Make It, So! Review of Star Trek: Timelines (Updated)
The Star Trek universe spans 50 years of TV series, movies, comics, countless novels and a galaxy of video games. Those games over the generations ranged from challenging strategy contests to basic fast-paced shooters. Not to mention a huge amount of knock-offs, copies, or Star Trek in Name Only games.
Disruptor Beam (creators of Game of Thrones: Ascent) has created something akin to a trading card game as your character tries to unravel a universe-wide mystery. While the space-faring graphics look great, the game's promise of multi-player and interactive combat isn't there yet, but they are promising more in the future.
For now, Star Trek: Timelines' focus is on gathering and developing a crew, as well as sending your teams to solve problems using their skill strengths and collecting new gear and equipment.
Pattern Indicates Two-Dimensional Thinking
Yes, there are ships and ship-to-ship combat in Timelines. Many of your missions will require destroying various enemies in 1-on-1 battles. But, you're not steering your ship at all. The combat is on a track with your selected crew members adding defensive or offensive abilities to give you an edge.
Each ship has it's own special ability as well. You can upgrade your original Constellation-Class cruiser (Picard's old U.S.S. Stargazer) or build another ship with a variety of 22 vessels from Klingon, Federation, Ferengi, even Borg, etc.
Assemble an Away Team
The biggest part of Star Trek: Timelines is opportunity to collect crewmen from a cast of hundreds of galactic heroes, villains, and celebrities. Many characters have audio cuts from the series and films, though they can get a little repetitive. They can also be mixed and matched, fused (when you get duplicates), and upgraded as you train them and find their equipment.
And how you assemble, provision, and upgrade your team is critical to success in a majority of the missions. Each event is laid out like a... timeline. You select the best crewman for the job. Success grants reward and moves the story forward.
In keeping with the space/time distorted story, you can repeat the same mission over and over again until you get the result you want.
The Human Adventure is Just Beginning
Hopping galaxies, visiting places, and meeting people from across the full spectrum of Trek series and movies can feel a little more like a Choose Your Own Adventure story at times, but dang if it isn't addictive.
The concept of blurring the timelines so characters spanning the original series up until the most recent adventures is kind of cool. Like J.J. Abrams using a time shift to create his own Star Trek story, Disruptor Beam has done the same. This means that while there is plenty of things you will recognize in Timelines, it's all been put in blender to create new stories.
Your progress and who you side with can have impact on future stories as well. If a certain faction likes you, you can pick up special rewards too.
I'm giving this mobile game a 7 because Disruptor is promising multi-player action, more features and you can see they've got a big universe to grow into. Also, I'm easily addicted to trading card and collecting games and I'm holding out hope for a stepped up combat system in later versions. And hey, it's Free to Play.
UPDATE - Battle Arena!
As promised, Disruptor Beam has added a new Battle Arena feature which allows players to battle it out against each other's ships.
The combat is still run on a rail but more challenging as you pick your best ships in three different divisions (Commander, Captain and Admiral)
- Commander uses 1-2 star level ships with Common, Uncommon and Rare Crew members only.
- Captain is 3-4 star level ships with Common up to Super Rare Crew members only.
- Admiral is the pinnacle of battle, using 5 star level ships and up to Legendary crewmen.
Pick your best to man the battle stations, then enter combat using the ship and crew abilities to best your opposition.
Earn reward credits and move up the ranks.