It’s A Bit Like… XCOM

It's a bit like XCOM

Aliens getting all up in your grill? As every XCOM fan knows, the best solution to that would be a tactical deployment of well trained soldiers ready to die for the sake of the mission, whether they like it or not. Building up your team, fighting against insurmountable odds, and turn based combat are the hallmarks of a great XCOM game, and if you’re in the market for some more tactical goodness, look no further than the picks below.

Games You Can Play Now

It's a bit like XCOM

Xenonauts – PC

What is it – Xenonauts is the self proclaimed ‘spiritual successor’ to the classic XCOM games of yesteryear. The year is 1979, and nasty alien folk have decided it’s high time to invade earth. Being pre-disposed towards wanting to continue breathing, the citizens of planet earth decide to form a coalition to fight back.

Why you might like it – Xenonauts boasts all the trappings of its inspiration. The combat stays true to its roots with turn based gameplay, along with its fully destructible environments and a dynamic mission creation system that varies each battlefield deployment. There’s also plenty of research and tactical team building to go alongside your xenomorphic slaying too, with combat equipment, vehicles, aircraft, and even alien tech to unlock and upgrade.

You can follow development and purchase early access to Xenonauts here.

 
It's a bit like XCOM

Invisible Inc. – PC

What is it – Invisible Inc. Is a shot at the turn-based tactical genre by the folks that brought you Don’t Starve and Mark of the Ninja. In this espionage focused title, players will assume control of a nest of spies (This is actually the correct term; I looked it up and everything). Get in, steal the valuable assets, and get out without leaving so much as a speck of evidence that you were ever there.

Why you might like it – Okay so it might have 100% less aliens in it, but the gameplay should still offer some appeal. You will have to use your units as one collective force, utilising their special abilities in unison if you want to make it out alive with your pilfered goods. While it is worth noting that the game is still in an early stage of development, there’s a huge amount of scope for the title, and if you enjoy the strategic elements of the combat scenes in XCOM, there should be something here for you.

You can keep track of development and purchase early access here.

 
It's a bit like XCOM

Isomer – PC

What is it – Isomer is the illicit love child of an affair between turn based strategy games and open world sandbox titles. This time around you play as the invading alien menace, on a quest to exterminate all of the meatbags inhabiting your new home. Construct and maintain a central base of operations, and send out your drones on raiding parties to help keep the human scum at bay.

Why you might like it – You’d be forgiven in saying that Isomer is somewhat far removed from the traditional XCOM formula. The game plays out in real time, the world is open and free to explore, and the addition of base building adds a whole new element to think about when playing. However, what the game does offer is a similar mantra. You must stop the enemy by hindering their strength, whilst you gather yours. Those looking to see the ‘spirit’ of XCOM from the other side of the fence should definitely check this one out.

You can track development of the game via the official site, or its Greenlight page.

 
It's a bit like XCOM

Star Command – iOS, Android

What is it – This charming little mobile title asks you to take control of your own spaceship, sailing across the stars as you right wrongs and teach alien folk that when it comes to being a captain, there is no equal. Upgrade your ship, fight off boarding parties of savage ant men, and generally just have a good time in space.

Why you might like it – Think Faster Than Light meets XCOM and you’re close to hitting the nail on the head with this one. It’s a solid tactical game that merges micromanagement and squad based combat together well. There’s plenty of technological advancement and progression open for your squad members, accompanied by an interesting story and sometimes funny dialogue. Plus, it’s a mobile game, so if you’re in need for some XCOM goodness on the move, you should definitely give this one a once over.

You can purchase the game from the official site.

 

Games To Watch Out For

It's a bit like XCOM

Halfway

What is it – You emerge from a stasis pod, only to find that your ship has become infested with a swarm of nasty aliens and your former crew have long since become lunch. It’s time to gather the last of the survivors and blast your way through the hordes as you attempt to uncover just what has happened to your ship.

Why you might like it – Halfway is what happens when you take the tactical turn-based combat found in XCOM, and douse it in a lavish helping of gloomy lighting and atmospheric Alien-esque atmosphere. The focus here lies on the combat, allowing for a deeper sense of tactical options to help you mow down the Xenomorph menace. Only by exploring the ship can you hope to improve the skills and equipment of your squad and live to find out what happened to the former crew.

You can follow development here.

 

It's a bit like XCOM

Confederate Express

What is it – The world has gone to crap. Zombies, savage bandits, and malfunctioning robots stand between you and your goal. What is your goal? Well, you’re a delivery driver and, come rain or shine, gosh darn it you’re just not going to stop in getting that package to where it needs to be.

Why you might like it – This is probably the most far removed from what I would consider an XCOM-like, and whilst you may be preparing to throw something heavy at me, just hear me out first. The game is all about weighing up the cost of risk versus the benefit of what you might gain. Those willing to front the risk of failure will gain more money for completing a successful delivery, and in turn they will have more to spend on better equipment and crew members. If that isn’t enough to even pique some slight curiosity, then please by all means, commence the barrage.

Development updates for the game are pretty rare, but for those wanting to track it anyway, your best bet would be to follow their IndieDB page. You can also try out a short tech demo here.

 

© 2014, The Indie Mine. All rights reserved.

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Author:Andy Moore

Andy can usually be found screaming obscenities at whatever game happens to be in front of him at the time, usually because he can't make that final double jump past the laser ghost alien centaurs. When he isn't gaming, he's usually thinking about it. Well, Gaming or alcohol. Catch him on his Twitter handle @MrAndypanda

6 Responses to “It’s A Bit Like… XCOM”

  1. May 12, 2014 at 10:10 am #

    5 games that aren’t finished yet, 1 for your phone, and no mention of Jagged Alliance.

    Well, whatever then.

  2. May 12, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

    Can’t wait for Invisible Inc. Great article, Andy!

  3. May 12, 2014 at 8:29 pm #

    This is a great selection, although I think all but the mobile game should be in the "Games To Watch Out For" section; I don’t consider them games I can play now. They’re games I can beta test if I pre-order them.

  4. May 13, 2014 at 10:26 am #

    Hi! I’m the developer behind Isomer, first of all thanks for including us in this list!

    Connor I just wanted to respond to your comments, yes games like Xenoauts, Isomer and others on this list are still in alpha.. but I would argue this is the most exciting time to play these titles.

    For most serious developers, alpha means the core of the game is mostly in place with content and additional mechanics to come in time. As a player, you get the possibility to watch a game grow and develop.. and certainly with Isomer, provide suggestion and be part of the creative process.

    So, these are games you can play now

  5. May 24, 2014 at 11:27 am #

    @Tylor/Connor – I can appreciate that there is a opinion divide when it comes to early access and pre-release titles. There will always be a disagreement between players on this issue, and whilst I do try to find a mixture of both pre and post release titles for these lists, sometimes that isn’t always possible.

    @Tylor – Jagged alliance is definitely worth mentioning as a noteworthy title, but its inclusion wouldn’t be right for the focus of the site. I’d argue that it doesn’t fall within the parameters of an indie game, but that is subjective to my personal opinion. Plus, the latest iteration wasn’t very good anyway :)

  6. May 25, 2014 at 10:03 am #

    What about aliens vs humans on iOS?

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