Starship Traveller
by Steve Jackson, futuristic (2005, reissue)
Wizard Books, £4.99, ISBN 1-84046-552-2

Poor Starship Traveller, it probably never had a chance with me from the start. You see, I'm a Star Wars girl rather than a Star Trek fan, and this gamebook is a thinly-disguised campaign that allows you to play the captain of the Enterprise a spacecraft called Traveller. You all are sucked into some black hole to find yourself in hostile enemy territory called the Seltsian Void. You now have to find a way to bring yourself and your crew back home.

This one is interesting in that you aren't just in charge of your own safety, you are also playing on behalf on your entire crew. You have a limited number of each type of crew - Science, Medical, Engineering, and Security - and the type of crew you bring along with you when you beam down to a planet can lead to interesting results. While the senior members who die can be replaced by junior officers, seniority bestows some Stamina recovery bonuses. Therefore, it makes sense to protect the original officers as much as possible. Also, your spacecraft has its own stats in order to facilitate spacecraft skirmishes.

Unfortunately, Starship Traveller is as dull as being stuck in a time loop in a typical Star Trek episode. To complete the campaign, you have to complete a scavenger hunt of sorts for the correct coordinates, and the scavenger hunt is random, the pattern determined merely by the whim of Steve Jackson. Therefore, there is no concrete sense of purpose in this campaign, instead you have merely a sense of aimless wandering, hoping that you somehow luck into the correct coordinates in order to complete the campaign. The planets are dull, the opponents are dull, the illustrations are dull, and the combat scenarios are... yes, dull. Mr Jackson writes as if he's completing a police report as fast as possible.

Starship Traveller therefore is more akin to stumbling aimlessly in a black hole, trying to find a way out of the sucktitude. Do yourself a favor, don't waste your time on this baby.

One oogie!

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