The events surrounding Rebelstar Tactical Command
are your typical sci-fi story of enslavement and rebels fighting for freedom. A race of aliens called the Arelians have come to Earth and taken over. The main rule of law is commanded by the Zorn, a blood-thirsty race that have demanded that all humans be implanted with a special chip and, once they reach the age of thirty, they be "harvested". However, some chips don't take, allowing a few humans to escape. Eventually these survivors group together and are fighting to liberate all humans. You play as Jorel, a young man who has recently joined the rebel group.
Rebelstar Tactical Command's gameplay should feel familiar to anyone who has played a turn-based tactical game before. Instead of controlling a massive army, you are in control of a small group of soldiers. At the start of each turn, characters have a set number of points that can be spent on performing actions. These include moving and attacking, as well as reloading guns and using special equipment. The trick to gameplay is figuring out how to squeeze every last action out of each character's point pool to maximum effectiveness. The allocation of action points is what makes Rebelstar different from something like Final Fantasy Tactics since you have to think out nearly every little detail rather than simply moving to a section and attacking. When used properly though, the system proves to be much more flexible given the number of options it allows for.
Managing points is only half of Rebelstar's tactical depth. Line of sight also plays a major role in what goes on since you can only see what your squad is seeing. You can't see around corners, nor can you see what is behind you. This "fog of war" effect makes planning even more important and adds an increased level of tension to the game. It also forces you to adapt strategies that take the fight to the enemy without being caught off guard by surprise attacks. Using simple "attack everything" strategies are a one-way ticket to defeat.
Outside the main story mode, Rebelstar also includes a Skirmish mode that allows you to set up quick battles. In Skirmish mode, you're able to play as any of the game's races and it even supports two player battles. The unfortunate downside is that multiplayer matches don't allow for either link or wireless link support and require players to pass a single GBA between them.