REVIEW: Stellar Commanders

Battle for resources

Release: Steam
Type: Multiplayer
Genre: Strategy
Developer: Blindflug Studios AG
Publisher: Blindflug Studios AG
Release Date: 20 Feb, 2020

Overview

Stellar Commanders is a multiplayer game that plays out similarly to a board game. The two players start each match on a small planetoid and try to capture as many territories as possible, while also trying to destroy the enemy’s ones. In order to do this, ballistic missiles and ground troops are used, while special structures can be built in order to defend the territories. The construction of the troops/missiles/structures is handled through cards, making Stellar Commanders even more similar to a board game, but in real-time.

Iridium

The reason for fighting on planetoids is Iridium, a precious resource that we’ll mine throughout the match: the aggressive mining will eventually destroy the small planet and this will affect the match, basically distinguishing three different phases. The first one is the preparation, where players can build structures and start capturing territories, but not launch ballistic missiles. This is followed by an open-war phase where rockets are launched, obliterating structures and entire territories. The third phase is where the planetoid starts crumbling, eventually leaving intact only the territories that the player already conquered, while also destroying the rest.

Just in time to see my capital blow up.

While the first two phases are pretty standard, the last one gets very intense due to the fact that players can’t conquer more territories, focusing the match on destroying enemy territories, while also defending the allied ones. Speaking of defending territories, there are multiple structures that do the job, the basic one is a simple AA-gun, but more powerful versions can be unlocked. Launching missiles requires cleverness: it’s the only way to stop your opponent from blowing up your rockets mid-air… maybe you want them to waste their AA-gun ammunitions on a smaller rockets before the big one comes…

Off-mission

Between the matches, players can customize their decks, see the new unlocked cards or how much progress they need to unlock a new one. Deckbuilding requires the player to choose one between three different factions, which share a common pool of card, while also retaining some special units that make certain factions more specialized in certain strategies. Right now the red faction seems a little above average balance-wise, but maybe it’s because I’m particularly like a certain strategy in which the red faction is proficient in.

In the last phase of a match all neutral territories blow up, making missiles the only mean of harming your opponent.

Not that, according to the Steam store page, the game features single-player. This is partially true: you can play against bots if you’re offline (with no internet connection) or if the game can’t find you an opponent. If you’re online and the game can find opponents to match you with, there’s no in-game way to play against bots. It’s no big deal, but it’s something worth mentioning.

Verdict

Stellar Commanders is a game easy to pick up and play with friends. It requires a minimal amount of time spent in the tutorial before jumping into a match a start firing missiles at your opponent’s territories. With that being said, the game can become repetitive after a while, so if you’re planning to play online only using matchmaking you’ll have to bear that in mind.

Written by
texdade
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