Game Review: Starfleet Commander

I’m not too familiar with facebook games. Honestly, I consider them to be a waste of time. But, that could be a short sighted view, you know? People have put in time and effort to create a product that people would be interested in playing. Millions of people play these games a day. So I decided to give one a try. After doing some searching, I settled on a game called Starfleet Commander. I love space adventure TV shows like Star Trek and totally dig space adventure games and RPGs like Mass Effect. So, if any facebook game would appeal to me, it would be this one.

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Okay, so let’s review the basics of the game.

Gameplay

The game is text based. So no, you will not see hundreds upon thousands of ships flying into battle. This is what the game looks like.

MainScreenThe game centers around resources: Ore, Crystal, and Hydrogen. Ore and Crystal are used to build up mines, buildings, robots, ships, and for research. Hydrogen is used to power the ships. There are a couple ways of getting these resources. One of the ways is to build up mines. The other way is to use a powerful fleet to take resources from other players or NPCs. A third way is to harvest the debris from space battles.

If you want a powerful fleet, you need to build a shipyard to construct them. Oh, you want advanced ships? You’ll need to build a research lab and start working on new technologies.

So, the game plays fairly simply and intuitively. I was never overwhelmed with too much information at once.

Just because the gameplay is simplistic doesn’t mean the game is simple.

Why?

Playing the Game

Most of the current players of the game are fairly experienced, playing the for quite awhile. These veteran players have gotten the rules down to a science. It makes battles against other players very difficult for new players who don’t know these strategies. Worse, the veteran players have fleets hundreds the times the size of any new player. They also researched technologies so their ships are just flat out better than anything a new player can hope to build. I’ve been playing the game for about three weeks now and I still don’t have anything close to taking on any of the veteran players.

FleetSo I stick with attacking NPCs and harvesting resources from battles. And I have to tell you… it gets boring fairly quickly. The only way I can stand a chance at going to war against anyone is if I have great ships. That means, I need advanced technology to build better ships, a great shipyard to build these ships quickly, and a lot of resources to make it all work. As you can imagine, doing this would take a lot of time. I’ve played for three weeks and I’m nowhere close. Time’s the major factor in all of this. It’s easy to level up mines, shipyards, and technology at lower levels. But when you hit higher levels, it takes a lot of tme.

That’s where money comes into play. If you don’t feel like waiting, just pay some money and I get what I want. In this game, one can bypass waiting if one wants to pay for it. For a new player, that’s pretty tempting. Sadly. If I want to get ships quickly, I can level up the shipyard to a point where I can get a dozen ships an hour. If I need more resources quickly, I can pay to get the mines up to snuff. The game can quickly become pay to win for the new players.

The game is strangely addicting. I’ve found myself checking the game every few hours to continue building up my resources, ships, attacking NPCs, etc. How can a game get boring and be addictive? I’m told this is how a lot of facebook games are. So in this way, this is a typical facebook game. It takes a few minutes here and there from the player…. dangerous in a way if you are looking for a game that’s easy to play and won’t take up too much time, as the game can easily pull you in.

Socializing

This game has guilds that a new player can join called Alliances. I was approached by an Alliance and joined up quickly. I’m told it is common for Alliances to approach new players. The moment I joined, I received plenty of resources as a way of saying welcome. This Alliance went out of its way to make sure I felt welcome. They have guides in case I was curious about strategies. They also promised to back me up inc case I was attacked.

In other words, they have my back.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a quick game, look elsewhere. The game’s designed to be easy to learn but will take months to get powerful enough to do anything against the veteran players. It gets repetitive, which works to the game’s detriment.

Try out the game for yourself. I cannot recommend it, unfortunately. But it is worth a look.

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Enjoy

 

 

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One comment on “Game Review: Starfleet Commander

  1. Michael,

    Thanks for taking time to review Starfleet Commander. Which version of the game did you try? If you were playing in Starfleet Commander Original, you’d indeed find the game to have a slower pace. However, Starfleet Commander Conquest is significantly faster paced and introduces ‘Territories’ which you can control to accelerate your build times.

    Also, if you want to step up from our text based game to a flash based game, you may want to try Darkfire Galaxies, http://darkfiregalaxies, which is currently in Beta.

    Please let me know if you have any questions or I can provide you with any other information about our games.

    Matt Hirschfelt
    Community Manager
    Blue Frog Gaming
    matthirschfelt@bluefroggaming.com

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