(Parents: This is a thinking tactical game that won Game of the Year on the respected Kotaku website, is made by the same developers who made the reward-winning strategy games Civilization 4 and Civilization 5, and is currently on sale for $1! Here is Kotaku’s full review.)
There’s this game I’m playing called XCOM, and you can earn a level in the Guild if you can beat it.
The game is TOTES AMAZEBALLS AND THERE’S A SUPER-CHEAP $1 SALE UNTIL FEBRUARY 2, 2016 . However, I HIGHLY recommend the $10 package on that site that includes all the game’s expansions including XCOM: Enemy Within (cybersuits, gene mods, and more missions!), plus the EXCELLENT strategy games Civilization 4 and Civilization 5 and other games! The game can be found for many platforms, including Android.
(By the way, if I had time I would write another post about Civilization, where you can redo world history, rule a nation, and conquer the world! And for Civilization 4 (my favorite), there is a total-conversion mod called Fall from Heaven II that lets you found and control an empire in a FANTASY world, complete with magic spells, kingdoms of invisible elves, vampires and more, dragons, and an Armageddon Counter!)
- It’s about protecting the Earth from an alien invasion. They are far more technologically advanced than you, and you have to research their tech to protect your troops with better armor and weapons and abilities. You can research cyber suits that punch alien robots, and learn how to attack aliens with your minds. Trés cool.
- It plays exactly like Pathfinder. I had a post here about older games based on D&D/Pathfinder, and I would add XCOM to that article in a hot minute. You outfit a squad (party) with gear and send them out on tactical battles against aliens. It is turn-based, and each soldier on their turn can move (move action) and make 1 attack (standard action). You use stealth and take advantage of the terrain to gain the jump on your enemies. You can bait enemies to charge into your squad’s overwatch (readied actions), and agonize over whether you want to play conservative, or dash (double move) out of cover to do a critical hit. As your soldiers gain experience and earn promotions, they get perks (feats) that allow them to do more and better things on their turn. There are specializations (classes), including the Assault (close-range fighter), the Support (healer/divine caster), the Heavy (caster blaster), and Sniper (archer). And you get VERY attached to your soldiers (characters) and scream when they die! (See #3.)
- It is notoriously hard. As such, XCOM is a great exercise in learning tactics and coordinating the abilities and actions of your entire party: very important and transferable tabletop RPG skills! You will SCREAM and CRY tears of anguish when that veteran soldier of yours who you had from the beginning is impregnated by a Chryssalid, or head-shotted by a super-accurate Thin Man. The stakes are high, especially when you play in Ironman mode (no reloading). It’s just very exciting, and IT MAKES VICTORY, WHEN YOU FINALLY RIP IT OUT OF THE ALIENS’ COLD DEAD HANDS, SO MUCH SWEETER. Name your soldiers after your friends — I dare you.
- There’s a strategy layer where you expand your base, manage resources, spread satellite coverage over the world, and choose your research paths.
- The game is AMAZING AND OMG I WANT OTHER PEOPLE TO PLAY IT SO WE CAN ALL TALK ABOUT IT OMGGGGGGGG (And the sequel is coming out February 5 and I can’t wait! Squeeeeeeeee!)
Finally, here is a gameplay video that gives a sense of how it plays.
So how to gain XP in the Guild? You need to PROVE to me that you beat the game. (If you who know me well, then you know I have ways to find out the truth!) XP rewards are as follows:
- Beat the game on Easy difficulty = 25XP (55XP if on Ironman)
- Beat the game on Normal difficulty = 40XP (70XP if on Ironman)
- Beat the game on Classic difficulty = 60XP (100XP if on Ironman)
- You can earn only ONE reward from the game. So if you beat the game on Easy and on Normal difficulty, you still just earn the 40XP reward for Normal difficulty.