8-Bit Commando is a run and gun platformer with fast-paced action, a rocking soundtrack, local multiplayer and explosions.
User reviews:
Mixed (115 reviews) - 40% of the 115 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jul 27, 2011

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Buy 2DEngine Bundle

Includes 2 items: 8-Bit Commando, Collisions


Recent updates View all (11)

August 12

Leaderboards, sale and upcoming game

Greetings Commandos,
Here are the updates we have coming your way:

Steam Leaderboards
The latest patch (2016.08.12) fixes several minor issues when browsing the online leaderboards. In addition, record times are now displayed with millisecond precision. Note that these are visual improvements so the actual scores have not changed.

August Sale
8-Bit Commando will be going on sale this month so make sure to add the game to your wishlist. If you'd like to the support us, check out the 2DEngine bundle package.

Upcoming Game
2dengine is always hard at work and we hope to roll out our next title Super Chains, by the end of this year. Show us some love by joining the play-testing group and leave some feedback.

Have a nice day!

1 comments Read more

June 27

Local versus mode

Greetings commandos
Another exciting update is out, featuring local versus mode. All you need is a friend and at least one controller and you're ready for some 1v1 action!

As usual, the latest update features a number of small fixes too. Thank you so much for the support and let us know if you have any suggestions.

Free demo and sale
If you've never played 8-Bit Commando, then try the Steam demo for free. We're also running a sale on the 2DEngine bundle featuring 8-Bit Commando and Collisions at 20% off.

2 comments Read more


“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”

“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 and versus mode
  • Beautiful retro graphics
  • Online hiscore
  • Rocking chiptunes soundtrack

System Requirements

    • 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 Sept. 2016! Learn more
Mixed (115 reviews)
Review Type

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64 reviews match the filters above ( Mostly Negative)
Recently Posted
0.9 hrs
Posted: August 29
As an old hat C64 guy, I was hoping for a Gryzor or Green Beret to help my nostalgy in an improved fashion.

Unfortunately the game is sluggish to play and the character is unresponsive, the game already seems repetitive after the first level, the life mechanic is silly (eat 10 bullets or ♥♥♥♥ up a jump and it is game over) and the music is mediocre.

I remember Army Moves being more engaging and it was quite basic in itself.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.1 hrs
Posted: August 5
Controller worked fine, no bugs, smooth gameplay...not horrible for 3 bucks, but it couldn't keep my interest. Its good for what it is, just lacked action and immersion, it felt kind of like a flash game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
3.7 hrs
Posted: July 19
Classic 8-bit fun, maybe a little rough around the edges, but still a good time.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
2.3 hrs
Posted: July 6
8-Bit Commando is a retro pixel graphic platform game that tries real hard to be a Contra clone and it fails real hard. The imprecise controls make the platforming difficult and the music is terrible. The game isn't fun or challenging, it's just boring and frustrating. Want to play Contra? Use an emulator, you'll be much happier.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
1.0 hrs
Posted: June 5
Easy game, easy life - 2easy4me. Perfect single player game for me - 1 hour to finish it 100%
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Mongoloid Mike
4.6 hrs
Posted: May 27
This isn't any good, and the music is awful.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
4.0 hrs
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
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 14
This is a poorman's Contra. Controls are bad, very bad. Game doesn't work well with alt-tabbing. The coop features get in the way of single-player. If you're like me, you leave your gamepads plugged in even when you're not using them just to make sure they're charged. This game assumes I have some couch coop buddies just because I have those controllers plugged in. Because of this, I was unable to use the gamepad for player 1, which isn't a big deal, really, just not ideal. The game could use a better UI design with better controls settings and multiplayer drop-in-and-drop-out. Overall, this game ended up only being played for the trading cards and nothing more.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
51 of 70 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.)
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53 of 81 people (65%) 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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34 of 50 people (68%) 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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15 of 18 people (83%) found this review helpful
4 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.
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11 of 14 people (79%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
8.0 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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22 of 35 people (63%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
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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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 4
It's the dollar store Contra, tbh. Nothing wrong with that.

+Dev seems to care a lot and updates the game frequently to improve the game.
+Graphics and sound are ok.
+Achievements are simple and straightforward.
-Controls need to be tightened up more though.

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12 of 18 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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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18 of 30 people (60%) 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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