advertising information
   personal technology

 custom news
 Headline News brief
 daily almanac
 CNN networks
 CNN programs
 on-air transcripts
 news quiz

CNN Websites
 video on demand
 video archive
 audio on demand
 news email services
 free email accounts
 desktop headlines

 message boards




Star Trek: Birth of the Federation

by Nash Werner


Star Trek: The Next Generation - Birth of the Federation by MicroProse

Would you rather be Federation, a Romulan, a Klingon, a Ferengi, or a Cardassian?

View Results


April 14, 1999
Web posted at: 10:20 a.m. EDT (1420 GMT)

(IDG) -- Enough is enough. Surely my fellow Trekkers are just as bored with all the Star Trek games that've been released. Over the years, we've tolerated puzzle-minded adventure games, so-so flight-combat games, and a first-person shooter. What's next, a computerized version of the Star Trek: The Next Generation Collectible Card Game? I don't want another Magic: The Gathering Online.

We need a flagship gaming experience on par with Civilization II. I want to build my own Federation starships (lots of them!), outfit them, and send them straight into Romulan space with a dire message: "Listen up, you Klingon lapdogs. Your pitiful existence has gone on long enough!"

Luckily, I'm not the only one who wants to crush those backstabbing Romulans. It seems a development team at MicroProse has been working on Star Trek: The Next Generation--Birth of the Federation, a new Trek-based empire builder built upon the foundation set by MicroProse's Civ II and Master of Orion II. This turn-based strategy game will allow players to build empires and eventually defeat neighboring races.

In BOF, players can choose to play one of five major powers: the Federation, Romulans, Klingons, Ferengi, or Cardassians. And you'll be able to take full advantage of each race's specific attributes as you build your empire. Build up a totalitarian Klingon empire devoid of any diplomacy, if you wish. Or establish a Ferengi trading coalition, with the hopes of one day buying off your enemies.
Star trek
Deep space battle in Star Trek universe   

The possibilities are endless; you may even feel some strange desire to play as the Romulans, building a cowardly armada of cloaked starships. Who knows? In your hands, the Romulans might actually be trustworthy.

When five playable races doesn't seem vast enough, you'll discover the game's NPCs (non-player characters)--up to 30 of them! Better yet, each of these races interacts with the galaxy as the game progresses, resulting in both positive and (often) negative effects on play. You'll see NPCs like the Bynars, the Sheliak, and the Tamarians, to name a few. You'll find most of these minor cultures as you explore the galaxy, while others, like the Borg, will find you. Staying true to the series, the Borg will basically come in and really make life difficult for the players.

  Download free PC software fast
  Cheat codes! Never die! Gain secret powers!
  More games reviews at
 Reviews & in-depth info at's desktop PC page's portable PC page's Windows software page's personal news page
  Questions about computers? Let's editors help you
  Subscribe to's free daily newsletter for computer geniuses (& newbies too)
  Search in 12 languages
 News Radio
  Fusion audio primers
  Computerworld Minute

The game's interface has been spruced up a bit in comparison to Master of Orion II's; at first glance, you'll notice a strong Trek-ish look and feel to each button, menu, and panel. From the Federation's pastel rainbow-colored consoles to the Klingons' foreboding red controls, BOF really helps you feel at home with each of the major races.

The biggest addition to the interface is the floating control panel, a new feature that can be accessed anytime, anywhere by right-clicking your mouse. It quickly pops up and gives you access to crucial commands, then goes into hiding when you close it. And it's small enough to avoid obstructing your game screen. A marvelous feature indeed.

Yet, all the new features in the world won't save your Romulan ass when playing BOF multiplayer games via a LAN or the Internet. As multiplay goes, you'll be able to hook up with five other talking monkeys for some serious group empire-building. And as in MOO II, trading, diplomacy, and combat are always more exhilarating when it's real life opponents who are on the line.

So there you have it--no more silly adventure games. No more silly MOO II debates over what the best custom-built race is (well, I'm afraid we'll always have silly MOO II debates over races), and no more rumors of a Star Trek strategy game. Yes, it's been a long time coming, but Trekkers finally have a strategy game to call their own. Look for BOF to hit store shelves in June.

Top 10 hot screen savers
April 6, 1999
Civilization: Call to Power has history in its corner
March 26, 1999
Flying the unfriendly skies of history
February 26, 1999
Surfing Silicon Valley: Say yes to games on the Mac!
January 8, 1999

Star Trek: Starship Creator
Braveheart offers two games in one
EverQuest beginner strategy guide
Imperialism II: Age of Exploration released
Strategy guide: SimCity 3000

Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

MicroProse, Inc.
Official "Star Trek: Birth of the Federation" site
Official Star Trek site

Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

Enter keyword(s)   go    help

Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.