8-Bit Commando is a run and gun platformer with fast-paced action, a rocking soundtrack, local multiplayer and explosions.
User reviews:
Recent:
Mixed (12 reviews) - 50% of the 12 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Mixed (142 reviews) - 43% of the 142 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jun 2, 2014

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Buy 2DEngine Bundle

Includes 2 items: 8-Bit Commando, Collisions

 

Recent updates View all (9)

April 25

Gameplay and achievements

First of all, I would like to thank the Steam community and everybody who has provided suggestions on how we can improve the game.

Gameplay
We have tried to listen to feedback as much as possible and as a result, the game has improved significantly. Several levels have been redesigned to focus more on action and coop. Movement is also faster, bullets have more range and the platforming sections are easier to handle. Again, thanks to everyone who has helped or provided suggestions.

Achievements

Players can now get an overview of which achievements have been unlocked by going to Highscore -> Achievements.

Thank you for the support and hope to talk to you on the community hub.

6 comments Read more

April 19

Even more fixes and languages

Greetings commandos,
You may have noticed the game being quietly updated in the past couple of weeks. We have been fixing a number of small issues so no need to be alarmed.

Fixes
The fifth mission now includes the "checkpoint blimp" which may not seem like a big deal, but it's quite helpful for players who otherwise cannot get past this stage.

A number of other issues have been fixed too (mostly involving rendering and gameplay balance).

On sale until April 25th
8-Bit Commando is currently on sale (ending on April 25th). For players who are reluctant to buy the game: there is a free demo available too. If you would like to support us, check out the 2DEngine bundle where you get a 15% discount when buying 8-Bit Commando plus Collisions.

New languages
Shoutouts to Riccardo and Human Spider who have helped with translating the game into Polish and Italian.
Thank you for the support!

3 comments Read more

Reviews

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

“Despite the old-timey game design, there are still some more modern trappings present here”
Livingwithanerd

“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.

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

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP or later
    • Processor: 1 GHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: At least one controller required for co-op play
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Mixed (12 reviews)
Overall:
Mixed (142 reviews)
Recently Posted
23skidoo
( 4.0 hrs on record )
Posted: April 30
It's is a fun short throwback, and as long as you know what you are getting into then recommended enough. But objectively, meh.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Tzell
( 3.6 hrs on record )
Posted: April 22
This game tries real hard to be Contra.
This game fails terribly at being Contra.
If you want to play Contra, get Contra on NES emulators.

Only get this game if you ever wondered how Contra would feel like bound to a wheelchair after suffering major brain injury in combat.

Worst offender: Physics - both bullets and player / jumping feel so slow and sluggish its like they got bored of themselves and fell asleep mid way.
Also bullets disappear halfway through the screen.
This is not how physics should work in an action games.

Music is an 8-bit snore fest. I usually love 8-bit music but this is just lazy and boring. It gets semi-ok on stage 3 but it still sounds like the composer fell asleep on his 8-bit bloops.

The graphics is ok in an 8-bit copy-paste meh kind of way. But still meh.

Story: What story? I fell asleep during the first cutscene.

Final verdict: Meh out of Moo.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
KDD!^Meгaлoфaгпoжиpaтeл
( 0.2 hrs on record )
Posted: April 6
Eye-melting noise turned on by default. It can be turned off only if you assume that it has anything to do with "analog" option in video menu. Bad control-scheme. Sad core-gameplay.

But works good with nvidia surround.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Alcoholic Dinosaur
( 0.2 hrs on record )
Posted: April 6
Had a better time playing Contra.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Deutschland
( 3.6 hrs on record )
Posted: March 24
thats the real game <3
Helpful? Yes No Funny
osmo
( 1.0 hrs on record )
Posted: March 19
Horrible controls, gives me cancer
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Fidel
( 0.3 hrs on record )
Posted: March 16
I don't have too much to say about this game. I never played it before the recent updates, but I had no major complaints with how it is in its current state. It does a good job of mimicking Contra, which is obviously what the devs were going for.

I guess my only two gripes are with the timer and the length of the levels, and the game as a whole. First, the timer seems unnecessary to me, and it's frustrating to make it to the last checkpoint, die, and then respawn with 2 seconds left. I feel like the timer should reset to where it was when I passed it the first time. This does add a bit of difficulty, but also a bit of frustration.

The levels were also very short. I think the timer was set at 5 minutes, so there's no chance a level is going to last longer than that. It took me about a half hour to play the game through from start to finish. I wouldn't have minded having a couple hours worth of hours to play.

But for a few bucks it's still worth it, especially if you have a friend to play with.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
vizualartist
( 0.8 hrs on record )
Posted: February 29
Beat the game in 30 minutes. No achievements but there's a leaderboard to see how your score for each level ranks. The graphics and style are good for what it's trying to do, which is a Contra knock off. I used a "retrolink" NES controller and it worked perfectly. There are 6 short stages with a boss battle at the end of each and once beat become unlocked so you can select any one of at your leisure. There are unlimited continues from checkpoints in each stage but there's a time limit that if it runs out you have to start from the begining of the stage. It captures of glimmer of what made a NES game, but doesn't deliver the entire package, it's just too short and too easy.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Taking advANTage ♪
( 2.5 hrs on record )
Posted: February 16
Great little shoot em' up.

Contra clone that's simple but fun.

Worth a play!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
YoYoStevo
( 0.1 hrs on record )
Posted: January 10
Terrible controls, I wouldn't recommend anyone to play this in <current year>.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Furrek
( 3.7 hrs on record )
Posted: January 9
Decent experience. It have few levels, which are very short, so you will probably spend less than 1 hours to beat it. It have nice co-op option, so if you have some real life buddy to play with together then it's another nice thing. 8-Bit Commando is rather easy - with checkpoits and health bar you don't have to worry about this game being too hard to beat. Graphics and music depend on taste but if you are into retro-wannabe stuff then you will enjoy it. That's probably all. I don't think it's worth full price: maybe 1/3, if you are hardcore fan of Contra and clone games, and other people might want to get it from bundles.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
malpiszon7
( 3.6 hrs on record )
Posted: January 8
Quite good Contra clone but...
- short - takes under an hour to complete
- not many interesting weapons
- not really challenging, small replay value imo

Well, to be totally honest - this is a good game, but still what's the point in buying a Contra clone? Go play original Contra, Super C or many others that are either free or you have those cartridges somewhere in your attic.

In my opinion it's better to spend your cash elsewhere, but still this is a good game per se so take your pick.

----------
For anyone interested in joining in on completing your own backlog; check it out here - http://steamcommunity.com/groups/completingthebacklog/discussions/5/530645446320364338/
Helpful? Yes No Funny
TheWillBeKing
( 2.5 hrs on record )
Posted: January 7
the only reason i mean the only reason i give this a recommend is cus u can make mods for it YES u actually can! its very funny what u can actually make
Helpful? Yes No Funny
SpicyRibz
( 0.4 hrs on record )
Posted: December 29, 2015
Awesome!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Eggs
( 1.7 hrs on record )
Posted: December 19, 2015
You know everything you love about Contra?

Well this game throws those things in the trash and presents this pile of crap.

Remember how excited you'd get to see a weapon upgrade? Ohh, it might be Spread, or lasers, or flame! 8-Bit Commando decided that it would have "upgrades" as well, only when you see a weapon upgrade, the four times I think it happens, you'll avoid it like the plauge. The laser is dreadful. Absolutely dreadful. The devs decided that once you pick up a weapon you should automatically fire it.... you know like in that one game..... eh, er.... it's freaking stupid and gets you killed.

The game play is so boring.

Remember in Contra how you were fighting outlandish enemies? Aliens, tough bad guys, so on? Remember those cool levels, where did that game take you? Another world! It was amazing.

This game decided, "Nah". Let's just do like 4 terrorist guys, and on one level a dog..... um ok. Levels? uh, idk. whatever you want...

Theres one level in the game on which you climb some rope..... oh boy, screw that level.

The game isn't "Hard", it's just difficult due to its own poor design.

It seems like it wants to target itself towards speed runners/hi-score enthusiast. But if that was the case then why would there be a randomized flame port on the train level? That removes the possibility of speed runs. Make it on a regular timer, so ridiculous.

The bosses are also a joke. One of them is a cylinder? That shoots.... lazer rockets? idk, but all you have to do is stand under it and spam fire..... boring.

I do not recomend picking this up, save your money, download SNES, or NES emulator and a ROM of Contra I, II, and III. Loads more fun than what this game tries to be.

(Maybe I seem salty, and to a point I am, but go ahead, try this game out. You'll come back to my comments and agree whole heartedly with what I said.)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
?????
( 2.8 hrs on record )
Posted: November 19, 2015
I like this game and the effort put into it was valiant. It also has that very retro feel to it you know. It's no Super Cyborg or Contra 2, but...all in all, it's just another version of Contra. Those tunes sure kick-♥♥♥ though! I'd recommend this to anyone who loves Contra, like me. It may not offer anything new, except the laser-whip maybe... but, who cares!? The developers put some good effort into the game, so what's not to like? Try this game out! It's worth the 5 bucks, even though it's just a little too short. Unless of course, you get this on sale, which is even better.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Apparently Kid
( 0.5 hrs on record )
Posted: October 25, 2015
3/10.

Contra-ripoff. Boring world with single shot weapon. Jumping is imprecise and floaty. You don't grab onto ledges for some reason. Bad controls - aiming is same as movement, meaning if you are trying to aim diagnolly, which you will do all the time, half the time is makes you move, meaning aiming is annoying. You have some stupid made up time limit to beat level, that counts restarts, so if you run out you have to redo entire level. There are only like 5 levels total. Honestly just go and play any NES game instead of this poor man's clone that doesn't do anything right.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
barlic
( 4.1 hrs on record )
Posted: October 10, 2015
i love retro coop games and i loved this one. i wish it had more levels tho. and longer ones too. really fun :D
Helpful? Yes No Funny
TheEq
( 5.8 hrs on record )
Posted: September 20, 2015
would've given positive review but the fact there's swedish language but no finnish is pure racism
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Brandon519
( 1.4 hrs on record )
Posted: September 14, 2015
Bad frame rate, short levels, short game. Play a Metal Slug, Contra, Super C, Contra III, or Contra Hard Corps instead. It is a shame. The game has appealing graphics and decent music. Wasted potential.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 22
This game tries real hard to be Contra.
This game fails terribly at being Contra.
If you want to play Contra, get Contra on NES emulators.

Only get this game if you ever wondered how Contra would feel like bound to a wheelchair after suffering major brain injury in combat.

Worst offender: Physics - both bullets and player / jumping feel so slow and sluggish its like they got bored of themselves and fell asleep mid way.
Also bullets disappear halfway through the screen.
This is not how physics should work in an action games.

Music is an 8-bit snore fest. I usually love 8-bit music but this is just lazy and boring. It gets semi-ok on stage 3 but it still sounds like the composer fell asleep on his 8-bit bloops.

The graphics is ok in an 8-bit copy-paste meh kind of way. But still meh.

Story: What story? I fell asleep during the first cutscene.

Final verdict: Meh out of Moo.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 180 days
40 of 55 people (73%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 19, 2015
You know everything you love about Contra?

Well this game throws those things in the trash and presents this pile of crap.

Remember how excited you'd get to see a weapon upgrade? Ohh, it might be Spread, or lasers, or flame! 8-Bit Commando decided that it would have "upgrades" as well, only when you see a weapon upgrade, the four times I think it happens, you'll avoid it like the plauge. The laser is dreadful. Absolutely dreadful. The devs decided that once you pick up a weapon you should automatically fire it.... you know like in that one game..... eh, er.... it's freaking stupid and gets you killed.

The game play is so boring.

Remember in Contra how you were fighting outlandish enemies? Aliens, tough bad guys, so on? Remember those cool levels, where did that game take you? Another world! It was amazing.

This game decided, "Nah". Let's just do like 4 terrorist guys, and on one level a dog..... um ok. Levels? uh, idk. whatever you want...

Theres one level in the game on which you climb some rope..... oh boy, screw that level.

The game isn't "Hard", it's just difficult due to its own poor design.

It seems like it wants to target itself towards speed runners/hi-score enthusiast. But if that was the case then why would there be a randomized flame port on the train level? That removes the possibility of speed runs. Make it on a regular timer, so ridiculous.

The bosses are also a joke. One of them is a cylinder? That shoots.... lazer rockets? idk, but all you have to do is stand under it and spam fire..... boring.

I do not recomend picking this up, save your money, download SNES, or NES emulator and a ROM of Contra I, II, and III. Loads more fun than what this game tries to be.

(Maybe I seem salty, and to a point I am, but go ahead, try this game out. You'll come back to my comments and agree whole heartedly with what I said.)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
49 of 76 people (64%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 8, 2014
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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31 of 46 people (67%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 23, 2014
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. 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 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 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. 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 take inspiration from Zelda, they offer fresh things. There are different twists, 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. Wth only 6 levels in the game on top of a timer that ensures no level lasts more than 5 minutes, that makes for a 30 minute play through.

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. I would have preferred it to jump and down + jump would make you fall from the rope.

Now for the number 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 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. 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 stuck on 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 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 get sent back to a level select screen. All that breaks the flow of the game. There aren't any memorable boss battles either. While I know a game should get 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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32 of 48 people (67%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 8, 2014
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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10 of 12 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 9, 2015
Got it in a bundle and had some fun with it. The life mechanic is neat, where you have infinity lives and get checkpoints, but you're given a time limit. Once that's up, it's a full game over and you have to start the level from the beginning. If an update would be done, it should be to add a hard mode with more enemies and more complex boss AI, making coop mode more of a challenge.

Weapons are more taimed than Contra (I got something like the spread gun but it worked differently), with the homing missiles being the most useful to me.

Took me around an hour to complete and had some variation in the levels, but they are pretty short. Was hoping for a more explosive ending, but it's really basic

As it is now, I recommend getting it on sale and playing coop with a friend, or go play Super Cyborg.
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20 of 31 people (65%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 16, 2014
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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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 17, 2014
Yeah I'm just repeating what everyone else is saying, it's Contra, but lame. Unlike the majority of people I really disliked Contra 4 but I might just have to reassess that game after playing this. Hell you'll probably have a better time playing Contra Force than this (even though to this game's credit it ran smoothly whereas CF is notorious for its slowdown). Contra Force is the game where it seems to take most of its inspiration actually, with its more "down-to-earth" military theme instead of aliens, mutants and robots you'd normally fight. Here, it's mainly tanks, airplanes, trucks, with only a couple of robot-ish things to battle. It's probably better than Legacy of War and C: The Contra Adventure... maybe, so there's that.

Let me talk about the options menu first. You have two difficulties, easy and normal. No hard available at all, which I'm not complaining about, as the game is irritating enough on its default difficulty, but it just looks odd, especially for a game like this. Also, resolution settings - rather than select from a list like a normal game, when you select it it'll immediately switch to the next resolution up and automatically adjust your screen accordingly. This didn't cause me any problems but it did for others apparently, as in crashes and such. Well I flicked through the resolution options until I came across one that didn't look like everything was stretched across the screen like latex before moving on.

So, as said, the game is Contra. Except the levels look more widely spaced as afforded by the higher resolutions not available on the older consoles. And the one-hit deaths/continue system has been replaced by a health bar and checkpoints. It does make the game seem easier than most Contras, theoretically but because of certain design decisions it feels much more frustrating to play. You have a health bar but it can drop down very easily when getting hit by various things around you, taking anywhere from 2 to 4 hits off your life bar. Levels are short, and you have at least one checkpoint in between, but that's where things get interesting (actually the only interesting thing about this game). The levels are set on a five-minute timer, and if you die after a checkpoint, the timer doesn't stop, so die often enough, you may come back with only 16 worthless seconds left and then it's time to redo the whole level again.

Otherwise it sticks to Contra very closely, sometimes almost blatantly ripping off levels from the series wholesale (such as the first level in the first Contra stuck somewhere in the middle of the game). Sprites are similar, and are competently drawn, but lack color and the art design in general is dull. There is some nice-looking parallax scrolling, most noticeable in the biker stage, and it runs smoothly, but it is totally uninspired. It's a game that copies the dull tones and browns of your average modern military shooter but "retro" style. Same with the music. Yeah they sound "8-bit" but none of it is catchy, memorable, well-composed or does anything - whether to pump you up, ratchet up tension, no, none of that - except sound "8-bit." It's as faceless as the protagonist and the tacked-on story about playing a game of nuclear missile hot potato with whoever the villains are. You'll probably find a more fleshed-out story in any of the other Contra games ever made than here, and better endings too.

Now the experience of playing the game itself... it feels slow and dull, with mediocre level design, broadly spaced-out enemies and traps, and really, really crappy weapons. Your default gun is probably what you'll be using most of the game as power-ups are few and far between, and what power-ups you get you'll lose pretty quickly from dying (that you carry over what health you had from the last level to the next doesn't help). Don't worry, because most of those are boring too, except for the homing missiles, and they managed to find a way to bork those as well, as I found many instances of the missiles just circling around enemies or bypassing them and not even hitting their appropriate target unless you're like, standing right next to them.

There's been talk of the controls being poor and indeed there are issues I have with them. You have eight-directional shooting, and shooting diagonally means having to run in that direction. This might have been how a bunch of Contra games also were designed but I don't recall them being as irritating as they are here. Because of how widely open/empty the levels are, the puniness of your pea shooter (which would be an apt description for any weapon you get), the tiny enemies on screen with equally tiny bullets coming from different directions you can't see, how slow your character feels and responds compared to any character in any Contra game, and some questionable hit box detection (I've fired right through a dude's head and it did nothing - there also were missiles firing straight at a platform below me and at one point I just arbitrarily took damage, standing there), makes for an unpleasant concoction of annoyances that as the game goes on and gets harder become more visible and make you want to throw the keyboard across the table.

And I've saved the worst for last - the bike-riding stage, the penultimate level of the game. I thought at first "oh nice a bit of variety for once" but nope these frustrations manifest even more horribly here. I still don't know what sense to make of this level. First one of the biggest dangers of the level, isn't the bullets, isn't missiles, but barrels. Yes, a truck appears at the beginning and end and throws barrels at you that take away three hit points as opposed to two from bullets. They appear to be empty barrels too. It throws three of them at you at a time and there's no logical perception as to where these things actually bounce toward. Even if you move out of the way after they're thrown, they seem to hit you anyway. Homing barrels? Oh and the same rules apply here as they do with the regular stages but you're on a constantly moving bike, making diagonal firing, a necessity when the annoying helicopter/invincible barrel truck combo come along, more of a pain. Before that though you have to weave through traffic by... shooting down pedestrian vehicles? Some of who will just try to ram into you? What drunk idiot designed this level? Oh and the boss fight. Getting a hit in is almost impossible without getting hit yourself, he crams you in with his bullet fire so much, and moves back and forth in patterns that make no sense and will certainly kill you. By the time you get to the second stage of the fight, where it's "BULLETS BULLETS BULLETSSS!" you will be low enough on health that you'll die the moment it starts. Here is where I said "Screw this bull****" and just set it to easy, where the barrels destroy as normal empty wooden barrels would with a high-powered gun, and where I could proceed to the final level (where I switched back to normal) and be done with this stupid game for good. Oh, the last level isn't very good either and exemplifies "diagonal shooting" with its final boss at its worst but at least it's not the biker stage.

The low price and Contra-looking aesthetics and gameplay may be tempting but really, don't bother. It's a game made by Contra fans who grew bored of their project the moment they started it, yet somehow finished it. Maybe if this was 75% off (which would make it about $0.99 in my currency), OK. Plus there's local co-op, which I haven't tried as someone with no friends, let alone ones who would be willing enough to share the boredom with me, but if you do, I guess that might be an incentive to part ways with one of your Washingtons, but for everyone else, stick with your emulators or cartridges of the older Contra games, if you're lucky enough to have them (my rec: Contra: Hard Corps for the Genesis, an amazing game and the polar opposite of this sad little thing.
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19 of 32 people (59%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
5.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 23, 2014
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.
Unplayble:
Rating: 0/10 Value: $0.00
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16 of 27 people (59%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 14, 2014
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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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 24, 2014
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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9 of 14 people (64%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
7.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 28, 2014
Great game, especialy if you have a buddy to play with. You will feel like the good old Contra days. But the game is short, You can pass it in 2 hours, or 1 hour if you are skilled in such games so the fair price for the game should be 1$ really, 2$ if dev would develop the game some more, like free dlc or something. Anyway, get it cheap and enjoy
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11 of 18 people (61%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 25, 2015
Sluggy, uninteresting and probably copy pasted together by some kids into Contra and Megaman on the NES, this game hardly tries to have its own atmosphere or mechanics. Weapons, other than the assault rifle are rather useless and the only challenge here comes from "bullet hell" situations where there's plenty of projectiles being shot at you from different angles.
I thought the nostalgic value would at least tide me over but this game is like a hack of a Chinese bootleg contra, and NOT in a good way unfortunately. The graphics are bland and the animations are simplistic. Although to be fair, they do their jobs alright.
Spend your money on something with a little more character. This plays like a free flash fan project you'd find in some obscure Chinese website. You can finish it in less than an hour.
Cool soundtrack though.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 14, 2014
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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8 of 13 people (62%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 20, 2015
A contra clone with nothing new to offer. Also no way to pause/quit the game via controller.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 25, 2015
This game is trying to be Contra, but I'd rather play Contra. The game seems to only run at one resolution (800 x 600) and only in windowed mode, no full screen. After all of that, I decided to play anyway, The control is alright, but the game play is rather slow. Then the game crashed on the first stage, so I gave up.

Had this been on the NES 30 years ago, it could possibly be forgiven, but for a recent PC game, it is a waste of money.
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 3, 2014
Of course that this game wants to give you an authentic 8-bit experience, but it fails miserably.

It is worse than Contra 1 from NES, but Contra was made in 1987, 8-Bit Commando was released in 2014!

27 years later they give us a flash game with an awful control, a repetitive soundtrack and an extremely boring gameplay, I wouldn't like it even if I was playing this 30 years ago.
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6 of 10 people (60%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 7, 2015
I feel like one minute of this game is all I really needed to see what it had to offer, but Steam won't let me review the game with less than five minutes of time logged on it, so I have left the game idling in the background in order to post this.

Firstly, there is a persistent bug where multi-monitor support causes the game not to display any graphics in fullscreen. Well, problem is, fullscreen is the default mode, so I had to go edit Settings.XML (which involved figuring out which of my AppData folders it was hidden in) to make the game run windowed. Going by the community forum, this bug has been known and documented since January of 2014. It is now July of 2015 and 2dengine have not bothered fixing it.

As soon as I fixed the config file, I spent some time altering the controls. Keyboard is the default configuration, though XBox 360 pads are supported by default as well, even though the button layout isn't really very logical. Buttons can be rebound, which is good, BUT I wasn't able to bind movement controls to the D-pad, as it only recognizes analog axes. I use a DualShock 3 with a custom driver that mimics the 360 controller's, and I would have much preferred the D-pad over the stick.

Getting into the actual game: the Commando moves really slowly, jumping is quite floaty; there are not very many enemies early on, making me wonder if the devs had forgotten to populate the level. When enemies DO show up, they're damage sponges. Contra soldiers tend to go down in one shot. These guys take two or three. Hit boxes are not very forgiving either; I found I was missing many shots because of how slow the bullets travel, and I eventually started just running past enemies because neither of us were going to hit each other.

Then I got to a point in the first level where there is a fighter jet dropping bombs everywhere. Despite being a big target, it's not easy to shoot because, again, bullets move way too slow. The bombs are hard to dodge, and do a lot of damage to you, resulting in frequent death. Even if you survive the bombs, there is a pair of missile turrets that fire homing missiles at you that do the same damage. To make matters far worse, even though you have infinite continues, you will always revert to a checkpoint when you die. The sluggish nature of the game makes this far more of a pain than it really needs to be.

Aesthetically, I don't mind the artwork (it's a bit more "authentic" than a lot of retro-mimic games), but the music and sounds are ill-fitting and unsatisfying, and dare I say, really boring.

I just don't feel like this is worth paying money for. I got it out of a Groupees bundle; I sort of regret redeeming the Steam key out of it, now.
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10 of 18 people (56%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
21.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 14, 2014
boring contra clone
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 6, 2014
Game Cola, Gaming Daily, and Bytten are full of ♥♥♥♥.
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