8-Bit Commando is a run and gun platformer with fast-paced action, a rocking soundtrack, local multiplayer and explosions.
User reviews: Mixed (60 reviews)
Release Date: Jun 2, 2014

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“Excellent animation and serious attention to detail really bring it life”
8/10 – Game Cola

“Sets out to be an authentic 8-Bit era experience and it largely succeeds”
Gaming Daily

“All the levels are distinctively individual and look fantastic”
82/100 – Bytten

About This Game

8-Bit Commando is a run and gun platformer with fast-paced action, a rocking soundtrack (from the chiptune artist Ozzed), local multiplayer and explosions. The graphics will take you back to the classic age of gaming and the gameplay is bound to challenge even the most seasoned vets.

  • 6 levels of intense action
  • Local coop multiplayer
  • Beautiful retro graphics
  • 2 difficulty modes
  • Online hiscore
  • Rocking chiptunes soundtrack

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP or later
    • Processor: 1 GHz
    • Memory: 256 MB RAM
    • DirectX: Version 8.1
    • Hard Drive: 64 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: At least one controller required for co-op play
Helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 16
I think this game is not too bad, it's just mediocre game that you can find easily when you were children and playing famicom games. It's thumbed down by many people because this game pretends to be "Contra" but if you give it a try, may be you will find out that it's kind of fun game.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 29
8-Bit Command is a horrible little game where your primary source of death isn't enemy fire, but rather cheap instant kill pits and traps that you simply cannot avoid. Also because the game doesn't see fit to lock your controls while firing, much less give you the option to do so, firing at an angle is more than likely to send you charging off into a pit to your death, especially during bosses, which nearly all have said instant death pits.

The weapon system makes no sense; given no actual choice, you randomly can go from your weak default weapon to a laser gun, a homing missile launcher or a machine gun, and all the while not a single one seems to be stronger than any other. The only one that seems to have any significant power behind it is what appears to be a grenade launcher, but even that is rare that it may as well not even exist in the game.

The music, of which you will be hearing over and over due to the cheap deaths slowly drills its way into your mind, grinding your will to live down until the sound of a tortured cat would be preferable. Or maybe the sound of a cat being tortured as rendered through a Sega SG-1000. Either would be better than this, which seems to be babies first attempt at making 8-bit sounding music.

An overall bland looking, incredibly irritating to the ears game with no redeeming value other than it was cheap. But even then, I spent 3.50 USD too much for this thing.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 15
A few minutes of this made me look forward to my dentist appointment. Thanks 8-Bit Commando.
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0.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 18
A very quick jaunt through a side scrolling shooter, it has local co-op which is nice, and does a lot of things ok/good. Nothing about this game sticks out and will wow you, but part of that I almost like, it could remind you of any of the simular games during the era 8-bit commando pays respect to.
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40 of 57 people (70%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 8
8-Bit Commando is about as cut and dry a Contra like sidescrolling shooter as you are likely to find. From the basic gameplay straight down to the ascetic and setting, it's close to overstepping the "inspired by" threshold into actual plagiarism, but considering Konami has better things to do than suing small indie developers I can let it slide. In any case, more Contra is rarely a bad thing, though with 2DEngine's attempt to ape to legendary series, there's a clear feeling that the developer is simply repeating the same game we've played before; either for being unsure how to inject their own flavor into the formula, or unwilling to branch out from what has already been proven to work.

Through seven levels (which should take you about 30-60 minutes to complete, depending on your skill), you run and gun your way through military grunts, occasionally partaking in some light platforming before eventually showing down a boss at the end. The levels themselves change quite a bit throughout, from running on top a moving train to chasing down enemies on a highway by way of motorcyle. It's some welcome variety, but despite this Commando's core gameplay is so rudimentary and dated that it quickly grows stale as you wrestle with the unwieldy controls, made worse by the almost obnoxious difficulty and strongly enforced time limit for each level.

As generic and frustrating as it may be, I enjoyed 8-Bit Commando well enough for what it was, but not enough that I'd recommend it to anyone but those dying to play more Contra. It's not a bad game, just a derivative and unremarkable one, existing in a spectrum of games designed to fill a role but never extend beyond the status of a basic clone. All things considered, you're almost certainly better off replaying the games that so strongly inspired it, which even years later are still entirely more worth your while.
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22 of 30 people (73%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 23
8-Bit Commando is a 2D run and gun shooter. Run to the right, there is no left. I've owned this game for years and played it a few times on Desura. Bluntly, I never thought this would be Greenlit by Steam due to comparisons from a popular 8-Bit Nintendo game. If you can't tell this game is a Contra clone that sadly never is itself. It tries to be Contra mini. They have the same look, levels and so on. It doesn't steal Contra's sprites, artwork, music or sounds, but merely mimics them with no originality. The levels aren't just inspired by Contra, but they have the same themes as Contra, Super C and even the GBA version of Contra 3.

I want to like this game, and I think that I still like this game even with all of its shortcomings. I just can't recommend it to other people for a lot more reasons than 'lolz Kontra klone.' There's just not enough of it. I've felt brief 2 - 3 hour games are fun and exciting enough to be worth $15 - $20, but this is too easy, and too short. There is no hard mode either for people that go through it on normal. I would have appreciated more of a challenge.

This is the start of a good game engine that they can make other games with, but those games need to feel like their own game and not just Contra mini. It feels so much like Contra that I'd rather play Contra, even if this is a mixture of Contra levels. At least with games like Ittle Due that clearly take from Zelda, it offers fresh things, different characters and enemies, this offers nothing new.

On the good side, the art and especially animation are great. Plus, there is a lot of enemy variety. Enemies with drops will have them randomized so they can drop weapons or health. I appreciate the randomness of the few drops there are. Some might see it as a positive that this game is also much easier than Contra. How is it easier? A health bar at the top of the screen. As someone that beats Contra and Super Contra once a year without getting hit, I feel like I don't need easier, so its a good thing there is a difficulty setting. Plus with only 6 levels in the game on top of the timer that ensures no level lasts more than 5 minutes, that makes for 30 minutes to be the slowest time you can beat the game. To make up for an easier game, you won't get abundantly cool weapons.

It uses Contra's simple controls, which is a good thing especially when you're going for that 8-bit feel. Some of us don't like dual stick shooters. You have one button to jump, another to shoot with 8 directional shooting. It feels nice, it feels like Contra. It is missing some of the functionality of Contra suck as down + jump will make you drop through certain platforms. You can hang from ropes, but jumping just makes you fall. Personally, I would have preferred it to jump and down + jump would make you fall from the rope.

Now for an abundance of downsides. The weapons just don't feel that different or fun. Your standard machine gun spits out a slow bullet if you hold the button down or quicker bullets for those that repeatedly tap the button. The same for the laser, the beam is longer, but still pretty short. Fire offers just a puff of a projectile and homing missiles do the job, but they're still pretty meh. There is some sort of grenade launcher that just feels weak. I'd prefer my explosions larger than the projectile is. Is there a spreader? Not that I've found, but some of the enemies have a short range shotgun to use against you. Here's a hint, ducking won't save you. If you think oh I can just shoot them from far away. Yes.... you can, assuming the bullets don't fly through them as if they weren't there. I've found that issue a few times.

Every time I press escape to exit out of the game, it doesn't exit, but rather crashes. Let's also talk about the fact changing resolution doesn't change resolution when you hit apply, it changes automatically every time I fiddle with the resolution. I found a resolution my monitor doesn't support so now I can't see the game. Can't see the game, can't change resolution. So I'm now stuck. The game is literally a black screen. I cannot alt + tab out or ctrl + alt + delete my way out either. I need to restart my computer. I have never had an issue like this with any other game. The fact that there are beta testers for this game and no one discovered this out is amazing. I have this error time and time again.

After all of that, in game, when I'm aiming up and left with a keyboard, I can't fire my gun. I would say its just me, but with 2 PCs and a laptop + Desura and Steam versions of the game, I assume its not just me. It still works on a 360 controller though. But if its a right scrolling shooter, why care about that? Boss fights. Especially the helicopter boss fight that comes from the left. Its okay though, you can jump and shoot to the left. The brief moments of precision platforming are well imperfect and you can fall through things. To top that off, you can die after you beat a boss.... meaning you'll have to beat the boss again.

The other downfalls include the fact that you don't get lives, but rather unlimited continues. Why is that bad? When you die it takes you to a continue screen instead of just putting you back in the action. There are checkpoints too. I'd rather have lives and checkpoints with continues that send you back to the start of the level. If you run out of time, then you're forced to restart the level from the beginning. So that's a nice twist I guess.

After each level you get to see your stats and post a high score. The problem is after you post that score, you literally get sent back to a level select screen. All of that breaks the flow of the game. There aren't any memorable boss battles either and I know a game should be graded for what it is, not what it isn't but if Contra has memorable things, then you need to get to that level or better.

On the bike stage, you have the ability to move into the far, near and medium lanes. The game will mercilessly throw cars at you to dodge, not just dodge, but they'll aim for you. Which is fine, you can jump over them like in Contra right? Nope, who ever heard of jumping, you gotta blow that stuff up even when its taking up all 3 lanes forcing you to crash into the debris! On top of that, think the game knows what lane you're in and you're safe if you're in one lane over another? Nope, bullets and rockets don't care. A hit is a hit even if you're not in their lane. Just seems like poor programming that could have been better. I could also talk about how easy and quick the final level is... but it just seems like beating a dead horse.

Get this in a bundle like I did. Maybe its worth $1, but I've bought a few $1 bundles with this in it.
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24 of 35 people (69%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 8
Oh, 8-Bit Commando - I had high hopes for you. Unfortunately, you did not deliver.

Let us start with the good stuff, graphics and soundtrack are the high point of the title and quite nice overall. The game has a late 80ies arcade-vibe going on (could be a PC-Engine game as well), which I very much approve. It shows some effort.
Then there is this "feature" (seems more like an engine-problem of lacking proper upscaling) of seeing a whole lot of a level if you pick the wrong resolution, which almost reminds me of the few Taito-games with multiscreen setups. Seriously though, If you are just in it for the aesthetics and the whole throwback-thing, 8-Bit Commando might work out for you.

It all goes downhill from here. The game itself is just not very well designed or planned out. Stages are incredibly short, I am not really exaggerating when I say that you make about 3-4 leaps and you are at the bossfight. The platforming is incredibly simplistic and dull. Same goes for enemy placement and attack-patterns. Obstacles almost feel like an afterthought, and if it weren't for the shoddy jump-controls that are more floaty than they should be I would have hardly died at all. Power-ups are scarce and don't feel powerful at all - a spreadshot laser that needs to charge up and only spreads after being about 1 second on the screen? Who thought that was a good idea? Also, drops are random - meaning nobody really cared to craft a good challenge to overcome in the first place.

Bosses have tiny hitzones, and are rather unspectacular both in size and attack-power (becoming MORE boring as the game goes on) and I just don't see any point in going back to this title after finishing it once (which took about 40 minutes, would have taken even less if I had realized earlier that mashing buttons helps in getting more shots on the screen).

Gameplay and design simply don't back up the nice visuals and music, which is a real shame. But considering that for just a few bucks more you can get either Oniken or Metal Slug 3 here on Steam, the offering of 8-Bit Commando feels all the more pitiful. Lacking the tight controls, creativity and leveldesign that were standard about 30 years ago - I am pretty disappointed.
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14 of 21 people (67%) found this review helpful
5.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 23
Screenshots look awesome for this game, the idea seems good too. A simple side scroller where you shoot things. When I start the game all I get is a black screen. From the forums this seems to be a common issue that most people get a black screen on startup making the game unplayable. The dev is practically missing from the forums, except for the drama where the dev tells people who bought it from some bundle site they cant have keys. Im not sure what that is about, but if the dev spent more time fixing the game we could actually play it whenever those people do get keys.

*This may be a 64 bit windows 7 issue from the majority of forum posts, other platforms the game seems to be hit and miss if it works or not.
Rating: 0/10 Value: $0.00
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13 of 20 people (65%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 14
Retro plateformers might be a fashion with little pearls that can be found. Yet this one is nothing like a pearl. 20 minutes long, totally unbalanced with levels you can beat without even looking, and one level in the middle that is a real pain. Add low quality animation. I understand it as a prototype, not as something you pay for and called final release.
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8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 7
It's a little too short but it's the closest you'll get to the good old Contra.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 24
If you loved Contra, you'll tolerate 8-Bit Commando.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 24
I were suggested this game is like Contra, but they were wrong. As i played it, this game does not even made it as a platformer, so this is not definitely like Contra.

8-Bit Commando tries to emulate the gameplay of the already mentioned game series Contra, using a side-scrolling based game (the only thing that remains so far faithful to the game), trying to deliver a "fast-paced action", meaning that you wont' have big challenges to face during your adventure in 8-Bit Commando, because of the few enemies and the few dangers to avoid for not getting killed.
Resolution configuration is badly done, as increasing it may strangely enlarge the vision of the area around you.

I'm not really expert in this genre of games, but as a customer i don't find this game enjoyable and, compared to other games of this genre, really bad. Surely not worth 4€, and probably not even in a bundle.
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19 of 36 people (53%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 4
Where do I begin with this one...

This game is wretched. Abominable. You should not buy it in any circumstance. I'll just make a list of the problems.

- The music is godawful. Just a random mishmash of beats and sound effects. It isn't painfully bad but there's not a single catchy tune to be found here.
- It's short. Very short. This doesn't actually bother me, but at the time of this writing the mere 15 minutes I've spent on the game has carried me halfway through the game. A lot of people will find issue with that.
- Useless power-ups. I've played a lot of old-fashioned shooters, but this one's notable for how so many of the power-ups are DOWNGRADES from the default gun. The spread laser requires charging, does not spread until nearly a full second has passed, and disabled auto-fire. The flamethrower appears to be identical to the default gun, but with shorter range. The grenade launcher is strong, but has a range short enough that it seems the character is just dropping them at his feet. The only exception is the homing rockets, those are very useful, but I only saw them once.
- Infinite continues. Any time you die, you "game over" but can immediately start from the last checkpoint. Add in that you're usually better off with the default gun, and what fun is it if there is no penalty for death? I don't know what happens if the time limit on every stage runs out, but the levels are so short that it doesn't matter when you can just kamikaze charge without fear.
- Graphics. People have complained that this isn't "truly" 8-bit, but let's ignore that bit of semantics. No matter how you look at it, this game is UGLY. It seriously looks like a low-quality Genesis game, except even the worst of those old titles I can think of had a bit more color than this - my GOD there's a lot of black and grey.
- Lame bosses. Stage one's boss is just a wrecking ball, only made hectic via the four soldiers perched on high firing at you. Stage 2 just features a cylinder that fires three times at your current location. Stage 3 has a nondescript helicopter with exactly two attacks. I don't really care to see what the rest have to offer.
- And of course, bugs. Currently I am unable to close the game without it crashing, and it crashed twice upon completing stages. There seems to be a fair number of complaints about this matter as well. If that gets fixed, great, but currently? Not too impressive.

There are many other games of this type available, both on Steam and elsewhere. Don't waste your time or money on this.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 7
8 Bit Commando is a very basic Contra clone, with only six short levels which take about an hour to complete. Gameplay itself is pleasant but unremarkable - level design is simplistic and platforming is undemanding. Contrary to Conta, the game offers an unlimited amount of continues and gives the main character HP which allows him to take several hits instead of just one, effectively removing any possible challenge. Weapon upgrades are largely useless, as they are actually a step down from the power and range of the main gun -with exception of the homing missiles, which in turn are overpowered. Enemies prove no real challenge, while the boss fights can be frustrating as the hit zones are simply too small.

In short: while it's not a completely terrible game, it's an entirely disposable one - certainly not worth the full price, and possibly not even the sale price. Like most players, I got it in a bundle with a few other games for a dollar - and I feel as if even that would be too much, as you can emulate and play the old Contra for free and have a much more fun and challenging experience, even after 27 years.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 25
Very dull, very simple, and very short. It tries to be Contra, but it's just not exciting or engaging. It mostly works on a functional level, although I would complain that powerups feel too sparse, and if you die and reload from a checkpoint, the timer keeps counting from when you died. It's just a boring game, and there are much better games in this genre out there.

Also: lamest final boss ever.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 27
Seemed like a fun Contra Clone, but boring and dull. Couldn't bear the first five minutes of it.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
While I quite like the idea of side scrolling shooters, not minding straight up Contra-clones this game simply doesn't deliver much. Music is good and while it feels like flash game with retro-like graphics thrown on, its acceptable. Large palette kind of invalidates the 8-bit aesthetic, looks more like Sega Genesis/Mega Drive-game. There's just handful of short and checkpoint-filled stages and the major part of challenge comes from unreliable controls. Its just not fun to play. Yeah its indie and all that. Its getting old.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 14
It's boring, empty, and hollow. There are practically no enemies, the guns are Contra's guns, and it just feels like someone played Contra and thought "I should do that," without realizing what made Contra so special.

It doesn't deserve the name 8-Bit Commando.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 11
Little heart was put into this game. Bland graphics, dull gameplay, and overall, for a retro throwback, it fails. You won't be impressed. Believe me.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 29
Pretty decent homage to Contra with 8-bit style graphics (in case you couldn't tell by the title of the game), challenging gameplay and some catchy music. Another game I recommend playing with a controller (maybe an NES-style controller, in this case).
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