Added to the lair: 4/11/18

Genre: Point-And-Click Adventure / 3rd person

Developer: Spectrum Holobyte

Year: 1995

Platform: DOS

Emulator: DOSBox 0.74

Wikipedia: Star Trek: TNG - A Final Unity

Star Trek: TNG - A Final Unity

Make it so.

I'm a hardcore Trekkie. Probably not unlike other Trekkies my age (I was born in 1986), I was indoctrinated at an early age by equally hardcore Trekkie parents that had grown up with the original series and were eager to bring another initiate into the fold. We watched each series religiously and would frequently quiz each other over various Trek trivia like the nerdiest form of Trivial Pursuit imaginable. It's Quatloos, by the way.

The franchise has had its ups and downs in TV, film, and, yes, video games. Thankfully (and perhaps surprisingly), however, there are some genuinely good video game incarnations of Star Trek that are worth checking out; Star Trek: The Next Generation - A Final Unity is one of the better examples of this.

There are a number of Star Trek games that are highly enjoyable, objectively good games but not necessarily good Trek games, like the Elite Force series. They're perfectly fine unto themselves but aren't necessarily a good reflection of what the franchise is really all about. It's hard to reconcile the concept of "seeking out new life and new civilizations..." when you're systematically murdering anything that moves; unless there's part of that line that I've forgotten that says "...and kill them all."

A Final Unity does what the better Trek games manage to do, which is encapsulating the essence of what the show is all about. In the case of The Next Generation, that means diving into the great unknown, encountering and dealing with the mysteries and dangers that that entails, and trying to do so as diplomatically as possible. It would be a disservice to say that that's all the franchise is about, and in fact I'd go as far as to say that Trek is at its best when it ditches all the unrealistic utopian nonsense and focuses on character building, but that's the type of thing that'd likely be difficult to translate to video game form (not to mention it'd probably be pretty boring for the player), so with that in mind I think A Final Unity does an admirable job of utilizing the source material as best as feasibly possible.

You can deal with situations in a number of different ways, with a number of different outcomes for any given event. You might resolve a situation diplomatically or vaporize an enemy vessel. You might save everyone, save some, or save none. You might think you've achieved the ideal outcome, but there might have actually been a better possible result. I'm not going to spoil anything, but I always found it interesting how differently things could play out depending on your actions (or lack thereof). This is fairly unusual for point-and-click adventures.

Gameplay is broken up into 1) dialogue segments where you can choose different responses/make different decisions and then results vary accordingly 2) traditional item-based point-and-click adventuring/puzzling and 3) ship system management / navigation / combat. All of these are engaging (heh) with the exception of the ship combat which is... well it's not great. I appreciate that they incorporated some fairly unusual elements for adventure games into an adventure game though.

The graphics are pretty nice, though character models can look a bit off; especially when moving. Environments are interesting and diverse.

Audio-wise everything is authentic, as you'd expect from a licensed game; but, perhaps unexpectedly, the cast of the show actually voice their characters in game, which is a really nice touch that goes a long way in selling the notion that you're in the show. Most of the cast does a good job, conveying the appropriate amount of emotion in their delivery, though I found Riker to be a bit overly dry/disinterested (but not terrible).

Overall I found A Final Unity to be a thoroughly enjoyable game, and I'd recommend it to any adventure game fan; especially if you have any love for Star Trek. It's one of the better examples of a Trek game done right.