Ocean Commander is a single-player, side-scrolling, arcade style shooter. By 3011 the planet has undergone a series of climactic and seismic upheavals resulting in the planet surface becoming submerged. Mankind continues to have wars however and in this game the player commands a submarine fighting all kinds of mechanical nasties single handed.
The sub appears on the left of the screen while the background scrolls right to left. The submarine can move all around the scrolling screen and is controlled by either the arrow keys or the W/A/S/D/ keys. It carries a weapon that is controlled by the mouse, this can be rotated through 360 degrees while firing continually. Baddies attack from all sides, from above and from below. they fire torpedoes, homing missiles, and other weapons while others just ram the sub kamikaze style.
The game has two modes of play, Survival where the player faces hordes of baddies and must survive for as long as possible, and Mission in which the player faces an end of level boss as they complete each stage. Points are scored for every baddie destroyed and, when playing in Mission mode, these can be spent on weapon and ship upgrades.