Not sure how to get your Star Trek fix now that Discovery is off the air? Well the good people at Puppet Master Games and CBS Interactive can help you fill the gap with the new Star Trek: Adversaries video card game.
Star Trek and card games go way back
Don’t tell my friends who co-host TrekMovie’s Shuttlepod podcast, but the reason I’m so well-versed in Trek lore isn’t because I’ve watched the show so much, read so many books, or spent so much time on Memory Alpha. (Though, of course, I’ve done all those things.)
My encyclopedic Treknowledge comes primarily from the old Decipher Collectible Card Game from the 1990s. Released right when TNG went off the air, the game had you square off against opponents as either Romulans, Klingons, or Federation. (All other non-animated instances of the franchise were later rolled into the game, plus factions like Ferengi, Bajoran, Borg, etc.)
You constructed a playable deck from your collection of cards bought from over-priced randomized packs at comic book or baseball card shops. Basically, it was one of many card games from that time designed to piggyback off the success of Magic: The Gathering, a game which – in its 25 years – has printed more than 20 billion cards.
I never played Magic, but I loved the Decipher CCG. Seriously, I know the race that killed Kevin Uxbridge’s colony on “The Survivors” was the Husnock because they were one of the best cards in the game. It’s also why I remember Kevin Uxbridge’s name, because he was the best card in the game.
Bringing Star Trek card games into the digital age
But times have changed! And the chance to recreate my personal, card-driven space missions of yore may have returned in digital format, thanks to the good people at Puppet Master Games and CBS Interactive. They have rolled out Star Trek: Adversaries, the first free-to-play online collectible card video game for the final frontier. Several online reviewers have already put let’s play videos up on YouTube.
Players construct a deck based around one of 24 Klingon or Federation flagships, which could be the NX-01 or could be the Sarcophagus ship. Then you square off in either player vs. player (PVP) or single-player campaign. The game is free with in-game microtransactions.
Adversaries looks absolutely beautiful, with 3D animation that’s fun to look at even if you’re not playing. The current set includes 300 cards from across the Prime universe franchise — even Discovery — including 50 additional starships and 140+ iconic crewmembers. This lets players put together their own perfect crew, and I’m sure they have enough expansion cards up their sleeve to beat Jack London at poker in San Francisco.
(No idea at this point if there are Kevin Uxbridge and Husnock cards though!)
The music is authentic from the series too, as producer and “Trekspert” Holly Amos showed on her Instagram recently.
In Adversaries, players go head-to-head
Adversaries “puts players on the front lines of galactic combat” and – as the name directly indicates – is very adversarial. You square off against opponents in direct combat, which is not something I’m particularly good at but hope to become better the more I play it.
Capturing Star Trek in a non-combat-driven game is very challenging. What I loved best about the Decipher CCG was, while there certainly were options to fight your opponent, the main focus was on exploration, solving dilemmas, and fulfilling missions. There was even kind of a gentleman’s agreement in most games not to fight each other.
But making a Star Trek game about shooting is much, much easier than one about scientific exploration, moral dilemmas, and asking corrupt admirals how many people it takes before something becomes wrong. So instead Adversaries is following the successful model of the current champion of online card gaming, Hearthstone, which was designed to emulate … Magic: The Gathering.
So, I guess the more things change the more they stay the same.
Visit StarTrekAdversaries.com to download the game and boldly go where no one has gone before.