XCOM: Enemy Unknown on the iPad

I’ve never played the original XCOM, so I can’t compare the gameplay in that way. I’d be interested to hear if someone else can do that. I also haven’t played EU on the PC, so I can’t speak to that. But as my first XCOM experience, the iPad version is interesting enough I thought I would try to start a conversation about it.

First (and this will be the last point, too), the game is buggy. It crashes regularly. After downloading it, I had to restart my iPad just to get it to run. Sometimes it will crash and won’t reload, so I have to restart my iPad again. Very frustrating.

The gameplay - while it lasts - is a lot of fun. Balancing short-term goals with long-term needs, developing a body of capable troops, and the combat missions…all engaging. I do wish there was a little more variety in the missions. 90% of them are your basic “go here and kill all the aliens” type. (So far, at least. I haven’t finished the game yet.) It makes you appreciate the occasional escort mission and the one bomb defusal I’ve encountered already. You would think they could give you a mission where they say, “we’re dropping you in a heavily contested area. Hold it until reinforcements arrive.”

Of course, in combat you rarely get to take shots with 100% chance to hit. And of course, every time you miss any shot with more than 50% CTH requires subaudible profanity. That’s just part of the game.

I’m a decent gamer, but this game is hard as balls. I gave up trying to finish it on normal and restarted on easy.

I’m also not to sure how much replay value it will have. I’ve never been the type to replay a game with self-imposed challenges, and I don’t know that I would want to invest the time again, since there is really no story.

And it crashes, all the GD time. For a $20 game on the iPad, you would expect it to turn your iPad gold or something. I’ve never lost a save yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens, with as often as this game dumps you back to the home screen.

Anyway, is anyone else playing it? Thoughts? Reactions? Things I missed or misrepresented?

Sorry, I can’t help with your problem, although I see a fix for “stability problems” was released in October - do you have that?

I’ve played this on PC and Mac a lot, but I had no idea it is on the iPad. AFAICS it’s an entirely separate version and purchase, is that right? Having bought it on Steam gets you the PC and Mac versions, but not iPad?

Yeah, I should have the latest update. I only got it about a week ago, with gift cards I got for Christmas. I didn’t look closely at the reviews until after I had the problems with crashing, and then saw that lots of other people had the same complaint. Buyer beware, and all that.

And yeah, it’s separate from Steam, and the PC/Mac versions. I have no idea if they have similar problems.

But I wasn’t even looking for help, just discussion about the game. What is the PC/Mac version like?

The PC version is identical to the iOS version from what I hear, except there is no multiplayer. iOS games are notorious for being crashy and unstable though. I have the PC game through Steam and it has been very stable for me, with only a small amount of crashes.
I have played through the campaign on single player (PC), and I liked it quite a bit. Yes it’s as hard as hell, but you do get better gear as the game progresses, and your soldiers get some really nifty abilities. The one disappointment was the ship combat kind of felt more like an afterthought.

Make sure you get as many sattelites up as you can, as soon as you can. If you can get all/most countries covered, you won’t have problems with cash flow. The officer training school upgrades are also a must have to make your soldiers better. Make sure you develop support medics and their healing abilities, and use powerful abilites like Double Tap and Squad Sight.

It’s a bit buggy and crashy on PS3 as well, although the interface is fine in my opinion. I think Enemy Within seems to be more unstable on PS3 than Enemy Unknown was.

It’s a hard game that calls back to the era of hard games. You can always save-scum until you get some more experience with the game. In addition, I don’t know if they’re going to release Enemy Within for the iPad, but if you are going to get the game for a different platform get Enemy Within instead. You don’t need the original game and it comes with both the DLC for Enemy Unknown and a whole set of new material, including genetic modification, cybernetic soldiers, and a second enemy to beat. Lots of new maps as well.

I like the interface on the iPad, as well. Like I said, the game plays really well…when it plays.

Part of my problem was rushing too much. My first playthrough, I tried to assault the enemy base as soon as the quest became available. Four soldiers with basic armor and weapons…yeah. When they got annihilated, I just quit that game, because I didn’t have anyone else trained up at all. Second game was going better, but hit the same wall at the base assault. Third time has got to be the charm.

The nice thing about XCOM is that there is no time limit. Now, every time you run a mission you have the risk of something going wrong and losing a soldier or even a team, or you might lose a country because you couldn’t shoot down a UFO, or any number of things. And it is impossible to completely break the game by sheer early grinding. But there’s no need to do story missions right away.

I found it crashed a lot less on my iPad if I shut down all other running apps before I started playing.