Release Date: 2011, hit Steam in 2013
Developer: Thomas Robertson
Let’s get this one thing perfectly clear from the beginning: Artemis is not a Star Trek game. That needs to be understood for legal reasons, OK? OK. Definitely not a Star Trek game.
Artemis is the greatest Star Trek game ever made. It’s billed as a “spaceship bridge simulator,” and its genius is that every player has a different control scheme and information readout. The players (captain, weapons, helm, engineering, communications, science) can only see what’s in front of them or what’s on the main viewscreen, so there’s no way for, say, engineering to help out with aiming weapons or piloting the ship. If you want power redirected to subsystems, though, engineering can do that.
The center of this storm is the captain, who, bizarrely, plays the game without any controls: the captain just yells at the crew to get things done. Version 2.0 released last year, which saw a huge overhaul to its art and control schemes. If you haven’t played Artemis since it first hit big, you need to organize a LAN to get another look.
It’s incredible how quickly you fall into a perfect naval-style call and response pattern (“Helm, set course for Deep Space 1, half impulse.” “Half impulse to DS1, aye captain.”). Not because you’re LARPing, but because you’ve got to make sure you heard the command correctly or you’ll all die.
Well, maybe a little because you’re LARPing.