Average User Score: 7.1Nov 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