Category Archives: TV/Movies

Star Trek Timelines Review

Star Trek’s history with video games is not a particularly illustrious one. Over the years, Trekkies have had to deal with buggy action games, space battles with questionable controls, and blatant cash grabs. When I heard about Star Trek Timelines last summer at the Star Trek Convention, I thought we might finally be getting a Star Trek game that could buck the trend. And while Timelines doesn’t reinvent the mobile game wheel, there’s enough content here for a fan to be entertained.

The hook of Timelines’ story and gameplay is that an anomaly has caused alternate realities to begin colliding, and Q recruits you, as a new Starfleet captain, to travel the galaxy to settle disputes and answer distress calls. Exploring the Galaxy and experiencing alternate versions of characters and events are the main draw of Timelines, and on that the game delivers. Stopping an alternate-reality Worf from annihilating the Vulcan homeworld because in his timeline Spock was a tyrannical dictator is pure fanservice, and it’s generally a blast.

The graphics are surprisingly good; this has to be one of the best looking mobile games I’ve ever seen. Taking your ship into warp is oddly exhilarating, even though it’s just a glorified loading screen. Space battles look incredible, even if they do seem to suffer a graphical glitch here and there (in one battle my ship went momentarily invisible whenever I suffered damage).

Star Trek Timelines Space Battle

Space battle gameplay however is less exciting, with player activity limited to pressing a button when a certain characters’ ability becomes available. You can upgrade your ship to be able to use more abilities, so I could imagine it becoming slightly more complicated, but waiting for a timer and then pressing buttons wasn’t the most fun to me.

The away mission gameplay is much more substantial however. Choosing the right crew members for the mission is crucial, and my first few missions were an unmitigated disaster. Your crewmembers will have stats for certain attributes, including Medicine, Command, and Engineering. Of course not all crewmembers will have all of the attributes. I chose Picard when I began the game, who possessed Diplomacy, Command, and Science, a fitting group of traits for the captain of Enterprises D and E.

Star Trek Timelines Crewmember Stats

Every mission will feature tasks that require some of these different attributes, but don’t worry, you won’t need to take crew members that cover every single one. The screen where you choose your away team has a map of the mission, where the different paths are laid out. Taking a certain route will let you complete it without resorting to covering every attribute with a limited number of crew. For instance, in one of the more difficult missions I encountered, I took crew members that excelled in Engineering and Security and took a path that only involved those attributes.

These away missions are the best gameplay element of the game, and kept me coming back to find more crewmembers and equipment with different combinations of attributes. Unfortunately, with more playtime, the novelty of the characters and the setting began to wear off and the game faltered slightly.

Star Trek Timelines Away Mission

As away missions and space battles become more difficult the player needs better characters, and sometimes the only way to progress past a mission is to hope for new characters with high stats in the right attributes. At the beginning, as you complete missions and space battles, you will accumulate credits, which you can then spend in the time portal (Timeline’s store) to acquire random items. For 10,000 credits you can buy one “pack”, which contain either a character, item, piece of equipment, or starship schematic. This progression is fairly smooth until you run into a mission or battle that seems impossible to beat without replaying levels to gain new items or learning the faction system where you send crewmembers on missions for items and equipment.

The fastest way to find what you need is the kryptonite of many mobile games: spending real money on the game. Even though Star Trek Timelines is free to download, you can spend real money on Dilithium crystals, which allow you buy a pack that contains “rare” items. These items will always be better than what you can buy with regular credits, and without them the game can quickly become a grind.

Even if you do manage to get what you need, Star Trek Timelines suffers from what most graphically-intensive mobiles games suffer from: consistent crashing. Throughout my time with the game I suffered many crashes, and since the game’s load time is significant every crash means more waiting. I’ve confirmed this with other people playing the game on all sorts of devices, so be prepared for crashes when playing for long periods.

With the crashes and “pay to get ahead” nature of the game, Timelines might seem like it’s not worth it. But if you’re looking for a fun romp through the Star Trek universe, Timelines should absolutely scratch that itch. I wouldn’t expect it to change the landscape of Star Trek games, but if you are at all interested in seeing characters from all the series interacting, or taking Picard, Seska, and Sulu on away missions, then Timelines is worth the download.

2 and 1/2 out of 4 stars

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Hands on with Star Trek Timelines

There was much to see this past weekend at the Star Trek convention in Las Vegas, but I was excited for one thing in particular taking place in the merchandise hall and on stage Sunday afternoon. Disruptor Beam brought their brand new mobile game, Star Trek Timelines, to the show floor and I got a little hands-on time with it.

Star Trek has had a history of missteps when it comes to games, but I have a little more faith in Timelines because of it’s ambassador, John De Lancie, who plays the lovable villain Q. The actor talked at length about the developer and how impressed he was by the team before bringing the CEO of Disruptor Beam on stage. The two talked in depth about the game before answering questions throughout the presentation.

In Star Trek Timelines, something has caused a huge rift in time, and starships and planets from all across the space-time continuum are clashing. Q needs your help to solve disputes cropping up as a result, and it’s up to you to assemble your crew and travel the galaxy mopping up the mess. Because of the timelines merging, you can choose characters from any of the Star Trek series and all of the movies except for the most recent two.

The gameplay is largely made up of starship battles and away missions on planet surfaces. In my time with the game, I experienced first-hand that you have to balance your crew for these situations in order to handle different kinds of scenarios. It isn’t all combat and brute force on away missions; you have to have crewmembers that have stats in negotiation and others that are medics. In Starship battles, as a captain you have to pick crewmembers that can fix shields or handle complex maneuvers.

The game is also about exploration, and when you encounter new races, or old races from a new timeline, you must use your diplomacy skills as a captain to navigate the conversation. In the demo I played, my crew encountered a version of Worf that hates the federation and wants to settle disputes the traditional Klingon way. After battling with the Enterprise, I negotiated with him to stop attacking a helpless planet. As I talked with him, I received in-game awards (usually resources) for the different dialogue choices I made, whether they were diplomatic or hostile.

The problem I see on the horizon for Star Trek Timelines is the simplistic gameplay and repetitive nature of the game. Battling starships seems to just be ordering crew members with a click of a button (you don’t even control the ship). In away missions, you simply match a crewmember with their corresponding problem (for instance Picard would be used to negotiate). It’s all very repetitive, even in my short time with the game.

I think the staying power of the game will be the interactions between the characters. On stage Sunday, the CEO of Disruptor Beam mentioned that they will be writing material for all of the interactions between characters in the game. I’ve never seen 7 of 9 and Spock have a conversation, and as a Star Trek fan that sounds amazing. If handled well, it could make the repetitive nature of the game worth it for the pure joy of bringing together all these different characters.

Of course these are all just first impressions, I’m itching to get my hands on the game for an extended look and see if the gameplay and story can keep me interested. Star Trek Timelines releases this fall, with an closed beta happening very soon, you can visit Disruptor Beam’s website to sign up for the chance to participate!


Nerd Assembly Podcast 4!

This week on NAP we get deep into deep sci-fi! After seeing Interstellar, we talk about mainstream science fiction films from the past decade, and whether this movie marks a change of direction in the industry toward more “intellectual” sci-fi. Of course, we all love a good action-based sci-fi, but sometimes we crave less “Transformers” and more “2001.” So have a listen, and let us know what you think about the future of this most nerdy of genres!

As promised, here’s our recommendations for recent sci-fi to watch:
  • Interstellar: It’s tense and visually stunning, but most importantly, it will make you think!
  • Moon: The members of NAP would like to sincerely apologize for leaving this one out of the podcast this week. We don’t know what came over us! But seriously, Sam Rockwell’s acting will blow you away, as will the twists in this thought-provoking story.
  • Gravity: A bit on the action side of things, but definitely has a lot to say about the tenacity and bravery of the human spirit in the face of overwhelming odds.
  • Snowpiercer: Quirky, tense, and beautifully directed, this actiony sci-fi will stick in your mind for weeks.
  • Europa Report: This one’s a bit on the horror side, and a fantastic indie film.
  • Edge of Tomorrow: Tom Cruise, sprinting through a battlefield.

Nerd Assembly Podcast 3!

This week on the Nerd Assembly Podcast our topic is the newly-announced Marvel and DC Movie lineups and what we are most excited for. We also discuss what we’ve been watching/playing/reading (including Bastion and The Stanley Parable) and the news, which is all about movies this time around!

Marvel Lineup DC Lineup
Captain America: civil War (2016) Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice (3/25/16)
Doctor Strange (2016) Suicide Squad (08/05/16)
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2017) Wonder Woman (06/23/17)
Thor: Ragnorok (2017) Justice League Part 1(11/17/17)
Black Panther (2017) The Flash (03/23/18)
Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 (2018) Aquaman (07/27/18)
Captain Marvel (2018) Shazam (04/05/19)
Inhumans (2018) Justice League Part 2 (06/14/19)
Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 (2019) Cyborg (04/03/20)
Green Lantern (06/19/20)


Actual Cannibal Shia LaBeouf is now Live!

NBC is going to attempt a pilot for a US version of The IT Crowd…. again

Naruto is ending and the new movie is canon

New Harry Potter Stories!

Star Wars Episode VII concept art leaked online

Star Wars principal shooting wraps

Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer leaked:

Funny tweet from Marvel blaming Hydra

Official Trailer Here


Benedict Cumberbatch will play as Doctor Strange

Warner Bros. announces slate for 2015-2020

Marvel announces full slate of “Phase 3” movies


Why are Comic Readers So Sensitive?

Everyone has at least one friend that’s a little too upset when a new comic book movie comes out. “This movie sucks! They did this and that wrong with the characters! It’s a total rip off of issues ### to ###!” are common phrases that this friend says as soon as they walk out of the theaters. But so what? It’s just a movie after all. In the scheme of life, it’s not like it matters, right? So why do comic readers get so sensitive?

Continue reading Why are Comic Readers So Sensitive?


The Nerd Assembly Podcast Episode 2!

In this weeks NAP (I swear it’s gonna catch on) we talk about how fall TV is consuming us, the Ghostbusters 3 movie, and the recent disappointments of the Assassin’s Creed series. Listen in to find out just how much we hate Connor! (Hint: it’s an absurd amount of hatred)


Nerd Assembly Podcast #1!

Hey everybody! So it’s finally time to unveil something fun we’ve been wanting to do for a while. It’s the first episode of the Nerd Assembly Podcast!

In this podcast we talk about what we’ve been watching/reading/playing lately along with some of the most recent news including the iPhone 6, the Minecraft acquisition, and Windows 10. Then we head down memory lane to talk about what set us down the nerdy path!


The Best of Batman

A Bat-fan’s favorites from the city of Gotham

As the resident Batman expert here at the Nerd Assembly, I’m always asked about my favorites in this franchise. Favorite Batman movie? Comic? Video game? And I’ll tell you right now, it’s always a difficult choice. There’s been a lot of great work done with this particular superhero, and sometimes it’s tough to pick out the best of the best. But, here we go: this list represents my must-watch and must-read adaptations starring the Caped Crusader.

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Review: Gotham Pilot

Gotham is upon us! We are now two episodes into the first Batman-esque live action show since Adam West in the 60’s. And what has the reaction been so far? Hopeful.

So, what is making the Bat-fans so pleased with this new series? For one, it’s taking a lot of inspiration from the comics. The Gordon of this series has much in common with Year One’s interpretation, especially the naievety with how the justice system works in Gotham. The city is infested with criminals, the mob is just as slimy and destructive as the police force, and Gordon must adapt quickly if he’s going to survive.

Continue reading Review: Gotham Pilot