I’ve spent the past few days zapping aliens and manoeuvring troops in the iPad version of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and I’m happy to report that it’s XCOM: Enemy Unknown on iPad, which is really all that you need to know.
Also, it costs $20.99, which is alarming until you realise that you’re getting a $20.99 version of portable, touchscreen-optimised version of a game that came out in October for $70.
So, yes. It’s out for iOS today, and it’s excellent. The touchscreen controls work quite well — you can pinch to zoom, slide your finger to move the camera around, and tap/double-tap to move and assign commands. Everything runs perfectly smoothly on my iPad 3 with two exceptions: the lip-syncing is way off, and the framerate sometimes stutters. That said, I believe both of those were technical problems on the console versions of XCOM as well.
If you haven’t played XCOM before, go read Luke’s excellent review. In short, it’s a wonderful sci-fi strategy game that tasks you with managing a base, balancing troops, and saving the world from aliens. You’ll spend the bulk of your time in turn-based combat on a series of battlefields across earth, moving soldiers around wreckage and trying really, really hard not to let them get murdered by aliens.
Worth noting: this is a 3.2GB download, so prepare your time/space accordingly.
Also worth noting: this game is fantastic and well worth that time/space.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown
- Genre: strategy
- Developer: Firaxis
- Platform: iOS
- Price: $20.99