I originally played Starflight on my friend's Sega Genesis when it was first released in that format in 1991, I would go over to his house as much as possible to get a chance to play the game since he refused to lend it to me. This ultimately resulted in me having to hunt down the IBM version and beg my parents to buy it for me. Even today I still go back and play it every year or so.
Starflight begins with leaving you mostly in the dark on events currently unfolding in the galaxy. You find yourself on Arth, an underground colony of humans that survived the fall of Earth and the Old Empire after the Great Interstellar War recently after the rediscovery of interstellar space flight and endurium fuel. You are given a ship, some money, some fuel, and told to hire and train a crew then go out and gather information.
The game has an open universe that allows the player to ultimately do as they want... (with some consequences for taking riskier chances such as running out of fuel, pissing off alien cultures, or exploding death) plumbing the depths of the game through interspecies interaction, mining, and exploration; reveals an interweaving layer of plot that links the past to present events. With two hundred and seventy star systems and a bunch of strange alien races it offers lengthly play and good replayability.
In the beginning of Starflight you are ultimately trying to make the money and get the fuel to simply keep exploring, through mining, finding potential worlds to colonize, trading with other species, capturing life form samples and dragging back ancient artifacts to base. But as you continue to upgrade your vessel and understand the galaxy around you, an emergency in your home system forces you to walk in the shoes of your long dead ancestors from Earth in order to learn their history, in order to make sure Arth isn't doomed to repeat it.
The EGA graphics and sound (IBM speaker only) are great for the time the game was released by Electronic Arts in 1989. Control is through an easy keyboard interface. As for the rest, plot, gameplay, and the "Star Trek feel" hold up to the test of time in entertainment value. It is one of my favorite games of all time, and thus I am forced to give it a rating of five.
Final note, never use the quit without saving option, as it will mess up your game files making you reinstall to start over.
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