Starfleet Commander: A Smart New Strategy RPG from Blue Frog Gaming

starfleet commander logoA long time ago, an Ohio-based games developer called Blue Frog Gaming released a simple football-based RPG dubbed Football Tycoon. Frankly, it was a decent game, but in the past seven and a half months since then, they’ve been hard at work improving their craft with a new release: Starfleet Commander.

Essentially, the game is a marriage of both RPG (role-playing games) and RTS (real-time strategy) elements, in a space-age setting, and powered through both Facebook and Twitter. When just starting out, the player is presented with a in-game currency bonus for simply logging in (a bonus that increases with each consecutive day you play – up to three days), and 15 menu items of merit. This is a bit daunting at first glance as there is no tutorial to ease a new player in. Thankfully, however, one begins to pick things up extremely quickly by just clicking around (and without the FAQs or Wiki!).

building buildingsThis comes down to the fact that the game has a built-in “tech tree” like most RTS titles. Unlike many of the Facebook RPGs out there, each menu item tends to be dependant upon another. For example, you cannot build a fleet until you have ships, which require a shipyard, which requires resources, which requires buildings to gather them, which requires power supplies to actually function. Each successive structure is dependent on a previous one, so players end up just moving up the hierarchy until they are building the items needed from the menu item needed, allowing for a very natural learning curve. The more the player plays, the more options are available, and thus more complexity.

As expected each building requires resources to create. In this case, the resources are Ore, Crystal, and Hydrogen. Each item takes X amount of time to build that may range from two minutes to over an hour. Furthermore, in the case of buildings, players must also build energy producing structures to actually make them work (think Command & Conquer power plants).

One of many available ships - Athena ClassOnce a player has gotten past this slow start, they can then begin bolstering defenses, building fleets, and garnering allies as they expand throughout the universe. Also, like in a mafia-style RPG, players can fight one another for profit, plundering areas, destroying fleets, and taking over colonies. Of course, such attacks can be mitigated by significant defenses. Fleets can also be saved by sending them on missions (which garner rewards like RPG style missions). The missions take hours to complete, but keep the ships from being threatened by enemy raids. Nevertheless, there is one key phrase worth repeating: “Taking over colonies.”

This is actually one of the cooler parts of Starfleet Commander. Players are not limited to just their own home world. As a matter of fact, they can colonize up to eight more planets in order to increase production of war machines, resource gathering, or whatever else they might have planned. Unfortunately, that requires a bigger fleet to protect them all, but thankfully players can form alliances with other commanders and ban together for mutual protection.

MissionsAs for your friends, they too can be brought on as a crew and work as a builder, miner, scientist, or captain. Like the majority of RPGs in circulation, this grants you “Crew Points,” that are required to run tougher missions. However, players can increase these ranks with droids as well, for a cost, even though friends are free, and add extra benefits (i.e. 4% faster build times from Builders).

There is a lot of information to absorb when it comes to this game, but it is definitely worth a go; especially if you are a fan of strategy or RPG games. It has more than enough familiar elements to get any Facebook veteran started and enough new features to keep them going for a while. Granted, it is a bit slow starting out, but all this is merely the tip of the iceberg (advanced play includes multiple fleets, gifts, tech research, and more), and once one does pick up some headway, Starfleet Commander is actually quite fun.

And, while the game is still tiny, according to AppData, it seems to be on an upwards growth curve.

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43 Responses to “Starfleet Commander: A Smart New Strategy RPG from Blue Frog Gaming”

  1. Matthew Maroon says:

    Thanks for the writeup. We really appreciate that you took the time to research/play the game. Hilariously we launched a tutorial on both games at the same time we launched the Twitter app yesterday afternoon, so you just missed it. It was sorely needed.

    -Matt Maroon
    CEO, Blue Frog Gaming

  2. Hmmm says:

    No nods to Ogame?

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  4. Kristina Bogović says:

    This is definitely a full OGame rip off, even to the slightest details. But I was wondering when it’d show up on Facebook.

  5. Really!? says:

    I hope Gameforge sues the hell out of Blue Frog… This is worse than when most mp3 players got called Ipods… oh wait.

  6. Incendius says:

    This is a farce. The whole game is a plain copy of OGame, with a few tweaks and renames. The game remains largely the same. If it gains any followers, it’s due to the immense benefits gained by inviting friends to play. This usually results in those players just idling. I cannot believe that the article called it “their craft,” because it’s clearly not. Blue Frog should rethink how they come up with new ideas.

  7. Álvaro San Miguel says:

    I’m glad I found this post. I went and Googled OGame and love it! It’s a shame I put two weeks into Starfleet Commander. I’ll probably wind up playing both. You are right, it is Very similar.

  8. bloke says:

    They require you to be really active to keep up with resources.

    If you are really active, then they will suspend you. That’s not really good game-play.

  9. NuShrike says:

    Addendum towards their professionalism and legitimacy, if one makes a public complaint about Blue Frog Gaming to either Facebook, or BBB, BFG will suspend the one’s account.

    Be forewarned.

  10. ICWHATUDIDTHAR says:

    As a heads up, NuShrike is a disgruntled player that went berserk on their forums today.

    He got banned by a temporary bug in the system. He then filed a complaint to the BBB for having to wait more than 10 seconds to hear from BFG’s staff.

    After maliciously going out of his way to make BFG look as bad as possible he got permanently banned and tried telling everyone on the BFG forums some SOB story. He deserved it. Good riddance!

  11. Arckonicon says:

    Why has’nt there been anything said about the legitiment claims about it being based on ogame I have played ogame for two years and starfleet commander for a few months and they are the same game so unless bluefrog made ogame as well there should be credit given to ogame as the tech tree is identical just renamed and the costs and time associated with building the equivalants is identical the only change I see is the addition of the froger for bonus effects other than that the game is a clone I urge you to try ogame so you can see what the people saying this mean it is truely a direct clone I like both games but give credit where it is due

  12. kev says:

    also the same as Space invasion by Bigpoint (except SI has better visuals) i played that for 2 years, so god knows which was around 1st, but it was not this one. all the units are the same, except slightly different names, an extra fighter class and more cartoony graphics

  13. Ric says:

    It does sound like NuShrike has got issues. I found this game on facebook and play it every day. The game itself got me confused for a while but now used to it. HINT once you have built up a decent world with decent defence and ships press options in the blue bar at the bottom to take yourself out of diplomacy mode. I only found this out by accident, I was getting a bit bored before I found this out!!!!

  14. NuShrike says:

    @ICWHATUDIDTHAR: How can you be legitimate if you haven’t even responded to my “berserk” posts as Arckonicon has called you out on? You automatically loose with your straw-man argument.

    My basis for my complaint is that BFG has a history of recklessly bashing/suspending players.

    Is it wrong to officially call out BFG on their publicly admitted mistake especially after I waited HOURS for their support to respond after their auto-banning went berserk? Their CEO detailed to me it was their worse down-time ever?

    Is that how a good company responds to player complaints for their worst self-inflicted down-time ever? Does your power company shut off power to you after you complain about a billing mistake?

    I’ve spent 15 years in gaming/e-commerce as a software developer so I’m not some random, angry kiddie. You can see easily google how much Windows Mobile development I’ve done recently too.

    Pot-kettle-black.

  15. NuShrike says:

    Now in, judge for yourself how “berserk” things got: http://forum.playstarfleet.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3303

    Public name-calling, censorship, character defenestration, and ad hominem replies are not a basis for legitimate and professional response from a company (and players) that’s trying to have a go at a business — although the basic game rules do seem uncannily identical to OGame.

  16. Kauhu88 says:

    More shiptypes, like 10fighters and couplemore battleships and guys like Pimped, called cheateralliance to heck..
    And overpowered zeus to nerfstation, or if not then something to defence structures what can kill those.

  17. subcritical says:

    WTF? I JUST GOT DESTROYED BY A MASSIVE FLEET FROM TWO DIFFERENT INDIVIDUALS. MY FLEET WAS VERY, VERY SMALL. THIS GAME IS A FUCKING SCAM. I CANT BELIEVE I SPENT 60$ OF MY HARD EARNED CASH. THAT WILL NOT EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER HAPPEN AGAIN. I WAS HAVING FUN BUILDING MY FORCES. NOT ANY MORE THOUGH. IT IS ALL GONE. THEY FORGOT TO TAKE THE REST OF MY RESOURCES WHILE THEY WERE AT IT. MY PLANET WAS MEGATRON. IF ANYONE WANTS THE REST OF MY RESOURCES COME AN GET IT. I WILL NOT PLAY THIS WORTHLESS PIECE OF SHIT GAME EVER, EVER, AGAIN. OH AN THE EXTREME VERSION IS ALSO A PIECE OF CRAP GAME.

  18. subcritical says:

    BLUE FROG GAMING SUXS. THEY WILL RIP YOU OFF.

  19. Dan Joella says:

    @Subcritical
    were you in galaxy 34?

  20. Unknown warrior says:

    Agree with Subcritical. this game is the worst ever, as soon as you built up your defenses you get an @$#$%^& who wipes you out, will never come back to this game again

  21. Sonshine says:

    Unknown warrior says: “as soon as you built up your defenses you get an @$#$%^& who wipes you out”

    That player wouldn’t be Kain the Feared would it? He totally wiped me out once, but this time I saw his attack come in and was able to save most of my resources by sending them out, but I lost several ships. He came in w/something like 75-80 ships!!!!!! There is NO way anybody can stand up to that. I’m going into dip mode now to prevent him attacking anymore.

  22. kc says:

    AWESOME!

  23. Sonshine says:

    IMHO, This game is a simpler form or O Game. They made the interface a bit easier to understand and a bit more achievable. I signed up for O Game and it takes an unbelievable amount of resources just to get a recycler not to mention a heavy fighter! I was able to get those early on in SFC and also some cargo ships so I can fleet save. For those of you who want to criticize BF, take a good look at all the other games on facebook. ALL of them are copycats of each other! Each one only has slight differences from the other. If it wasn’t leagal, this game wouldn’t have been published. So far, I prefer SFC over O Game.

  24. Are you kidding? says:

    To the all-caps whiners: there are really simple ways to dodge attacks so that you lose no ships and very few resources.
    Lol’d at 75-80 ships being impressive. There are hundreds of people with 5000+ ships.

    Still no response from the site or Matt about the fact that it’s a copy of Ogame. Does BFG have some sort of agreement with Gameforge, or are European copyright laws really this lax? Either way, Matt gets credit for porting it to Facebook, and that’s about all.

  25. Spock says:

    Are you kidding me. This game is monotonous and requires 100% dedication if you want to avoid being beat up by the big players that have been around for ages. BFG also plays favorites. Whatever you do don’t succeed in attacking a player that knows the support staff. That is harassment.

  26. Sonshine says:

    @Are you kidding?:

    When this happened to me, I had *just* come out of newbie protection. For the most part I can prevent attacks now by fleetsaving. I still did get one attack simply b/c the person wanted to. They didn’t get anything though. I don’t dedicate 100% to this game, just do what I need and close it out then do other stuff.

  27. LMAO says:

    Your all bellyaching cause you didn’t think of putting it on face book yerself!!!!!
    Yes its similar to Ogame but it has much different strategies. If you had really played Ogame and played Starfleet Command you would know this!

    So quit crying in your Sunny D, and go play Care Bears.

    Hahahaha

  28. Avenger says:

    Yes from about 220,000 to less than 150,000 active players.

    My guess some of these players are programers of bluefrog.

  29. Avenger says:

    Started with ogames, its nice.

  30. cherish says:

    I play starfleet commander on facebook as well as many others. Those who bash it shoukd keep quiet!

  31. dark serenity says:

    This game is a fraud, they let the designers and programers of this game play it, who in turn take our money and beat the crap out of us, with fleets we cant match, and well when they lose to many ships.. they just give themselves more, to no end. They also insert bugs to keep you from f/s. I was and have gotten as high ranked as 290 in this game i have played and witnessed the cheating, the programers using their bugs and writting skills to usurp us of our money. Yes games cost money, but the games we buy .. NEED FOR SPEED, street fighter etc…. THE DESIGNERS DONT PLAY AGAINST YOU….

    ITS CALLED a stacked deck, we bullied these nerds in school and stole their lunch money, now they come after us beat the crap out of us and make us pay for it! SMART LITTLE BUGGERS ARENT THEY?

  32. rolling his eyes says:

    Pay for it? Its free. Please dont tell me you actually paid for credits?

    Sorry, anyone that complains about a “stacked” deck (and talks about bullying nerds) really shows their own ignorance

    Most of the people who are highly ranked arent in any way associated with Blue Frog.

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  35. Old timer observation says:

    This game, like most Facebook games, mines your account for info to sell. Be wary of putting anything on your facebook account you do not want a corporation or business to know. There are no graphics, there is no sound, the game is a spreadsheet. Additionally, SFC is a copy of older games which themselves were nothing more than modified lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheets. Having said that this game is for bullies and adult babies. Hacks are rampant and easy to obtain. Cheating is common. Rules changes are frequent. While its impossible to kill an opponent outright it is very easy to destroy months worth of builds in defenses or fleets in a few minutes. This is to “encourage” ppl to “buy” temporary defensive upgrades. The only viable game tactic is an all out offense using hacks to expand your fleets rapidly. The moderators, employees of Bluefrog gaming, who are supposed to be there to suspend cheater accounts or otherwise restrain bad behavior do nothing about obvious hacks or cheaters in their sectors of responsibility. A player must turn someone in with real time data (to catch the cheater in the act of cheating, residual proof that a cheat happened is not enough) otherwise BF does noting. This means, if you do not cheat yourself, the only viable non-cheat or hack tactic is running or hiding with your fleets until you can turn the other guy in. Paradoxically, the moderators WILL suspend players for “inappropriate” behavior frequently. As the rules are arbitrary and subject to frequent change the moderators are used by ppl to suspend other less up to date or knowledgeable players as part of a game tactic!!! The only way to protect your fleets or defenses is to suspend other players for using the same cheats or inappropriate behavior everyone else is using. This encourages an infantile “informant” like political behavior among the old timers in which they use cheats and/or influence with the moderators to crush any talented newbie. The game sucks and is the worst I’ve ever had the misfortune to play. I feel sorry for anyone who must spend a year learning these lessons as I did

  36. rene says:

    ya… i just wanted to know if there was a way to get more then 3 fleets now. i played before and had 12 at one time. im almost at the same point in the game and still can only run 3 missions at a time. any help?

  37. mathai says:

    you need mor sheeps to do the missions at the same time or you need mor AI-Tech, if you had before 12 at one time i think there are not enough ships.

  38. ratcity5 says:

    BFG ruined what could’ve been a great continuing game by coming up with three other universes and diluting the player pool too much. The stupid oracle and heph class ship. They take way too long to respond to players.

  39. domination says:

    I’ve been trying to get on Starfleet all day through FB and have not been able to. When the game does come up, you can not click on anything without getting an error message. What’s up?

  40. mark says:

    people say u can hack this game i love the links lol

  41. Charlie says:

    ive been playing for a year now. it seems like most of you think this game is populated enitrely with total jerks who only want to piss the other players off and deliberatly screw with you. yes, there are people like that in this game. i got hit by one with a heph the other day. lost everything. i called on my friends, and we crushed it in return. the ARE honest, friendly people in this game. when i left newbie, one player noticed, and buddied me. he didnt attack, didnt probe, didnt do anything other than buddy me and send me a message saying i was out of newbie. if you dont like the game, shut up, and stop posting. dont log in anymore and a month later your account dissapears. if you play the game, you play the game. if you dont, you dont. its a freaking GAME! so get your heads out of your asses, you whiners, and go complain to someone who gives a shit about your problems.

  42. informed says:

    Actually I think its really good that people post their honest opinions about the game. Posting reviews and the like helps other people make a decision about whether they want to play. Based on the sheer volume of extremely negative responses from people who have poured a lot of time into this game I know that I would not want to play it.

  43. Marrot says:

    I certainly wouldn’t bother signing up for SFC as a new player. Almost everything n the game is now up for purchase (with cash), and some of the purchasables are all but required to stay competitive. The ‘sequel’ to SFC (Stardrift Empires) is exactly the same game but with new graphics. There’s almost nothing else that’s different from SFC.

    It’s a shame. SFC was a very good game when it started out, but Blue Frog have pretty much nerfed it with all the buyable stuff, and the lack of fixes for game bugs. It’s firmly oriented at players who are willing to regularly pay to play.

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