These days, there is this huge cliché that 'geeks' have to love Star Trek. And that if they don't, it has to be Star Wars instead. What a load of bollocks! Personally, I'm completely indifferent about both of them. I don't love either, I don't hate either – I just don't care, as neither ever managed to spark any heightened interest in me. Which probably makes me an less than ideal reviewer for Star Trek: 25th Anniversary. Regardless, let's see what this is.
The ('original') Enterprise, on its 'peaceful' mission (which, of course, includes the usage of both the ship's and hand weapons), is tasked by some 'Admiral' to fulfil seven tasks on different planets. Each episode is preceded by a space voyage and a space battle. Wing Commander, this is not: Raise your shields, arm your weapons and try to shoot down the washed-out-looking enemy ship using some sluggish mouse controls – while you have the choice between combining a second-rate radar with only a tiny window into space or a fullscreen view, but no radar at all, so most of the time in these 'battles' is spent aimlessly locating your opponent.
Thankfully, it all gets better once you beam down to the respective planets. The game now plays as a point & click Adventure with decent mouse controls and good graphics. You pick up items, use them in smart ways, talk to people and, meeting with aggressive aliens, have to resort to using your stunner. The puzzles are logical and mostly fairly obvious. Sometimes there are even different possible solutions to the presented problems.
So far, so good. First time players will also appreciate that the first episodes restrict the player's movements to just very few locations and other options are very limited as well and for truly sticky situations, you have an expendable cannon fodder crewmember with you, making for a good introduction. Or so one might believe. In fact, it never gets more complex or even only bigger! Each of the episodes can be solved in less than 30 minutes, making the complete game only a trifle which experience players will be able to finish in half a day. There are basically just two stumbling blocks: Frequent cases of pixel hunting (obviously bad) and the reliance of two or three puzzles on outside player knowledge of basic math and chemistry (personal preference: good).
This makes 25th Anniversary a hard game to pin down on an overall rating. Ignoring the mercifully easy (apart from the final one, which falls into the opposite extreme) and stupid space battles, the Adventure in there is really well made. The actual fans should be delighted to find all their favourite characters being portrayed fairly accurately here (in the CD version, they are even voiced by the original actors) and the episode plots, circling around the usual topics like religion/superstition, alien races and galactic politics, fit into the picture as well. However, before you know it, the end credits will roll! Sure, you will be well entertained, but for a full-priced game, this is too little quantity.