OK, The XCOM Board Game Sounds Awesome

OK, The XCOM Board Game Sounds Awesome

While the idea of a co-op XCOM board game sounded great, the fact it required use of an app turned a lot of people - myself included - off. Well, maybe I was being premature, because it turns out calling it an "app" is doing it a disservice.

PC Gamer got some hands-on time with the game, and what they write about the app makes it sound like a chess clock. If a chess clock could talk, and make up new rules every few minutes.

While the game's official announcement was a little vague about the app's role, in practice it's actually a fifth player of sorts, called a "Central Officer". The CO is in some ways running the game, telling each player what to do and when to do it.

Here's how it worked in practice, in my demo game:

"Commander, assign your interceptors. You have 15 seconds."

Africa's about to fall into panic. Europe's no better. I have six inbound UFOs, and six interceptors, but I'm short on cash. If I move to defend, I'll have nothing to give my ground troops, who are repelling a base-invasion at XCOM HQ. And the Science Officer won't shut up about wanting to get more salvage.

"Five seconds!" screams my Central Officer.

I let Africa fall, assigning three interceptors to Europe.

So, yeah. Tense! Unpredictable! Unless your gaming setup makes it impossible to get a laptop or iPad or whatever somewhere near the table, this sounds amazing.

XCOM: The Board Game hands-on: aliens, apps, and anxiety [PC Gamer]


    So it's a video game played with a board game peripheral then.

    Personally I'd buy a proper X-COM board game in a heartbeat, but this isn't a proper board game. I play board games to get away from tablets and technology, not to use it. As long as the app is required for the game to function this is a no-buy. How many tablet/phone apps do you think will still be supported in five years from now? One of the great things about board games is that if you look after them, you can have a copy of something that's decades old and still pull it out of the box and nothing about it has changed, it's still just as accessible and playable as it was when it was brand new.

    It looks like basically this generation's version of those crappy games where you had to play along with a VHS tape.

      "It looks like basically this generation's version of those crappy games where you had to play along with a VHS tape."

      Probably! But those games sold a fuckton of copies and gave loads of people a real good time while they were around. Not every game has to be/can be Monopoly.

        Thank god that not all games are Monopoly, as that game is pretty terrible.

    Slightly off topic. But I'm super excited about star wars: imperial assault. It's like descent but with AT-ST's!

      It reminds me of Doom which was also made by FFG... I never finished a single game because everyone took AGES to make their moves. We decided to go to bed at 3 am and agreed to continue it at a later date (we took photos of the state of play using digital camera)... and that was 5 years ago.

        Time requirements aside that Doom Board Game rocked.

          It was a really cool design, especially how as the marines progressed and opened doors, new areas would be revealed.

    Is this made by FFG ( fantasy flight games) looks like their handi work

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