Micro Commandos

5_1Back in the late 1990s, Monte Cristo took a break from making tycoon games to provide an entry in another overworked genre — the Army Men concept of small and funny creatures waging war in the real world. This time around, a squad of aliens is in search of the ultimate weapon with which to conquer Earth. The catch: on our planet they’re small, helpless against the attacks of rodents and housecats. Despite this mildly amusing (if unoriginal) premise, the rest is just sub-standard real-time strategy title with a few core issues.

The focus is on exploring the 11 environments, though you’ll struggle to keep buildings powered and units fed before you even leave your secluded base. Vehicles and units continuously lose energy, forcing them to rest and recharge amid resource-gathering or war-fighting. Combat with rival commandos is rare, and poor pathfinding hinders any fun garnered from gang-beating a gigantic beetle or hamster.

Settings range from subways to abandoned prisons, with levels progressing through each environment via a couple of mission objectives. The three types of resources (power, material, and food) are scattered throughout each map in the form of batteries, dog food, toolboxes, and so on. The standard RTS buildings are also here, with an “incubator†to crank out the game’s three unit types and a “school†to train them.

The first environment acts as a tutorial, though many key gameplay aspects are omitted, leaving even unit production and vehicle control to be figured out through painful trial-and-error. And there’s no option menu with which to tweak graphics or play settings, so you’re stuck at a blurry 800×600. All of these aspects, plus the average at best graphics, make Micro Commandos a so and so strategy game.

System Requirements: Pentium II 233 MHz, 64 MB RAM, Win98

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