The Game: Patrolling the space lanes isn’t easy – ever noticed how many regions of space are teeming with hostile aliens? Your tour of duty aboard the Star Voyager is no different. Using a simple radar device for guidance, you have to track down alien ships and destroy them before they can return the favor. However, you have a limited energy reserve with which to accomplish this task. Alien hits on your ship will significantly deplete your energy, and firing your own lasers also gradually bleeds your ship dry. The only opportunity you have to replenish your energy is to defeat all the aliens within range and pass through a stargate. When you run out of energy, you’re out of luck. (Imagic, 1982)
Memories: This fairly simple first-person space shoot ’em up – less complicated than either Star Raiders or Activision‘s Starmaster – was one of the best attempts of its era at a 3-D game on the 2600. By simplifying the resource management aspect of the other games – which themselves had borrowed that element from Exidy‘s Star Fire arcade game – Star Voyager makes a trade-off in favor of game play, and comes out as the most playable title of the bunch.
Star Voyager also ventured into some slightly grey copyright turf by playing a monophonic rendition of “Can You Read My Mind?” from John Williams‘ Superman soundtrack to signal the opportunity to enter a stargate.