If you’re fond of complex strategy games that go past the Command & Conquer series (which, in my personal opinion, doesn’t look and play well on iPhones and iPads), you should jump with joy on news that developer Firaxis and publisher 2K Games are porting XCOM: Enemy Unknown, the popular turn-based tactical role-playing strategy, to Apple’s platform.

The game has some pretty ardent following and a port for iOS was officially announced at a PAX East panel on this past Saturday. What’s in it for you and why should you care? Go past the fold more some more tidbits…

Joystiq spoke with Lead Designer Jake Solomon who perhaps surprisingly revealed that the XCOM game won’t be a free-to-play iOS offering, unlike some other highly visible triple-As such as EA’s Real Racing 3, for example.

Instead, they’ll charge the full price upfront:

It’s going to be priced appropriately for what it is. It’s going to be a premium price point. It is the game. It is the full game.

Josytiq thinks the game could push the limits like The Walking Dead does at $15.

“We’ve been told it will not include the Slingshot pack downloadable content, however the Elite Soldier DLC will be included,” adds the publication.

Developers also announced that the Mac port launches April 24, 2013.

The iOS build is landing some time during the summer.

This won’t be your ma and pa’s port, mind you – XCOM: Enemy Unknown will offer the full experience on your iPhone or iPad.

It is a straight port. We have not made any gameplay exceptions. You play the exact same game [as on PC or consoles], it’s just now fully playable on an iPhone or an iPad.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown launched on October 9, 2012 in the U.S. for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Basically a “reimagined” remake of the 1994 cult classic strategy game UFO: Enemy Unknown (also known as X-COM: UFO Defense), XCOM: Enemy Unknown puts you in the shoes of an elite multinational paramilitary organization which must get rid of the alien scum invading the Earth.

XCOM Enemy Unknown (Windows screenshot 002)

Akin to the previous XCOM games, the game is turn-based, which adds a layer of much-needed tactical thinking. You’ll also manage your supplies, research and develop new technologies and weapons in between missions, manage finances and so forth.

XCOM Enemy Unknown (Windows screenshot 003)

I must admit I’m curious as to how they pull the iOS port off.

I’m a huge fan of strategy games, but in my experience they don’t play well on tablets. Neither multi-touch nor a smaller screen lend themselves well to the complexities of the original user interface, the highly demanding concept or game mechanics.

I was very disappointed with EA’s shabby Command & Conquer port on iOS. Having tried a few other strategy titles on Apple’s mobile devices, and now that I’ve come to think of it, I’m actually not convinced at all that the genre is a fit for mobile devices (same goes for role-playing games).

XCOM Enemy Unknown (Windows screenshot 001)

Did you have any luck mastering big name strategy games on iOS?

And while we’re at it, what does your list of the top five strategy/RPG titles on the iPhone/iPad look like?

  • anonymous

    Autumn Dynasty

  • Jose Gonzalez

    What I can say is that Real Racing 3 is amazing on the iPad mini! Back in the day when I played on consoles, I never really favored racing games like that. But after playing this game, man it’s just awesome!

  • arkadiush14

    is it going to be for 3gs too? or just 4th gen up?

  • Chuck Finley

    I honestly don’t think it’s a case of the platform not fitting the genre, think about it, strategy games demand so much clicking of so many different parts of a UI, if anything mobile devices with touchscreen is the best platform for strategy games. Imagine the original Red Alert with a touchscreen or Age of Empires, or StarCraft.

    I think what’s at fault here is the shoddy games themselves and the developers. EA basically churned out a quick money maker to monopolise the CnC/RA name (the iOS game is absolutely dreadful) because as we all know, EA are heartless assholes bent on milking every cent from every gamer.

    Most developers for iOS are small companies who are better suited at making small, more casual titles so strategy will either be woefully underdeveloped (like some of the attempts at RTS on the App Store), a blatant copy of a mainstream game (ala Gameloft’s StarCraft clone) or something more simple like a Tower Defence game and honestly, at the end of the day none of the big developers just seem interested in either porting their existing franchises or making a new RTS/strategy franchise for iOS because let’s be honest, there main focus with hardcore strategy games would obviously be PC gamers.

    That said, I’m honestly looking forward to XCOM for iOS because a. the game looks absolutely amazing and I don’t own a gaming machine capable of playing the PC version and b. if the developers aren’t lying and don’t cock it up, then they’re attempting to make a full blooded strategy worth paying $15 for on iOS which might start setting the bar for other games developers on iOS. We’ve had so many attempts at making iOS a real gaming platform (with titles like Infinity Blade) that moves away from casual gaming like Angry Birds that swamps the App Store (not saying it’s a bad thing, after all mobile gaming will always attract casual first) and the like and it could be an amazing thing if iOS had the next big titles. Hopefully this is a step in the right direction.

  • There’s a lot of history behind X-Com. Played it as a kid on the
    PlayStation 1. Gave up when Hasbro took over. Didn’t realize they booted
    the project back up since it basically went hiatus back at the turn of
    the millennium. Bought XCom on Steam this morning when I got to the
    office, been “working” all morning 😛