Developer: Pocket Monkey Games
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

In my time reviewing apps I haven’t seen many successful (or many at all) fixed path dual stick shooters. The control setup clearly works best when you are given a top down view of some sort, but after the fantastic Zombie Shock, I was pretty willing to give the sub-genre a shot.

Comando: Warmachine is a fixed path dual stick shooter set in WWII. You play as a super soldier of sorts on a mission to defeat the Nazis, seemingly by yourself. Each mission is pretty much like the one before it, with you walking around the screen killing as many Nazis as possible. The levels vary on the goals, (some have you killing X number of enemies, some have you collecting intel that dead people drop, etc.) but most are just a spin-off of killing people in droves.

As far as intangibles go, the graphics are fairly solid but the UI could really use some tweaking. The biggest problem with the setup is that for one thing, it is too hard to change guns on the fly, and for another, the balance is all messed up, making the levels a cinch once you get an automatic weapon. A single bullet kills each enemy, and enemies drop enough ammo to make spray fire a viable option in winning just about every level. Your accuracy percentage will always be low, but who cares? Winning is winning.

To make a game like this work, the challenge needs to not only be about skill, but also about weapon resource management. I shouldn’t be able to walk through a level recklessly shooting my machine gun and get away with it. I should have to cautiously aim my weapons to hit enemy weak spots, I should have to manage ammo and be forced to use splash damage weapons in hairy moments, and I shouldn’t be able to rely on health packs dropping to finish a level.

Fans of the genre, as well as people who just like shooting games, should have a bit of fun with Commando. It’s not a bad game, but it definitely doesn’t stack up to the current sub-genre king, Zombie Shock.

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