There's nothing quite like when a truly amazing game gets even better through updates. Such is the case with XCOM: Enemy Unknown [$9.99]. The critically acclaimed reboot of the original 1994 turn-based strategy title made waves with its release on desktop and consoles late last year, and an incredibly faithful port made its way to the App Store this past June. Its graphics were slightly dumbed down and it was missing a few of the features from its console counterpart, but the iOS version of XCOM was still simply fantastic, and set the bar for what we should expect from a premium experience on our mobile devices.

It could have just ended there, and XCOM still would have been one of the most legendary releases on the App Store. But it didn't end there. In August, developer Firaxis and publisher 2K Games released an update for XCOM which added in the "Second Wave" content which was originally released as DLC for the console and desktop versions. It let you tweak a bunch of different options and play through the game in entirely different ways, ensuring that XCOM would have legs long after players had beaten the single-player campaign.

Again, it could have just ended there, but today another new update has been released for XCOM and this time it adds an asynchronous online multiplayer mode to the mix. Similar to the console and desktop versions, you'll be able to create your own custom team made up of both alien and human players and then pit them against the team of an opponent online through Game Center. Being asynchronous, you and your opponent will take turns making moves until one comes out on top, and this style of multiplayer has proven to be a perfect fit for the style of mobile gaming.

On top of the asynchronous multiplayer, this update also optimizes the game for iOS 7, adds Game Center leaderboards for the multiplayer portion, and of course fixes some bugs. To top off everything XCOM is also currently on sale with its deepest discount ever, which is half off its normal $20 price tag. Seriously, if I could reach through the internet and grab you by the shoulders to shake you I would, but I implore everyone to consider checking out XCOM: Enemy Unknown if you have even a passing interest in strategy games, especially at this discounted price. If our review linked above isn't enough to sway you, check out our TA Plays video and our strategy guide for more, and of course you can always check out our forums for even more opinions from gamers like yourself.

  • shdwstar2417

    This game is great!!! Download it

  • iammane

    SICK! Reinstalling now, excellent game even at 19.99... A steal at 9.99

    • Sekelani

      Yeah. I bought this game when it was that price. Next time I'll save my money then buy it when it's cheaper lol

  • Scot Damn

    So I have played and thoroughly enjoyed XCOM on a console. Since losing my console, I have been aching to play this again. Unfortunately I only have an iPhone 4 which isn't compatible. BUT. At this price, I need to seriously consider picking it up. If just for when I upgrade my device, I'll know I have a super quality strategy game waiting for me.

    If you have a capable device and like strategy games, you too should seriously consider picking this up at $9.99.

    • sleb

      The iPhone4 is listed as a compatible device.

      • Scot Damn

        Holy Bananas! Thanks for the oversight on my part! Even better!

      • Scot Damn

        OK actually I just checked. It says at the top of the description that it only runs on 4s and above. Maybe it still runs it, but I tend to go with the developers description over the itunes listed devices. I'm buying it anyway at this price so I'll see soon enough. Thanks for the heads up either way.

      • Jake7905

        Yea, I would trust the devs on that one, I've been playing this on my 4s since it's release and though the game is beyond awesome, I can see my device's limitations. I'd be afraid to try this on a 4.

      • matus

        So is the ipad 2 but it crashes very regularly on mine.

  • tinkie277

    ...... And re installing.

  • Gustav

    I have App Store gift cards that were 20% off, but even at $8 in my opinion the game in its current state - which means missing lighting and shadows, low resolution textures, missing facial animations, lack of polygons in general, and so on - is not worth the money. Better go for the real deal, PC Version for just $5 or even less.

    • tinkie277

      Yeah, one sec I will just put my PC in my pocket....

      • Jake7905

        ...or are you just happy to see me?

      • tinkie277

        Bit if both. Although with a PC in my pocket I probably aren't going to be the most mobile.

    • HungarianUrinalCakes

      Nope. Wrong. This version fits in your pocket. Shadows be damned.

      • Gustav

        My iPad 4 won't fit into my pocket. I agree that if you play on a very tiny screen then some issues may be of less importance.

      • tinkie277

        I played the whole adventure on my iPhone, I haven't played the pc/console alternative, but as far as I am concerned I got a full console game when I bought this.

      • Holcman

        I sort of agree, I'm not a fan of strategy games in general. ("Okay, this is what you will do, and this is what you will do, and done. Time to watch my minions move and attack. Woohoo.") I don't see the appeal. Also, my iPad is kind of bulky for the "fit in your pocket" argument. Overall, I'm not getting this game (Unless it goes free [I'm going to get scolded for that], I actually only have $0.79 left and can't get a new card, not my fault), but you all are entitled to your own opinions.

      • HungarianUrinalCakes

        I can agree with you that the iPad version may not be the quintessential version. However, sacrifices are extremely acceptable for the iPhone version. I'm hoping a Vita version will show up that won't have to have shortcuts.

      • dalglir


    • VirtualBoyFreak

      Well, that's your opinion. My opinion is that the game in its current state is a must have. I have finished the single player campaign three times during the summer, unlocked several second wave options from easy and normal difficulty, and have just downloaded the update and I'll install it into my ipad3 ASAP. I got 2 full months of enjoyment from it, and I'll get more with multiplayer. I got my $20 back in enjoyment a long time ago, and it's still going, so I can assure you that this was one of the best purchases I've made in the 3-4 years I've been playing App Store games with different ipods, iphones and ipads iterations...

    • speedyph

      Wow reali Kidd u r crazy who cares about missing facial animations

  • dalglir

    Still continuously crashing on iPad mini despite the 'optimised for ios7' update, completely reinstalling, closing down all multitasking apps and reboot.

    Crashes to home screen and creates a 'low memory' crash log every time I get to the tutorial 'launch mission' screen.

    Ticket open with 2kgames since before the update with not a single response....

    • Outrager

      Yup same.
      I should have read the iTunes reviews before getting it.
      Kind of sucks that most websites talk about how great it is, but never mention the crashes on the mini unless you read the comments.

    • dalglir

      Got as far as the end of the tutorial with only one crash to home screen! Now it just crashes EVERY TIME the soldier reports that it's all over at the end of the tutorial mission. Reload, resume game, soldier reports in, crashes to home screen. Rinse and repeat ad infinitum, ad nauseaum.

  • Bzzz

    Game is absent in Russian App Store. Questions on official forum and emails are ignored in silence. Developers just don't give a f*ck about fair russian gamers, who are willing to pay for play.

    • tpianca

      Same thing here in Brazil

  • renatpl

    Wow shut up and take my money! Downloading in 3,2,1

  • Bruciato

    i was gonna buy it but then i read many complaints on 2k forums about ipad2 and mini versions crashing systematically at the first mission.. i wish they answer the opened tickets, i love this game but im not gonna waste 9€ if it doesnt even work..

    anyone can give feedback on ipad2 xcom?

    • alundra40

      Yes it crashes a lot on my iPad 2 but since the upgrade not as often. I've learned to save often. At the beginning of each mission and when each mission is completed successfully. So, it still crashes but not as often and the penultimate question: does it crash so much that I can't enjoy it...hell no. I've been playing it heavily. I do shutdown all other apps and sometimes play in airplane mode though. To have xcom with me on the road and any other time I choose to pick it up, is freaking amazing. Worth every dollar. I may put as much time into this as I out into Final Fantasy Tactics but probably not as tactics had a lot more depth. Hope this helps.

  • Peter321

    I too can't get past the tutorial mission on my iPad 2

    When the mission ends music plays but the screen is just black.

    Don't buy this if you have an iPad 2 (or mini I guess).

    I plan to upgrade to iPad 5 when it becomes available, so no biggie but they shouldn't list iPad 2 as compatible at this stage!

    • bilboad

      I was able to play it on my iPad 2, but it worked best if I rebooted my iPad before playing. If I didn't do that then I got frequent crashes or freezes. I've now upgraded to an iPad 4 and it's a bit faster and I don't think it's crashed at all since upgrading. But try rebooting your iPad right before playing and see if that helps.

    • alundra40

      Also, since upgrading to ios7 and upgrading xcom with the latest update mine doesn't crash nearly as much. It crashes infrequently enough to actually play and enjoy. Just save often: at the start of each mission, back at the base when a mission is complete, and mid mission if it's a long one or you've done something super awesome that it would suck if you had to start that battle over from the beginning.

  • iammane

    Trying this on the way home - way cool! You have to make a squad and you get 10000 points to start. Units have a cost and obviously with the soldiers the better gear and rank you give em the more they cost. I didn't know about the point limit at first so the first squad I built cost almost 40000 points lol. It's cool checking out the alien abilities, looking forward to getting the harder hitting ones.

    Asynchronous is awesome! You can wait in game or just wait for Game Center notification it looks like. I guess one way to play is just set up a bunch of games at once and swap between em but I can see that getting a little confusing.

    Awesome first impression!

  • revolverblue85

    When this was first released I had crash issues, but the typical close apps reboot worked like a charm. This is in my mini

  • Jake7905

    This has to be my favorite game on the App Store, I paid $20 the day it was released with absolutely no regret. Sure, it may be a port, and it may not have the fine shine of the PC version, but who cares? It's the complete XCOM experience in your pocket, just not as pretty.

  • Death_2394

    I'm just putting it out there I have never seemed to have crashing issues with this game... 64gb iPad 2 bought on release day... It's a huge game and once open it extracts a fair amount of textures as temp resources "I am quite sure of this" so my suggestion is have at least 2/3 gig free on top of the game....

    Also anyone that complains about this as being overpriced... I have the game on pc heavily modded and I still have another save on the iPad and am currently playing that through... It is an amazing game... Fingers crossed the enemy within dlc comes to iPad as well 🙂

  • KevinZOMG

    "Seriously, if I could reach through the internet and grab you by the shoulders to shake you I would, but I implore everyone to consider checking out XCOM: Enemy Unknown"

    Nice Kung-Pow reference there.

  • Sekelani

    Do you guys recon they make this game game 64 bit? I hope they do.

  • Allan

    Just played this on ios7 iPad. I lost 2 games, and won 1 without my guys ever firing a shot, or seeing the enemy... the game just ended after my last turn without showing how I won. Anyone have the same problem? Is this a bug?