Star Command

Available Platforms: DOS, Amiga

Star Command is a 1988 space role-playing game released by Strategic Simulations Inc initially for MS-DOS, then Amiga and Atari ST.

Year1988
GenreRole Playing
Rating3.5

72/100 based on 7 Editorial reviews. Add your vote

PublisherStrategic Simulations Inc
DeveloperStrategic Simulations Inc
OS supportedWin7 64 bit, Win8 64bit, Windows 10
Updated19 February 2020

Game Review

Star Command is a 1988 space role-playing game released by Strategic Simulations Inc initially for MS-DOS, then Amiga and Atari ST.

One of the things I learned from the world of video games is that developers take a huge risk when they approach a space theme. There's nothing complicated about this setup, but time has proven that these adventures are usually either a resounding success or a hopeless failure. The big question is, in which of these two categories does Star Command fall? Surprisingly in both, and I will tell you why.

The game was developed in 1988 by Winston Douglas Wood and Eric Liebenauer, who also worked on the Phantasie saga.

The story takes place in a dystopic future where Earth was destroyed by hostile aliens, a setup used until exhaustion that, for some reason, the developers refuse to abandon. The humans, now located in a far space of the universe called "the triangle," must face a double war to survive. On the one hand, an organization of organized space pirates and, on the other hand, some hostile alien insects that want to finish with humanity. This makes me think that if the creator of The Jetsons is also part of this fictional universe, he must feel terrible about himself.

Leaving my attempt at comedy aside and focusing on the analysis, in the gameplay, we can find the reason why I think the game is good (at least in this section). Although the release has several economy and purchase management elements, present from the beginning of the game when the player must buy a ship, where the title shines more is in its capacity as RPG. First, when creating the player's first team, several statistics must be taken into account and assign them the points for each NPC, as the vast majority of these titles. But also, the player must assign classes, train them and buy the equipment for each soldier.

Finally, what places Star Command as a great RPG and not a relatively good one is that all these mechanics are combined with several game mechanics. Among them is the intelligent use of the ship, exploration in different universe sectors, interaction based on dialogues with other NPCs (which allows options such as bribing, intimidating, or fighting). In short, this is the kind of title that makes me misqualify others, as it shows that being a release of 1988 does not limit it at all. Now, with all that said, it's time to focus on the negative.

The graphics and sounds of this game are definitely... Something. Despite the developers' attempt to use two colors that can be combined, the composition, in general, is totally disorganized and repellent to the eye. In some scenarios, they try to give personality to the adventure with a wide range of colors that occupy the space, but it ends up looking like the work of a 6-year-old kid who started using Paint. The interface is a catastrophe of unnecessary information that could easily be distributed in windows to avoid dizzying the unfortunate user who just started to play it.

As far as sound is concerned, things are not getting any better. If there is something positive that I can highlight in this section, I like the sound of the weapons, but I doubt that a "pew-pew" can save what is coming. The soundtrack, if you can call it that, rather than the inspiration of the music coming out of my Christmas tree lights, looks like plagiarism because they sound the same. Then, the sound effects are as identical as they are generic, which shows that they didn't put any effort into it.

In short, Star Command is a two-sided coin. The developers were clearly focusing on the gameplay. Even though they tried to do something with the image (I admit that I could have been a bit hard on it), the creators didn't have the ability or the examples to make it work or even create a more friendly interface. Even so, I think the title is a great adventure, and if one manages to pass these obstacles that are more repellent at the beginning, he is on his way to meet one of the best RPGs of the time.

Review by: Gustavo
Published: 5 December 2020 8:21 am


Screenshots

Star Command DOS screenshot
Star Command DOS screenshot
Star Command DOS screenshot
Star Command DOS screenshot
Star Command DOS screenshot
Star Command DOS screenshot
Star Command DOS screenshot
Star Command DOS screenshot
Star Command DOS screenshot
Star Command DOS screenshot

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We suggest you to search on the GOG Store to see if the game is available.


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