Imagine a future world where there is no more war. A world where the United Nations is respected by all nations on Earth, where neighbors no longer fear or hate one another, and where the only enemy is one that arrives out of the blue from outer space.
That is the world of UFO: Alien Invasion, a free game that you can download for free right now. In this future world, a peaceful Earth finds itself suddenly under constant attack from a new and terrifying enemy. Little to nothing is known about it, only that they come from another planet, and their only mission is to attack Earth and destroy human lives.
Your job, as the head of the organization responsible for defending Earth from this threat, is to establish defensive bases at strategic locations around the world, monitor the planet for incoming UFO threats, and neutralizing the enemy using the space craft, personnel and weapons at your disposal.
Defending Earth From An Alien Invasion
Unlike Ogame, which I reviewed here at MUO, instead of other people being the enemy invader, in this game aliens are the enemy invaders. And we love space games here at MUO, as evidenced by Tim’s review of 6 cool space games recently, so I knew that UFO: Alien Invasion would be another winner.
When you install the application, the first thing you may notice is just how huge it is. The download takes a long time, and the installation itself isn’t small beans either. Once it’s installed and you run the program, the main screen is where you can set up your audio/video options (the first thing I did was turn off full-screen so I could take better screenshots), and choose from single-player or multiplayer mode. Keep in mind that if you want to run multiplayer mode, you’ll need to make sure to open up port 27910 in your firewall.
Once you launch a campaign, the main screen that you’ll see – and the one where you’ll spend most of your time as you monitor the planet for incoming threats – is this one.
Your first order of business is to choose a location to install your first base of operations. According to the introduction, the location of your base can make an impact on your success levels in the game, so choose wisely. Once you’ve established your base, click on it to view it from ground level. Below is an overhead view of headquarters.
You can navigate through your center of operations using either the menu on the right, or by clicking on any of the individual rooms in your base (they are the same links). Click on Living Quarters to check out your current crew of soldiers, pilots, workers and scientists. You’ll see all of their stats, and you can inactivate individual members of the crew if you want to.
If you go into the research center, you can control what your scientists are researching by assigning them to specific tasks. You can either load them all up on one task, like researching Continuous Wave Laster Operation, or you can spread them out like I’ve done here.
As time goes on and you make research discoveries, the available weapons and other resources will become available to you to produce. To see what you can produce, just go to the workshop (or click “Production” on the menu). Here, you can choose what weapons, aircraft or armor that your base is going to produce.
Once your base is operational, it’s just a matter of going back to the main screen where you can see the rotating display of earth, and waiting for the inevitable alien attacks. It won’t take very long. Here was an incoming UFO attack. When you have an impending attack, the click will automatically stop, giving you a chance to choose your course of action. For UFOs in flight, just click on the UFO and choose the aircraft that you want to send out to intercept it.
If you shoot down a UFO, or a UFO manages to land on the planet before you can shoot it down, then you’ll have to send out a crew to land and take out the aliens. In this particular case, a UFO landed somewhere in Russia. I sent out a ship to transport an assault team to check it out.
We landed without an incident. Below you can see what it looks like when you switch over to battle view. I couldn’t get this view to work in non-fullscreen mode, so if it doesn’t work for you, make sure the game is in fullscreen.
In battle view, you can type or click the number to select a crew member. Then click the mouse where you want the crew member to go. A green box indicates that the location is within range for this turn. Blue means that you can’t go there.
It didn’t take very long for my crew to encounter the aliens in the vicinity. The alien enemy will have a turn to approach and attack you, so choose your location carefully when its your turn. Once you get close enough, click on the targeting icon for your weapon at the bottom of the screen, choose firing mode, and then click on the target. You’ll see your crew member take aim and fire. As you can see here, we already took out one alien, but there are still two that are attacking us.
Overall, UFO: Alien Invasion is a great time-waster. If you’re into these sort of real-time strategy games with a bit of a background plot to it, you’ll really love this game. While the graphics aren’t really at the level of the professionally-made games you’ll find in the gaming store today, considering that the game is free, they aren’t that bad at all.
The gameplay is fast-paced and interesting, and the battle scenarios are actually kind of exciting when you really get into it. Once the UFO invasion starts though, you better hope that you’re a good multi-tasker, because you’re eventually going to have to fend off an onslaught of alien enemies.
If you think you can keep your wits about you when Earth is under that kind of attack, then give UFO: Alien Invasion a shot, you won’t regret it. Let us know what you thought of the game. Did it run well on your PC? Are there things you would change, or things that you really like? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Image Credit: Planet Earth Via Shutterstock
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