Late last year my friends did nothing but to heap loads of praise upon this little strategy game called XCOM: Enemy Unknown. I’m a huge fan of strategy games even though I suck at it, resulting in a very short-lived StarCraft professional gaming career – two minutes into a match with a classmate before I lost my first marine and I ran from the internet cafe crying – but I still love the genre so much.

I would’ve plunked down the cash to play XCOM ages ago, but I don’t have a console and my old trusty laptop is currently broken, so I had to regale myself with friends’ stories of the alien invasion and how hard the damn game is. Basically, this made me itch to get me a new computer so I could get it on Steam.

I am so glad XCOM is now out on iOS. Downloaded it, and I settled for hours of gaming fun on the iPad.

So I loaded it up, went through the tutorials, and prepared myself for the first mission… and what do you know, all my soldiers just started dying like crazy. I went back and reloaded my last save spot, and hammered out a better strategy, and… I lost another bunch of guys.

XCOM Aliens

You will never hate anybody as much as you hate these little bastards.

Right now I’m in the middle of a bunch of campaigns – rescuing hostages, taking down attacking UFOs, preventing aliens from kidnapping random people, taking alien corpses back to HQ for research, taking back live aliens for interrogation, keeping nations happy so they won’t pull out of the XCOM project and take my funding with them, and all of this happening in various cities around the world.

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As fun as these mobile games are, I feel like I want to get back to PC gaming and, you know, actually win. I should really consider buying a PC to replace my beloved, albeit broken one.

So, how was the transition from PC/console to iOS? To be honest, not that smooth. I have trouble selecting the right tile sometimes, or the animation is a bit choppy. Oh, multiplayer’s been dropped, but they’ll fix it with an update. The textures have been obviously scaled-down, a lot of cinematics are missing, but I don’t mind. The mere fact that they were able to take a full PC and console game and managed to cram it into a mobile sized-game with very little compromise is astounding.

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It’s fun, even though it’s stressful as hell, especially when my squad’s stuck in Mumbai with very little visibility, aliens firing plasma blasts out of nowhere, and four out of five troops in my squadron are already injured.

Totally recommending XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Any version. Seriously, guys, check it out.

Have you played XCOM yourself? What’s your current favorite game? Any strategy game you’d like to recommend? Tell me about it in the comments!