May 4, 2013A triumph of style and ambition over sense, logic and good design. In other words: it’s pretty but I found it painful to play. My quick verdict: don’t bother, and get FTL instead.
This is what would happen if you took the aims of FTL (command a starship) and rejected all the great design decisions FTL made, and crammed the result into a very pretty façade that features some of the most tedious micro-management of fiddly-to-control characters I’ve played in a while.
So many poor design decisions:
- there’s no tutorial that explains how ship weapons are fired, so look forward to spending at least the first couple of battles struggling to get what you’re supposed to do. Clever stuff.
- crew can only do one job at a time, and in order to switch their skill you have to slooooooowly march them over to the room that matches the skill you want them to have, then sloooooowly march them back to the area that requires attention. When you’re flooded with invaders and need to fight back, enjoy marching your team through the ship just for a change of wardrobe, then back to the invaders. God it’s tedious.
- rooms that require the production of specific ammo will not just keep making that ammo for you. You have to re-initiate production after each and every unit they produce. If you forget, which it’s incredibly easy to do, you’re stuffed. Why do this?
- the text style they chose is hideous and really hard to read. Fits the retro-look, but there’s a reason we don’t present screens of text like that any more: it’s horrible on the eyes.
- and God help anyone attempting to play this on an iPhone. I know plenty of people are doing, but they must have the patience of a saint, or incredibly high tolerance for frustration.
And that’s before we get onto the endlessly repetitive missions (go to a planet, sit through the screens of text, enter battle. Every time. No variation), and the fact that it’s perfectly possible to just send all your crew into one room, ignore ALL the damage your ship is taking, even the hull breaches, and wait it out until you grind the enemy shields down eventually.
But hey, it LOOKS nice…
In my personal opinion, despite lovely(ish) presentation and a whole heap of atmosphere, it eschews sense and logic to produce a game that just throws one frustration after another at you to draw out the play-time. I’ve no issue with hard games in which dying and starting again is all part of the appeal. That’s why I love FTL.
But this is just a mess of frustrations and after a couple of games, neither of which were ever much fun, I have no desire to play any more and an overwhelming urge to fire up FTL and run a starship with proper crew who don’t have to change their jersey just to fire a phaser.
Go get FTL for your PC or Mac, and don’t waste £2 on Star Command.… Expand
May 9, 2013I don't know how they've cowed all the developers in to giving them favorable reviews. I just bought the game and have been playing it and can tell you that they are all bogus. Star Command is incomplete, has shoddy controls and I wish there was a return policy for software. A game is not the sum of its screen shots or media outlet reviews, buyer beware.
I would wait to purchase this game.
May 6, 2013Calling this a "good" game is not doing the game industry any favours.
I wanted Star Command to a "good" game, it had potential to be a GREAT game, but unfortunately missed the mark on almost all aspects. I spent most of my 3 hours playing this game wondering how they left out so many obvious features. So much so that it ultimately feels like 70% of a game. Poor controls make this more of a frustration than anything else. The story attempts to be funny but is mostly cringe worthy and completely uninspired. Your crew is borderline brain dead, standing in fire until death or walking their dumb asses right out of the gaping hole in the side of your ship etc.
I dont often write bad reviews, but I make this exception because I truly did want Star Command to be great, yet it feels more like a rushed cash grab which only becomes more frustrating given its huge dev cycle.
giving this game a good score only enables dev teams to pump more mediocre games into the market.
What a let down.… Expand
Sep 26, 2013I picked this up via the September 26, 2013 Humble bundle, Played the android version all the way through. Let me start by saying this: the graphics are nice, the music is nice, but the gameplay and lack of challenge are where this "game" falls flat on it's face. Throughout the game there was ZERO sense of danger in battle, my shields were EASILY refilling way before the enemy ever attacked again, I never had to use dodge or shield boost, and I could leave the game sitting for hours in a battle and never die! Combat goes like this: Enemy always hits you first, you take a little shield damage, your shields are full before the next salvo. You wait, and wait some more as your weapons charge up. You push the weapon button, this starts a little minigame where you tap at the right time to fire your weapons, the better you do, the less time you will waste "in battle". Continue this until the enemy is out of health 10 minutes later. Hooray, repeat this fifteen times and you win the game! Good job you did two timing minigames a few hundred times. Only ONCE did I have my ship boarded and I assume that was because it was a tutorial mission with zombie cosmonauts. The only danger in the game is maybe two or three spots where your dialogue choice ends up having your ship get set on fire or boarded constantly during the fight. Additionally there is no diplomacy, and you don't actually customize your ship so much as choose two out of three weapons and two out of three special rooms. You also do not get to upgrade to a bigger ship unless you beat the game and do what is essentially newgame+, however the ship you have is invincible from the start so who cares about new playthroughs? Do not pay full price for this, it is NOT like FTL, and you will be disappointed and bored.… Expand
Nov 2, 2013I really want to enjoy Star Command, but unfortunately your crew makes this extremely difficult. They're dumber than a box of hammers.
"Tactical" crew will stand right next to enemies, getting shot and not returning fire. All crew types will stand in fire. Engineers will stand a few squares away from fire and do nothing to fix it. I even just had my captain walk all the way over to the other side of the ship during an invasion (with no user input) just to get sucked out of a hull breach. Trying to prevent your crew from killing themselves is often far more complicated than repelling an enemy.
If the absurd amount of micromanagement of a completely brain-dead crew was greatly diminished the game would be 100x more enjoyable. Until a patch is released that provides crew with even mildly sensible AI, I'd recommend avoiding Star Command.… Expand
May 12, 2013Star Command is a game whose story is actually bigger than itself. The product of a Kickstarter campaign, SC is a game that languished in development hell for two years before exploding onto the iOS scene amid fanfare and viral PR. The long and the short of it is that SC puts you in command over your very own Star Trek-style ship, rendered in obviously-lovingly-wrought pixel art. Equip your ship, hire crew, fly to other planets, shoot at enemies. A great premise. On the plus side, the graphics are second to none, provided you like pixel art. It's clear that the developers spent a lot of time on artwork; it's all high quality and very carefully and lovingly made. Audio is quite good, although the orchestrated arrangements for the background music don't exactly match the graphic motif (Pixel People did better with its chiptune soundtrack), nor the 8/16-bit style sound effects...but those sound effects fit right in and work well. The game also forces the player to split attention between ship-to-ship combat and defending one's own ship from boarding parties. So you're simultaneously handling ship weapons and steering your security crew around to handle unwanted guests. Unfortunately, the game doesn't follow the slick polish of the graphics and front end UI. Problem 1: everything is hostile. There's no exploration, and certainly no diplomacy; you're given a new place to go which, no surprise, contains a new ship that wants you dead. There's no other approach, nothing new to see; it's just a matter of what the new aliens who want to kill us look like. Dead dull. Problem 2: basic game mechanics are a nearly epic-level fail. Not only do your ship's weapons and equipment need to charge, but you need to generate a "token" to use most of them. Consequently, you need two time-consuming charge-ups to use your best gear, which is just bad mechanics. Weapon charges, fire weapon. Don't go requiring a second thing, particularly when it takes two minutes to make a token whether you're in combat or peacetime; you will be waiting. Problem 3: you're cramped. There's no really effective way to improve your ship because there's just no room. There are bigger ships, but they're locked with no clear answers on how to unlock them. And Problem 4: the combat curve is sharp. Your ability to defend yourself is rapidly outstripped by your enemies' ability to beat the snot out of you. You will quickly end up being beaten senseless by antiship weapons while your ship is swarmed by boarding parties. On top of that, a lucky shot by an enemy can kill several crew, meaning that battles can become hopeless quickly. Ultimately, I'm hoping that some additional thinking and reworking to game mechanics will correct the most glaring problems, and that some additional development will give you more alien interaction options than "which first? Lasers or torpedoes?" In the meantime, the end result is good graphics and sound, but points off for bad game mechanics, lack of variety, poor balance and pacing, and a lack of play endurance (with so little to see, the game gets old fast). So 5 out of 10 for an unfinished would-be masterpiece called Star Command.… Expand
Oct 26, 2013Fantastic game! Star Command is an absolute gem. It runs flawlessly on my iPad 2, it has ZERO microtransactions (thank lovely 8-Bit style graphics, and a lot of fun. If you've played FTL then you'll already have KIND OF an idea of what the game is like, however, it has less ship component management and more crew management. Its still a very different game to FTL but if you loved FTL (like I did) but wanted some more crew mgmt and more of a Star Trek vibe then give this a shot. Its a bargain at twice its current price!… Expand
Sep 25, 2013I wanted this game to be good, so badly. I adored FTL and a mobile version, or any variant of that type of game is an exciting prospect. Unfortunately, the controls and micromanagement make the game absolutely horrific to play. I would often watch an engineer do nothing while the ship burned right in front of him, requiring you to click on his small person and move him a few steps closer so he would actually do something about it. The crew has no urgency and walks everywhere, while the ship is being blasted to pieces around them. Instead of trying to plan and use strategy during a fight, such as with FTL, I find myself busily trying to just keep up with the obnoxious amount of micromanagement. It's a shame because I really wanted to have fun with this game, except the control scheme absolutely ruins it.… Expand
Sep 26, 2013I went into this game knowing nothing of it. I recently got it from Humble Bundle (Android) and decided to give it a try. I must say, I had an enjoyable experience. Animations and frame rate were solid, and game play was different from usual mobile games. Its far from perfect though. Story felt lacking, characters felt almost forced. You don't feel like dialogue choices make any sort of impact in the game world. I can see why people are unhappy. Personally, I didn't have any issue with the problems others were having. Moving crew made sense, and while tedious, you're not doing much else while waiting for weapons to charge. A tutorial would be nice, but not impossible without one. The devs overstretched and underestimated costs. They didn't make things better with PR either, but considering this is their first release, I'm willing to forgive this as oversight and spur the moment feelings if they keep up with development and listen to their customers. By itself, Star Command is a decent game that could definitely use work. Not everyone will agree, but I say judge it on what it gives you, and enjoy the ride.… Expand
Jun 13, 2013Star Command could've been the most epic iSpace adventure, but unfortunately the game falls short. Real-time is the biggest downer, after an über-boring start, the game generates itself in to an super fast-paced. Style and ambition exceed the use of logic. [June 2013]
Jun 1, 2013Star Command doesn't offer exploration through space or missions on exotic planets, but does provide you with rough confrontations with aggressive space ants, burning hallways, screaming crew members and a tantalizing story. The gameplay often doesn't surpass the manically tapping of pixilated characters on a burning ship and strangely enough that's enough to make you feel like a captain. Engage!