If you like the idea of a space simulation game but want to avoid all of the research that would be required to keep up with the large Star Trek franchise, then Virtual Sailor is a great alternative. Although the game does have a few short stories scattered about, most of the plot occurs during game play. The science ship USS Enterprise sets out on an experimental voyage to discover a mysterious area on uncharted planets. Upon discovery, the crew finds that the planets have been stripped of almost all atmosphere, and only a planet-sized hole exists where the sun would normally shine.
To find out more about what makes Virtual Sailor unique, we've got to get down to the technical details. This first released version of the program used vector graphics with some texturing done using Photoshop. It ran on DOS but was never able to run on WINE or any other application designed for the Windows platform. With the recent release of Windows Vista, Microsoft has offered a free download of Windows Software - Windows Virtual Sailer. Although the program is available for free, there are also commercial versions of Virtual Sailor that are sold. Although this may be disappointing for fans of the original, it's good to know that a new program can take your fancy.