A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a mobile version of the popular console and PC game. It was an M-rated game then, and nothing has changed. The focus is on strategy, but there's strong violence, gore, and blood, and deaths are violent. Strong language is easily found. There's no multiplayer component, but this is still much too mature for young players.
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What's it about?
You command troops on the ground, pointing at the spot on the map you'd like individual troops to move to, and then you choose from a menu what your next action will be. Since the game is turn-based, there's no rush to decide, and many options can be considered. In non-combat situations, players oversee the research of alien artifacts and the manufacturing of products to better protect and arm the troops; you also monitor for activity.
Is it any good?
When it hit PC and console in 2012, XCOM: ENEMY UNKNOWN topped many "game of the year" lists, and this pitch-perfect mobile version incorporates all that the previous version got right. With an incredible blend of action and strategy, it's a game that requires players to think carefully as they fight little green men on the battlefield and research and build new weapons and satellites at their operational headquarters. Heck, they even need to give thought to the best troops to send into the field.
The graphics take a bit of a hit from the earlier version but are still fairly impressive for tablets. Also, though the high cost might scare some people, this is a game that's easily worth the $20 price tag. Still, it's very violent and definitely too much for kids.