Commander is a strategy game from developers Nitro Games. It is set in the 16th century and you play as a European empire setting sail to discover the new world. Your task is to set up colonies, establish trade routes between the colonies and your home port in Europe and maintain relations with other colonies and tribes.
There are seven different European countries to play as: Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Netherlands and the Holy Roman Empire. Each one has different advantages and disadvantages, some will find it easier to maintain relations with tribes or have more luck with a certain resource than others. I picked the Holy Roman Empire to start with.
The game begins with a ship at sea ready to sail to the new world. When you approach South America, random colony spots appear on the map, these are places where you can settle down and find your first colony. Once you do this, you can then build buildings and more ships to sail and explore new ares or fight with neighbouring colonies.
Four advisors monitor your progress. There’s a military, royal and trade advisor and an archbishop. At the start of the game is seemed quite easy to please them. I had completed a few of the missions they gave me however I had made a huge mistake somewhere along the long which resulted in no money and was therefore unable to establish colonies, buy and sell resources and build ships or buildings. The four advisors were however all overjoyed or pleased. This probably would have changed the more you got into the game.
A fundamental part of establishing yourself as a colony is setting up successful trade routes. Certain colonies and your home part will have natural resources available to them. They automatically collect these resources but colonies will differ in what they have access to. You therefore trade between your home port and colonies to gain access to more resources and sell what you have. I didn’t delve very far into things the first time I played and I picked some stuff to trade just to try it out and to see what happened. It resulted in the scenario I described above. Trading is supposed to be your main way of making money and it’s clear that establishing trade routes is very important and can make or break your empire. There is however an automatic trae route button which automates trade so that is a handy addition to the game.
I found the game enjoyable despite the slight learning curve at the beginning of it. I found myself rapidly losing money and not knowing why with my advisors not doing much to help but once you get over that you have a fun game with alot of cool features. The game is a little similar to Civilization. You develop by creating buildings and and ships and must make sure you have a ddecent army for future battles. It is by no means identical and one thing it does differently which I especially liked is that you’re given time to sufficiently build up your colonies without the threat of war or barbarians.
I found the interface of the game well laid out and easy to use. Your gold balance is always displayed at the top along a calendar. At the bottom there’s a minimap and portraits of the captain controlling each squadron of ships. When you click on these you get all the options for commanding your squadron, trading and building ships and buildings. It takes a while to figure out exactly where everything is but it’s mostly all in front of you and it’s relatively quickly to get used to. Despite this, one thing that confused me was that I couldn’t move my camera over my home port. It was off the map and for a while I thought it would halt my progression through the game but I realised that you can do everything you need to with the controls at the top and bottom of the screen and it in fact doesn’t affect gameplay.
A handy little feature is the ability to speed up time so you don’t have to wait around for your ships to sail half away across the world. The game paces itself. It starts off gradual with lots of tips being displayed to help you out. These are helpful but you can still make fundamental mistakes despite reading them. Like I said before, there is a slight learning curve initially but after that the game is great.
The graphics are pretty standard but this type of game. They’re quite good and on par with other games with top down views but nothing put of the ordinary. The music is quite good and helps give the game some atmosphere. There was a nice atmosphere created by the game.
To sum it all up, it is a great game it just takes a bit of learning. There’s lots of different ways to develop your colonies. There’s lots of features and detail in terms of gameplay. In the beginning it’s easy to make mistakes and not know why but after this the game plays smoothly and there’s no big flaws. Overall, I’d recommend it to anyone who likes strategy games.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.