Ever since I got my copy of UFO Enemy Unknown, back on the Amiga 1200, over two decades ago, I was addicted. I've
played every sequel and reincarnation I could find since. Until recently though, to play UFO Enemy Unknown on my
Android device, I had to use an Amiga emulator, which was a little tricky to use.
Thankfully, due to a trip down memory lane (I was streaming UFO Enemy Unknown), my friend let me know of a clone on
the play store. Immediately I went and bought it.
There are two modes, training mode, which is a good 20 plus missions, where level of difficulty increases over
time. Training mode also allows you to create your own mission by specifying certain parameters. Then there's the
normal mode, with that all important, and iconic, Geoscape.
The presentation is a little clunky at times, some options need a little more spacing, especially for those with
fat thumbs, in particular, craft selection list, especially with its small font, could do with blank line spacing.
The battlescape is pure nostalgia. Randomly generated, with the feel and aesthetic of the original XCOM. It's here
you will also find that the HUD, probably perfect for a newbie to the XCOM franchise, just seems a little imperfect.
When I play XCOM, I use the reserve Turn Units (TUs) button's a lot. Aliens vs Humans, makes reserving turn unit's for
reaction fire, a 3 stage process. Compared to XCOMS one. This wouldn't be so bad, if you didn't have to go through
the same process to allow reserved turn units, be used immediately because you have just stumbled upon an alien.
Whats more, after disabling the reserve to use the TUs, it's again another 3 stage process to re-enable reserved
TUs so you don't forget on the next turn.
I know it's a minor oversight, but it incredibly impedes the flow and immersion of the game.
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One very thankful difference AvH has over XCOM, is the way grenades work. It's just a case of lob the grenade and it
will explode at the end of that turn. No more priming of a grenade and waiting a turn to throw the thing, while at
the same time, preying your soldier isn't shot before you got to throw it. This has put an end to wiping out your
AvH is slightly harder than XCOM too, in that the research tree is hidden. You can't research without items to base
your research on, yet for those of us that have hammered the XCOM franchise, getting through the research tree will
be over within a handful of missions. It's also harder because there is no mind control. In a way, this also makes
it easier in the early stages.
Not Quite XCOM
The really big 'this isn't quite XCOM', noticeable difference, is the lack of UFO dog fights. Hopefully we will see
this in a future update. To UFO veterans, this has to be sorely missed. Few alien alloys salvaged, means we cant
build awesome UFOs and a crap ton of Hover tanks.
In conclusion, this is by far the nearest anyone has got to the original XCOM, on a mobile device. Not quite
perfect, yet gives plenty of fun filled tactical hours.