If you've ever wondered what it would be like to command your very own robot army (and who hasn't?) "Supreme Commander " provides a very addicting, complex answer.

Like a chess game — but with robots — this new E-rated, $49.99 video game for Windows PCs features a dizzying array of units, structures and upgrades as you attempt to seize control of the battlefield.

"Supreme Commander" is brought to us by Chris Taylor, the guru behind the "Total Annihilation" sci-fi computer game from 1997. And, in many ways, "Supreme Commander" feels like an updated version of that older game for modern PCs.

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Both titles fall under the real-time strategy genre, a style of game where you gather resources to build up a base, which you use to build up an army, which you use to crush or be crushed by rivals.

There are so many variables — especially when playing online against other human opponents — that every game plays differently, and every seemingly perfect strategy can be countered.

One basic approach never worked for me.

Playing as the United Earth Federation , one of three warring human factions you can choose from, I built up a massive defensive structure and waited it out.

But this tactic, known as "turtling," wasn't enough to prevent my untimely demise against my opponent, who sent in an attack as quickly as possible.

"Supreme Commander" is a PC game that also demands a supremely powerful computer.

Early on in battles, it ran fine on my two-year-old home PC. But long, drawn-out strategic stalemates resulted in a molasses-like game experience.

One issue: the myriad mechanical units tend to look the same regardless of the faction I chose. It's only after advancing through several tiers that I was able to construct and control each faction's experimental, high-end war mongers, such as the towering Sacred Assault Bot.

These beasts cost a small fortune in resources and take a long time to build, but they often can turn the tide of battle in your favor.

"Supreme Commander" fills a much-needed void for PC gamers seeking a new real-time strategy experience. It's the type of game that you can immediately pick up and play but will spend months trying to master.

Three stars out of four.