“Captain, they’ve locked weapons onto us! Red alert!”
Everyone knows Star Trek. Even if you’re not a fan, you can imagine the type of crazy sci-fi adventures that come from flying an expensive looking spaceship and interacting with alien lifeforms. Think laser cannons and really big explosions.
Star Command (for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad) lets you become the captain of your very own spaceship. Your mission is to build, upgrade and maintain your ship, keep your workers alive and destroy all alien warriors that occupy the universe. Sounds easy right?
Well, it’s not easy, but it is a lot of fun.
You can employ a maximum of 10 staff members and each must be assigned to a role on your ship. There are four types of rooms:
- Weapons – shoot cool plasma turrets
- Maintenance – keeps your shields running
- Brig – houses your ship police
- Medical – provides nurses to heal your team
The battles in this game are completely fun and frantic. You’ll spend the majority of your time focusing on keeping everyone alive. Infact, the gameplay is so chaotic, be prepared to face facts, some of your pint-sized heroes aren’t going to make it through alive. Especially when the controls require finger tapping precision, which the design doesn’t allow.
Another annoyance – which is reflective of the game’s steep difficulty curve – is that any hit by the enemy can blow a hole in the side of your ship, sucking half of your team into the depths of space. After a ten minute battle – that really hurts!
It is always rewarding, however, to sit back and watch the enemy get blown to bits. Every successful battle genuinely feels like a real achievement due to the aftermath of fires, breaches and wounded that cover your ship when the guns have stopped firing. I found myself enjoying the moments when I was repairing my ship, relishing the calm before the next storm.
Unfortunately, there are bugs in Star Command. This is version 1.0 – which was never going to be perfect – but some bugs are incredibly frustrating. The biggest one – which almost stopped me playing completely – was when the game slowed down to an awfully slow pace after an hour into play. Restarting and reloading the save file on my iPad 2 didn’t fix this.
It’s fair to say that I play/sample a lot of mobile games, but I could actually count on one hand the mobile games I have stuck with to completion. Despite the tricky, clunky controls and common bug annoyances I actually did complete Star Command, but that’s probably because it’s quite short. You can be the judge, I completed the game in under 3 hours.
In summary, despite my gripes, I really liked Star Command. The art-style is fantastic and the sound is superb. I would definitely recommend downloading as it’s worth the $2.99 price point.
Download on your iPad though. I imagine playing Star Command on your iPhone would be harder than trying to write a text message with a swollen sausage.