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 (898 reviews)
Release Date: Dec 31, 1993

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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."
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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.
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. 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
46 of 50 people (92%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
126.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 8
Rookie 1 fires an aimed shot at point blank and misses
Rookie 2 fires a snap shot point blank and misses aswell
Rookie 3 fires from across the map with an auto shot hits and kills the snakeman
THATS XCOM BABY 10/10 would auto shot
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17 of 20 people (85%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 15, 2014
One of the timeless classics and a milestone in the history of video games. The graphics may have aged but the gameplay did not - it remains as challenging frustrating but rewarding game as it was when I played it for the first time (around 1995).
Funny how this game inspired so many others none of them actually surpassing this one...
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14 of 15 people (93%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
5.1 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.
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11 of 14 people (79%) found this review helpful
32.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 24, 2014
A masterpiece of its time!
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 29, 2014
Easily a classic and one of the best TBS games of all time, I still remember playing the demo on an old 3.5" diskette.
A must have for any XCOM or turn-based strategy (in general) fan.
While I enjoyed Enemy Unknown, in my mind, it is a watered down (though polished) version of this classic.

Don't let the dated graphics sway you, the gameplay and atmosphere are top notch.
They just don't make em like they used too...I must be getting old :/
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
34.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 20, 2014
This game does have learning curve, but there's no other game out there that can really pull you in and make you feel like you really are the last hope of humanity. If you fail, life as we know it is over.
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9 of 14 people (64%) found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2014
This is a MUST HAVE for all retro gamers, old school STRATEGY and TACTICS. Master piece
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 28, 2014
You know, just when you think you can play an old game you used to play..and figure wow, I can't do this anymore! But remember games like this was the really good in its time of birth. Great collectors piece.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
58.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 27
Still the one.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
111.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 14, 2014
Finally, I beat the game. Long winded, fun strategy game that makes you feel like your always trying to keep your head above water. You will have the most fun if you accept your losses(not reloading a save to improve an outcome) and take your time. After losing bases and high ranking soldiers It will take a long time to recover, but with some research and skin of your teeth luck can overcome the obstacles the game sets for you. After a hundred and eleven hours I was ready for the game to be over, but along the way I gained many good memories of the epic, tense battles to look back on.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
27.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 12, 2014
An amazing classic. Extremely, painfully, horribly difficult. But that's the best part.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.7 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.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
10.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 13
-Quick Review-
X-COM: UFO Defense is a strategy game developed by MicroProse Software Inc. in 1993, at the time the game was revolutionary, and is commonly cited as one of the first strategy games many people played, the game is extremely difficult, especially if you've never played it before or any other X-COM games.

-Detailed breakdown review-
Story: I would love to give more details about the story... but, I haven't progressed very far into the game, so all that I can say regarding the story, is probably what you already know; "X-COM is a project that is supported by various nations to defend the Earth from Alien Invasion".
You will have a great degree of control over the location your base will be constructed, buildings inside your base, troops, scientists, engineers, aircraft, and weapons for your troops or aircraft. Being a strategy game lover, the only way I can describe the detail put into this game from the 90's is "beautiful". ...I just wish I was better at playing it.

Game Play: As I eluded too earlier in my review, there's a lot of customization available in the game, generally starting out most people have the same strategy, and if you intend to pick up this game, I highly recommend checking out guides online, or steam guides. You will most likely need them.
It should be noted that the fan base for X-COM have put out updates for the game, I never took the time to look into any of them, but they supposedly make the game much easier to play. I just decided I will work with what steam game me. (something with the DOS Box, updating DOS box, or downloading a whole new client, etc. If you want to know more, Google or go to X-COM: UFO Defense forums)
For people in the unique situation where they HAVE played X-COM: Enemy Unknown, there are a remarkable similarities in game functions, and strategies. I was able to figure out most of the beginning Base, overview, scientists, and engineering controls and tasks, without needing to look up anything online...
...It was the battle phases that lost me, I spent 2+ hours of my time learning how much fun it was to get murdered by aliens, (mind you: I'm playing on easy difficulty, I thought I could take a few shots to the face... nope, just nope. Just one *zap* and you're toasted-carbon-molecules.)

Achievements: Beating this game, or getting far into the game is an achievement. It's called "being good at old/classic video games" and I wish I was, I really do. But these games help remind me that even though I succeed in most video games and get achievements for jumping off cliffs and dying, that I really have achieved nothing. Regarding steam achievement... Nope, nada, and that's just fine with me!

Price: X-COM: UFO Defense is $4.99, a package deal getting you five classic X-COM games goes for $14.99 (best deal, if you know you like these games). I personally bought this game from a Humblebundle.

Conclusion: Here's the real question: "Will you enjoy this game?" and the answer is... probably not.
But this is someone's childhood, just like Commander Keen is mine, therefore I cannot cast my vote to "not recommended", this game is really amazing that it was from 1993, and it started the ball rolling for an outstanding strategy game series that helped shape strategy games today.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
16.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 11
This game is a legacy. X-COM revolutionized turn-based strategy gaming and to this day, though the graphics may have aged, the gameplay does not get old. It's a bit difficult to get into because of a few annoying design flaws such as the fact that there's no in-game explanation of what all those battlescape buttons actually DO, but once you've figured it out this is a great game that every strategy fan should play.

As for the 2012 XCOM game, although that's an amazing game, it's also quite different from this one. Get them both because they're both amazing but in rather different ways. In fact, get the entire series. There's a bundle of the old XCOM series which includes X-COM: UFO Defense, X-COM: Terror from the Deep, and X-Com: Apocalypse, as well as the spinoffs Enforcer and Interceptor which aren't strategy games, per se, and don't work on my computer, but the cheapness of the bundle makes up for that.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 12
Its a old game but is one of the good ones. You start with normal ordinary weapon and armor and men but when you get in to the depths of the game its intense. In my opinion its better than the Xcom: Enemy Unknown game. The only thing I disliked would be that some the death screams are disturbing. It is about 20 years old and still has a price in the store so steam must think its cool too.This game really good but if you can have the patience It'll be awesome.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
188.2 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.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
19.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 20, 2014
X-COM: UFO Defense is a fantastic game if you are the sort of person who likes turn-based combat mixed with basebuilding and management.
The gameplay consists of managing your base on a world map, where UFOs show up at regular intervals. After you've scrambled some jets and nailed those suckers, a "mission" becomes available. The mission consists simply of sending out your forces to the crashsite where you have to eliminate survivors in turn-based combat.
During the game your forces will become stronger and with the help of research, new and better equipment will be available for production. This will come in handy, seeing as the aliens also become stronger and more resillient as the game progress. I find that the difficulty curve is quite nice, up to a point when the most powerfull weapons become available, after that the game becomes a little trivial. Still, this does not happen untill late in the game, and that's more than a couple of hours of gameplay.
The turnbased combat I find very entertaining. There is a load of different aliens with different abilities, all of whom are dedicated to kill your elite soldier squad. Some will make you moan in annoyance, as they take control of your soldiers, and others scream in terror as they charge forward and impregnate your soldiers turning them into "zombies". Atleast that's what I did when I first played this game as a very young little boy.
The graphics and sound in the game is well, old, but many a great game survives purely on gameplay, and this is one of those games. The graphics are probably the games biggest weakness, but also one of it's charms I think. This is an old school game, for old school gamers, specificly for the type that likes turnbased combat with a mix of basebuilding. So take a trip down memory lane and give this little gem a chance - also make sure to get help on the boards on setting up the game...
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 31
Struggled to run this beast game on my computer seeing the graphics and gameplay are of the next gen. This game would've been good at it's time and is probably one of the best rts games to this day. Although back then the games weren't as complex as they are know this game is good for you oldies who like to remincise the good old 3rd generation games. I myself am too young to be able to enjoy this game as it's too outdated compared to what i've played. Chrysalids can get op 5/10
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
44.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 8, 2014
All hail X-COM
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
17.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 13, 2014
Had heart attack from rage of squad dying 10/10
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