Commando (Encore) Review | The Micro User - Everygamegoing

The Micro User

By Encore
BBC B/B+/Master 128

Published in The Micro User 6.12

The heat of battle

Commando is the officially licensed home micro version of the arcade machine game of the same name. For the information of anyone who has not ventured into an amusement arcade in the last few years, or who missed the game on its initial release for the BBC Micro. Commando is another of the one man against the odds combat games that have become so popular in recent years.

You are cast in the role of Super Joe, the commando of the title. Armed only with a submachine gun and half a dozen grenades, you must penetrate the enemy defences and destroy the fortress. Easy to describe, much less easy to accomplish.

Like Tynesoft's Saigon, Commando features a number of different scenes. Once you have fought your way from the bottom of one screen to the top, it scrolls down to reveal a new set of hazards.


Every new screen brings a fresh horde of enemy soldiers streaming from all directions - to fall beneath your machine gun and your grenades come in handy when their numbers become too great. But remember that they are equipped with similar weapons. One stray bullet or grenade can prove fatal, so keep a sharp eye about you.

Fans of Superior's Play It Again Sam series will know that Commando also features on the Sam 3 compilation. However, there is one difference between the two versions: When playing the game it is often difficult to determine from the screen display when you have been killed. Superior has added a blinding white flash to herald your call-up to the ranks of the ex-commandos. However, this is an exact re-release of the original version - indeterminate demise and all.

I have never been particularly impressed by the BBC Micro version of Commando. Its main drawback is that it comes off very badly from the dilemma that faces every programmer - weighing up the pros and cons of each screen mode and the conflicting features of screen resolution, size and available colours.


Commando runs in four colour Mode 5 and I found that many graphic features tended to merge into one another.

Although I get the impression that battlefields are pretty drab places, with the same four colours Saigon seems to generate an impression of far greater vibrancy.

Whether you go for Play It Again Sam 3 or this stand-alone Commando depends very much on how many of the other games featured on Sam 3 you already own. But either way Commando gives you the chance to play the all-conquering superhero. If you're a fan of shoot anything that moves games you could do worse than this one.

Hac Man

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