Kickass Commandos is a top-down, pixilated, shoot-em-up, blow-em-up and doesn’t waste any time taking names, old-school action arcade game. One of the first things I noticed about the game was that it really feels as if it doesn’t take itself seriously and has a bit of an 80s action-comedy vibe to it and that was something that certainly added to the enjoyment of the game for me.
This game doesn’t try to be anything it isn’t, and happily doesn’t make any excuses for being anything it is not. What that means is that it will likely only appeal to folks that enjoy the retro look in a game either for fun or nostalgia. The game itself appears at first glance like a mindless slaughter-fest, yet it takes a little skill to survive and complete the levels. The levels are small and don’t take a lot of time to complete, which was another fun thing about the game. I had torn through several levels rather quickly just to check out the game, but had to jump out to something else and when I came back and saw that I’d only spent less than 10 minutes in the game, I was genuinely surprised that it hadn’t been more. It wasn’t that I felt as if the game dragged on, not at all, I just thought that after completing as many levels as I had that it would have taken longer – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Kickass Commandos is pretty straight forward as you might expect: You’re dropped into a combat zone and need to progress through the area clearing it of enemies and dodging their shots as you go. You can also pickup some help along the way in the form of power ups that modify the type of weapon you shoot temporarily and rescued P.O.W.s that add to your overall firepower. The controls are simple, four-way movement and shooting and the game also has 3 difficulty modes for you to try out to adjust just how challenging you want to make it. I found that even on the upper end of that scale that the battles were a little more challenging but it also seemed as if there were plenty of more health drops so in a way it kind of evened out, but some of the boss battles on that level felt stupid-hard. One possible reason for that may have been that I just didn’t have my Commando leveled up high enough as the game has a small RPG element to it. You gain XP as you complete missions and as you gain levels you can then spend the skill points you acquire in several different areas to improve your chances of survival.
Overall I felt this was a fun game and something that would be great to play in an instance when I have a few minutes to burn. I didn’t feel that it had much in the way of replay, but then fans of an old arcade style game like this may end up feeling differently about that.
Bammsters Rating: Design 6, Challenge 7, Fun 6, Replay 4, Price 8, for an overall rating of 6.2 out of 10.
Kickass Commandos is available on Steam Early Access right now for $5.99
(Still not sure you want to purchase and play this game? There is also a Free Demo on Steam!)
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Drac just wants to play games on his PC (and occasionally a console), but somehow found himself roped in writing and talking about them as well. Don’t expect anything high-brow though, Drac is just your “common man” gamer and he speaks from that perspective.