Metal Slug: Commander, the review of this gacha-style strategy variant

SNK’s famous action shooter series returns to iOS and Android devices with a strategic gacha-style variant: here’s a review of Metal Slug: Commander.

The Chinese division of SNK has decided to take one of the most famous series of the Japanese development team, specifically the action shooter Metal Slug, and turn it into a strategic style gacha, with the traditional positions on the grid, a long campaign made of missions all more or less equal and the inevitable collectible cards for the execution of special moves.

That’s it, the review of Metal Slug: Commander could also end here, given the huge amount of similar products already available on the App Store and Google Play Store. However, it is clear that such an important franchise, with its iconic protagonists, deserves a closer look in the hope, who knows, that maybe this time there is some good idea beyond the inevitable intent of monetization. What do you say?


Metal Slug: Commander, lanes and units in battle

After completing the usual tutorial, which after dozens of strategists all more or less equal is in truth quite superfluous, the gameplay of Metal Slug: Commander turns out exactly as we expected: two teams face each other on a battlefield, in a fight that takes place mostly through automatic mechanisms, and in the end wins the one with the strongest units and / or better placed on the grid.

The roster involved is huge and sees the presence not only of the historical protagonists of Metal Slug, namely the various Marco, Moth, Sophia, Fio, Trevor, etc.., but also their classic opponents (the so-called Rebel Army) and a number of other divisions characterized by values that are more or less effective in direct confrontations according to the classic rock-scissors-paper approach. Ah, there are also some characters from the tower defense Metal Slug Attack.

As mentioned above, the victory is the daughter first of the power of the units that form our team, thus calling the inevitable progression with the various upgrades and microtransactions where you want to proceed more quickly and / or we have come across a paywall from the point of view of the difficulty of the clashes. Secondly, it depends on the positioning of the characters on the grid, divided into two lanes, one upper and one lower.

Manage with a minimum of intelligence this mechanism and then place our fighters in the front line or in the rear depending on their resistance, the type of equipment and the operation of special moves, which are reloaded with attacks scored, can actually allow us to defeat even teams on paper stronger than ours. However, we speak in any case of a degree of interaction rather limited.


Metal Slug: Commander includes units drawn from all the episodes of the series

If on the front of the gameplay Metal Slug: Commander is exactly as we expected, even with regard to the structure, the production weblog SNK does not introduce particular novelties, indeed follows in a rigorous manner the canons of the genre, including in the speech the virtual and real currencies, which are dispensed through the inevitable list of achievements.

So we find the section dedicated to upgrades and any “promotions” of the characters, one in which you can open the boxes earned on the field waiting for a certain period of time, the part of the asynchronous competitive multiplayer to challenge the teams of other users, special events, extra challenges and so on. All as expected, after all we are talking about a formula now very well tested in mobile.

Technical realization

Metal Slug: Commander lets you place units on the grid before each confrontation

We arrive then to one of the most controversial aspects of the game, since Metal Slug: Commander is limited in practice to borrow the classic assets of the series, with its characters and their animations, and place them within new contexts, specifically scenarios not even very various that are the background to the various chapters of the campaign.

Most of the graphics are therefore recycled, with very little new and a minimum of freshness guaranteed by the presence of the protagonists of the aforementioned Metal Slug Attack, which as we know is a title more recent and therefore less inflated from the visual point of view. That said, the interface is fairly clear and you navigate without problems, while the music is also borrowed here and there.


Metal Slug: Commander is a strategy game with gacha elements that refers to the now extensive tradition of the genre on iOS and Android, without introducing any particular novelty and trying to exploit only the popularity of the SNK franchise in order to involve the many fans of this type of products. The roster is very large and the gameplay actually includes tactical elements that can make a difference, but the action soon becomes repetitive and lacking in ideas, supported by graphics that recycle in an obvious way the traditional assets of the series.


  • Very wide roster
  • Long campaign, the contents are there
  • Interesting tactical elements
  • Limited and repetitive gameplay
  • Typical structure, with obvious freemium mechanisms
  • Largely recycled graphics
  • Have you noticed any errors?
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