Kids with an interest in Star Trek will find Star Trek Online compelling as they are instantly thrown into the action in the tutorial. In space combat, players direct their ships and are also controlling their weapons and shields, directing power to where it needs to go. As captain, players also direct their bridge officers and make use of their skills in engineering, tactics or science. They decide to boost phaser power or use powerful tractor beams to hold their enemies. Viscerally, it feels like you are living in the Star Trek universe. It is fun to command an "Away Team" which in the beginning, is filled up with red-shirt wearing "Security Officers" just like the original Star Trek.
There is a bit of a learning curve as there are two distinctly different combat systems to learn. Players can customize their uniforms and ships, and even determine what their alien race looks like and what skills they have, or you can pick a standard Star Trek race. Graphics and environments are beautifully rendered, and missions and events are accompanied by voice-overs. In key scenes and events, they are acted by Leonard Nimoy of "Spock" fame. Zachary Quinto (the young Spock) guides and lead players through the tutorial and missions as the Emergency Medical Hologram. Sounds of lasers and explosions are realistically rendered in combat that can be frenetic at times and which helps with the sense of immersion. This Star Trek Online game is more about war and similar to the later Voyager series than the exploration of the earlier Original and Next Generation series, but anyone even slightly familiar with the Star Trek franchise will enjoy exploring this game world.
Online interaction: Because the game has open chat and player versus player gameplay, kids may encounter negative experiences, but the game is structured to bring players together in open missions where they will work together to accomplish these missions, providing rewards commensurate with the effort each player puts in. The game also provides a default language filter and tools to report and ignore other players.