X-COM: UFO Defense (UFO: Enemy Unknown in Europe) is a science fiction strategy game developed by Mythos Games and published by MicroProse Software (Geoff Crammond’s former company) and released for Amiga and DOS in 1994.
This game is a mix of real-time management simulation with turn-based tactics. The game’s designer, Julian Gollop, intended it to be the sequel to Laser Squad, but it quickly evolved into something much bigger.
Set just 4 years ahead of the actual year it was released, the Extraterrestrial Combat Unit or X-COM has been created in secret to deal with alien interlopers. With UFO sightings and claims of alien abductions becoming more widespread; something needs to be done. X-COM is tasked with finding the aliens and their bases in an effort to eradicate them. They must learn about their technology and origins in order to defeat them.
There are many interlinked elements to consider when planning your movements. You can switch between 2 different views. The first, Geoscape, gives you a view of the world, showing your bases and major cities. It also gives you a vantage point for any UFOs within your detection range. From this view you can dispatch fighters to intercept UFOs or assault enemy bases. When engaged in combat the view switches to Battlescape where you see realistic line-of-sight calculations and turn-based combat. During a battle you can either destroy all the aliens or capture a few to further your research. You must protect the masses, while staying within budget, and in the good graces of the nations who fund your operation.
This game was one of the few 256-color DOS titles to feature dynamic lighting. The game was so successful upon release it acquired a cult following among strategy game fans. It won 16 awards including #1 PC Game of All Time and Best Genre Mix. It is even featured in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die. This game is the best of both worlds and begs to be experienced.
See Also: Legendary Game Designers: Julian Gollop
Review by: Tasha
Published: 2 February 2017 11:07 am
Ufo Enemy Unknown ... Now I am really happy and grateful to the friends of "gamesnostalgia". Nice shot, you managed to make us review this wonderful game.
I bought it in its version for Amiga 500 !!! And it was the last game I completed on the Amiga, before finally switching to the PC.
How many memories, a game that fascinated me immediately.
It seemed to be back in the days of the famous TV movie, U.F.O. of the 70s. And in fact the similarities are truly impressive. Here we are, then, in the role of Commander Edward Straker. We need to direct one or more bases, so they can protect planet Earth from an alien invasion.
In fact, I called my first base "S.H.A.D.O." Precisely in honor of that beautiful television series, whose acronym is still very famous today.
We must prepare a first base that is functional in all its aspects.
We have to worry about having what we need to equip our soldiers, so buy, at least for the first stages, everything we need to send our men (or women) into battle. So we will buy weapons, ammunition, explosives ... but we will also have to worry about hiring soldiers, for war operations. We will also have to conduct appropriate scientific research on alien technologies, which our soldiers will find when they are sent to the crash sites of the alien aircraft. So we need to hire scientists. In addition, we will also have to hire engineers, who can build the objects that research makes available to us.
The next phase should concern the construction of other bases, which strategically placed, can cover most of the planet with their radars.
Obviously, the bases will contain specific constructions, and this is where the game begins to fascinate. It is necessary to build the room for the containment of the aliens taken prisoner, to then interrogate them and try to obtain important clues on how to stop the invasion.
Ours is a losing game from the start, the difference between terrestrial and alien technology is immense. And we are at a distinct disadvantage. The Earth has only one hope ... which is us!
A handful of brave who manage, with a surprise shot to resolve the situation to our advantage, trying to bring the fight to the home of the aliens ... In their base on Mars ...
Our task is divided into tasks of manager of our resources. We have monthly contributions from the major governments of the Earth, these funds are all the more conspicuous as we are able to protect them.
If, on the contrary, they feel abandoned, that is, we fail to intercept the alien flights, we do not send action teams to the crash sites, we do not provide radar coverage ... Then, their contributions will decrease, until these countries are required to sign a separate peace pact with the aliens, leaving our cause.
But state contributions aren't our only source of income. In fact, with each round-up expedition, we bring back a large number of alien materials, which we can sell on the black market. I do not know what they can do with the bodies of dead aliens, but I assure you that it is always in demand!
Either way, the game goes on with the passage of time. As this time passes, the enemy becomes more and more dangerous. The alien invaders are of different races, and each of them has particular abilities. We go from the "Sectoid" first aliens we will meet, up to the fearsome ... "Ethereal", capable of taking mental possession of our troops, passing through the tough "Muton", very difficult to eliminate. But there are other types of aliens, I leave it to your curiosity to discover them all.
Our goal is to act quickly, otherwise our planet would be invaded by structures and elements (bases) from which to launch destructive missions against planet Earth.
Some of these bases, however they will be built, it is up to us to send well-equipped soldiers with effective weapons, which our scientific team has managed to develop, with the task of destroying the enemy structures.
The visit to these bases is also very important because, in these structures, we will find commanders, who if taken prisoner, using for example stun bombs, will be able to give us important revelations on the intentions of the enemies, We will therefore know ... where ... who and how, commands the invasion of the Earth. We have the task of developing the necessary technology, first to develop weapons to defend ourselves better and better, how to build flying saucers instead of normal fighters, and then subsequently bring the final offensive to the enemy's home. There, defeat him and thus put an end to the alien threat .....
Anyway, the game is really vast, I had to summarize for obvious reasons of space, but I assure you that if you start from the lower levels, the fun will not be lacking ... Trust me ...
Review by: Maurizio Petta
Published: 25 July 2022 9:50 pm