If you made a checklist of every trope you could expect to see in a TV show or movie from the 1980s, Commander ’85 probably has most of them. It is a sci-fi thriller with hacking elements from developer The Moonwalls and publisher Ultimate Games S.A, planned for release on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam in fall 2020. The game begins on May 13, 1985, the protagonist’s birthday. You receive a seemingly innocuous birthday gift from your mom — a Commander 85 computer — that sends you down a rabbit hole and ultimately tasks you with ending the Cold War while also unlocking the secrets of the Roswell incident. And you do it all with your friends and a wacky scientist. No, seriously. That’s Commander ’85.
It’s also currently seeking a very modest sum on Kickstarter, just a little over $5,700. It has additional stretch goals for things like additional “datanets” to hack, more original ’80s-style games to play on your fictional computer, in-game VHS movies, readable books, and even a VR mode. (That last one likely won’t be a feature for the Switch version.) The timing of the Kickstarter is notably peculiar though, if the game intends to release in just a few months.
Commander ’85 to offer a mega retro experience on Nintendo Switch
Intriguingly, Commander ’85 won’t be a one-and-done experience. Marcin Makaj, the main developer of the game at The Moonwalls, is promising a wide breadth of experiences: “It’s important to note that each game session is basically different. We’ve prepared hundreds of different possibilities, many random elements, side quests, and three different endings.”
The press release states the game will feature “adventure, simulation, and survival,” and you can expect to engage in tasks like “hacking data networks, playing games, drawing, playing with a dog, or watching video tapes.” And of course, an ’80s synth soundtrack will be part of the package because obviously. Some more details are available on its Steam page.
Are you thinking of backing Commander ’85 on Kickstarter?