XCOM: Enemy Unknown
By Chris Morris,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Terrific port of the console/PC hit, but still not for kids.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Although elements of XCOM: Enemy Unknown focus on strategic reasoning and decision making, we don't recommend it for learning because of its graphic violence.
Ease of Play
The game can be challenging for those new to the strategy genre, but it offers a thorough tutorial. The pacing is good, but when this game gets hard, it gets very, very hard. Players will sometimes have to sacrifice soldiers to win battles.
Violence & Scariness
Though it's a strategy game, there's plenty of violence here. Players use numerous weapons, including guns and bombs, to destroy alien invaders, and both sides can be bloodied, blown into bits, and impaled. Cut-scene sequences depict violence and gore, and humans can have alien eggs implanted in their heads, which explode. Sounds of human and alien suffering are frequent.
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The game has occasional strong swear words, including "f--k," "s--t," and "a--hole." You don't hear it often, but the profanity is strong.
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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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XCOM: Enemy Unknown
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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.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Release date: June 20, 2013
- Category: Strategy Games
- Publisher: 2K Games
- Version: 1.0.0
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 5.0 or later
- Last updated: August 17, 2016
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