Commando Jack by Chillingo Ltd icon

Commando Jack ($0.99) by Chillingo Ltd is a tower defense game for the iPad or iPhone that spans the world. Defend Europe, the United States, China, and all of the other nations from an all-out attack from Mars. Get your laser guns ready because this fight isn’t going to be easy.

Commando Jack by Chillingo Ltd screenshot

Chillingo has been on a winning streak lately. Not only have they been releasing top-quality games at a record pace, but now that Commando Jack is in the mix, the game developers have just upped the ante on what makes a good tower defense game.

Players are tasked with a mission to save the world, one country at a time. Beginning in London, you must protect the British monarchy from the invading aliens. Similar to typical tower defense games, players must place gun turrets at various, strategically-placed spots on the game board and hope there is enough firepower to stop multiple waves of enemies from getting through the defensive line.

Where Commando Jack differs from the rest is with the addition of first-person shooter tactics for extra ammunition. Once you have a strong defensive front, hop on your own turret and fire at will. The additional munitions will stop even the strongest armor. This adds a dynamic that is not typical of tower defense games. Players get to be on the ground and in the middle of the action while the enemy approaches.

Players earn cash every time they kill an alien. Cash can be used to upgrade weapons, buy new guns, and get the edge on the enemy with single-use power ups. The goods are expensive and cash doesn’t exactly pour from the corpses of your enemy. However, you earn cash every time you play, even if you lose a game. If you are defeated during a battle, you can use your winnings to buy more powerful weapons and then take revenge on the bad guys.

You can buy more cash through in-app purchases. This game teeters on the edge of being the kind of game that forces IAPs in order to be playable. However, with a certain amount of patience, you can get through the campaign without having to spend any additional money.

Fans of the tower defense genre will love this game. It adds a refreshing dynamic that makes it more than just a top-down turret dropping event. Instead of piling on the guns and hoping for the best, players pile into their own station and blow aliens away. The upgrades are a little too pricey, making it almost necessary to buy cash with in-app purchases. Don’t let that deter you, though. The game is loads of fun and you can always get cash the old-fashioned way, by earning it.