DOS - 1986
Also released on: Mac - Amiga - Atari ST - Commodore 64 - Genesis
Description of StarFlight
One of a handful of games that spawned a whole new genre, Starflight is arguably THE best space adventure game ever made.
Despite the (initially) lackluster plot (gather a crew and equip a ship to explore the unknown galaxy-- in true Star Trek fashion), Starflight introduces numerous features that set new standards for subsequent space epics (such as the better known and better sold Star Control 2): real-time play, awe-inspiring hundreds of galaxies (each with several planets), and many alien races (each with its unique language and culture).
Although the game has an overarching plot (involving a sinister scheme you must expose), the sheer number of things you can do and star systems you can explore makes it incredibly open-ended. You can barter with alien races, mine planets for artifacts, improve skills of your crew, survive frantic space combats, and marvel at fractal surfaces that make each planet seem unique (watching your craft land gently on a planet is one of the most memorable moments of my entire gaming career).
The scope of the game, and the elegance with which it is conveyed, makes Starflight the closest computer games ever come to what an actual space exploration must feel like. Every facet of the game, from the great gameplay, user interface, and graphics, is so polished that what little flaws there are (such as the fact that artifacts are a bit difficult to figure out) aren't even worth mentioning.
Last but not least, the ending sequence is one of the most impressive and appropriate I've ever seen in a game.
From the start to finish, Starflight is one very well designed, well polished, and incredibly addictive game you'll play over and over again just to appreciate the amount of man-hours and love Binary Systems had put into the game. Starflight is that rare game that truly stands the test of time, and still attracts a large following more than a decade after its initial release. If you want to play only ONE space adventure ever, this is it.
Note: True Spaceflight fans should check out its sequel, as well as Protostar -- the true Starflight 3 that wasn't allowed to use the name.
Review By HOTUD
Don't miss the best resources for Starflight I and II on starflt.com !
Comments and reviews
larry 2019-12-07 2 points
gog.com is just offering the dos version of the game. and because gog has got hold of the license, all versions of the game has been removed from various abandonware and platform dedicated sites.
does that mean; it is impossible to play c64 verion of that game, anymore?!?!?!
this is also a problem for many other games!
Yleexot 2019-02-09 1 point DOS version
Trying to play Starflight 1.18. Once I get on a planetary surface and try to scan, I get a message "Not yet implemented". What does that mean? How do you "implement"?
JforJake 2018-07-07 1 point Genesis version
Loved this game to bits, many an hour spent on my console trading and amassing credits. scraping enough creds for fuel at the beginning due to a bad trade. It had it all. Loved the love/hate relations with the aliens too.
Capt. Jeff 2018-04-10 1 point DOS version
I've played everything from Pong, to Morrowind, to Portal, and Starflight is still one of the best video games I have ever played. Misleading in it's simplicity, this is one of the most rich, robust, and at times heart breaking, (if you find Earth) games ever made. Thanks guys at Binary Systems. I will never forget you.
DJ Grom 2018-03-23 3 points DOS version
Please try downloading the DJ Grom version. I wrote a batch file to address the save game issue. It allows you to copy a "save state" of your game. I also included an html version of the codewheel. I updated the cluebooks download as well. It now includes a lot of maps with flux coordinates. Let me know what you think. Configured for the Raspberry Pi but it'll work on any DOS machine
geojf3 2018-03-13 1 point DOS version
The best of the best - still cannot be beat and I still play this...although the save issue is annoying.
Resonance Decoder 2018-01-31 2 points DOS version
I am a MRI Service Engineer. I went to a 16 week training course in 1987. The high point of training was when we decided the decoder wheel. We wrote a dos program to simulate the wheel. It worked perfectly. I have made a career out of decoding MRI problems, and the Best decode ever was the summer of 87.
Doc 2017-08-14 0 point
Good Afternoon. I have the original decorder wheel, maps, packaging, and the floppys.
If you're interestd.
Old Timer 2017-02-17 0 point DOS version
I pulled several all-nighters playing this game (and the sequel). I had about 200 hours in it when I found Earth and was exploring around the North Pole. I found a message inside that civilization almost came to a complete collapse at the end of the 20th century, as people would spend their lives living out fantasies in front of glowing phosphorescent screens. I about fell out of my chair laughing. Touche'
LearningWithLeaper 2016-11-15 10 points
My father (rip) used to play this game all the time when I was a kid on our tandy. I remember the map being tacked to the wall in the office and sitting with him as he played. Finally when I got older I dug out his original game box and downloaded dosbox and a version of this game to play on my computer. I told him about it and got him into it again, it was one thing me and my father could talk about that we were both doing. This game brings so many fond memories, and I'm happy to have found it again.
Johnny 2016-10-04 -6 points DOS version
How do you down load the Star Code Chart so you can leave the space station?
Jadzu 2016-07-02 1 point DOS version
I spent untold hours just trying to make a living as a beat up space miner, pirate and explorer. Love this game and now my children are hooked and ask that I play every evening after work.
Kurt 2016-01-14 1 point DOS version
This game modifies itself as you play. So if you screw something up, delete it and re-download it. No joke.
Never play with your original copy.
coll754 2015-03-29 1 point DOS version
you should check out outer empires, i loved starflight and this is the online mmo i have found that reminds me of starflight, not many players, its in beta, graphics are only 2d but the gamplay for me is excellent!
Maetel la Metalle 2015-01-08 1 point DOS version
The description barely scratches the surface of how incredible 'Starflight' was---and still is today: nothing else has ever come close.
gwapoguy 2014-12-14 0 point DOS version
Hi! I have an original manual and decoder wheel for Star Flight.
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
guest 2014-05-23 0 point DOS version
wow i loved this game when it first came out i used to play the heck out of it
Bobo 2014-05-17 -3 points DOS version
cant get it to work! it goes to the main title screen then it says something about game not being saved then it just exits??? please any help would be GREAT! im hanging to play this!!!
BasilFawlty1972 2014-03-23 -1 point DOS version
I can get it to run, but it says there is a load game in progress and but not saved and then it boots me....any ideas?
Aanaxis 2013-12-27 0 point DOS version
Beautiful! Starflight was the game that started it all for me. What memories!
RNPforever 2013-05-28 0 point DOS version
i looked at Scott Manley's videos about this game and it seems pretty cool
Vryus 2013-05-16 0 point DOS version
I played this game with a friend in the basement for HOURS when it first came out. We played this game to death. We plotted routes on the starmap, calculated fuel and explored the wildlife on planets. We even had several incredibly intense hours moving through nebulas and watching the motion detection warnings as we tried to outrun the Uhlek. Amazing game. I still play it every so often today.
The 'hint book' that was published is a great read, especially the end.
GnomeLeveler 2008-04-23 0 point DOS version
I played this with my friend for an entire summer back when it first came out. We hardly saw daylight for days at a time. And that's quite extraordinary for a game of that era - it offered an order of magnitude longer gameplay than anything else. The universe literally seemed as big as "the universe". I didn't pay attention to the plot, choosing instead to just trick-out my ship and try to blow up other people as much as possible. Later, I discovered the plot, and it is INTENSE. We're talking Kaiser Sose kind of intense. I highly recommend this game!
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Share your gamer memories, give useful links or comment anything you'd like. This game is no longer abandonware, we won't put it back online.
StarFlight is available for a small price on the following websites, and is no longer abandonware. GOG.com provides the best release and does not include DRM, please buy from them! You can read our online store guide .
Game Extras and Resources
Some of these file may not be included in the game stores. For StarFlight, we have the following files:
StarFlight was also released on the following systems: