Hadron Wars: Commander is a relatively new Windows Phone game that was released earlier this month. The game places you in a post-apocalyptic setting where you are battling an evil empire.
Game play falls in line with your typical city builder/combat styled Windows Phone game. However, with MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) gaming modes and simple touch-based combat controls, Hadron Wars: Commander does set itself apart, ever so slightly, from other games in this genre.
Available for low-memory Windows Phones, Hadron Wars: Commander is an entertaining, strategy based game to spend a little time with. Please take note that Hadron Wars: Commander does require an internet connection to play.
When you first launch Hadron Wars: Commander, the game will walk you through a series of tutorials that covers the basics of game play. You will learn how to build up your base camp, recruit and train your troops and manage the battlefield. Once you have completed the tutorials, Hadron Wars: Commander will open up to a view of your base camp.
The base camp view has your vital statistics running across the top of the screen and gaming options lining the left and right side of the screen. Gaming statistics outline player level and several gaming resources used to build structures and equipment, speed time, and recruit troops.
Game options include access to your settings, in-app purchase opportunities, construction options (building up your base camp), attacking the enemy, managing your troops, managing your declared wars and collecting any rewards earned through gaming achievements.
As far as the base camp management is concerned, Hadron Wars offers you the options to build and upgrade over fifteen types of structures. You have defensive units that will protect your camp from invasions, military structures to house and train your troops, resource facilities that generate materials used in construction and training and research facilities to develop bigger and better weapons.
Construction is initiated in one of two ways; tap on an existing structure to upgrade it or tap on the builder button at the bottom of the base camp screen. Construction will take some time and you do have a limited number of builders available to complete these tasks. You can hire more builders to multi-task as well as use gaming tokens to speed up the process.
One structure at your base camp is the Military Fort where you will recruit and train your troops from. There are over a dozen artillery and infantry units available for your army. Troop compliment is based on the size or level of your Fort and you can allocate troops for camp defense and multiplayer combat from the Army Management menu (troop button just above the Attack button). Any units damaged during battle can be repaired from this menu as well.
Hadron Wars: Commander goes beyond managing your military base camp. You do get to take your troops on the road to invade, pillage and destroy enemy strongholds. The single person storyline has over fifty missions to tackle. There is also a multiplayer gaming mode that takes you online to battle other players. Combat includes both defending your base camp from invasion and invading enemy strongholds.
In either mode, the mechanics of combat is the same. Troop management can be done manually, automatically or where you lead all. I didn't see much difference between leading all and manually directing combat movements. Early on in the game, it may be best to let the game automatically direct your troops but if you decide to take the helm, combat movement is simple.
If you want everyone to move to the same spot, just tap the screen on that spot. If you want a specific unit to move to an area, just tap that unit and drag your finger to where you want them to go. Engaging the enemy is automatic once a unit comes into firing range of the enemy.
As you eliminate enemy troops and structures, your army will loot or pillage the enemy of any resource stockpiles it has. This will help give your resource production a boost and may allow you to build or upgrade facilities sooner and recruit/train troops.
One last observation on game play with Hadron Wars: Commander is that the game does a nice job of walking you through new gaming features as they become available. The game lacks a stand alone help section, but the initial tutorial and subsequent tutorials do a nice job of things. I don't think this is a deal killer, but you will need to pay attention to the tutorials as they appear.
If the in-game tutorials are not enough, there is a ten-minute tutorial video available over on Youtube that covers the basics and offers a nice glimpse as to how everything comes together with Hadron Wars: Commander.
Hadron Wars: Commander is a nice addition to the city builder/combat styled Windows Phone games. Graphics are nicely drawn up, game play is challenging and the mechanics are not overly complicated.
The two gaming modes helps with the staying power of the game and MMO play can be rather difficult.
The game ran smoothly and my only gripe about Hadron Wars: Commander is the connectivity requirement. I understand the need to connect to the internet for MMO play but why not install the full single player mode to the phone? An internet connection requirement does minimize the amount of storage space needed but may restrict where or when you can play the game. I don't know if this is a deal breaker for the game but I'm leaning towards preferring to have the full game on my Windows Phone than requiring a data/internet connection.
Nonetheless, Hadron Wars: Commander is a quality addition to the Windows Phone Store gaming aisles. If you games such as Age of Empires, Kingdoms and Lords or World at Arms you should find Hadron Wars: Commander an appealing title to add to your Windows Phone gaming library.
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George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.