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Space Sim Krellan Commander Is Back With A 2.0 Release

Space-Sim-Krellan-Commander-Is-Back-With-A-2.0-Release

The original creator releases a new version of the MS-DOS classic

I was still learning to spell and grappling with the whole “going to the toilet independently” thing when Star Fleet II: Krellan Commander was released, but if I’d had access to an MS-DOS PC in between potty-training sessions, I dare say I’d have tried my hand at being an intergalactic warlord. It’s an absurdly in-depth and fiddly-looking space sim in which you fly around a randomly generated cosmos in your horrible Klingon-adjacent battlecruiser, blowing up or commandeering other ships, bombarding or invading planets, and generally being a nuisance. It was originally published in 1989 by Interstel Corporation and distributed by a little-known company called Electronic Arts.

According to its creators, Trevor Sorensen and Mark Baldwin, the game’s rushed release caused numerous technical issues. In 1991, the developers released a new, bug-free version, which is the version you’ll find on most retro game preservation sites. Then, in 2018, Sorensen decided to create a new 2.0 version of Krellan Commander using his original 486 PC, which is now available on Steam and GOG.

“As this game came out in 1989, it has absolutely no multithreading of any kind,” reads a blurb on the Steam page. “Therefore, due to the real-time nature of the game (although you can pause at any time), sometimes responses to your commands might be delayed a moment.”

The 2.0 version does include some “modern” flourishes, such as improved AI and UI elements, various bug fixes, and some quality-of-life enhancements, such as improved key commands and new overlays for fleet command and probe operations. It also allows you to access ship performance data that was previously unavailable, as well as beam prisoners into stars to boost crew morale. These krellan ship captains appear to become more sadistic with age.

The 2.0 version does include some “modern” flourishes, such as improved AI and UI elements, various bug fixes, and some quality-of-life enhancements, such as improved key commands and new overlays for fleet command and probe operations. It also allows you to access ship performance data that was previously unavailable, as well as beam prisoners into stars to boost crew morale. These krellan ship captains appear to become more sadistic with age. Torpedoes on their own! That’s what I mean by a sim. Of course, whether it’s fun to play is a different story.

The game includes eight tutorials to teach you about navigation, ship combat, and planetary invasions, among other things, but it appears to be an uphill battle if you come from Stellaris. Because there is no mouse control, you must memorize a few keyboard shortcuts.