Attack Of The Earthlings

A large massive ship descends on the rocky planet, looking like a massive drill that was lost from a giant’s toolbox. It touches down, the earth beneath it groans, as the cylindrical metal bit descends into the mineral rich flesh below.

The only one capable of halting the invasion of these evil beings, the Matriarch, makes her way aboard the alien vessel. With the survival of her world and her race at stake, she confronts her first target. She has never encountered a beast so hideous, with pale pink skin, standing upright on two legs and with only two arms. She sneaks behind the terrifying beast, striking it down with all her might…and then, devours it.

Attack of the Earthlings is a turn-based tactical game (like XCOM), where instead of playing the human fending off the aliens, you are the alien fighting off the hordes of human invaders. It gives the player the opportunity to finally be what many have secretly wanted to be all along…the alien.

The game has you begin as the Matriarch, a large bug-like creature who is simply trying to stop the invaders from destroying her planet. As the Matriarch you are powerful, yet vulnerable, and unlike the aliens you are attacking, you come equipped with only what you were born with. The Matriarch has the ability to sneak up behind her victims (as long as she is out of their line of sight), and attack with her vicious claws. Once a victim is dispatched, it can be consumed to avoid detection. However, not only does it get rid of the victim, but the consumption allows her to spit out smaller, weaker creatures to help her in her mission.

As you progress up the drill-ship, your abilities increase, and so do the abilities of the creatures you spawn. The Matriarch can create four different creatures from the humans she consumes, each with varying strengths and abilities. The base creature, the Grunt, is weak but can traverse ventilation shafts to sneak up behind victims.

The Goliath, a large creature, has extra armor to absorb more damage, and does more physical damage to his victims. The Disruptors, which allow for ranged attacks, and can be upgraded to launch noisemakers that cause enemies to react to where the noise came from. Finally, the Stalker, which besides the Grunt is the only creature that can utilize the vents, but can also bypass most enemy armor, making it critical to attacking heavily armored foes.

Combat is played out in the typical turn-based fashion, with the player controlling their units first, followed by the computer controlling the opponent.

The player can set up strikes against more heavily armored foes by issuing a command to multiple units, and then having them strike at the same time. This strategy is key to taking down larger units that a single unit cannot take out alone. Each mission varies from seek and destroy, escape, or all out confrontation and in many cases, there is more than one way to complete the mission.

The story is humorous and has incredible voice acting. The humans are portrayed as typical cannon fodder, where they are not overly intelligent nor are they brave. They rely on their superior fire power instead of their wit to survive the battle.

When you are the single Matriarch slicing your way through countless enemies that are armed significantly better than you, you will feel like the Alien aboard the Nostromo. As Ripley stated in Aliens, “Because just one of those things managed to wipe out my entire crew in less than 24 hours”, you will get the same feeling here.

The game is short, chalking in around 10 hours or so, but don’t let the deter you from enjoying what I feel is one of the freshest takes on a tactical turn-based strategy game in years.

It is colorful, enjoyable, and never takes itself to seriously. The units are not terribly diverse, but each one is upgradable to allow for greater flexibility in how you play. While it’s not terribly difficult, the missions are entertaining and challenging enough that you may have to play through it a few times to be successful. For those who have always dreamed of being one of the xenomorphs in Aliens (you know who you are), Attack of the Earthlings gives you your chance and it’s every bit as awesome as you always imagined it would be.

What I liked: Diverse missions, Playing the part of the alien

What I liked less: It’s short

4 out of 5 stars