Review: Star Wars Commander
After 3 months of playing this game a few minutes per day, a verdict has finally been reached. Star Wars Commander (SWC) is a real-time strategy (RTS) game that is cleverly developed for the short attention spans of iOS gamers. It’s a free game, but you’ll have to pay if you don’t have the patience of Job.
The art direction in SWC takes a little cartoony approach to the galaxy far, far away. It’s not too kiddie though, as the game’s graphics and effects are enough to make you take the game seriously. If you have close to current generation iOS devices, this game runs silky smooth. You can zoom in to see the details of a particular component (turret, wall, research lab, etc.) and it looks good.
First off, SWC requires you to be online. There’s absolutely no off-line play. If you have Wi-Fi at home and at work, you can check in to the game twice a day and not miss out. Then, you have to select whether you want to use a rebel or imperial theme for your base. I’m a dark side of the Force guy, so I picked up the latter.
The gameplay is your typical RTS. You select the component of your base and you level it up. You wait for your Alloy mining and Credit (money) stations to build up and then you empty them out into storage. These two forms of currency are the basic ways of purchasing and leveling up the different components of your base (e.g., fence, shield generator, etc.). Then, there’s the higher form of currency with green crystals. You start off with a couple hundred crystals, but they’re very rare. You can speed up development and level up your base with a quickness using crystals, but this is where you pay out of pocket or sign-up for websites to acquire them quickly. Crystals will also allow you to purchase construction droids that look like R2D2. The more droids you have, the more you can upgrade at one time as they’re needed to do just about every task in the game. As for the prices of crystals, it’s going to cost you quite a bit.
The single-player campaign consists of 15 chapters with multiple missions within them. This is the quickest way to earn crystals. The battles themselves are a little hard to control if you are not precise with your touching of open areas that allow for deployment troops and vehicles. As for online play, it can be relentless if you’re not leveled up to a high degree. I’m getting attacked 4 to 5 times per day. You can purchase protection from online attacks using the crystal currency. This at least gives you time to level up without interruption as online attacks will deplete your alloy and credit supply quickly.
Finally, after each attack, the game gives you the option of getting some revenge on the player that attacked you. If you’ve leveled up enough equipment, you should be aiming to destroy their base 100%. Pro Tip: Scan their base and use the “S” in RTS that stands for “strategy”. The game requires you to deploy carefully and take out certain things in order. The Mortar turrets are deadly for infantry units so take them out with some aerial bombings.
Pacing is all based on whether or not you want to pay for crystals out of pocket or not. Again, I’ve been playing this for 3 months and I’m too cheap to fork out any money. I did, however, decide on signing up for free websites to get a third droid in there to help do multiple things at one time. If you’re life is a busy one and only have time do put in a few minutes per day, this may just be the game for you.
SWC’s sound has your typical John Williams’ tunes. The droids and the familiar creatures all have Skywalker Sound’s effects crispy and clear for the ear. Again, the development team should be commended for making an iOS game that’s addicting, but also a long-term gaming experience. It is the most time I’ve put into an iOS game since the original Angry Birds.
The game in a nutshell is all about your base (and no trouble). A great effort and the most fulfilling iOS experience I’ve played thus far. Check out the trailer below.
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