"Commander '85" is the pioneer hacker's dream come to life. Just as in the 1983 film "War Games," you play as a child of the 80s with a fancy new computer with untold powers.
At the other end of your DOS prompts and your fuzzy manual modem awaits a burgeoning world to be shaped in your image via a series of command prompts.
The vision that Developer The Moonwalls is carrying is admirable and captivating. The execution, though, is as clumsily executed and obtuse as modder newsgroups of the infant internet.
Just about everything meaningful you accomplish in the game is done at your bedroom computer desk. You're massaging prompts, codes, passwords and adjustments that will seem foreign to anyone who came of age after Windows was introduced.
You're locked into a battle of trial-and-error against the programming itself, forced to use your ingenuity to decipher the correct prompts to advance you toward your task, whether it's cracking your school's report card database or manipulating powerful forces.
While retro charm abounds in "Commander '85," going it alone is an exhausting experience. If you want to progress with minimal frustration and adequate speed, you're best of digging up a walkthrough. While the game is fun to experiment with, it's also often as frustrating and slow as a Commodore 64.
Publisher provided review code.