Nov 2, 2012Give Commander Keen a wider frame, beard, coffee overload, a lonely station in the middle of nowhere, randomly generated levels spawning seemingly endless arrays of containers, cargo and alien hitchhikers and you have Cargo Commander in a nutshell. Trying to scrape out a meager existence to return home to Earth to see your child, Love (capitalised; she's only referred to as such) and your dog, you're tasked with using your home - well, more of a large container with an air conditioning unit, potted plants and repetitive music - as a magnet to attract large containers laden with cargo and other goodies. After they've crashed into your home at speeds enough to send shivers down any crash dummy's spine, you can either enter them by drilling through un-striped wall panels of the container, or float through the convenient gap in your hull straight into it. Watch how much time you float around in space; not only do you have a limited oxygen supply (which can be upgraded somewhat) but there are small, arrowhead-shaped enemies that fly through space and can do quite a bit of damage to you.
Other varieties of alien can be found within containers and are all trying to ruin your already miserable existence in numerous forms and explode into the game's currency - caps, which are used to upgrade your suit, health and armor, tools, weapons and to purchase ammunition. You'll find it of great benefit to upgrade your drill early on as it is crucial to drill faster when escaping hordes of spawning aliens. The drill, being a arm-mounted tool, doubles as a robotic fist you can upgrade to cause increasingly painful melee blows to ward enemies away. Initially armed with the aforementioned tool and a nailgun, you can find weapon terminals within some containers to acquire and swap-out secondary weapons, of which I've used a six-shooter and shotgun (I've been unlucky). Caps can also be used at certain intervals to purchase a car package your family has sent. I got sent a drawing from my child, which went right up on the wall in the section of the ship which seems to be assaulted the most. Sorry kid.
There are a great variety of randomly-generated containers to breach, explore and loot from. I've encountered containers shrouded in almost pitch-black lighting only to spawn four simultaneous waves of enemies, 'slave ship' containers with laser-protected cells, containers filled with bombs and containers laden with flame-spewing turrets to name a few. There are also special containers that contain a large cargo box within, which can either be destroyed to yield smaller cargo boxes with wonderful, wonderful loot, or a large alien bent on tearing off the delicate cargo boxes from between your legs. That isn't so wonderful. There are over 80 types of loot which will randomly generate within cargo boxes each level, so the key to finding them all is purely down to experimentation. As you enter containers, their layout is generated and depending on how they've impacted your home, their orientation may rotate, giving players a potentially nauseating challenge as the camera angle changes. With all this variety you also have to manage time, as every so often a wormhole forms, sucking containers into it's depths in order of the farthest container to the closest.
Levels themselves have content that is as randomised as the level name. Each level name dictates what it contains, which is a cool element to have because you can create levels using any word you want, or perhaps a friend's name, and share the level around. It's also available for other players to play through the random game function. The random game function is self-explanatory, but also contains a scoreboard for each level, bringing some competitiveness into what is otherwise a single-player affair.
All in all, Cargo Commander is a great platformer with interesting elements that keep things fresh for many hours. Retailing at $9.99 on Steam it's highly-affordable and I recommend it to anyone wanting fast-paced, alien-busting, loot-collecting, platforming goodness.… Expand
Nov 2, 2012A little rough around the edges with some graphical issues that will hopefully be patched, but otherwise a great indie game that's full of quirky flavour. The easiest way to describe Cargo Commander is probably 'challenging platformer + graphical nethack in space'. You're looting abandoned cargo containers in randomly generated sectors. Each container is essentially a platforming level in itself, with the added challenge of shifting gravity and the cold hard vacuum of space outside the flimsy container walls. Watch out for the former, mutated Cargo Commanders that also frequently occupy the containers. Definitely a good buy from Steam.… Expand
Nov 14, 2012Pretty entertaining little game. It's not hugely deep, but what it does it does to a good standard. The game in a nutshell is based around collecting cargo by attracting cargo containers to your cargo ship in deep space. Each set of containers that you attach to gives you a certain amount of time to get the cargo from them before a wormhole forms and forces you to rush back to your ship. You use a drill to gain access through the hull, or even through the floors and walls inside the container itself, if you don't wish to go outside. If you do go outside there's a limited air supply (referred to as holding your breath in the game!) which forces you to drill through fairly quickly into the container if you do decide to go outside.
Each container may or may not have: cargo, monsters, weapons, money.
Each map (generated by the word you use to get there) has a leaderboard to compete against other users who used the same word to get there. You'll all play an identical set of stages/containers and even come across the bodies of other cargo commanders. There's no multiplayer interaction beyond this small 'social' aspect, which in my opinion does not detract from the experience.
It's a fun title to play when you're sick of something deeper. The only issues I have with the gameplay itself are: it's often hard to tell quite where an entrance to a container is when you're in space, which leads to a few cheap deaths from suffocation. There are also flying space monsters that seem to spawn indefinitely every few seconds on the later stages of a map. The majority of my deaths are from these, which takes away from the fun of drilling tactically into
a container to avoid the monsters inside, only to have never ending waves of flying space monsters nibble you to death. If they didn't spawn wave after wave of them in the exact same place I would be able to see how they're adding to the difficulty in later stages, but with them working in that way it just feels like a really irritating way of trying to keep your inside the containers and funnelled down the entrances created when they collide into each other.
There's also a few crashes here and there, a graphical glitch or two as well, but they're few and far between.
Overall it's a great little title if you're looking for some quick fun. I'm not sure why it's got some fairly "meh" critic reviews so far, but I suppose it's one of those games that will either 'click' with you or won't.… Expand
Jan 12, 2013Cargo Commander makes the player raid cargo containers that float through space by first attracting them to the space station the player resides in and then forcing said player to find a way in before a wormhole destroys the container and forces the player to find shelter inside the space station. Once inside a container, the player loots and shoots until the containers have been cleared so that the process can be repeated again. In the mean time, you'll find new weapons, enemies and you'll be able to purchase upgrades that last temporarily. Unfortunately, as a platform game, Cargo Commander just isn't any fun. It plays smoothly but has a tendency of obscuring your view, its graphics are sub-par to other, even older, platform games and although it has some charm, it did not manage to captivate me. The weapons are boring, the enemies uninspired and the containers all look the same after a short while.… Expand
Nov 26, 2012I'm very disappointed by the use of a strange type of Alway On DRM in this game. When not connected to the internet you can play the game, but you can't make any progress. You can't ever get to the next level. To unlock new levels you have to play in "Normal Mode" (online) as opposed to "Local Mode", as the makers call it. There are also severe bugs that mean you can't play the game directly from Steam on Mac, but have to locate the application folder and run it directly. Apart from that, the game is OK. The game is novel with the way the level gets built around you as containers crash into your ship, every container having it's own gravity, and being able to make short leaps through open space. But after you've seen all that in the first five minutes, the game becomes very, very repetitive.… Expand
Sep 4, 2013excellent immersive entertainment.
Don't listen to the detractors. Sure this game gets repetitive after the first 5 hours but for its budget price that's plenty of gameplay.
The atmosphere, the longing for home, and the desperately trying not to suffocate while avoiding space thingys that are trying to kill you is excellent immersive entertainment.
Feb 14, 2013Cargo Commander does a lot of things right. When the risk of getting cargo mixes with the need to return to your home cube it’s an exciting feeling. It requires you to think of how you’re going to get through the more difficult cubes in order to get the big cargo reward. Unfortunately, the game’s repetition and unchanging structure keep it from capitalizing on its strong foundation.
Jan 6, 2013With its limited customization, uniform enemy AI, and ineffectual weapons, Cargo Commander tightly constrains the player's tactical and strategic options, no matter the mode. The game may be set in deep space, but Cargo Commander's gameplay feels like it's trapped in a box.