X-Com was a child of its time. It was a brilliant exercise in taking the basic idea of Aliens, which is the basic idea of Space Hulk, and expressing it with Microprose’s gleeful love of numbers, courtesy of 90s era computer game design. The thinking back in those days was that computers compute. They can eat numbers for breakfast. So feed them! Back then, computer gaming was a small enough pursuit to equate complicated with good. That worked for me.

But numbers have fallen out of favor. Latter day X-Coms are mostly SRPGs from Japan, where numbers aren’t reviled. And while 2K figures out how to update X-Com, other games have found their own approaches. One of my recent favorites is Hunters 2 for the iPad, which presents the X-Com experience courtesy of 21st century videogame design.

After the jump, shooting a forever gun Continue reading →