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Genre: Strategy & War
Min OS X: 10.2    CPU: Any CPU @ 500 MHz    RAM: 128 MB    Graphics: 32 MB VRAM

UFO: Alien Invasion
February 26, 2009 | Remi Stebenne

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Have you ever wondered if beings from other planets really exist? Play UFO: Alien Invasion (UFO:AI), and you'll find they do exist, but are far from a friendly bunch. Be ready to defend earth by taking control of the only base capable of fighting back. Train your troops to perfection while researching new and deadly weapons. You can do all of this with UFO:AI. The game is open-source and was created by a group of people who enjoyed games like X-COM which was a big inspiration for the game. Players who played X-COM will note similarities, however it is more than a simple clone, as new features are added often.

The gameplay is separated in two parts. The first is a base building phase where you construct a base in a location of your choice. The location is very important, as it has to be in an area where it will be easy to get to anywhere the aliens drop by. Once you've found a suitable location, you are given some funds and the foundation of your base is built. You then have free reign in what to build, who to hire and what equipment to make. You can build research centers to research new technologies, build manufacturing areas to create new weapons, ranging from knives to bazookas as well as creating vehicles such as a transport helicopter to get you to the aliens and support fighters to protect your valuable crew inside that helicopter. You can buy new helicopters and fighters that are specialized in different areas, such as having more space for troops or a long range fighter that can quickly intercept aliens wherever they may be.

You can build other areas such as an entertainment area to keep your crew happy, a UFO hangar to store and study the alien ships you capture, bigger power plants to power your base and so on. You can build research labs that can either study alien technology or improve on technology you already own, granting you access to better vehicles or equipment that will help in your fight against the aliens. You must also be careful where you place your facilities within your base as aliens can invade it if you are not well defended. Having your main power core or command center right beside the entrance would be a disastrous move as it would make it very easy for the aliens to completely disable you very quickly.

A base is useless without people. You can hire many types, from researchers and maintenance crews to the soldiers that will fight for you. The researchers and maintenance crew are easy enough; the more you have the better. However, when it comes to hiring soldiers it gets more complicated. You get a pool of applicants and you must decide whom to hire based on their qualifications. Some are good with large weapons such as bazookas, some with regular firearms and even some who are sneaky and prefer to use knives and the occasional grenade to kill their enemies. You must construct a good team and equip them properly so that they can support each other and hopefully survive their first skirmish.

Once everything is set up you just wait for an alien group to appear. At first only one group shows up at a time and it has no air support but later on groups can land in different areas, forcing you to either hurry in dispatching them or to make different teams. Eventually they get air support, which means that if you donít have a few fighters along as your transport is getting to the area they could shoot it down, costing you an entire team that you might have spent thousands in training and equipping.


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