Don't be fooled by it's monochrome title screen, Star Control 2 is by far one of the best game that I have encountered in my life. Start from it's introduction, everthing just too amazing to be believed. The introduction start with the following lines:
"There were many great battles, Earth and her partners in the Alliance of Free Stars, against the evil Ur-Quan and its Hierarchy of Battle Thralls, and the Ur-Quan were winning.
Meanwhile, on the edge of the known frontier, an amazing discovery was made, far beneath the surface of an enexplored alien world, a huge underground city, filled with the technological wonders of an advanced alien race, the Precursors, who vanished a thousand centuries ago. But then the main Ur-Quan fleet broke through the Alliance's defensive line, isolating the planet, stranding the scientists a hundred light years away from Earth. They waited hopefully for a rescue vessel which never came.
20 years have passed, we, the survivors of the research mission have colonized this world. We continued our investigation of the underground city and we have discovered its purpose. It is a factory. A factory for building starships!
But there aren't enough materials to make a complete vessel, we can finish only the skeleton of one starship. But that must be enough, because YOU must captain the vessel and return to Earth! To travel the great distance, you must push through into HyperSpace, find out what has happened over these many years, and if the war with the Ur-Quan still rages, tell Earth of our plight!"
When the game start, we have already back to Solar system, and we will find out that Earth have been quarantined by Ur-Quan. The only human that we can contact is human in the Space Station hanging above Earth.
From there, we will start exploring the planets and stars around us, gather minerals, upgrade our vessel, meet various type of aliens, make friend or enemy with them, and see the story unfold.
Below is the navigation screen when we reach a planet. We can scan the mineral in it, dispatch lander to extract minerals, and sometimes we will find unique artifact that are important to complete the game.
Here is the starmap of Star Control 2. You will notice that there are so many systems around for us to explore!
Meeting aliens is the funniest part of this game. The dialogue is well written and well connected with the big story line. We can to listen carefully to what all aliens say to complete the game.
Another fun part of this game is engaging fight with aliens. There are close to 20 types of different ships that we can use in the battle, and each comes with unique weapon and specialities.
You can get Star Control 2 here. The manual in PDF format and star map is included in the download. You have to view the star map in order to play the game. This game runs well in DosBox.