It is the year 1999 and UFOs (Unidentified Flying Objects) have been appearing in the night skies. Unusual events, such as violent human abductions and horrific experimentations, have struck horror into the people of Earth.
The nations of the world gathered together and secretly established a covert, independent body to investigate, combat, and defeat the alien invaders. This multi-national force was named the "Extraterrestrial Combat Unit," and equipped with the best pilots, soldiers, engineers, scientists, and technology.
X-COM: UFO Defense is a combination turn-based and real-time strategy game that requires you to use the skills of a squad leader, detective, and administrator as you operate the X-COM agency in defending the Earth against UFOs. In between isometric ground combat and exploration missions, you must gain support from the world's nations in order to maintain adequate funding for the cause.
Bases and sensors are built around the globe to scan for alien activity. The fundraising, research, construction, and observation processes occur in variable real-time. Alien ships can be intercepted in orbit and, if shot down, their wreckage can be explored. Aliens might also land to terrorize a city and X-COM forces can be dispatched to the scene.
Missions "in the field" are turn-based. You move your troops through the urban or rural settings looking for aliens, alien technology, and other clues. You view the battlefield from a 45-degree downward perspective and your view is limited to what is in the line-of-sight of your troops. After the battle, aliens and alien technology can be brought back to the lab and studied, to help you figure out how to defeat the aliens and save the earth.
In the year 1998, the amount of reports of UFO sightings has been drastically increased. Stories about abductions and alien attacks became more and more widespread. Finally, after various nations of the world have failed to intercept the UFOs, their representatives met in a conference of global importance in Geneva, Switzerland. It was eventually decided to organize a secret paramilitary group, dubbed Extraterrestrial Combat Unit (X-COM). Starting with one base, two fighters, one transport, and a few soldiers, X-COM must locate the aliens, learn about their origins and technology, find out where their base is, and destroy it.
X-COM: UFO Defense is a strategy game featuring separate but interlinked elements. On the strategic side, called GeoScape, you get a rotating view of the globe, where you see all visible UFOs (those that are within your detection range) as well as major cities and your base(s). You order movements from here, such as sending out fighters to intercept UFOs, transports with soldiers to assault/recover UFOs, and perhaps assaults on alien bases (if you find any). You also control your research, as you must invent better weapons (the Terran weapons are just no match against the alien weapons) quickly, not to mention all the other cool tech you can recover from the aliens. You also need to control your budget, as you can't afford to overextend your reach. Researchers need to be paid, engineers (who build the new toys) need to be paid, base(s) need to be be built/expanded, planes need to be bought/maintained, supplies need to be replenished, and so on.
You can earn money by selling unneeded stuff, and you receive funding from the nations of the world; however, a nation can decrease its funding if it decides you aren't operating efficiently enough within its region. It's even possible that a nation gets so fed up with you that it signs a pact with the aliens and ceases funding altogether.
Once you join a ground battle, the game switches to Battlescape, which is an isometric view of the battlefield with realistic line-of-sight calculations and turn-based combat. Your mission is usually extermination of all aliens on the battlefield, though if you can capture a few it would surely help your research efforts. If you win, you also recover any alien artifacts left on the field, which can then be researched.
In combat, each of your soldiers has a specific number of Time Units. Doing anything (moving, shooting, turning around, rearranging objects in the inventory etc.) costs a number of TUs. Once a soldier is out of TUs, he cannot act any more this turn (he gets all his TUs back on the next turn, though).
The game aims to mix strategic considerations, resource management, and tactical combat considerations, along with plenty of authentic UFO lore.
Where do I start with this jewel? It is suffice to say that this game is still being bought on CD-ROM versions all over the world, and has lost little of its popularity since the day it was published.
UFO Enemy Unknown, or perhaps better known by the name of X-Com 1 is a strategy game where your job is to stop the alien invasion and threat to earth. You start off by building a base somewhere on the globe. You are initially given 3 crafts, 2 for intercepting airborn UFOs, and one with crew for getting rid of ground alien troops and survivors of shot-down UFOs. The base is also equipped with research, manufacture, radar, defense etc. facilities.
Each month you get fundings from every continent. The amount of money you get depends on how well you have controlled the alien threat on a certain continent. As the game progresses, you research new weapons, either from recovered aliens and their artefacts, or just normal earth weapons. The ground combat is turn-based, but nonetheless very dynamic and interesting.
I could go on talking about the game's features and possibilities but its just easier to download it and see for yourself. I can safely guarantee you that you will not regret it. It is one of my favorite, if not THE favorite, DOS game ever! This is the CD-ROM version that should be run from Windows. Download and enjoy!
How to run this game on modern Windows PC?
People who downloaded UFO: Enemy Unknown Collector's Edition have also downloaded:
X-COM: Terror from the Deep Collector's Edition, X-COM: Apocalypse, UFO: Enemy Unknown, UFO: Aftermath, Syndicate, Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, StarCraft, Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos
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