Before Starfleet cadets pursuing the command track can graduate, they have to attempt the Kobayashi Maru. The virtual reality simulation places the cadet in command of a Starfleet ship and throws them into an intense situation to test their decision-making capabilities.
For years, fans have wondered how they would handle the Kobayashi Maru. Several video games have offered fans the chance to test themselves in the scenario. However, a new free, browser-based game developed by Scopely in partnership with CBS, allows anyone to attempt the test. Fans can play through the scenario as many times as they’d like, for free. If they win, the prizes are pretty great. However, the chances of beating the game are incredibly low, just like the chances of solving the original Starfleet scenario.
The Test Scenario
The situation in the test was always the same. The ship received a distress call from a freighter ship named the Kobayashi Maru. The distress call indicated that the civilian ship was disabled in the Klingon Neutral Zone, a section of space that served as a buffer between Federation space and Klingon space.
The captain was expected to take on the dangerous mission of rescuing the freighter. However, this meant taking a Starfleet ship into a section of space they weren’t supposed to enter, which would be seen by the Klingons as an act of aggression. As the simulation continued, the Starfleet vessel was confronted by Klingon battleships and a fight ensued.
Cadets were supposed to save the freighter, survive a battle with the Klingons, and get their ship back to Federation space with minimal losses. However, the way the simulation was set up made it nearly impossible to achieve all these objectives. The point of the test was to see what decisions cadets would make when handed a no-win situation.
Can Fans Beat the New Kobayashi Maru?
Trek fans who think they can beat the new game are in for a tough challenge. According to Scopely’s press release, the chances of beating the game are around one in 10,000. A promo for the game posted to Twitter, narrated by George Takei, warns fans of the dangers of playing an “unwinnable” game. However, fans who think they’re up to the task can play through the game as many times as they want, learning from each attempt.
The first three players to beat the game between February 11th and February 25th will win some cool Star Trek collectibles in addition to bragging rights. The first player to beat the game will win a lifetime subscription to the new Paramount+ streaming service and an authentic shirt from Star Trek: The Original Series. The second person to solve the scenario will win a package of ship models, a cardboard cutout of Captain Kirk, and a personalized letter promoting them to the Captain’s chair. The third cadet to conquer the Kobayashi Maru will win a gift card to the official Star Trek gift shop and a personalized certificate from Starfleet Academy.
The contest only lasts two weeks, and the chances of beating the game on the first try are astronomically low. So, prospective Starfleet captains will need to get started soon!