Mars Commando


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Rating: 4/5 (36 votes)
| Comments (2) | Views (28)

Mars CommandoJohnBIn the year 2049, all the water on Earth has been depleted. The nearest source of the good stuff is our friendly neighborhood Mars. So... let's go get it, shall we? Mars Commando is a defense game that emphasizes unit placement and strategy over swarms of soldiers, allowing you to earn the satisfaction of eradicating thousands of aliens with half a dozen of your own troops.

Wave, recruit, wave, recruit. That's the pattern you'll fall into once Mars Commando begins. Each stage features a dozen or so waves of aliens, marching in from the right like there's a sale on gigantic contact lenses. The only thing between your home base and them are a few rocks, your soldiers, and some barricades, the latter two of which you have to pay for and deploy yourself. Click one of the four units, then click "recruit" to pay and add them to your roster. Drag them on the map to set them in the best position, watching where their line of fire sits so you can get maximum coverage. Repeat until your team is full (or until you're out of cash), then head over to purchase barricades, explosives, or add-ons that offer temporary boosts. Afterwards, let the wave begin!

While the aliens are marching, you get to control the little roving droid that can do two things: heal friendly units and shoot enemies. You can switch modes between waves, pumping up the healing or damaging capabilities by sacrificing the other. You can also use one of several special abilities like the beam shot that heavily damages a small group of aliens or the health pack that restores your team's hit points.

Mars CommandoAnalysis: Mars Commando is thick with strategy, but it's the kind of strategy casual players will easily wrap their heads around. Peruse the manual before you begin to get a feel for the menus, it helps to orient you before jumping into the fray. Then, learn how and where to place units to maximize their effectiveness, concentrating weapons fire according to where aliens clump together in each respective wave. There's little room for error, but if you survive, you'll likely thrive.

Aside from its moderately steep learning curve and higher than normal difficulty, there's very little not to like about Mars Commando. There's not a huge variety of units or items to play around with, which is good or bad depending on your preferences (we think it's good). The progression is also a little slow, doling out new items only after you survive groups of a dozen or so waves. It adds a nice sense of accomplishment, but it also makes later waves in some stages a bit dull if you've got a smart set-up going.

Simple but challenging and with a strong focus on building basic strategies. Mars Commando is a smart defense game that will quietly invite your inner general to come out and kick some native alien tail!

Play Mars Commando

2 Comments

TheGreatDane Author Profile Page March 9, 2012 2:29 PM

I have problems reading the manual. It seems like a bug:
Page 3 doesn't seem to work. When I click next from page 2 it either skips back to the main menu, or jumps right into the level screen, with the Start/Menubuttons not responding.

I can start the game fine, but I have no idea how to control the guy in the spacesuit. And when I randomly pushed buttons, text filled the screen, and I didn't know how to turn it off again.

It looked promising, but those things are not a good start for a game with a steep lurning curve.

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Fred M. Sloniker Author Profile Page March 11, 2012 2:57 PM

This game has just been broken for me since I cleared my cache. It keeps forgetting my campaign progress, meaning every time I want to play it I have to start from the first crater. Add to that interface issues (why make us hold down the mouse button during an entire wave when we have no reason to stop shooting? Why let us almost instantly kill troops, or even the spaceship itself, with a careless click of the Battle droid?) and gameflow issues (character death is persistent, but money isn't, meaning you either go through a long, painful grind to get good troops or start over with novices), and you wind up with a game I want to like but can't even play.

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