This is Niche Spotlight. In this column, we regularly introduce new games to our fans, so please leave feedback and let us know if there’s a game you want us to cover!
Today’s Spotlight is Radio Commander, a unique Vietnam War RTS by Serious Sim and PlayWay S.A.
In the game, you play as an American field commander directing troops with a radio and grid-based map.
You’ll need to listen to radio chatter from your platoons to determine their situation, decipher where they are taking fire from, and properly coordinate fire support like artillery and airstrikes. You can check out a trailer above.
Radio Commander is available on Windows PC via Steam for $19.99.
Here’s a rundown of the game:
In Radio Commander you are playing as an American military commander serving in US Army during the Vietnam War. You will be carrying a heavy burden as your mission is to coordinate military operations taking place between 1965 and 1968.
But this is not just another RTS, in which you are an invisible being hovering over the battlefield. In Radio Commander situation reports are given to you in form of dramatic radio statements sent by troops fighting on the ground. And your only accessory is a strategic map, on which you can place tokens and notes.
UNIQUE VIEW ON REALISM – Radio Commander offers an unique experience very different from classic real time strategy games. It’s a bold try to redefine the genre, as the player will be involved in a decision making process much more realistic than those pictured by casual RTS titles. Ask for situation reports. Listen what your men have to tell you. Send evac choppers and nape drops. Defeat the invisible enemy.
DIVE INTO THE STORY – Experience the story of soldiers and their commander, trapped in the middle of bloody, chaotic, morally ambiguous Vietnam conflict. Dive into a scenario that doesn’t avoid the difficult issues of civilians trapped in the theater of action, shady CIA operations, and cynical political pressures. Discover those uneasy situations, presented in such cult classics as Platoon, Full Metal Jacket or Apocalypse Now, which were happening on a daily basis for those serving in Vietnam. See for yourself how hard it is to make the right choices in the middle of a fire exchange with Vietcong.
DECIDE WHO LIVES AND DIES – Decide the fate of your soldiers. The choices you face will have a direct impact on the course of the game. They will also define views of your hero. Or maybe those are your views? Playing Radio Commander you must be prepared to answer tough questions about the righteousness of your actions, the price of a human life, and the toxic power of propaganda and stereotypes.
USE YOUR IMAGINATION – Radio Commander is not another empty action game. You will play as the commander operating from his tent, using only a radio and a map. You will be staring at the map for hours, listening carefully to the reports. Your decisions will affect lives of many people. Just like in real life, there are no fancy graphics and animations to help you imagine what’s happening on battlefield. Only you, your map, and skills. You have to listen and be smart. Thanks to this, level of immersion is much greater than in normal real time strategy games.
CHOOSE BETWEEN VARIOUS MEANS – You will take under your command not only units of infantry, air cavalry or field artillery, but also powerful units of air support. It’s in your will to order the jungle-burning nape drops, or devastating bombings. Are you ready to bring the rain of fire and burn the enemy positions to the ground? Are you sure that your soldiers are far enough and won’t take damages? And does the ends always justify the means?
EXPERIENCE DEEP IN-GAME SYSTEMS – Beneath the narrative layer, hidden from your eyes, a deep and complex simulation is taking place. In Radio Commander every unit is described by unique set of statistics. You will have to worry about your platoons morale, supplies, and even their stamina. All those factors will be important during your soldiers’ confrontations with enemy, unfriendly terrain and extreme Vietnamese climate. What will you do, when your choppers report, that they are out of fuel and forced to land in the middle of the jungle? Will you send the rescue mission risking the life of even more soldiers?
BOND WITH YOUR BROTHERS IN ARMS – Troops under your command are not just pawns on the map. They are complicated, multi-layered human beings, with their own voices, problems, strengths and weaknesses. Mutual trust is essential. They depend on your judgment and cool decisions, while you are hoping they’re giving their best. Discover hundreds of original dialogues and scenarios. Replay previously completed missions and alter the course of events by making different decisions and encountering different events.
HOURS OF GAME EXPERIENCE
Radio Commander includes:
- 9 main campaign missions (every mission is possible to complete in several different ways)
- 9 animated briefings
- 15 unit types, including: infantry, evac choppers, gunships, field artillery, aerial reconnaissance, M113 armored personnel carriers, and napalm-carrying F4 Phantom jets (every unit is described by a unique set of statistics and communicates with commander using a different voice)
- full voice over
- over 200 dialogue blocks, used to construct radio messages,
- over 600 story dialogues between units and the commander.
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