Star Trek was originally developed for an SDS Sigma 7 computer. The computer was released in 1966, had a 32-bit CPU and a maximum of 32 KB memory. Mike Mayfield wrote this game in 1971 in BASIC, and it was subsequently released to the broader public in David H. Ahl's book '101 BASIC Computer Games'. The game spawned many clones and derivatives such as BSD Trek (*nix), EGA Trek (DOS), and the Star Fleet games (DOS, Amiga), and action games based on the same formula, such as Star Raiders (Atari 8-bit).
After a lot of digging for a runnable version of Mike Mayfield's original Star Trek game, I found Michael Birken's version, seemingly a straight port of the original SDS Sigma 7 BASIC game to C#. This is the oldest computer game I have played yet.
After a few humble attempts at figuring out the systems of this ancient game, I think I got the hang of it. I'm traveling around the galaxy at warp speed, exploring the galactic map, destroying Klingon warbirds with carefully aimed photon torpedos, and regularly returning to a Federation star base to recharge and repair. I'm playing the C# game on my Linux server, accessible from everywhere, which means I can take a few actions during a coffee break or before I go to sleep. I still have 6/17 Klingons left to kill...
'IT IS STARDATE 2131 THERE ARE STILL 4 KLINGON BATTLE CRUISERS'. Damn it.
I discovered the PHOTON TORPEDO DATA CALCULATOR which trivializes aiming (as long as the LIBRARY COMPUTER is working). The game is now all about resource management and battle tactics.
It's pretty cool that you have to micro-navigate away from stars and other stuff, before you can make a warp jump.
8 Klingons left...
Damn! Damn! I forgot to recharge my shield after docking with a star base, so I went into battle with two Klingon Battle Cruisers, and got shot to bits. The manual recharging of shields is *not* my favourite feature of the game...
Michael Birken's implementation seem to completely ignore random SEED.
OK, I started a game with 11 'KINGONS' and 3 STARBASES ... should be doable.
completed the game.
TORPEDO COURSE (1-9) 5
*** KLINGON DESTROYED ***
THE LAST KLIGON BATTLE CRUISER IN THE GALAXY HAS BEEN DESTROYED
THE FEDERATION HAS BEEN SAVED !!!
Got the score 611.
I tried to play this again, but had trouble with movement. After a short bit of debugging, I figured out decimal points were being incorrectly parsed due to stupid danish locale settings. I fixed it in Michael Birken's C# translation, and while I was in there, I fixed that you can enter a random seed to be able to replay a specific level. I made it so that entering '-1' or no number results in a normal timed-based random seed.