You are in control of X-COM: an organization formed by the world's governments to fight the ever-increasing alien menace. Features: Command deadly close-combat battles Shooting down UFOs is just the beginning: you must then lead a squad of heavily-armed soldiers across different terrains as they investigate the UFO crash site.
User reviews: Overwhelmingly Positive (984 reviews)
Release Date: Dec 31, 1993

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Buy X-COM: UFO Defense

Packages that include this game

Buy X-COM: Complete Pack

Includes 5 items: X-COM: Apocalypse, X-COM: Enforcer, X-COM: Interceptor, X-COM: Terror From the Deep, X-COM: UFO Defense


Recommended By Curators

"Grandfather of turn-based squad strategy. You can get Open version that makes it much more playable but you need this for it. Highly recommended."
Read the full review here.

About This Game

You are in control of X-COM: an organization formed by the world's governments to fight the ever-increasing alien menace.
  • Command deadly close-combat battles
    Shooting down UFOs is just the beginning: you must then lead a squad of heavily-armed soldiers across different terrains as they investigate the UFO crash site. Tackle the aliens with automatic rifles, rocket launchers, and even tanks in the struggle to retrieve useful technology, weapons or life forms.
  • Research and manufacture alien technologies
    Successful ground assault missions will allow X-COM scientists to analyze alien items. Each new breakthrough brings you a little closer to understanding the technology and culture of the alien races. Once you have sufficient research data on the UFO's superior weapons and crafts, you'll be able to manufacture weapons of equal capability.
  • Develop a strategy to save the Earth
    You must make every crucial decision as you combat the powerful alien forces. But you'll also need to watch the world political situation: governments may be forced into secret pacts with the aliens and then begin to reduce X-COM funding.

System Requirements

    • Supported OS: Microsoft® 2000/XP/Vista®
    • Processor: 80386 processor or better
    • Memory: 4Mb RAM
    • Sound Cards Supported: AdLib compatible cards, SoundBlaster compatible cards and the Roland LAPC-1.
Helpful customer reviews
209 of 221 people (95%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: March 31
When people ask me: "Mark, you like PC games, what's your favourite game?" I respond with "X-Com, with the - in it" and they often get confused with the modern XCOM, but I further clarify with "The one from 1993". Which is normally the point where they pretend to look at their watch, make an excuse and walk out of the room.

So why in 2015 is my favourite game still this? Well firstly, I'm going to outline what makes this game so special. And then to wrap it up, I'll tell you how you can enjoy it in the modern world. Because for me this game is still my personal favourite.

X-Com puts you firmly on the back foot from the very start. Aliens have invaded and it's your job to mount Earth's final defense against the Alien foe before we are all killed or enslaved or something happens (the intention of the invasion isn't clear to begin with). What you spend most of the game doing, is trying to shoot down enemy UFO's with your rubbish fighter jets, and then trying to fight the Alien's at the UFO crash site with your poorly equipped troops.

I use terms like "rubbish" and "poorly equipped" because you are fighting Aliens here. Not Germans, not Japanese, not another nation - but mother-♥♥♥♥ing ALIENS. These guys have better weapons than you, better vision than you and more resources than you. They flew across the galaxy to fight us, and the only thing you can do at the start of the game is fight them off with humanities best and brightest, which just isn't enough.

This means that your troops will die. A lot. And it's mean, and it's unfair and the game is obviously hard because of that. But at great cost of life, humanity is able to claw it's way back and slowly put up more of a fair fight. As you recover Alien technology from your encounters, and spend time researching it, the X-Com scientists are then able to reverse engineer the technology into better equipment. This can be armour that can survive a few shots, or better weapons, or ground and air vehicles. Slowly but surely, humanity is able to avoid extinction.

You are fighting for the very survival of the human race, and that's not meant to be easy. Fortunately the game equips you with the systems you need to be successful but it's on YOU to work out how to do it. This is a game where you might have to watch some tutorial videos on YouTube or read the manual. And if you do these things, you will be rewarded with one of the deepest and enjoyable single player experiences that you can have.

So if you read this and you're willing to invest a bit of time to enjoy the game. After all, it is only £3! I recommend you use OpenXcom to play the game. You won't be able to launch the game through Steam, but it gives you much better performance on modern systems than playing the original game through DOSBox. The alternative is that you check out Xenonauts which is a faithful recreation of X-Com using an updated UI, better graphics and a bit more automation (such as not having to order ammunition and things). I know it sounds a bit odd, but Xenonauts is so faithful to X-Com that if you don't think you can cope with how dated this game is, I would encourage you to treat this as a review for Xenonauts. Other than very minor tweaks, and a change to air combat, they are essentially the same game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
26 of 29 people (90%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
40.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 11
"If you turn this corner you better not ♥♥♥♥ing di..."


Chuck Norris has died from a fatal wound.

*Ctrl Alt Delete*
*End Task*
*End PC*
*End life*
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
30 of 36 people (83%) found this review helpful
13.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 12
One of the best game ever!
There has been a lot of reamakes, but no one can quite reach up to this level.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
19 of 24 people (79%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
189.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 16
There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call... the X-COM Zone.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 17
Also known as UFO Enemy Unknown. The original (1994) was super buggy and nearly unplayable on newer systems, but thanks to these guys (the people working on the openxcom project) the game is now playable and with lots of bug fixes.

The game is pretty unbalanced and exploitable, here are a few tips:

- Don't exit the craft in the first turn as the aliens, that have visual on you, will have full AP and will likely reaction fire.
- Always have the maximum number of soldiers in the landing craft (while this might be obvious, I saw people that don't do this, usually the same kind of people that spend all the APs exploring instead of having some AP for reaction fire or retreat).
- Put the most expandable soldiers closer to the exit of the landing craft because the first ones out are the likeliest to get killed.
- Don't hurry, especially getting your troops out of the landing craft.
- Advance slowly, only extend yourself when you have an alien’s location and you can kill it because you don't want it to have a full turn while you are in sight. Expanding on this, try to kill all the aliens that you see in the same turn that you see them; that's why it's usually best to advance slowly (to have lots of APs) and have lots of soldiers (and implicitly firepower).
- You should use scouts (~rookies) that at the start of the turn will try to advance but also retreat at the end. This way you'll create a buffer and decrease the chance of enemies sneaking close enough to the rest of your (more valuable) soldiers.
- Exploit: After turn 20 the aliens are generally going to come and try to find you, useful for landed/crashed UFOs.
- A very good starting location is in west Lebanon so that you will have cover over Europe and a lot of the downed UFOs could be in North Africa where the desert maps are pretty smooth.
- The beginning (or better said the first half of the game) is going to be pretty brutal, use all the force that you can and don't shy away from explosives and leveling buildings even preemptively in some cases.

Pros: great feeling, nice combination of tactical game, researching stuff and base building while under pressure to survive.
Cons: exploitable, unbalanced, bad spotting/FOV mechanic, you see as much as the aliens only in full light which will lead to a lot of frustration.
Rating: now, we are prodding *them*!
Recommendation: only if you are into this kind of games and you can tolerate/like the graphics.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny