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Curious about Star Command? Here’s a quick primer

Sections: 3D, Action, Features, Genres, Handhelds, iPhone & iPod Touch & iPad, Sim

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Star Command

Star Command has come a long way since getting funded on Kickstarter back in 2011. After overcoming some delays, the game is now available for $2.99 on iOS. It’s a simulation game that puts you in control of your very own spaceship and crew. It’s easy to compare Star Command to FTL: Faster Than Light, but it’s unique enough to stand on its own. But if you enjoy FTL, Star Command should be right up your alley. 

You start off by creating a basic look for your captain and naming your ship. From there, Star Command begins to encapsulate you in its storyline. Unlike FTL, Star Command doesn’t just toss you from battle to battle. It’s also not a roguelike experience. There are specific plot points you must hit, but you are given a degree of freedom to explore sections of the solar system. Exploration is just a small part of the game. The meat of the experience involves customizing your ship and managing combat situations.

Your ship needs to have basic facilities to survive in space. There are rooms that cater to your ship’s shield, engine, weapons, medical needs and evasion proficiency. These rooms cannot function without a crew member. Crew members can also be given one of three job classes. They can be an engineer, a scientist or a fighter. They can only do jobs associated with their class. For example, scientists can’t repair the ship and fighters can’t heal fellow crew members. It’s a good idea to have extra crew members take up important roles so the others can continue to man their stations.

Now let’s take a basic look at combat. Star Command does not hold your hand for very long. In fact, there are important aspects of this game that aren’t covered in the tutorial. For instance, mini games are associated with firing weapons. If you don’t do good at those mini games, you’ll either miss or do less damage to enemy ships. You also have to keep an eye on several meters such as your shield level, hull heath, enemy shield, enemy hull heath, weapon timers and token creation progress.

Tokens are required to evade attacks and restore shields. They have to be generated before you can use them. In the beginning of the game, you can only have two shield and evasion tokens at one time. Other kinds of tokens act as currency to hire crew members and upgrade the ship.

As you take damage, your shields can drop to a critical level. This allows the enemy to board your ship. Unless you have a decent number of fighters at the ready, you will get wiped out. That’s why it’s a good idea to have extra crew members around. If you remove someone from the weapons room to fight off invaders, you won’t be able to attack the enemy ship. There’s a delicate balance that must be mastered.

Things can get frantic and cramped in Star Command, but it’s still a fantastic game with an amazing soundtrack. I can’t stress how good the music turned out. It’s a real bargain at $2.99. Grab it now before the price goes up.

Download Link [iTunes]

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