Star Trek, Hammurabi, etc., were based on resource management. Changing this means changing the game's core. Anyway, the idea is interesting, I could do it in a sequel. Any specific suggestions about how to add a tactical element?

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I already tried the 25th anniversary version which is also excellent.
I still prefer this version since I like the simpler UI, not to mention it can be played only with keyboard.
As far the tactical element I was thinking (as a fellow game dev) about a more puzzle tactics mechanics similar to  Hoplite Android game where each turn in combat the player choose and do one action like
- move & attack adjacent enemies (this can easily be translated to move & fire phasers)
- shoot spear (fire a torpedo - limited in number)
- use abilities that require energy (, etc. (maybe some form of short range warp to get you out of trouble)
After the player perform his action each enemy either move (if not in range) or attack
- some attack in melee (or phaser like weapon in this case)
- some attack from afar if you are in range of their attack (each type has different paterns to determine range) (enemy could shoot their own torpedoes)
only the player has more than 1 health (or hull/shields in this case).
the enemies' movement don't need to use intelligence and the enemies could  just try to get in range (the reason of calling it puzzle tactics)
The player could use the different planets to avoid enemy's attacks (break light of sight) while launching his own.

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Nice! I see what you mean. There are already a few tactical choices you can take right now because stars block torpedoes, and phasers' damage decreases with distance, so in some cases, it can be helpful to move the enterprise and then attack. And, of course, you must do it when phasers are damaged, and a star blocks torpedoes. But in reality, you don't need it so often because Klingons are pretty easy to kill. The truth is your only enemy is time. That's why the 25th Anniversary is slightly better than this one in terms of challenge and balance because I fine-tuned the damage algorithm, made the Klingons less easy to kill, and a few other details. I still have to port the improvements to the PICO8 version.

However, your idea is interesting; I'll see if I can create a spinoff with different battle mechanics. You will be the first to test it ;)

Nice! I will love to check it out when released!
I am using a similar mechanics to make a similar game to Star Trek game but instead of free roaming about the galaxy the player take missions (aka a series of sector encounters). Originally the idea was to be released at last year 7DRL  but I didn't manage to find the time, maybe this year ;-)
But the mechanics could easily work with the original style of gameplay with the player trying to find and kill the enemies before a date.


I know, right? Side projects are always difficult to complete :) Let me know when I can test it. I'll let you know when I finish mine.

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I love this game so much, I made an account just to let you know how great this game is, I a suggestion too, every time you fire a photon torpedo, or your phasers, there should be the phaser sound effect, and a torpedo sound effect, also, is there a way to download this?

Thanks! I'm so glad you liked it. Sounds effects would be fantastic; I'll see what I can do :)

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