Now you can man the bridge with your very own datapad.
For all the fame and glory we give to ace starfighter pilots and intrepid captains, they'd be nothing without a hardworking crew. The bluntly-named Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator lets a team of players get the complete command-room experience. It takes six computers to construct a fully operational bridge, and while it's quite a sight to behold, it's often too much of a hassle to get that many machines together. Luckily, our chief engineering officer reports that the game is now compatible with iOS devices, reducing the barrier to entry while somehow managing to make the experience even more immersive.
Players using the iOS app will be able to link to a server running the Windows game to combine desktops and handhelds, or forgo keyboards altogether and equip the whole crew with phones and tablets. The gameplay hasn't changed from the Windows version: one device acts as a main screen while up to five others serve as workstations for Helm, Communication, Engineering, Science, and Weapon Control. Players will need all five stations working in harmony to successfully protect space stations, battle ruthless aliens, and boldly go where no man has gone before.
Be warned: adherence to the original game's format may cause issue on smaller displays. The game's interface throws a lot of information on the screen at once, and this isn't the kind of game where you'll want to risk hitting the wrong controls because of a finicky touchscreen. It's manageable, but just have your excuse ready for when the captain asks why you drained all the ship's power into the tractor beam instead of charging the engines for a quick getaway.
The expanded support should serve to revitalize the game's community. Artemis supports online play, but the nature of the game doesn't lend itself to long-distance groups - if you can't scream technobabble across the room to one another, what's the point? The new portability could also bring about some wonderfully absurd scenarios: why not pass the time on a long bus ride by forming an impromptu battleship bridge with your friends and thoroughly confusing everyone around you?
Artemis is currently selling on the App Store for $2.99. That's a significant drop from the PC version's $40 price point, but you'll need to buy it on each device you want to play on (as opposed to the desktop client's unlimited installations).
Just don't let Siri take the captain's chair. We all know how that ends.