Star Quest 1 in the 27th Century Virtual Adventures Inc. / Magicom Multimedia Corp. 1995

This is a shareware space combat flight simulation game developed by a Canadian company. The game offers a variety of different missions, including pure shooting action, tactical missions and even space racing. The graphics engine allows for smooth transitions between open space and planetary atmospheres, creating dynamically changing combat environments. The background story, which is recounted in detail in the game manual, suggests that after centuries of space exploration, humans and their allied sentient extraterrestrial species have eventually abandoned space travel, which was replaced by teleportation technology. However, the Centurions, a near-extinct hostile race that was thought to have been defeated in a war of the past, have suddenly started an offensive using remotely controlled drone spaceships to compensate for their dwindling numbers. In the face of an imminent Centurion invasion, the humans must learn to wage war in space once again. Taking the role of a volunteer pilot, the player needs to complete various missions which involve direct fighting, protecting friendly ships and ground structures, commanding allied attack formations, and also participating in non-violent space races against fellow pilots. There is no campaign mode, but instead a number of missions which can be played in any order, and re-played an unlimited number of times on different skill levels. As the player completes more missions, better engines, weapons and ship upgrades become available, and more missions are unlocked. It's highly customizable, and allows to tweak ship controls and behaviour to suit individual playing preferences. There is an elaborate system of difficulty levels and a special exploration mode that allows the player to preview a level without engaging in combat or completing other objectives.
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