Commando Jack

Commando Jack is a tower defense game that’s just been released on Steam.  In it you play as, you guessed it, Commando Jack as he hops into his turret and fights of wave after wave of aliens intent on conquering the world.  It’s a tower defense game, you place your array of turrets to save the world from whatever evil there is.

Typical tower defense

Typical tower defense

This one has a slight twist.  During the actual onslaught you have the option of assuming the position of Commando Jack, in the biggest of the turrets, and can fire on the aliens.  It’s a nifty little mechanic that has been seen before but not very commonly.  It’s also necessary as some of the aliens, notably the alien sniper, will climb out of the typical arena for tower defense, up the map decorations and start shooting at you, slowly whittling your life points away.

Slightly less-than-dramatic Mexican standoff

Slightly less-than-dramatic Mexican standoff

Commando Jack has plenty of cool ideas floating around.  There is a game mode focused on enemies of different elemental types as well.  Fire and frost aliens will assault your lines while you use flamethrowers and frost(?)throwers to counter the specific types.

After this though there’s a couple of problems I have with the game.  It’s not exactly exciting.  There are a couple of cool sound effects but for the most part, the guns go ratatatatata and the lasers hum and that’s about it.  The aliens don’t talk, Jack doesn’t talk, which helps to focus the game but it feels sort of bland.  Along the same vein the graphics are not so great.  They’re stylised in such a way that it can be forgiven a little bit but it’s still not great.

Another issue I have is that the game has an in-game store.  I just paid $9.99 for this, why is there a store to upgrade my stuff?  When you complete your levels you earn coins and spend them to get access to higher level turrets.  Why is it through a store?

definitely not in game

This is where I would have put a screenshot of the store except for the fact that apparently the game won’t launch for me because it’s already running?

I did some research at this point and it turns out that Commando Jack has been available for close to two years on Android and iOS.  Now that explains basically every problem I’ve had with this game.  Including the abysmal resolution it runs at and the lack of options.

This is maximum and minimum resolution.

This is maximum and minimum resolution.

It’s not a bad game, don’t get me wrong.  It’s a simple game for a simpler platform than my PC but not worth the $9.99 that it costs on Steam.  I’m not saying don’t play it.  If you like tower defense check it out, just don’t buy it on PC.


UPDATE: The game apparently runs using some part of your internet browser.  I couldn’t relaunch it to take screenshots of the store until after I had closed my browser that was writing this very review. So… here’s the store image I originally wanted in here. The above image stays for hilarity purposes.

Yup.  Looks like an iPad game.

Yup. Looks like an iPad game.


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