First Contact is a science fiction based strategy game at heart, but with some arcade elements thrown in for good measure.
Invading aliens must be stopped from rendering the communications spacestation 9W/4 inoperative. The station is split into four different decks (A,B,C and D) and each deck is home to a different system.
The aliens begin to swarm throughout the decks of the station, and the game continues for as long as the droid sections are still operative. Once all three sections are disabled, then the game is over.
The player can program the three sections to patrol, defend or repair or the player can watch progress and then take manual control at any point and directly influence the outcome in real time, moving the sections around the station corridors, attacking aliens and repairing systems as they go.
The game ends when all three droid sections have been disabled by the invading aliens, leaving them to take over the station unchallenged.