"Explore the universe in your own ship!"
Star Command began as a kickstarter awhile back with grandiose promises of exploring galaxies and building unique and custom star ships for you and your crew to explore where no man has even gone before. After a long anticipated wait from the time the kickstarter was over and the game was released, we can now take a better look to match up those spoken promises.
I’ll just start by saying, if you followed along with the kickstarter for Star Command you were probably hoping for a deep and robust Star Trek-like mobile game. I’m going to have to pour water on that fire now so that expectations don’t raise through-out the review. Don’t get me wrong, Star Command is an enjoyable experience that mixes gameplay elements from the popular FTL PC series with Star Trek like voyages. From the beginning of the game you’ll be able to select one of few ships depending on the difficulty level. Each ship can be customized through-out the game by adding research labs, new weapons, medical bay’s, and a few other additions. You’ll also be able to select from different crew members that look all too familiar to each other. Now, the customization and exploration really isn't all that deep, the game feels like it keeps you on a track with the illusion that you have the freedom to explore.
As the captain of your star ship you’ll be responsible for pretty much everything. You’ll assign crew members to certain decks of the ship, but they won’t fire, build ammunition, research new technology without the word of their fair captain. Taking into consideration that this is a mobile game and is made to play more like a mobile game that can run on older devices, Star Command offers an enjoyable experience to most fans of the space exploration games, even if exploration and customization feels limited. Some of the freedoms are there, like making choices to side with one alien race over another or what additions to your ship you’ll upgrade or completely go without. If you go into the game without any major expectations you should enjoy the experience more, though most will feel there was still room for so much more.
Star Command can be downloaded through the App Store on iOS or Google Play for Android. It’s available on all iOS devices that have 4.3 or later. It’s compatible with most recent android devices and is only $2.99 on both markets.
The graphics in Star Command are visually fun to look at, it impresses with an enjoyable 16bit style of graphics that we've come to know and love for many years now. The interface is laid out in a easy to understand environment, in fact I would say it’s easy enough for most ages to enjoy.
- No in-app purchases
- HD Support
- Customize your own ship and crew
- Enjoyable visuals and audio
- Story can be comically entertaining
- Lack of Ship customization options
- Lack of exploration
- Leaves you with the feeling of desiring more, which can be a good thing in some cases. In this case though, you really feel like there should have been more.
Space Command is really the first strategic space combat game for both iOS and Android devices. Hopefully we’ll see more to come soon, but if you’re looking for a much more in-depth game that involves strategic planning and ship customization and you’re OK with it being on the PC, then check out FTL, you won’t regret it. It has everything that Space Command has, but everything Space Command doesn't have as well.
Space Command is an enjoyable journey at a low cost. If the expectations weren't set so high prior to development, I don’t think it would have ended up being so disappointing to many. The fact that Space Command boasted its vast freedom and exploration ended up making users that heard those promises felt like they just received fan made Star Trek movie instead of the promised block-buster hit. Overall, broken promises aside, Star Command is the best option you’ll have for this genre on mobile devices, going in with lower expectations is sure to bring you out happier with the experience.