- Category: Reviews
- Published: Wednesday, 04 March 2015 19:45
- Written by Nick Niotis
Our planet is faced with an alien invasion and our last hope is a specialized ops team known as XCom.
In XCom the board game, players take the role of this team and having at their disposal the best equipment, the most capable scientists as well as the best trained soldiers that the world has to offer, try to protect our planet from the alien threat.
Number of players: 1-4
Average duration: 90’
Gameplay: One of the most key characteristics of the title and one of its strong points are the four available roles, each of which has its own abilities and obligations. The commander is in charge of the teams' resource management as well as the air defence, the chief scientist discovers and develops various technologies and upgrades the team in different areas, the squad leader is the commander of ground forces who undertakes the protection of the database and the completion of missions that are necessary for the final mission, and finally the central officer is the coordinator of the group since he uses the app, but also controls the satellites which are the first defense of the planet and the main source of information for future threats.
Difficulty Level: Although XCOM the board game could be a very difficult and tiring game both in terms of gameplay and in learning, the excellent app eliminates the time you need to learn, but also the time that will be spent in order to perform the necessary actions required by the rules during a game.
Interaction: As mentioned above the four roles of the game offer a completely different gaming experience, as they interact and help others in various ways, with the scientist to stand out in that aspect.
Component quality: As expected from the company, the contents of the game are excellent and have beautiful illustrations, on the board, the cards and the various tokens, which along with the excellent miniatures create a beautiful aesthetic result which comes in harmony with the theme of the game.
Rules: Although as mentioned above the app makes learning very easy and pleasant, the absence of a physical rulebook will certainly disappoint and trouble some of the players. This of course causes some practical "problems" such as finding clarifications for several cards or abilities; it would be more practical and enlightening if those appeared in a corresponding chapter of a rulebook.
Interaction: Although it is possible to interact with your teammates and help them in various ways depending on the role that you take, the time you will consult and decide on your next move is minimal, while the real time feature added by the app almost eliminates any verbal interraction. While this element can be described as a clearly big disadvantage for a cooperative game, it immediately helps eliminate the Alpha Gamer (a player who will indicate to others what is the best move).
Luck vs Strategy: Almost all decisions taken during each round are intended to improve your likelihood of success during the resolution phase, but the randomness of the dice is what in most cases will determine your success or failure. This combined with the fact that the odds are almost always against you, will surely repel several players.
Although XCOM the board game does not encompass the tactical combat of the computer game, it manages to assimilate the strategic part in an excellent way, while it fully delivers its theme and is sure to fully satisfy lovers of the title. As a board game it manages to provide a fairly different experience than most cooperative and most real time games, and it is a hybrid game that uses modern technology, designed to greatly facilitate learning and bookkeeping. Finally it is worth noting that the game is essentially for four players and although there is the option to play with less, it is not recommended.
Who is it for:
Family Gamer: Maybe. The theme of the game will fascinate players of the category. Immediately the cooperative nature of the game will attract enough of them.
Social Gamer: No. The limited number of players but also the nature of the game and the strategy it entails is clearly not addresses the players of this category
Strategy Gamer: No. Although strategy is one of the key features of the title, the strong presence of the dice is sure to repel strategy gamers.
Hobby Gamer: Yes. The theme of the game, the excellent contents and the fresh gaming experience offered in several areas make XCOM the board game an essential addition to the collection of any player in that category.
Hardcore Gamer: Maybe. Despite the collaborative nature of the game, the individual responsibilities of each role in combination with the ability to configure and evolution them, as well as the level of difficulty in terms of win conditions, are sure to attract some of the hardcore gamers.
1 game board
76 Various indicators