If you've ever been playing a hardcore management sim or real-time strategy and thought there wasn't quite enough to do, give Star Trek: Fleet Command a try. This is a new management sim on an absolutely grand scale that's now available for download from the Google Play Store. Intergalactic, to be exact. You'll start the game as a rogue out in space, get your first ship, build a station with help from Scotty, and go from there. As you build your first station out larger and add more facilities, you can add more recruits, more ships, and more capabilities, eventually turning the place into your own personal fortress and resource generator. Beyond strategizing which upgrades you need right now and which can wait, you'll also be answering distress calls, hunting down pirates, engaging in interplanetary trade, and interacting with famous faces from throughout the series. Once you've built up sufficient power, you'll be able to choose between the three warring factions in the game, or simply stay independent and take all the risks that come with that decision. It's all up to you, and the potential is there for you to build an army to overcome all of the factions and singlehandedly bring peace to the galaxy, or rule it with an iron first.
Background: After Scotty leaves aboard the USS Enterprise and sets you on your own, the tutorial's not quite over; you'll be guided by the hand until around the time you've added all of the major game resources and capabilities to your base, and figured out how to recruit, train, and assign cadets. At that point, the game really opens up, and you have near-complete freedom of choice. Help who you want. Attack who you want. Launch a bloodsoaked pirate empire and force the greatest names in the galaxy into your service. Become a shining beacon of peace in an era of galactic strife. Sit on your duff and collect the cash as your trade empire and resource generators do most of the work for you. It's all up to you, and it's all easy and intuitive.
Every operation has a timer, with most build and upgrade timers under five minutes being able to be sped up for free. Flying over to an enemy ship is a timed activity as well, as is heading out to answer a distress call, and so on. The combat is handled automatically based mostly on the strength rating of your current ship and the enemy ship, with similar logic applying to fleet battles. By this system, no reflex skill is required; even if you're usually terrible at space battle simulators like Galaxy On Fire, you'll be able to eke out a living as a warlord in this game if you just keep your numbers up. Make no mistake, this game is a grind, and it will take you quite some time to even start being relevant in your local sector. Even so, never stop building, upgrading, recruiting, and training, and you can eventually become a force to be reckoned with. You can also join an alliance, in which you can contribute to others by answering requests for help with buildings or combat, and you'll also be factored into alliance-wide contests. If a contest is won, everybody in the alliance gets a share of the prize, even those that didn't help. Since you're forced to choose an alliance as part of the tutorial, this is a great boon for newbies who need resources early on to get their buildouts rolling. As for recruits, the universe and lore of the game are based on the more recent Star Trek movies, so don't expect to be able to recruit or battle the lizard man that once gave William Shatner so much trouble, among other old and beloved faces that didn't make it into the new Star Trek lore.
Impact: This is, as stated above, a management sim on the grandest scale imaginable. While some of the lore and terminology may fly over your head if you're not a dyed-in-the-wool Trekkie, you'll catch up before long, and be up on the latest when it comes to the ongoing faction war shaping the fictional universe around you. Should this game do well, it's likely to increase the Star Trek fanbase overall. Expect to see more Star Trek games of various sorts if that happens, though you obviously shouldn't hold your breath about hearing Klingon spoken inside your local shopping center.