Star Trek VHS Board Game: A Klingon Challenge

Review by Stephen Mingo

The famous cry of Klingon Captain Kavok from the 1993 released Star Trek: The Next Generation Interactive VHS Board Game – A Klingon Challenge. We are only a dice roll away from the epic return of our weekly game nights, and therefore the start of us reviewing our backlog of games from a whole host of brilliant up and coming publishers. Until then, I wanted to get us in the mood by taking a look back at what is in my opinion one of the most underrated and enjoyable board games of all time.

The Next Generation inspired interactive video board game was the cutting edge of board game technology in 1993

This game is one of those rare old ones that includes a VHS, a game board and some fun stickers to wear as Star Trek’s famous communicator badges. Of course, not many of us actually own VCRs anymore so you can find the full video on youtube. It’s not as randomised as a modern DVD board game equivalent by its very nature, but that doesn’t make it any less fun!

After a wonderful introductory video shot on the Enterprise, with Commander Riker’s voice over making you feel like a part of the Next Generation era crew, our Klingon friend hijacks the ship! It is then up to you the players to stop him. The game works by having you move around the board looking to collect enough chips for your tricorder (also a really great game piece) to unlock access to new areas until, finally, you can attempt to storm the bridge and flip over tokens to see if you take down the Captain Kavok himself.

Check out our Let’s Play video of the game!

As with anything, the fun of the game is what you make of it. The on-screen character talks through your TV as if you’re looking through a nearby computer screen during your mission aboard the Enterprise. He demands you answer him with “YES CAPTAIN KAVOK” and leaves convenient pauses for you or your fellow players to reply (in whatever hilarious fashion you wish). Having your turn interrupted by a screaming Klingon who then places you in a stasis tube so you miss a turn brings a lot of laughter to the table.

Of course, I’m missing out the best part. EXPERIENCE BIJ! This phrase from the game has spawned a generation of memes as Kavok demands you pick up the cardboard spinner and use it to see what random fate awaits the active player on that turn. The game does create a sense of urgency as the clock counts down, and you don’t want to be the active player when Kavok suddenly appears on screen to snarl at you! On your first play through there are a few surprises I won’t spoil here.

Despite it’s age and it’s reliance on a single, unchanged, narrative video. This game gives me a different experience every time I play it with friends. We are well overdue another hilarious night of yelling abuse at Captain Kavok through the monitors. It’s hard to find, but a quick ebay search reveals some auctions starting at around £10 or £20. If you’re really lucky and find this in a charity shop somewhere, snap it up. This is a true golden gem from the early 90s and one I will cherish for years to come.

Live long, and EXPERIENCE BIJ!

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