Star Wars: Commander Review: The clone wars is strong with this one
Do you like Clash of Clans? Well, odds are you’ll enjoy Star Wars: Commander, because it’s essentially the same thing with a Star Wars skin. And you know what? That’s perfectly okay, because I love Star Wars (and the fact that a snippet from Episode IV’s Throne Room song plays after every victory).
Star Wars: Commander does a great job of on-boarding new players. You start off as a smuggler on Tatooine with no real allegiance to anyone. After a few tutorial missions, you’ll be given the choice to side with the Rebel Alliance or Galactic Empire, each with their own series of buffs and abilities. I’m playing as part of the Rebels, but I assume both sides are fair and balanced, despite their difference in approach.
Gameplay is similar to Clash of Clans in that you’re given a base to build-up and defend. There are two main resources: credits, for troop building and building upgrades, and alloy, for upgrading your main Headquarters as well as other types of building upgrades. Refineries and markets replenish your resources, though you can also gather them by completing the story quests or attacking rivals.
Everything works on a timer, from troop training to base building, but you can speed things up by spending Crystals. These are essentially the equivalent to Clash of Clans’ gems, as you can obtain them by completing objectives or paying real-life cash via microtransactions. Crystals are also used for other things including base protection and as an alternative payment to upgrade a building should you not have the required amount of a specific resource.
Attacking bases -- whether in the story missions or in PvP -- works off a three-star system also similar to Clash of Clans. You get a star for destroying 50% of the base, another star for destroying the main headquarters, and a third star for completely destroying the entire base 100%. You are also awarded medals which signify your competitive ranking. Attacking is as simple as tapping parts of the map to deploy troops and then watching the battle unfold. Though troops will act under their own command, it’s possible to persuade their actions depending on their placement as well as your timing. Also, certain troops are designed to focus and attack certain buildings, allowing for more strategy.
Where Star Wars: Commander truly excels is in its presentation. From voiced over dialogue to the soundtrack, it feels like an authentic, polished Star Wars game. Sure, it’s not Battlefront, but it does a good job of establishing that iconic Star Wars feel. As a member of the Rebel Alliance, the building designs are a bit underwhelming, but the Galactic Empire is freaking awesome (from what I’ve seen when attacking). My biggest gripe -- and this could just be due to me still learning the game -- is understanding which buildings do what. A lot of the buildings, especially for the Rebels, are very similar in design. I also find some of the touch controls (I’m playing on an iPhone 5C) to be a little unresponsive at times.
So should you download Star Wars: Commander? Absolutely yes, especially if you're a fan of the franchise or enjoy that Clash of Clans-style gameplay. At the very least give it a try; it’s free, so the only thing you have to spend is your time.