Does "junk status" refer to its extremely low price, or is it an opinion of the quality of the games themselves?
If their junk status is regarding the price, that's just Trek's way of getting as many eyes on their projects as possible; they'd rather have 10000 copies sell at $1, than 1000 copies at $10, which I can understand. Their tactics have been successful in this respect -- about 2M copies of Prelude have sold, and over 150K copies of "Guardians of Orion" AKA "The Orion Project" (I can't tell which name they want to use...I'll just call it Guardians for brevity) have sold. Caveat: there has been at least 1 Steam Free Weekend for Prelude, and Guardians is only several months into Early Access, so we can assume it will get more front-page attention w/ sales upon release.
If junk status is about the quality of the game, then I suppose YMMV. Blasting hordes of dinosaurs, monsters, and robots with all sorts of weaponry is not for everyone,
IMO, these games are actually pretty decent for their niche. "Prelude" was very rough when it first released a few years back, but the devs stuck by their work and made continuous improvements for 2 solid years. It is a now competent game with multiple modes of play. Guardians is in early Alpha, and is pretty well playable at this point. It lacks many of the features of Prelude, but you can clearly see from where Trek has derived its sequel, and where they intend to take it. Mainly, the new game replaces the aged Unreal 3 engine with Unreal 4, which ought to give it potential for another 5-10 years.
If you like shooters, especially those team-based PvE, the Orion games are well worth a buck. Hell, it's probably worth purchasing a few copies to give to your buddies, so they don't have an excuse not to try it out. Even in the worst case, you're out what...$5?