Just as the impending holiday season means huge games for consoles and computers, this is one of the biggest weeks for new iOS games we’ve seen in a long time. The iOS version of strategy favorite XCOM: Enemy Within leads the charge, while Space Age and Framed are both strong-looking originals, and the expansion for Monument Valley is a welcome addition to one of the year’s best games.
Known simply as XCOM when it was first unveiled in 2010, The Bureau: XCOM Declassified is a strange creature. Now on Mac (following a late summer launch on other platforms), the 1960s-set adventure — loosely related to the more strategic XCOM: Enemy Unknown — is at once an attempt to do something new and interesting with the franchise and a bid to capture mainstream success with a focus on action. It doesn't quite succeed at either of these, but it tries hard, and patient players will find that battling an alien invasion during the height of the Cold War can be immensely fun. It just takes a while to get to that point.
Running a clandestine agency devoted to fighting diabolical alien invaders is tough, but as XCOM: Enemy Unknown taught us, it gets a lot easier if you can steal things out of the enemy's playbook. And when those things include extreme genetic modifications and hulking robot exoskeletons — two of the biggest features introduced by the Enemy Within expansion — the fight doesn't necessarily get easier, but it does get a lot more interesting.
If you enjoyed the popular turn-based strategy game XCOM: Enemy Unknown as much as we did, developer Firaxis has a surprise in store for you. Based on a press release issued yesterday, Mac players will be able to jump into the upcoming "Enemy Within" expansion on the same day as their PC counterparts. Even better, we do't even have to wait that long as the release date is set a mere two months from now on November 12.
The Steam Summer Sale is in full swing, meaning this is your best opportunity to get the greatest games for Mac OS X at prices that would make a bargain bin ashamed. Alas, while our selection still isn't as diverse as it is for folks who play their games on the PC, there's still a huge sampling available to keep you busy through the summer. We've saved you some trouble and found some of the best offers, which you can check out after the jump.
There was never any real doubt that 2012’s turn-based strategy darling XCOM: Enemy Unknown would be a good fit for iOS. Its isometric battlefields, uncomplicated menu-driven controls, and methodical turn-based pace all practically screamed for a touch-based interface. The only question was what it would look like once it got there—and now that it's here, we can say it’s lost impressively little in the translation.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown made a big splash when it hit PC and consoles late last year--and Mac OS back in April--and now (as developer Firaxis promised back in March), it'll pop up on the App Store for iOS on Thursday for a mere $20. According to Firaxis, this redesigned version "takes the complete XCOM experience of the console and PC version of the game and optimizes it for the touch interface of iOS device."
Strategy-game developer Firaxis has made a couple of small but impressive forays into iOS territory this year with turn-based titles Haunted Hollow and Sid Meier’s Ace Patrol, but it’s poised to go a lot bigger this summer. Specifically, it’s bringing its 2012 strategy blockbuster, XCOM: Enemy Unknown (which debuted on Mac in April), to iPad, iPhone and iPod touch — and we’ve had a chance to take it for a spin.
Resurrecting a beloved old gaming franchise for a modern audience seems like a challenging, thankless task. Even if you succeed in making something great, you run the risk of alienating existing fans if you stray too far from the original formula. When the alien-fighting strategy revival XCOM: Enemy Unknown was released last year on PC and consoles, however, it accomplished something we thought was impossible: It made just about everyone happy.