I’m not really a big real-time strategy person, but when the makers of two of my favorite games, Soul Knight and Otherworld Legends, release an RTS I feel like I owe it to them to at least check it out. Boy am I glad I did. Say hello to Xeno Command, the new RTS game from ChillyRoom. This is a genre that has always seemed like it should be perfect for the touchscreen, but for whatever reason we don’t see too many RTS games on mobile, especially wholly original ones.
Also, many RTS games by nature are incredibly complex and require the precision of a mouse and access to an entire keyboard of keys to pull off various commands and inputs, which is why it’s a genre that’s most associated with the PC and has struggled in the past to translate well to consoles and other platforms. So while an RTS game on a touchscreen does sound good on paper, it has to really be built with mobile and touchscreens in mind right from the start.
That feels like exactly what ChillyRoom has done for Xeno Command. They have really streamlined a lot of the actions that might be more complex in a PC RTS and put the focus on fun and strategic combat rather than a ton of micro-management. It feels a lot like the excellent Iron Marines in that way.
ChillyRoom has also infused some roguelike elements into the game so you have randomly generated levels, battles, and missions, and while this sort of thing can often make a game feel generic, I haven’t found that to be the case so far. There are also tons of cool combat units, enemy types, base-defending units, and of course plenty of tech upgrades and abilities to choose from. Anyone familiar with ChillyRoom’s other games knows that this sort of variety is really one of their hallmarks.
Another thing you might know about ChillyRoom if you’re a fan of Soul Knight or Otherworld Legends is that their games are typically free to play. Probably the best implementations of free to play I should add, with most IAP coming in the form of actual new content more akin to DLC, but free to play nonetheless and I know that can be a problem for some. Well Xeno Command does not follow this route, and instead it allows you to play through the first couple of chapters for free and then buy the rest of the game for a $5 IAP. An RTS game seems ripe for endless grinding, or in-game currencies, or buyable units, but Xeno Command is having none of that.
So if you enjoy RTS games, or even if you typically don’t like me, you really should download Xeno Command and check out the free portion because it’s not only a great example of this genre being done right on mobile but it’s pretty dang fun too.