Commander – World 1 is a “tower defence” game on a galactic scale, if you’re a fan of the genre you’ll probably won’t be disappointed.
The game starts off with a stylized game dev logo screen, once you press a you get a nifty text transition effect (that’s used a lot) and after a couple of seconds of loading you are onto the menu screen. At first it can be rather confusing of what is going on, I myself thought the game started instantly and I couldn’t figure out what to do, but each planet you see is a different option and all you need to is select the planet you desire. It is quite a refreshing change from lack lustre menus of many lesser class indie games.
The top left most planet takes you to the stage select, then top left most again is mission 1-1, once you select it the game looks similar to the menu so you might be excused from being slightly confused. The aim of the game is simple, destroy all the aliens that come along the path. The planet with the pink “moons” orbiting around it are the planet you have to protect, each hit destroys a moon. Once all moons are destroyed its game over. Around most planets are coloured squares which represent turret placement points, plus some planets move around and as the gravity shifts so does the path, on the first stage you are limited to one type, each stage has a different selection of towers available.
On stage one you are limited to the standard cannon – once you build it you can upgrade or dismantle it. The dismantle option is made the default option however if you can’t afford another option or are in the process of upgrading, this can be rather annoying since if you press A you instantly sell your tower and lose it. There should be a confirmation option when you press sell and the default option should be cancel for the confirmation so you can’t accidentally delete it when you don’t want to. You can also see what the next wave of ships is going to be by hovering your cursor over the egg timer in the top right. You can also select this to start the next wave or press Y, you can also press X to see enemy health and turret range areas.
As you progress you get access to different turrets and abilities, you can choose between a total of 6 towers and 4 planet ability’s. For the towers you get guns, fast lasers, canons, sustained lasers, enemy slowdown and a tower to change the path which can be upgraded so it also wraps around the planet. The abilities you get from selecting the planet itself and you can either change the cursor into a ship to get glowing power ups that give you extra money or moons, a ship that fires which you can use on the enemy for a short time and costs for using.
Graphically the game uses retro style pixel art theme which works quite well and is very clean. The stylized the font used in the game is also very fitting with this theme and is a good size so is easily readable. The music seems like stock classical music, but it works well with the game and I personally like it. The sound effects are also good though the sound that you get when you collect ship debris to get money is a little loud compared to other audio.
Overall the game is pretty well done, however there can be a major drop in frame rate as more enemies and particle effects appear on the screen, this is very apparent on the later stages and on the world 2 menu which is accessible after beating each stage. This is the only real negative point about the game but hopefully will be fixed in an update. Another thing that would be nice is a small description beside each weapon on the menu for buying them and maybe if on the next wave info, it told you what canon type they are weakest against as you can die many times till you figure out the best canon type of each enemy and what each turret does.
Other than the few negatives noted above the overall game is very playable. I would recommend getting this game and at 80 :MSPoints: it is a steal. The developer seems to taken notice of feedback and has seemed to fix many issues in past versions, so there’s a good chance the minor shortcomings I mentioned should be fixed with time.
You can download the trial version or purchase the full game via the Xbox Marketplace.0