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Cosmic Commander

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4.2/5 (72 votes)

If there's one sci-fi rank that has the highest level of awesome associated with it, it's "commander". Some of the greatest protagonists of all space-time have it appended to their name: Riker, Sisko, Adama... Keen. So it's only fitting that when puzzle-master Johnathan May chooses to surprise us with rocking a vertical-side-scrolling space shooter, that he should dub it Cosmic Commander. And let me tell you, it has a challenge more than worthy of its station.

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One of the more serious design flaws is that the gold coins look almost exactly like the golden bullets that some enemies shoot at you. Causing me to try to "collect" bullets into my ship's hull...


Minter lives!
(and he hates us poor gamers)


Yeah, even on the first level there were way too many bullets and gold coins on the screen for me... ._.


Jonathan May, one of the greatest puzzle game designers around, wizard of woolythinking, at long last comes back to us with . . . a mashup of Asteroids and Space Invaders?

Did I miss a memo here?

Or is this "Johnathan May" a different chap entirely?


Yep, same Jonathan May. :)

He told me he had always wanted to make a shmup, and this is it.

But I don't see how you can even remotely call it a mashup of asteroids and space invaders. It's nothing like either of those two games.


One of just a few online browser games I found myself playing to the very end. One of the only online games I bothered to hit the "comment" button for.

It might be a familiar formula, but the quality as well as simplicity of each element makes it stand out. The graphics are colorful and sparky, but not painful for the eyes as some Japanese shooters can be. The minimalistic design works well and the music is frenetic. Addictive.

Brian Lutz February 15, 2011 4:20 AM

Another one that completely misses the point. If you're using a health bar to cover up for the fact that you're basically making things undodgeable, you're not really doing anything but adding fake difficulty. I'm not saying this needs to be a full-on Danmaku shooter or anything like that, but this one just doesn't work very well.

Billy Nitro February 15, 2011 5:53 AM

I liked it, but I don't like that you can't swap out upgrades. If you level something all the way up and trade it out for another upgrade, you can never get it again. Shame.

Is there anything but a blank screen after you beat it?


Apparently in classic bullet hell tradition, there's only a tiny spot on your ship that's actually vulnerable to enemy fire. Too bad you're never told what it is.

Making the movement of your ship vague and floaty in a game that's all about skittering your way through masses of enemy fire also seems a bit egregious.

All in all, this game is incredibly annoying first and everything else second.

cinder calhoun February 15, 2011 8:37 AM

Maybe he meant 'Galaga' instead of 'space invaders?

Anyhow, yeah, there's a lot of bullets! I agree that the coins shouldn't look like bullets, and the other commenter's statements about the upgrade system. (The 'free guy' purchase should NOT take up a slot, especially).

Yeah, there is more than a blank screen when you beat it, but not much more.

Still, it was fun to watch at times.


The game is too intense usually involving "V" shapes of bullets closing in on me and the before mentioned "collect the bullets".
I can't believe this came from the creator of Dark Room and other great games.


i know my computer isnt that super-uber anymore, but a 1.2GhZ CPU being brought down by a 2d shooter is bad. Thus I cant play this. (I know this is recurring complaint from me..., sorry, but I dont see why I need to buy a 3ghz one for flash games.)


Too easy to move the cursor outside of he play area since its hidden and so I too frequently am paralyzed before I realize what has happened. Mediocre at best. Lags severely on a 2.4Ghz dual-core


3rd place all time!! On my third or forth play-through ;)

The game starts our rather boring and hard, later it gets very interesting, and harder. The difficulty didn't ramp up with my skills (maybe because I used health+shield), so I ended up with an easy ride for the second half. Also, extra lives stay after you buy them, so buy one, then buy the next level weapon.

Short and sweet, no story or ending, but a great diversion and reminiscent of earlier fun. Thanks JayIsGames for the link!

Wolfe Procter February 15, 2011 11:08 PM

Seriously, you call this casual?! It's called bullet {hell} for a reason. Waaay too many bullets and enemies that are too tough. If it wasn't for having more than 1 hp per life, I'd have gotten a game over on the first level.


Amazing combination of bullet hell with more sedate cartoony shooters.

I particularly love the




Having no instructions REALLY brings down this game. I love the graphics and music, but having no explanation, for example, of what the "energy" even does makes this game lose a lot potential fun, imho.


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