12 Games That Defined Their Genres

The Escapist Staff | 8 Dec 2010 21:00
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X-COM: UFO Defense

Genre: Turn-Based Strategy
First Released: 1994
Platform: MS-Dos
Developer: MicroProse Software

It may be 16-years-old, but tactical turn-based combat doesn't get any better than this. Originally published by Microprose, X-COM: UFO Defense (originally known as UFO: Enemy Unknown) placed players as the commander of a worldwide military/science organization tasked with defeating an alien invasion. The game took place in two perspectives. At the global level, players were tasked with establishing and maintaining bases around the world to track and intercept alien ships flying in the atmosphere. The player had to manage supplies, facilities and personnel, and there was never enough money or time to do everything you needed to do.

Things became even more intense in the turn-based tactical battles, where the player sent in squads of troopers, armed with the latest technology scavenged or reverse-engineered from the aliens, to battle it out with the aliens on the ground. Battles took place amid the crashed ruins of alien ships, or in the midst of crowded cities where the aliens were spreading terror. The game used multiple levels and full on environmental destruction - firefights around gas stations were particularly deadly - to make each space as interesting as possible, while the turn-based, action-point nature of the combat made for many a tense round.

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