The Earth has been invaded! Time to assemble your Extraterrestrial Combat Unit and take the planet back. Let’s just hope you charged your smart-phone before they invaded…
XCOM The Board Game was announced in August 2014 by Fantasy Flight Games, and almost split the board gaming community in two, by requiring an analogue hobby to step into the digital age. There is no way to experience the game without downloading the companion app.
And the game is frantic. Rounds are split in two. The real time phase is guided by the app, it’s a crazy few minutes of shouting, with difficult choices made under short time constraints. The resolution phase is almost sedate by comparison, rolling dice, again and again, pushing your luck to see how your plans actually work out.
Then there’s a little housekeeping. If the app wasn’t here, you’d be checking rules, or hopefully a player aid and potentially 10 minutes of resetting the board. With the app it’s a few taps, and you’re ready to dive back into the fight.
XCOM – The Board Game is innovative, and the ability to adjust the difficulty settings provides great re-playability. The app does not distract from what’s happening on the board. It’s actually the non app phases where the game feels a little lacking. Rolling one set of dice to resolve almost everything can make for a lot of downtime.
If you love the XCOM world, you’ll love this game. It’s a great transition from console to the table, with the app adding in familiar FX and music, you really do feel immersed in the game.
If you love real time games, give this a whirl, you’ll get the expected adrenaline buzz you expect from real this genre of games and it’s been designed with good pacing across the game as a whole.
But don’t say I didn’t warn you about all the dice…
XCOM The Board Game is published by Fantasy Flight Games
Retails at £40 ish
1-4 players takes 90min