BRENDON takes a look at an old favourite this month, STARGLOBE...
StarGlobe is a game of three dimensional space exploration. The player is the captain of a Mondian starship under orders from the Lord of Monde to explore the Starglobe (a globular cluster of 2000 stars — MONDE being the central star). The player must also try to establish a communications base at the rim — the radius of the starglobe is 50 lightyears. This is the player’s Prime Directive. He can, however, play the game in any of a number of roles which do not directly involve the Prime Directive.
THE MERCHANT is a sly, peaceful player who buys and sells whatever he can get his hands on; the PIRATE is a belligerent character who takes pleasure in harassing the other players and plotting against the Lord Of Monde: the XENOBIOLOGIST seeks out alien life and alien artefacts; the BOUNTY HUNTER is an evil ‘goody’ who destroys pirates for payment; the EMPIRE BUILDER establishes an empire of stars and colonises as many suitable worlds as possible, using their productive output to build various devices of his own design... and so on.
Starglobe is an open-ended game which can accommodate about 100 players of various strengths and skills. The starglobe is so vast that you can easily hide yourself away if you wish, whilst player interaction is still available to those who want to trade, fight, or whatever. It is a very realistic game — I could go as far as to say that it is more a simulation of interstellar travel than a game! Ken and Carol Mulholland (who meekly claim responsibility tor this game) have not only created a relativistic universe, they have also given it 5,000 years worth of history. The printouts are quite impressive, often being over 6ft long!
Starglobe Is one of my favourite games, and it has built up quite a following among PBMers worldwide. As a result of this popularity I launched a Starglobe fanzine in 1985 called THE TELEPATH. THE TELEPATH (fondly known as TT) contains helpful articles on playing the game, as well as general PBM chat, interplayer messages and a considerable slice of humour. Currently into its tenth issue, TT has built up a loyal readership and is now considered by TIME PATTERNS as an influential part of the game! THE TELEPATH is sold to players at cost price and is distributed by TIME PATTERNS — if you join the game. I recommend TT very highly (no bias here, you understand).
Starglobe is a very interesting and enthralling game — the only limit to what you can do is your imagination. You have an orbital factory on board your starship with which you can build almost anything that is physically possible, such as advanced weapons systems or goods useful in trading. Great fun.
It is a game well worth trying, although perhaps a touch overpriced at £1.90 per turn. The GMs are generally friendly and the software more or less reliable (bugs have been known to cause problems but since there is over 7MB of program data, this is hardly surprising.)
StarGlobe Four is due to be launched in September, so if you would like an early launch you can post a £2 cheque/postal order to TIME PATTERNS and they will place you on the waiting list and get in touch during early September. The £2 covers your startup and first printout. Have fun if you join! Starglobe diplomatic relationships can get pretty confusing...