Shooter video games are best when they make you feel capable. Hordes of enemies can stream at you with automatic rifles from out of the jungle, but you can handle them all with a mix of skill and firepower – like Rambo. Instead, Assault Commando ($1.99) makes you feel like overmatched at every turn.
The top-down third-person shooter has a simple set of controls. There’s a virtual joystick that directs your soldier around the jungle, and various buttons to fire the weapons you pick up. You’ll eventually amass a decent arsenal, but despite all that firepower, you’ll still get absolutely pummeled by every bad guy you encounter.
Assault Commando employs a decent system of play, but it’s just not a fun game. As you move forward through the game, you’ll hit checkpoints where your progress is saved. Your soldier’s health is restored at each of these points, so if you hit a snag, you’re not replaying much of the game.
The problem is, you hit tons of snags. Enemies can see you long before you can see them, and their aim is deadly accurate. Sections of the game have you running a gauntlet of barbed wire, unable to hit entrenched bad guys as they tear you apart.
The overly-simplistic controls don’t make things much better. The one joystick that directs motion also controls aiming – you have to charge straight at whatever you want to hit. And with enemies attacking you from all sides, it means getting shot in the back, the sides, and the face almost constantly.
Verdict: skip Assault Commando. It’s not worth the frustration.