Home About Me

DELRON

The Home of Otter Interactive Fiction


X-Trek Reviews

Author: Badman
Date: 1991
AGT


What does AIF stand for? Adult Interactive Fiction. If you likely to be offended by games with sexual content, you are advised not
to open these files.


Reviewed by Markaedw

You play the newest crew member on the Starship Enterprise from the “Star Trek – The Next Generation” television series. At the time of your arrival on board, you don’t have any assigned duties, so you just explore the ship and try to screw the female NPCs: Deanna Troi, Beverly Crusher, Tasha Yar, and Sonia Gomez.

One gameplay issue to mention: there is no “talk to NPC” command, so if you try to engage an NPC and they are not ready or want you to do something for them, they will tell you what it is if you try to have sex with them. So saying “fuck NPC” to them gets a response, even with the male NPCs.

Overall Thoughts:

This is by far one of the best X-Trek games available. The puzzles are not too hard, and for its age it holds up remarkably well. The sex is actually varied and includes the use of sex toys—something not common in the games of the time. On the downside, there are some commands that are a little difficult to use. For instance: to use the dildo you need to type “dildo NPC” and “push tits,” commands that we don’t use today and that can cause some consternation during play.

Puzzles/Gameplay:

The only real puzzle in the game surrounds something Dr. Crusher wants, and she will tell you what it is. There is no item limit so grab everything you come across. If you have taken everything, when you need something you will have it or can trade it for a more important item.

There are no dead ends and no situations where you can die, although you can win without collecting all the points. But if you looked at and picked up all the items and nailed all the girls then achieving the full score is easy.

Sex:

Granted, the sex is not as varied as we are used to now, but the scenes are good—as good as those in some of the newer games. You can ask for and give head, but the girls have only one sex command, plus use of the dildo. Still, don’t let the lack of control over the sex slow you down, because Badman wrote good scenes that make the most of the technology.


Technical:

It is difficult to tell how far the game pushes the limits of the parser. As it is one of the earliest games it should be considered a pioneer, so it gets credit there. It holds up to a lot of play despite being one of the smaller AGT games.

The one bug I found is that if you yell at an NPC too many times she may disappear.

Intangibles:

XTREK became so popular that it spawned many games and gave its name to a whole genre of IF.

Final Thoughts:

Even for being more than 10 years old (an antique for the computer age), it still has a lot of play in it. Its size and length make it great for a quickie. A must-have for any Star Trek or X-Trek fan.

Overall Score: B


Reviewed by Earl Of Kent

Well, I thought I'd start with the original, or at least the one that gave its name to our favourite newsgroup. While not the first "adult" text adventure (I believe that honor goes to "Softcore"), it certainly created a resurgence of interest in the genre. It is, though, as far as I know, the first "X-Trek" game; although the author of this work previously completed "A Night with Troi", that wasn't really a game, per se, but more of an interactive Penthouse Forum letter. This was the first actual game, with a definable goal, puzzles, and multiple Non-Player Characters.

While I'm sure it was good for it's time, it does show its age. To begin with, it was released in 1991, which put it smack dab in the middle of ST:TNG's run; there are characters in the game that probably won't be remembered by those who came to the series later. (Did anyone else have trouble remembering who Ensign Gomez was, at first?)

Also, this was the era before TADS and Inform, so the author was stuck with AGT, which has since been made obsolete by the former two authoring engines. I've never tried my hand at AGT, so I don't know what it is about it that makes it obsolete; all I know is that playing AGT games is a lot more frustrating than playing TADS or Inform games, mostly because of the recurring error messages AGT gives when it encounters verbs or objects it doesn't understand. I'll give the author the benefit of the doubt and assume that he was limited by the authoring engine.

But "obsolete" doesn't mean "no fun to play." Text adventure games, as a genre, have been obsolete for about a decade or so, but that doesn't keep us from playing them. Thankfully, it also doesn't keep authors from writing them.

Finally, in the instructions, the game mentions planned updates and revisions, but as far as I know, none were ever released. Does anyone know otherwise? If there are any other versions out there, please e-mail me.
Aesthetics

Enjoyabilty
Much to my own surprise, this game is still fun to play, if you can get past it's technical inadequacies. I had thought that, after playing more recent releases, this game wouldn't be able to hold its own. It's no technical marvel, but if that's what you're looking for, you probably shouldn't be playing AIF at all. In the same way that games like Tetris or Asteroids can be a refreshing change from modern masterpieces of entertainment software (please note tongue placed firmly in cheek), this game can be a fun break from more recent AIF titles, especially other X-trek games. In comparision with those games, in particular, it holds up pretty well. Modern X-trek authors could do themselves a favor by re-playing this game every once in a while, if for no other reason than to remind themselves 1) why they got into this genre in the first place, and 2) what a solidly built X-trek game looks like.
Score: 8

Style
Overall, the prose in the game is well-written and functional, but it's not going to win any writing awards. And while it calls itself "The X-rated ...", much of the text is really more R-rated. Actually, this works in the game's favor: instead of describing in explicit detail all the "action" that takes place, it often lets the player imagine the specifics. Many other X-trek games, while more explicit, use prose that is so ridiculous that it makes the scenes less erotic, rather than more. In other words, I'd rather have less explicit, but better written, sex scenes as opposed to more explicit but downright laughable ones.
Score: 7

Game Mechanics

Puzzles
The puzzles in this game fairly easy and straightforward; for the most part, you can figure out what you need to do next. The only exception to this that I've found is the solution to the visor puzzle. There are no clues within the text of the game (at least, none that I've encountered) that indicate that you're supposed to give the sphere to Geordi. I don't remember how I figured this out the first time around, whether it was through a walkthrough, or by just trying to GIVE TO . Either way, I'm sure it was frustrating. The in-game 'help' system is not really all that helpful, but at least the instructions provided at the beginning of the game eliminate any inadvertant guess-the-verb puzzles. Still, given the large amount of useless items in the game, there are a lot of 'What the hell am I supposed to do with this?' puzzles.
Score: 6

Synonyms
Well, frankly, there are some problems here. A lot of items that appear in room descriptions don't register with the parser, and the parser only accepts the exact word for the item you're trying to use (instead of KNIFE for DAGGER, etc.). Still, I'm going to give the author the benefit of the doubt, and assume that this was due to limitations in the authoring tool. (Current authors take note: you will no longer be able to use this as an excuse!)
Score: 5

Story

Characters
Normally, starting with a widely-known cast of characters can be a plus, especially if the text of the game reflects those characters well. You know how Captain Picard is supposed to act, and if he acts that way in the game, it adds to the believability, not just of his character, but of the overall game itself. Here, we know all the characters (except for Gomez; I think she only appeared in two early episodes), but we are so restricted in our interactivity with them, that they are little more than cardboard cut-outs similar to the ones you used to see in the window of your local comic-book shop. For the most part, you can't talk to them, you can't show them anything (except the Atomic Dildo), and they don't do anything. Really disappointing.
Score: 3

Plot
Well, at least this game has one, but it's not much: you've essentially got to get Dr. Crusher to recommend to Troi that your temporary posting to the Enterprise be made permanent. And there's only one way to do this: by retrieving Picard's diary from his locked safe inside his locked bedroom. So, essentially, you've got to help Crusher determine whether or not Picard really likes her. Kind of reminds you of a fourth-grade crush, doesn't it? Still, this is more plot than is available in many of this game's successors.
Score: 6 (for having one)

Structure

Concept
This game is fairly open-ended. There is a set sequence of events for finishing the game, but there's no time limit, so you can wander about as you please. Even after finishing the sequence of events, the game warns you that the final event in the sequence (asking Troi for your communicator pin) will result in the game ending, so the game doesn't have to end until you're ready.
Score: 6

Execution
Unfortunately, the concept of an open-ended plotline is poorly executed in this game. You CAN repeat most events, ad infinitum, but you'd hardly WANT to; the descriptions are short and unvaried, so repeating an action will just get you the same three or four lines of text. On this point, the game is so non-linear that NPCs forget anything you've done immediately after you've done it; there's no sense of time whatsoever.
Score: 3

Technical Proficiency

Programming
While not perfect, the game is relatively bug-free. So far, I haven't encountered any programming bugs that make the game unwinnable. In fact, one "bug" keeps the game from being unwinnable even if you SHOOT GOMEZ WITH PHASER. Try doing that, then wander back up to Troi's office; if she's not there yet, come back later, and the plucky ensign will have been miraculously resurrected. On the other hand, if you try the same thing with Crusher before you give her the diary, you can't get the winning message; if you shoot her after giving her the diary, she, too, rises from the dead for the final scene. (Does this count as necrophilia?) Also, it seems that the scoring system is based more on objects you pick up and rooms you enter than in any way advancing the plot or finishing the game.
Score: 4

Syntax
For me, "X-Trek" has become associated with "bad grammar" and "poor spelling", but after re-playing this game for this review, I now realize that this association has more to do with the genre as a whole, rather than with this particular game. The item and room descriptions are relatively free of both spelling and grammatical errors; most of those I found are the kind that only an English major (or anal-retentive review-writer) would notice. Unfortunately, the automatic responses generated by the program are less perfect: "You fire at the troi with the phaser ..."
Score: 6

TOTAL SCORE: 54/100


Reviews should be considered copyrighted by their respective authors.

Any donation would be much appreciated to help keep the site online and growing.
To help make your donation quicker and easier just click the "Donate" button and you
will be taken to the secure Paypal donation page.
    Home  |  About Me