Star Trek has never had the video game pedigree other Sci-Fi properties, like Star Wars or Warhammer 40k, have enjoyed. For every well received Elite Force or Bridge Commander there are a dozen more Away Team and Borg waiting in the Briar Patch. Sadly, Hidden Evil, a 1999 Presto Studios game, joins this unremarkable bunch. It is short, difficult to control, and forgettable.


You may be forgiven for forgetting the great contribution Insurrection made to the Star Trek canon. A film in which the best scene involves Data acting like a life preserver. To be fair there is probably a decent episode's worth of material in the film, maybe a two-parter. Yet it loses its way somewhere between Picard and crew becoming leather clad action heroes and the enterprise being maneuvered by a joystick. Thus, it may surprise you to realize this game is a sequel to that masterpiece. Our main character is Ensign Sovok, a human raised by Vulcans. He joins Picard and Data on the planet of the film to investigate a hitherto undiscovered alien artifact the Son'a and Ba'ku found while constructing a colony. There is not much story to ruin as the game is quite short, but suffice to say the Son'a still do not like the peace loving Ba'ku, Romulans are evil, and the alien artifact is actually really dangerous. It ends up being pretty well traveled territory, both by Star Trek's and other show's standards. It is enough to move the plot along, but it will never surprise you.


This is not an action game, despite what the publisher's screenshots may tell you. This is an adventure game in the same vein as Grim Fandango. Walk around, collect items, solve some light puzzles, move the story forward, etc. Fans of Fandango will find a similar awkward control scheme at work here. Sovok controls much like that of a high schooler's car: poor maneuverability, slow acceleration, and no speed. This is a troubling foundation on which to base a game that requires a fair amount of phaser shooting. There is some light auto-aiming going on, but you still have to slowly rotate to face enemies. Your best tactic is running in circles until they miss then trying to get a quick shot off. This is if you can remember the key to select your phaser. All your equipment (tricorder, communications badge, phaser, nerve pinch!) is accessed via the number keys. This is functional, but every time I wanted to get at an item I hit the wrong button. Most of these items end up being useless anyways, occasionally you have to scan the environment, but it rarely tells you anything interesting. Nerve pinch sounds cool, but it is ridiculously hard to get in the right position to use it, and the enemy has to be unaware for it to work. Most of the time you will be blasting away with your phaser. Occasionally you can pick up a hypospray for healing or another equally powerful weapon, but for most of the game what you start with is what you got.

Lengthwise You are looking at 9 missions, for about 5 hours of ok to frustrating gameplay. Everything is pretty easy, except for the last two missions which have you navigating corridors that look very similar. With no minimap except for the weak imposter they use with the tricorder in the last mission. Most of your time in these last two missions will be spent trying to remember what is where.


An unexpected high point. Despite being released in 1999, the game looks pretty decent. Backgrounds are static in the style of Myst and are suitably detailed. Actual characters and objects are 3d models which, though rough, are pretty good for the time in terms of detail and animation. It is a bit of mishmash putting 3d characters in 2d paintings, but it works.

Music, Sound Effects, and Voice Work

Nothing egregious here, Christopher Gorham, voice actor for Sovok gives an unremarkable performance, backed up Patrick Stewart (Picard) and Brent Spiner (Data). The actual plot does not give them much to work with, but you will not be clawing your ears out either. The music is forgettable, but all the sound effects from TNG are faithfully replicated. Phasers and transporters sound like you would expect.


Overall, its a short game that is occasionally frustrating, but has a decently moving story and some of your favorite TNG characters. I give it 5 Lt. Cmdr. Datas out of 3 Stargazers.


1. If you are going to play this, I recommend this walkthrough. 2. This game does run on Windows 7, but you must install the packaged version of Quicktime player and install a NoCd crack. It also helps to run it in Windows 95 compatibility mode. 3. There is no quicksave, it was a 90s thing.