Ready to play an iOS shoot-em-up that should remind you of those hard-hitting ‘80s action movies and TV series, right down to the graphics, the fashions, and the premise? If you are, then you might as well try Anarchy Enterprises’ Kick Ass Commandos. The game invites you to fire away with your machine gun, rocket launcher, grenade launcher, and a variety of other weapons, as you seek to destroy the world’s entire supply of Krystal Yayo, a drug so powerful that it can turn ordinary people in to zombies. There are tons of missions to complete (six mission packs), various characters to unlock, and a wide range of enemy vehicles to destroy and bosses to defeat once you’re almost done with the mission packs.
Truly, there is a surprising amount of depth in this game, and you may find it quite challenging from the get-go. If this game is leaving you overwhelmed, you can read on and check out our Kick Ass Commandos strategy guide below. These tips are mainly written for advanced to intermediate players, so read on if there are some aspects of the game that are throwing you off and leaving you scratching your head!
1. Be Warned – This Is Not An Easy Game
Our first tip isn’t as much a tip as it is a warning, but we’re going to say it anyway. Kick Ass Commandos may seem like your average casual shoot-em-up game, with those charming retro graphics and easy-to-learn gameplay. But this game can be very hard to master, as they always say, and even if you choose Easy difficulty (the easiest out of the four, with Fubar being the hardest), the game can get quite frustrating for first-timers, and you may end up repeating missions so many times (even the “Basic Training” ones) before you complete them. Your patience will go along way in this game, so don’t tell us we didn’t warn you.
Talking about the game’s basics, the left (green) joystick is used to move your character around, while the right (red) joystick is used to aim your character’s weapon. Be aware that it can be tricky to move your character from one place to another and ensure that they’re facing the right direction.
2. You Don’t Need To Kill All Enemies Unless Asked
One reason why a lot of new players get “shot down in a blaze of glory” (among other humorous or pop culture-y ways the game has of saying your character’s dead) is because they try to kill all the enemies that cross their path, and even those who don’t. Killing more enemies will allow your character to level up faster, thus allowing you to improve their stats with the ability points you receive. But it’s oftentimes too risky of an undertaking to try to kill ‘em all — even with the soldiers you rescue, you will, more often than not, end up taking more damage than you deal out. Only kill enemies when necessary, and if you’ve got your health filled up (or close to it) and a few rescued commandos backing you up, it’s better to push forward to the mission objective and save your attacks for the enemies that actually get in your way.
3. Make Sure To Check The Area For Imprisoned Soldiers
Although their health points and offensive stats are pitifully weak compared to yours, the soldiers, or commandos you end up rescuing could add up to give you a lot of help as you blast your way through the end of a mission. Always be on the lookout for a soldier or two that appears to be imprisoned; there may be some of them that are hidden from your sight, but would appear if you look to the left or to the right. Again, they don’t offer much individually, but that little bit of help could add up, and even spell the tiny bit of difference you need to pass the mission and move on to the next.
4. No Time Limits, No Ammo Limits
Although we did say a couple tips ago that it’s a good idea to push forward and try to get to the mission objective as soon as possible (provided you’ve got enough help and ample backup), we should also add that there are no time limits in Kick Ass Commandos, unless specified. (So far, we’ve yet to encounter a mission that has a time limit.) That means you have the option to take it slow and possibly take some time out in safer ground to strategize. Additionally, the game does not have any ammo limits, which allows you to keep firing your weapon as you make your way from one part of the mission map to the next. This is a good way to add to your kills, as your rescued commandos will also fire their weapon at the same time you’re firing yours.
5. Enemies Always Re-Spawn In The Same Place
Frustrated because you’ve repeated one mission over and over again and can’t seem to accomplish it? We feel your pain on that one, but there are a few mitigating factors that you can take into account, including the fact that the levels, or missions, are NOT procedurally generated. As we’ve explained in the past, this is a common buzzword game makers use to sell games where the levels are randomly generated, ensuring a different playing experience per play-through. But since Kick Ass Commandos is challenging enough as it is, it’s probably a good thing to know that the enemies in each mission will always appear in the same place and in the same number. This makes it easier for you to prepare for these pesky bad guys when you’re grinding and replaying levels you’ve already completed, or trying to complete a mission you’re failed in the past.
6. Get Those Health Packs While They’re Active
In most games of this kind, health packs will remain there until you claim them; if you don’t get them the first time, you can go back for them if you need a quick pick-me-up. Health packs also restore most, if not all of a character’s health points once used. But in Kickass Commandos, health packs, which are usually found underneath the boxes you blast open in the game, are only active for a few seconds before they disappear. How can you make the most out of those health packs if they’re only available to use for a mere few seconds?
The best thing to do with the health packs is to fire at enemies first, then run to the health packs (assuming there are some nearby packs, which is usually the case) to get a quick boost. This won’t always be effective, especially if there’s a huge wave of enemies ahead of you, but in such cases, you can simply choose to take out as many bad guys as you could, run to a health pack or two, then continue firing at the enemies.
7. Hit-And-Run Works To A Certain Extent
We’ve mentioned several times in this guide that it’s not easy to deal with the enemies in the game. One of your first instincts might be to employ hit-and-run tactics, and as far as we’ve noticed, they are effective in the early parts of the levels. Fire a few times and don’t get too close to the enemies, then run back as they start firing. Strangely, it doesn’t appear that boxes and other obstacles could serve as cover while you’re using these hit-and-run tactics. But take note that this otherwise tried and tested strategy won’t always be the best way to go. As previously mentioned, you can start forging straight ahead toward the objective of a level/mission once you’ve got enough support, and especially if you have some power-ups activated.
8. How Do Power-Ups Work?
See those red things that appear from time to time after blasting open a box or killing an enemy? Those are power-ups, and although the game doesn’t seem to have a way to detail what those power-ups are, looking at them will oftentimes give you an idea of what they do. For example, the red power-ups with a tiny rocket and grenade icon respectively will do just that — your default weapon will turn into a rocket or into a grenade launcher, and you’ll be doing tons more damage against enemies than you normally would. Like health packs, power-ups only remain active for a few seconds before they expire/disappear, and they won’t last too long either after you’ve ran over them to activate them.
9. Be Very Careful During Rescue Missions
Some of the game’s missions will ask you to rescue a certain character, for example, Mohawk and Blondie in the first mission pack. These missions would require you to be extra-careful before and after you rescue the central character — if those characters get killed, and they will oftentimes become the primary target of the enemies, you fail the mission automatically! When it comes to these missions, we recommend trying to keep the coast as clear as possible before rescuing the character, which means it’s best if you leave no enemies alive right before you get to the character. Once you’ve rescued the character, you can forge straight ahead to the objective, though you’ll still want to stop and fire at enemies if the waves get too overwhelming.
10. Replay Older Missions To Get More XP
Getting more experience points will allow you to level up, and once you level up, you will then get skill points which you can apply toward your character’s stats. We’ve already established that, and if you’re having a hard time completing the more recent missions, you can always return to the older missions and replay them. This will allow you to grind for experience points, and possibly make it easier and faster for you to get from one level to the next.
11. How To Unlock New Characters
Kick Ass Commandos starts you off with the ‘80s throwback Lex Lightning, who’s pretty much Rambo with shorter hair and a mustache. After completing the tutorial mission (Welcome to the Jungle in the first mission pack), you’ll unlock the Mr. T-lookalike Mohawk, then you get Blondie after you rescue her a few missions later. As you can see, rescuing certain characters for the first time will allow you to add them to your roster, making them playable as a result. Click on the bottom left button on the main menu, then choose the character you wish to control on the next mission you’ll be playing — it’s as simple as that.
You may also be asking whether you should stick to the stock character (Lex), or move on to the others once they get unlocked. Since the difference between Lex’s base stats (which are essentially all zeroed out) and those of Mohawk and Blondie are negligible, we suggest sticking with Lex until you unlock a character whose stats are on par (or close to on par) with him. You can always replay previous levels and grind to level up the other characters, should you prefer changing up from one character to another.
12. Improving Your Commandos
The aforementioned character menu also allows you to customize your characters, or your commandos. And when we say customize, we mean improving their stats upon a player level-up. What stats should you prioritize, and what kind of build should you be aiming for?
Unless you’re an expert in the game, we wouldn’t really recommend that you make one stat stand out beyond the rest of them. Going for an all-rounder is still the best strategy, but if you want to prioritize some stats over others, you might as well improve your Commandos’ Armor and Damage. Armor determines how much damage is reduced when you take a hit, while Damage refers to your attack power. After those two stats, you can then work on Hit Points, which improves your Commandos’ starting HP (quite obviously), followed by Fire Rate, which makes your characters shoot faster. Lastly, Valor refers to the HP bonus you get when you rescue Commandos; this is something you can place as fifth and last in the pecking order, as we believe it won’t be as important as raw Damage and Armor in the grand scheme of things.
13. You Can Play The Mission Packs In Any Order
Last, but not the least, let’s wrap up with one basic tip that you might neglect if you prefer to go from one pack to the next in the normal progression. The game does make all the mission packs available after you’ve completed the tutorial, so if you want to try the other packs and get an idea of what to expect, Kick Ass Commandos allows you to do this. Remember, though, that you still need to follow the mission tree regardless of the pack; you can’t jump to the third mission in the second pack, for instance, if you haven’t unlocked it yet!