The Ninjabot

Star Trek Trexels Review – To Boldly Go Into a Pixel Universe

Posted on February 11, 2014 at 7:00 am by Amanda Andonian

star-trek-trexels

From [x]cube GAMES and YesGnome, LLC, Star Trek Trexels is a free-to-play (FTP) style mobile game for iOS. You get to explore the Star Trek universe in your pixel Federation ship, forming away teams to go on missions and exploring the galaxy. It capitalizes on every Star Trek fan’s love of the series with little nods to The Original Series and The Next Generation, full of fun references and featuring incredible music from the series. Plus, there’s a cool narration at the beginning by George Takei!

Tap Tap Tap Gameplay

For those familiar with games like Farmville, you’ll feel right at home in Star Trek Trexels. The core game mechanic is resource building, collecting “command,” “research,” and “power” which you spend on things like building new rooms on the ship, training your officers, and launching exploratory missions. Commanding the away missions is probably the most interesting and fun part of the game, and I wish that it had been built out a little more. Most of the time, you assemble a team to go down to a planet, but you don’t even get to see the action. Instead, you just read a report of what happened, receiving XP or additional resources at the end of it.

star-trek-trexels

Free To Play? Not Entirely

The game almost gleefully puts wait timers on literally everything that you do. Not only do you need to wait for your resources to generate, but once you’ve finally saved up enough to build a new room, you then need to wait (sometimes hours) for that room to be created. The grind didn’t become easier to manage for me until around level 16 because the cost of training, building rooms, and exploring increases exponentially, as do the wait times.

The single-most annoying aspect of all FTPs, however, is the fact that of course it’s not really free to play. You have to buy the game, for one thing, and it’s so full of in-app purchases that you begin to feel like maybe you do need to spend more money to progress. One particularly difficult resource to amass in Trexels is dilithium, which is used for everything from clearing out wait timers to building “premium” rooms and training officers. As with anything in FTPs that speeds things up, you only get enough in the beginning to hook you on its usefulness before you run out and start to feel the pressure of needing more.

How can you get more? Either by leveling up (after which you receive one dilithium) or by spending countless hours playing the astroid shooting mini-game and collecting the one dilithium that drops every once in a while. Oh, and of course paying $4.99 for 25 dilithium, which is a pretty expensive price point considering how much of the stuff you need for certain actions. Hope you have a strength of will that the gods envy, because you’ll definitely need it to stop yourself from buying fake currency with real money.

star-trek-trexels

That’s Not Canonical!

Some other pet peeves of mine included the unrepentant mix of The Original Series with The Next Generation. While the ship is clearly TOS era, the interface is TNG. I understand why they made that choice since the TNG-era LCARS (Library Computer Access/Retrieval System) interface is so iconic, and there was basically no interface in TOS. They explain it away by saying it’s a brand new upgrade to the ship, but it still irked me since the rest of the design of the ship is so clearly TOS right down to the bridge and the uniforms (buy the TNG era uniform pack for only $9.99!). Of course, there are also a number of rooms available to build that weren’t introduced until the later series (such as the holodeck), but what Star Trek fan doesn’t want a holodeck on their ship? Finally, the sounds! They’re almost all TNG sound effects, and they’re not even used properly! You can’t use the door chime for communications alerts, guyssssssss. End nerd rant.

Overall Thoughts

Unless you possess the patience and will power that Farmville type gameplay requires, or you’re a massive Star Trek fan (like me), then you’re not going to get much out of Star Trek Trexels. Despite my annoyance with the in-app purchases (which I refuse to give into), I have to admit that I’m hooked. I pull out my iPad every 15 minutes to collect my resources, and I’m constantly thinking about how best to manage my resources. The assignments help drive the direction of play as well, so I never feel like I’m (completely) spinning my wheels. Although the inconsistencies as far as canon go might be a teeny bit annoying for the hardcore Trekker, the spirit of the series is alive and well in Trexels. So if you’re dying for a trip down memory lane, you can grab Star Trek Trexels in the Apple App Store for $2.99.

Presentation: 10
Gameplay: 5
Replay Value: 8
Legacy Score: 7.6

Geek Legacy’s review scores are on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest possible score.

This review is based on the retail copy of Star Trek Trexels provided by YesGnome LLC and available on iOS.

You can follow Amanda on Twitter at @reiko516 for more geek news.

    Sharing the Legacy on Flickr

    See all photos