Captain Kirk and the USS Enterprise are representatives of the United Federation of Planets. Their role in space is that of explorers as well as a military presence. The Enterprise routinely encounters strange adventures and bizarre situations, each laid out as a separate "episode" which must be played in order. The first episode involves the USS Enterprise being called to a world to investigate strange "demons" have appeared from the mines and begun attacking the settlers.
Star Trek: 25th Anniversary is based on the 1960s Star Trek TV series. The game is a combination of a point-and-click, side-scrolling adventure game and a first person starship simulator. This tie-in actually missed the 25th Anniversary of Star Trek's TV debut by half a year (nearly three years in the case of the Amiga version), but it uses the original series' characters and settings. Players directly control Captain Kirk, leader of the Starship Enterprise, and are able to give orders to other crew members. While the enterprise is on a peaceful mission, combat is possible. A new game begins on the bridge of the Enterprise, seen from a 3rd person view of Kirk, but a first person view out the viewscreen of the Enterprise. When on board the ship, Kirk can contact Chekov to assign a designation, raise shields or begin combat, contact Sulu to engage warp or adjust magnification, contact Spock to scan for data and search for keyword information, contact Uhura to deal with communications, and contact Scotty to change power allocation and repair damage and beam down to a planet. During combat, the player steers the Enterprise manually and is able to turn in 720 degrees of direction as well as increase or decrease speeds. Weaponry includes phaser banks which draw from the ship's energy and proton torpedoes which are in limited supply.
The adventuring bulk of the game comes in the form of many landing party missions, in which the player beams down to the surface of a planet and explores the situation. Kirk can move about on the screen, other crew members automatically follow him. From the menu, he chooses a body part to perform an action: eyes represent looking, mouth represents speaking, one hand represents using items (and crew members) while another is to pick up objects. Kirk carries an inventory of items collected which can be accessed and used at any time. In most missions Kirk will carry a communicator to contact the ship and a phaser weapon which can be set to "stun" or "kill", The point-and-click adventure has different solutions to problems, but the ideal goal of the federation is to solve things non-violently. Performance is rated accordingly as well as being based on how many extra discoveries and advances made and interaction with different beings, including aliens. The surroundings are all based on styles from the TV series and solutions to puzzles involve the skills of multiple crew members.