A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
There are a small number of commanders unlocked via gameplay or purchase, represented by profile pictures of different genders, species, etc. In game, though, they are small, generic looking units with no distinguishing characteristics.
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Ease of Play
The controls have been simplified for use on a mobile device, but are still awkward to use. It's difficult to tell when and where abilities are targeting, and it's easy to lose sight of units on the map.
Violence & Scariness
Combat's a constant part of the gameplay, with players leading their units into battle against alien creatures and other armies, utilizing an arsenal of sci-fi weapons and abilities. There are lots of explosions and special effects, but no onscreen blood or gore.
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Products & Purchases
The game's free to try, with players needing to make a one-time purchase to unlock the entirety of the game's content, including more chapters, commanders, units, etc.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Xeno Command is a single player, offline sci-fi themed real-time strategy game, available for download on Android and iOS mobile devices. Players lead group of soldiers across hostile planets, building and defending bases while recruiting new units to the fight. Combat is a core part of the gameplay, with lots of explosions and splashy onscreen effect, but no blood or gore. It's important to note that the game's more of a "free to try" game, which gives players access to a limited number of campaign missions and command units, with the full game locked behind a one-time purchase.
Is It Any Good?
Oftentimes in the mobile game space, developers tend to streamline the experience in an effort to keep things easier for players on a smaller screen. The folks behind Xeno Command have taken this streamlining to an extreme, stripping the game down to its bare bones and taking away a lot of what makes real-time strategy games fun to play. Right off the bat, players need to be aware that what they initially play is essential a trial version of the game. Sure, you can start the campaign and play a few missions, but for anything past the first few chapters, you'll need to pay extra. On the one hand, this one-time fee unlocks the full version of the game, including extra campaign missions, additional commanders, and a few other bits of content. On the other hand, even with the "complete" version of the game, it still feels like there's a lot missing.
In most real-time strategy games, you will build up forces, send different squads to different locations to gain an advantage, maybe flank the enemy, etc. In Xeno Command, you only ever control one group. You move close to idle units and they march with the rest of the crew. Units auto attack nearby enemies unless you focus fire on a target. The problem here is if you do focus fire, the units can get ripped apart because they ignore all other surrounding threats. Most of the commanders' special abilities aren't all that impressive and are often awkward to aim. The game has a Campaign mode, but there's no real story to speak of that ties things together. You're just dropped into battles, given some objectives, and sent on your merry way. Choosing different commanders, at least when they're unlocked, changes your available units and abilities, but considering how basic the game is, nothing feels drastically different. What you're left with is a very basic point-and-click games that plays itself most of the time, with no sense of satisfaction or fulfillment.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.