Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Star Command

Space RPGs are few and far in between. The closest thing to perfection that I could name off the top of my head is the space epic Infinite Space for the Nintendo DS.

While anyone would be hard-pressed to match that game, Warbird's Star Command would like to show off its potential - albeit on the more mobile OS platforms. I've had the chance to play a copy for the Android version and it didn't disappoint.

Starting off as a Kickstarter project twice, Star Command is a space simulation game. Think of it as a cross between Star Trek and The Sims, where you micromanage a crew of a starship to accomplish missions and generally survive the harsh darkness of space.

Players have a choice between a few ships and go on to build rooms within them, which in turn grant various capabilities for the ship such as weaponry, shielding and dodging ability. Crew members are then hired and assigned to each room, granting them some sort of proficiency which would help the entire crew survive the journey. The game is mostly story-driven, although players can farm resources - called tokens - to further upgrade their ships.

As someone who hasn't followed the drama behind the creation of the game (and I'll leave that for the reader to look it up), there are a just a couple of gripes I have about this game. First off, the game isn't that long. Around thirteen missions and a couple or so side quests is all the players get, and a lot of the planets seem to still be locked for some reason. Secondly, the controls are not well-refined. While this isn't a problem in other games, space battles in Star Command can be ridiculously hectic as there are often battles on two fronts and players would often have to scramble their crew between manning the different rooms, repairing and healing other crew and repelling invaders to are teleported onto the ship.

Star Command is available on Google Play for around three dollars. Fair warning though - while it's very good at what it does, it mostly seems like an unfinished game. If it's your cup of tea, have a go at it.

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