"Your turn, commander."Moonbase Commander is a unique turn-based strategy game released in 2002 by Humongous Entertainment. Each player has a base, which they can extend by adding new buildings which have specialized abilities: missile launchers, radar towers, energy collectors, etc., not to mention base hubs which have the ability to create new buildings. Each building is connected to the hub that built it by a dotted power cable; each hub can have only a limited number of cables coming off it and cables are not permitted to overlap, requiring some care about building placement. The goal is to get rid of everyone else, but keeping your base alive.The game includes four teams — NiceCo, DeWulfe Industrial, System Seven, and Team Alpha — which the player rotates through in single-player mode and can choose between for multiplayer. Each team has their own unit shapes and sound bites, but the differences are only cosmetic and they all play the same.A demo of this game can be downloaded from Infogrames. You can buy the full game at GOG.com or on Steam.
This game provides examples of:
- Color-Coded Multiplayer: In multiplayer, each player chooses a different color, which is used in the turn indicator, on the level map, and in the colored parts of their units.
- Command & Conquer Economy: Justified by the battles taking place on uninhabited moons. Any building that gets done is done by the commander because there's nobody else to do it.
- Construct Additional Pylons: The entire game focuses around it. Each building is connected to the hub that built it by a dotted power cable; each hub can have only a limited number of cables coming off it.
- Cosmetically Different Sides: Each of the four teams has access to exactly the same collection of buildings, tools, and weapons. They look different (one team builds their equipment with graceful curves, another goes in for spikes in a big way, and so on), but they play identically.
- Damage Is Fire: Damaged buildings emit smoke; the more damage, the thicker the smoke.
- Fog of War: Optional, but it exists. Radar towers and observation balloons can be built to extend the visible area. You can still hear what happens in the fogged area, and explosions are visible if you happen to be looking at the right place when they occur.
- Non-Entity General: The commander. There's no character, just a title given to the player; the four interface voices address the player as "Commander" or by a nickname, depending on their respective personalities. There's no story given about who the commander is or why they're working for the team they're working for. They don't appear to be physically present on the battlefield; there's a base hub which is the starting unit for each game and means the end of the mission if it's destroyed, but since the commander always survives they may not be inside it.
- Nonindicative Name: You do command a base, but on other planets, not on the moon.
- Wrap Around: The map wraps both left-right and top-bottom, so no player can ever be backed up against a wall or into a corner and it's always possible to go around the long way and attack an opponent from a direction they're not expecting. (It does get a bit odd in the multiplayer map based on Earth, where the Arctic and the Antarctic are the same landmass.)
- Variable Mix: The soundtrack is made up of short, five-to-ten second movements and during a game will change to different loops depending on combat intensity.
- You Require More Vespene Gas: All structures either cost 1, 3, or 7 energy. You only have a limited amount of energy per turn, but can increase it by building energy collectors near energy pools.