Fantasy Flight Games – XCOM: The Board Game announced

X-COM_-_UFO_Defense_CoverartIf you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you may know that my all time favourite computer game is XCOM: Enemy Unknown.

This was released in 1994 by Microprose. Whilst the graphics were decent for the time, what sold the game was the 2-tier gameplay. On one level, it was a strategy game, with you building bases, researching alien technology and intercepting UFOs which were attacking the earth.

XCOM_Enemy_Unknown_Game_CoverOn the other level, it was a turn-based tactical  wargame, as you sought to secure crashed UFOs, defend cities attacked by the invaders, and destroy alien bases.

It was a game full of tension, with some great music.

2KGames produced a new version of the game in 2012, with massively updated graphics and gameplay.

It’s an ideal game to play as a miniatures game, and has inspired several scenarios with rules such as Tomorrow’s War.

Target EarthIn 2010, GenX games published a boardgame called Target Earth. Whilst it did not bear the name XCOM, it was undoubtedly  inspired by the computer game.

1-4 players worked co-operatively to build bases and defend the earth from alien invasion. This game used the strategic aspect of the game, with the tactical gameplay of UFO recovery somewhat abstracted.

Not a bad game at all, and seriously difficult to win.

Move forward four years.


Fantasy Flight Games has just announced that they are producing XCOM: The Board Game. Simply looking at the cover would indicate that this game comes with an official licence.

The game is co-operative, and looks to have FFGs trademark production values. What is more, the game is played in conjunction with an App, which appears to play the part of the alien threat in the game.  There are not many details available for this game just yet – maybe more news will be available at GenCon.

The game is designed by Eric Lang, whose past games include Star Wars: The Card Game, Quarriors!, Chaos in the Old World and Warhammer: Invasion.

As an XCOM fan,  this game is immediately on my ‘must have’ list. It’s due out towards the end of the year – I can’t wait!



7 Comments on Fantasy Flight Games – XCOM: The Board Game announced

  1. The required “digital App” is going to seriously hamper this game’s popularity (as can already be seen on BGG).

    • According to the original news release, it will also be available online.
      FFGs Android Apps (such as Star Wars Dice, Elder Sign and Hey! That’s my fish!) are excellent, so I have no qualms on that front.
      But yes, as with everything, requiring a digital aspect is always going to limit if that technology is not available.
      However, how many gamers – especially gamers to whom this subject would appeal – do not have a smart phone or tablet or PC/Laptop?

      And on a separate note, having a digital device giving UFO tracking and landing information is just cool! 🙂

  2. The thing about the digital aspect is…well, usually it’s not my cup of tea at all. I guess it works in this case because it’s based on a computer game and frankly it looks kind of cool. It also is a very good mechanism for a cooperative gaming. However, as a requirement for playing the game it’s a little annoying I have to say. Especially as you never know what other things you get along with your free app. I do own a smartphone, but I try to do as little as possible with it really and not download any appy other than the slew of stuff that’s already on there when you get it.

    On the other hand – sure, I do love X-Com. It’s probably my favourite game of all times. The remake was a good enough game as well and Fantasy Flight games have a tendency to make just darned good boardgames. (it’s almost scary how well their games work) They obviously are shrewd businesspeople as well but I can hardly hold that against them.

  3. Commanderroj // August 7, 2014 at 17:33 // Reply

    The sequel “Terror From The Deep” was my favourite. I never had t he original X-Com. I feel biased against the app aspect though. It’s just that if I am playing a board game, I feel that I don’t want to be messing about with another format of game, and I don’t really play computer games anymore. Still, I’ll reserve judgement.

    • Every few years I play through the original UFO. After that I sometimes get cocky and think “…and now I’ll beat Terror from the Deep!”. Just typing this I can hear the screams of my poor lads and lasses getting blown up by alien grenades and futile fire bouncing off Lobstermen shells….

  4. Commanderroj // August 9, 2014 at 20:55 // Reply

    I never did manage to penetrate one of their bases without getting wiped out in seconds. Great fun!

  5. Having watched a lot of the GENCON coverage I don’t think the “APP” is going to be this game’s downfall.

    Reliance on real-time frantic decision making for the enjoyment factor and the bland board and broken art style on the other hand might be ..

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