New Retro-Style ‘Star Trek: Kobayashi Maru’ Web Game Promises To Be “Nearly Impossible” To Beat

Introduced in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, the Kobayashi Maru simulation is Starfleet Academy’s notorious no-win scenario used to test the character of potential officers. Starting today there is a web game to see how you fare with the unwinnable scenario.

Scopely challenges you to win the (nearly) unwinnable

Today games company Scopely – the makers of the popular mobile game Star Trek Fleet Command – launched Star Trek: Kobayashi Maru, a free decision-driven retro-style web-based game that brings the iconic Kobayashi Maru test to life. Scopely promises the game is fun to play, but “nearly impossible to beat.”

Star Trek II came out in 1982 and the Kobayashi Maru game pays homage to the 1980s with 8-bit retro-inspired artwork and animation.

Of course in Wrath of Khan, it was revealed that James T. Kirk did best the Kobayashi Maru. Scopely challenges players saying: “With thousands of spectacular ways to fail, only a few will best the no-win simulation to earn prized memorabilia and more at

As part of this choice-based interactive experience, the player assumes the role of a Starfleet cadet facing the Kobayashi Maru for the first time. Only by choosing precisely the right path through endless perilous options will the player succeed where so many others have failed.

With the odds of beating the Kobayashi Maru at around 1:10,000, the three fastest players to find the hack and defeat the simulation will win big prizes — including a CBS All-Access Lifetime Subscription and limited-edition Star Trek collectibles.

Takei taunts you to try

Scopely has brought in Star Trek’s George Takei to voice an introductory trailer that challenges fans to try to beat the unbeatable.

Play now

Star Trek: Kobayashi Maru is free to play and now available to the global community of Star Trek fans at

More screenshots

Find more Star Trek games news and analysis at


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I need a dorsal view of that ship in the first screenshot immediately please.

That actually looks like one of the skins for the Walker class in Star Trek Online.

This is surprisingly addictive.

not to bitch but the retro feel would be more fitting if it wasn’t Kelvin-verse designs

That is exactly what I was thinking!

Right! Those are just wrong, especially when emulating the look&feel of the 90s web…

Those are 32 bit graphics at minimum. Can we please drop the whole “8 bit” thing. Zx spectrums and Commodore 64’s did not have the ability for that many simultaneous colours on screen.

8bit is just a catch all term for 2d pixel art at this point.

Can we reprogramme the game to beat it? Lol

Commander, I was thinking the same thing when I first saw this on the main page!

I’ve been playing games on computers since Aztec on Apple II’s in the early 80’s.

I do not understand the appeal of crappy graphics.

I just don’t…

Sonic Mania uses 16 bit style graphics and that was a game released in 2017. That turned out to be the one of the best selling games of the year.

Graphics dont make a successful game…..

I feel like “crappy” is relative. I try to look at game graphics like other art. 3D animation didn’t invalidate 2D animation. The post-romantic minimalism movement in orchestral music didn’t invalidate 19th century Romanticism. When it comes to artistic media, nothing replaces anything else, we just develop additional forms of expression on top of the ones we had already.

Same reason vinyl records are still a thing and black-and-white movies, occasionally, get made. Beyond the showy, surface level hipster reasons, I’d say the imperfections of past technologies are a taste and a style all their own. An acquired taste, no doubt.

Hey, look, I still own A BUNCH of vinyl… ;-)

I think I just played tooooooo many video games coming up where we measured the graphics of a game by “how smooth a circle” it could make. Yes, this was a thing. And I think I just enjoy the graphical fidelity that today’s games have as progress from earlier times…

To each his own… :-p

The thing is, though, as we reach photorealism in movies and games, it’s going to become more difficult to gauge that progress. All we’re left with is looking for something “different.”

Next step surely will be virtual reality. That’s the next frontier and it could possibly lead to something akin to a hololdeck as seen in 24th Century Star Trek.
I’d love to think holodecks could be a thing one day; the ultimate gaming experience!

There’s a resurgence right now because the generation that grew up with Nintendos is now the generation in charge of making new games. Simple as that. FWIW, this game is fun and simple, and I think the old school graphics are very appropriate for it.

Some audiophiles love the sound of vinyl. To each, their own….

I think these graphics are beautiful. Art isn’t always about realism.

…and they lost me when they needed a Facebook login. Is this also in that Fleet Command mobile game?

Ditto. No thanks.

It’s in Fleet Command mobile, but it still says that to enter the contest people must go to the website and must have a Facebook login.

That’s a hard “NO!” for our household and our kids, who have the mobile app, are really ticked about now.

If Fleet Command wanted to get our household back engaged with their app, this is a complete fail.


Whew! That was a steaming pile of……..

I knew the second this game was based on the Kelvin universe people were going to trash it based on the small Youtube comments section so far. ;)

Do you have a link?

I’m always leery of ads for computer games that show precious little of the actual gameplay. The retro style graphics (they look like something from an old DOS game) also just don’t look right given the Kelvin-verse setting. I’ll stick with Star Trek Bridge Crew, which also has a Kobyashi Maru simulation.

As I said above, so will I: there’s no excuse for this kind of game coming out now, ever.

Reminds me of the awesome Starfleet Academy game! Hopefully just as good!!!

Ever notice that Starfleet Academy was (for its day) graphically superior to this upcoming game, as if the makers of it actually cared about putting out their best effort, yet the people behind this current game can’t even do that?