UFO: Enemy Unknown (CD32)


Title           UFO: Enemy Unknown (CD32)
Publisher       Microprose
Game Type       Combat Sim
Players         1
Compatibility   CD32
Submission      Courtesy of Sean Caszatt

Review
My first contact with this title was (gasp!) on the PC.  I received a
playable demo of a game called X-COM: UFO DEFENSE and, after playing it
once, tossed it aside.

At the time, there was little known about an Amiga version of the game.  I
believe a contributing factor to the confusion is the fact that the US
version is called X-COM: UFO DEFENSE and the European version is called
UFO: ENEMY UNKNOWN.  Why the change?  I don't know.  (Remember how the US
version of ANOTHER WORLD was called OUT OF THIS WORLD?)  The Amiga version
is from Microprose's European division, so the Amiga version will always
be called UFO: ENEMY UNKNOWN.

Either way, I wasn't too excited about this game based on my experience
with the demo.  I began hearing a lot about how addictive this game was
from PC owners.  Amiga owners were beginning to get restless; they wanted
the Amiga version.  I still didn't understand why.

The Amiga version was still M.I.A., but a CD≥≤ version appeared and I
figured I'd better take a fresh look at this game to see what all the
buzzing was about.  Boy, have I been missing out!  The demo of the PC
version was just a small part of the game and didn't really give me any
idea on the overall scope.

The whole premise of the game is that you are in control of X-Com, an
anti-alien defense squad that is funded by the world's governments.  It is
your duty to protect the Earth from an alarming number of alien craft that
have been buzzing the planet.

Beginning with the barest essentials, you must defeat alien ships by
knocking them out of the sky, racing to their crash sites and stealing
technology and weapons from the surviving aliens to use against them later.
All the while, you must keep in close contact with the governments of the
world to keep your funding in order.

The whole game is really a series of sub-games.  The scenario of building
the X-Com bases has elements of DUNE II and the alien crash site sequences
are similar to SABRE TEAM.  (These similarites are not at all a problem,
they actually help lend some familiarity to the game.)

It's hard to explain why, but the game is extremely addictive.  Maybe it's
the fact that you're given so much to do.  The game blends a giant heap of
strategy with just enough action to keep it from ever getting boring.

The game includes a tutorial on how the basic functions work, so you'll
get the hang of things right away.  (Although, I didn't use the
tutorial...I just jumped right in, started playing and never got lost.)

My only gripes about the game are minor.  First, the disc access times are
relatively slow.  It takes a little while to move from one scenario to the
other.   Second, the packaging is kind of cheap.  Even though the game
comes in a big box, the CD is in a paper envelope rather than a jewel box
(Microprose's long box packaging, like those for IMPOSSIBLE MISSION 2025
and GUNSHIP 2000 would have been much nicer.)

It's games like this (especially now, with game releases of any
significance for the Amiga and CD≥≤ becoming fewer and farther between)
that make me happy I own a CD≥≤.  It's fun, intelligent and challenging:
everything a good game should be.  Highly recommended.




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