Feature Friday: Everything We Know About Star Command (So Far)

By Owen Faraday 05 Apr 2012 0
Star Command game poster

No pre-release game has me as enthralled as Star Command does right now - and judging from the number of "Most Anticipated Game" lists I've seen with Star Command in them, I'm not alone. In development for a simultaneous iOS and Android release sometime this year, Star Command is shaping up to be the starship simulator that the Star Trek nerd in me has been waiting his whole life for. The way developer Warballoon Games has described it, Star Command is X-Com meets the Sims in a space opera setting - Horatio Hornblower in space. Sign me up.

PAX East kicks off in a few hours - with any luck we'll soon have some details about Star Command from the folks who've had a chance to play the first demo there. Seems like a good a time as any to recap what details have emerged so far.


Star Command in a nutshell

This quote from an IGN interview last year with Warballoon is as good a summation as I've seen:
"So at its soul, Star Command is a management game. When two guys are killed on your plasma cannon, do you pull your engineers repairing the hull and half-staff the weapons? Or do you fix that hull and try and get the hell out of there. If successful, the game will be a series of these quick decisions - and the crew that you work so hard to level up being the casualties. Taking that really high engineer and letting him go inside of a room on fire, probably dying, but preventing the shields from going down. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Or the one."

- IGN Interview, 6 September 2011

Star Command has been compared to Kairosoft's Game Dev Story, Microprose strategy classic X-Com*, and fellow Kickstarter alumnus FTL.

Supported platforms

Definitely Android and iPhone at launch, though they're hoping for iPad as well. PC is something Warballoon "hope[s]" to support.

IAP considerations

The devs have repeatedly and clearly stated that you're going to pay once for Star Command and then get free content updates - no freemium model here.

Campaign length and multiplayer

The randomized campaigns will run 3 to 4 hours each. New starting options (like customizations for your captain) seem to be unlocked as you play. There's no multiplayer - at least at first.

The Aliens

Warballoon have said the game will ship with at least 6 alien races that you can recruit into your crew, plus other non-recruitable species. Of these we've seen:

Star Command game Antorian aliensThe Antorians

Star Command game Cortex aliens"Cortex" (is that singular? plural?)

Star Command game Space Bird aliensThese Space Birds (which might have just been a gag to tweak Rovio)

And a number of other aliens they've posted to their Facebook wall.

The Ships

The devs have said that ship-to-ship combat will be "the biggest focus of the game". An early dev post from April 2011 suggests that the entire game takes place on your ship, with no away missions - but it's possible that's changed in the year since then. The targeting of enemy ships seems to have its own mini-game - a screenshot of which was released just recently. If you're boarded by aliens, the interior of your ship will be destructible - to some degree.

This is the only clear exterior shot of the ship the player will control that I've seen.

Star Command game starshipsNote the modular feel - which might tie into the "room-building" aspect of the gameplay.

Star Command game starship interiorThere's been no shortage of shots of the interior of the ship, check out Star Command's website for more.

So that's what we know so far - Warballoon has been teasing it out. I'll be keeping an eye out for post-PAX impressions as they materialize. If you've seen any, send us a tip!



*Pocket Tactics' Official Greatest Game of All Time
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