Based on the Spacewar! game engine, Star Control has no real story component besides a basic background. Two alliances of aliens are at war called the Alliance of Free Stars and the Hierarchy of Battle Thralls. The game is played either by a single player versus the computer AI or two players versus one another. Each players controls a ship in space and fires projectiles at one another.
Star Control has a large cult following and has spawned many sequels and is thought to have influenced more science fiction adventure games.
The Sega Genesis port of Star Control was hyped as the "First 12 megabit game" on consoles. Prior to Star Control's release, Strider had employed a similar hype strategy for it's 8 megabit size.