Our guide to staying alive in this epic sci-fi adventure.
Star Command hit the App Store at midnight last night, and we gave the game a solid 4 out of 5 stars in our review published earlier today. We've been playing the game obsessively since launch, and have now put together some very useful hints and tips for surviving this epic space adventure.
- Victorious in battle? Make sure that your ship and crew are in top condition before moving onto a new planet or galaxy - very often a new fight will await you on the other side of warp! Make sure all of your crew have a full health bar, and stick them in the medibay until they're at maximum health. Is there any damage to the ship? Send your engineers in to fix the problems.
- Each weapon in the game has a mini-game associated with it, and it's not always clear what exactly you have to do to achieve maximum firepower. When firing the first missiles you gain, you need to tap each of the circles in the right order, just as the orbiting sphere hits the tip of each circle. To fire your awesome space-machine guns, you need to tap the screen just as the orbiting sphere passes through each dot. This latter game gets much faster with each orbit, so be prepared to increase the pace.
- Very rarely will you be able to survive a ship invasion by simply ignoring it, and it's essential that you're aware of any new landings. You'll get a few seconds grace to move your weapons specialists into position, and get your unarmed crew to a place of safety. Once your armed crew are within range of the enemy, they'll fire automatically. Make sure that you pull them back to safety if necessary, and get them in the medibay if they're taking sustained damage.
- Much of the core strategy of the game revolves around juggling roles constantly, and doing so while under a great deal of pressure. Always be aware of the position of each and every crew-member, and what they're currently doing. Once they've completed a job, make sure they go back to their designated room to carry on their normal duties. You really don't want to be left without any guns to fire...
- It's not made very clear during gameplay, but your engineers can actually make repairs to the ship! If a fire has broken out, or there's a hole in the side of your spaceship, make sure you dispatch your engineers to address the problem. Simply tap on them, then tap near the damaged area to have them move out and do some serious welding. They can take damage themselves during repair duties, so make sure you keep an eye on their health bars.
- Save often, we really can't stress that enough. It may be frustrating to wander into a fight that you don't have a chance of succeeding at, but if it's clear you face immediate destruction, it's always reassuring to know you're just a quick load and a quick jump back through space away from taking a more cautious approach with your next attempt.
- You'll want to juggle the use of your tokens very carefully. Generally speaking you should upgrade rooms and crew pretty evenly, so that the increased power of each one compliments the other. As a general rule, and if you can use any token to make an upgrade, spend the token type that you have the most of in your bank.
- Again, it's not explained very clearly during the early stages of the game, but your Dodge Generator requires ammo tokens in order to be effective. Always keep one of these in the bank so that you can at least avoid the first volley of your enemy, and get a decent shot in yourself. As soon as you've dodged one assault, make sure you immediately start accumulating another dodge token by tapping on the room, then selecting the option that appears.
- Don't forget that there are other ships available in the game, although you'll need to work your way through the campaign first in order to unlock the others. Each one brings a different flavor to the space combat, so don't be afraid to experiment as soon as a new type of craft become available.
- It's very hard to judge the behaviors of the enemy species you encounter, but as a general rule we find that paranoia is the best form of defense! Many of the craft you encounter will offer to beam over something useful to you, but that can very often take the form of an explosive device, or even an invading crew! Be ready for anything, because the game will almost always throw it at you.