Commander ’85 review

Commander ’85 begins on May 13th, 1985 as it’s the birthday of a lucky young man as his parents bought him a super modern computer with real artificial intelligence that can talk to him. As a teenager, players will have their trust and friendliness towards you, listen to its sarcastic comments and make various choices that will lead you to one of the game’s three endings.

Commander ’85 is a point-and-click lite adventure where, within the confines of your room, you’ll play with the latest computer model known as the Commander. Like the good old days of computers, you’ll be in a DOS-like environment where you’ll need to select commands and sometimes type text. You move around the screen with the cursor, press A on the highlighted item and you’ll do the action. For example, you can go to bed, turn on/off your radio, etc.

Point and click games have very limited gameplay variety and Commander ’85 is no different. Making things worst here as well is that you have to act like you’re really learning to use the computer. While it will give you little help to figure out what to do (for example, look for your Student ID card in your drawer), at times you’ll have to reach for an instruction manual of the computer and go through pages to figure out how to proceed with certain commands.

The other problem with this game is that it feels like a chore. While the game gives you the option of playing basic (selecting commands) or advanced (inputting commands… who wants to spend time playing a game and just typing words with a controller..?), having to jump back and forth between the computer and the manual, for example, makes it tedious.

Additionally, the cursor has a high sensibility and some things you have to interact with have a small detection area so the lack of mouse preciseness makes the simplest things more frustrating than they should and it also kills the fun; whatever little fun this game could’ve had to offer.

While the game is set in 1985, it could’ve easily have been mistaken for an early sixth generation game. Commander ’85 has a brownish color palette throughout which makes it a bit drab and limit depressing; which is ironic given the popularity of flashy/fluorescent colors in the 80s. On the audio sound of things, you’ll be annoyed by the computer’s monotone voice; it’s also especially annoying when looking for things as it constantly repeats what it wants you to do. The soundtrack is obviously clearly 80s new wave inspired.

Unfortunately, it’s hard, near impossible, to recommend point and click games on consoles; Commander ’85 included; especially given the game gives you an option to actually type commands. The game is not intuitive, vastly tedious, slow and devoid of gameplay variety aside from moving around a cursor. Had it been more like Life is Strange, this could’ve been much better. This type of game is perfect of PC and mobile devices, but otherwise, this is a pass.

Overall
  • 20%
    CX Score - 20%
20%

Summary

Pros

  • It got made I guess?

Cons

  • Point and click is cumbersome and slow with a controller
  • Mindnumbingly boring
  • Who wants to browse through an instruction manual in a freaking game?!!

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