Last month, Scopely’s Star Trek Fleet Command celebrated its 5-year Anniversary.
For those of you who haven’t tried out Star Trek Fleet Command (available for Android, Apple iOS, Mac OS & Windows), it’s a mobile strategy game published by Scopely & CBS Interactive. When the game first launched, visually, it centered around the crew, ships, and content associated with the Star Trek 2009 rebooted series of movies that starred Chris Pine as a young James T. Kirk.
Over the course of the ensuing five years, quite a bit of content has been added to the game to bring together both the Kelvin and the Prime timelines. From new missions involving the ships & characters from Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Voyager along with the recent additions on Paramount+ of Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Picard, Star Trek: Lower Decks & Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. They’ve done a nice job in incorporating all the various characters & ships we’ve gotten to know over the last 50+ years.
Players are urged to form and join alliances to claim territories, mine resources & materials used for constructing & upgrading new ships and buildings within your station, and also compete against one another in specialized daily events.
For as much fun content as there is included in the game, it’s certainly not without its flaws.
While new content is constantly being released, often the updates tend to be quite buggy, which is cause for Scopely to be forced to take the game down for hours on end and have to compensate players for missed time. Also, while I’m sharing gripes as it pertains to Scopely if you go to the site for the game, there are cut scenes displayed which form quite a high expectation for the gameplay. From animated scenes of Jean-Luc Picard giving the order to “Engage” to intense close-ups of a Cardassian Captain that simply does not exist within the actual game.
The site is quite misleading! How Scopely hasn’t gotten in trouble for this at any point over the last five years is beyond me. On top of that, the online store for the game for players to purchase various add-ons tends to be quite a bit pricier than many other games that I play on my phone. Instead of your typical microtransactions of a few dollars, Star Trek Fleet Command’s price scale for game enhancements ranges from $10, $20, $50 & $100!
Now that’s not to say that you don’t get a lot of loot in these add-ons, but those prices certainly can be quite steep! Of course, you can achieve most goals in the game by not paying a dime, but it’ll take you significantly longer. There’s really no denying that this game is a money-grab for Scopely.
On top of that, one of the aspects of gameplay is in raiding other players’ bases for resources! The first time my base got raided, all I could think of was Gene Roddenberry’s utopian view of a future where everyone eventually gets along, finding commonalities in diplomatic, peaceful discussions. Gene would be rolling over in his grave knowing that his creation was being sullied like this!
This is why I don’t necessarily consider this game to be true to the “Trek” ethos. Is it fun? Sure it is, but I like to consider it to exist in an alternate universe of Star Trek where all the ships and characters are present, however, that’s about the extent of the similarities.