Star Control 3

a game by Accolade
Platform: PC
Editor Rating: 8/10, based on 2 reviews
User Rating: 8.0/10 - 1 vote
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Control freaks are ready to take the helm again of their favorite serial outer-space action/ad-venture game as Star Control 3 explores new ground in the Kessarri Quadrant. Star's mix of arcade-style combat, space colonization, and first-person interaction with amazingly lifelike aliens offers plenty to entice new players to the Kessarri fold. Star's graphics are especially stunning with digitally controlled animatronics of the aliens. The combat mode is juiced by multiplayer head-to-head dogfights and the sheer variety of warships you encounter.

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System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews


When Accolade released Star Control, the visions of a mega-hit series were probably not as clear as they are now. The game started out as a one-on-one arcade space war game which kept reminding me of the mammoth hit Asteroids. Then, take the already great arcade action and combine it with adventure/role-playing and you've got Star Control 2, which did much better than expected. Now Accolade promises to up the ante once again, boasting 3D rendering, SVGA graphics, and a more in-depth strategy game to keep old and new Star Control fans satisfied, yet anxious for the possibility of another sequel.

Did Accolade pull it off? Well, sort of. The new eye candy is great, from the new digitized look of the races to the up-close 3D rendering of the starships; in this area Accolade came through with flying colors ... I mean pixels. Where Star Control 3 takes a turn for the worse is as an adventure game. I guess when you expect too much you set yourself up for disappointment. I have lost much sleep playing the Star Control series; I only wish I could say I am tired right now from this latest installment. Why did this latest and greatest Star Control fall short? Simple: too much hype and not enough followthrough, but we should be used to that by now ... not!!


Great! The graphics and animations got a nice facelift since Star Control 2. The ships are all rendered in 3D (especially up close) and the arcade portion of the game has retained its excitement and vigor -- this is where the game really shines.


I installed and set up the game in Windows 95 and had no problem. Accolade made the process simple, and the interface was nice; it even auto-detected my sound card (something I really like).


The digitized speech for the different races was a nice addition, but overall the sound was similar to Star Control 2. In fact, the sounds in hyper-melee were almost identical to the previous games. That's not a bad thing, but it did surprise me that Accolade didn't even change these sounds for a new title.

So What's New?

I must admit, the new graphics are great!! The ships look cooler and the digitized aliens are very well-done. In hyper-melee mode the look and feel is virtually the same as the previous games with the addition of new graphics. You can play hyper-melee alone, with a friend on the same computer, or via remote connection. This kind of variety is great, and the action gets fairly intense when challenging human opponents.

The adventure portion of the game is similar in style to Star Control 2, but there are some noticeable changes in gameplay. For instance, you no longer have to land on mineral-rich planets and manually drive your little buggy around picking up ore (I hated that). Now you just pick a fortified planet and set up a colony; simple as that. You can control what your colonies produce and how fast they do it by adjusting the slider bars for the various installations in your settlement. I found this to be a fun, yet non-frustrating way to advance your civilization and felt it was one of the good improvements made.

Of course there is a different array of races and starships in Star Control 3. Yes, there were some of the classics like the Earthling Cruiser and the VUX Intruder, but there were many ships that I really did not care for. Just when I was getting used to all the Star Control 2 ships, they wipe half of them out and replace them with new ones. My greatest complaint is the fact that they didn't bring back the Yehat, my favorite race. Overall the new ships fell short of my expectations and just weren't as fun to play as the ships in the previous games.


Can you say "CONFUSION?" The manual is not well-detailed or laid out; consequently, I had to figure out how to do certain things by trial and error. As an example, nowhere in the manual does it actually tell you how to generate population in your colonies. You just mess with the slider bars until people start popping out. The manual does give good basic information about the ships and races, but I like a little more detail about gameplay and controls.

Computer AI

As far as the arcade portion of the game is concerned, there are difficulty settings the player can choose from. This is a nice feature; it allows people of varying skill levels to enjoy this portion of the game. The adventure game, however, is not flexible in this area which was not a problem to me, but for some it may be. Overall, Accolade did well in this area too.

System Requirements

Reviewed On: P-100, 32 MB RAM, 64-bit video card

Bottom Line

Star Control 3 was sort of a letdown for me, primarily in the adventure game portion. If you really work at it, the game can be won in 5 hours (forget any long nights and lost sleep), and it's really quite anti-climactic. After all, I didn't buy the game so I could play hyper-melee; I have Star Control 1 and 2 for that. I was hyped about the adventure game, which fell dramatically short of my expectations. The races were shallow and did not interact with each other very much, not to mention the flat storyline and dull ending. I guess it's my new $40 hyper-melee game. In the end, I must give Star Control 3 a 70 out of 100 for a short, flat adventure game with some redeeming graphics. I sure hope Accolade comes out with another _Star Control _game soon. I'm still a loyal fan with hopes of a more exciting, interesting installment to come. I just KNOW you can do it, Accolade ... come on, do it for me! Until next time, happy gaming.

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