A humorous turn-based strategy game which definitely has flaws throughout, but is thoroughly enjoyable nonetheless. Attack of the Earthlings is a fine game to dive into if you’re all for hating your evil human corporations and their plans for sucking the galaxy dry of resources – one lonely planet at a time.
There isn’t too much to elaborate on with Attack of the Earthlings, apart from stating obviously what it is and what it does. A turn-based strategy game that takes inspiration from one of my favourite old franchises Destroy All Humans, you play as the swarmers who take on the invading oil-obsessed humans who are bold enough to invade your, unbeknownst to them, deadly world.
Exercising your alien abilities, you can evolve and mutate which type of alien you are by consuming both human and alien corpses alike, all in order to overcome each variant of human enemy as you make your way to the top of their hierarchy. Climbing one floor at a time by eliminating engineers, soldiers, ninjas and heavily armored guards, you will eventually reach the boardroom with the aim to disorganize this invasion and prevent the poxy humans from ever returning.
There has been a clear and conscious effort put in to all the small but detailed world-building, as you learn the different personalities of the humans and their lives as they serve under a boring and mindless corporation intending on making as much money as possible. Aiming to trick and stop you at every turn, your relentless desire to kill humans does not translate well with those found attempting to bribe you to work for them.
The main concern – at least for me – with Attack of the Earthlings is the repetition found within the game. Yes, there are alien variants and different types of enemies, and even various ways to manoeuvre around the sizeable levels in order to figure out your next action against the humans. But there is still a core of repetition which you will likely come into contact with when playing through the seven levels that the game offers.
Noting the repetition found within Attack of the Earthlings on Xbox One, and the game does what it does well. That being a turn-based strategy game forcing you to learn where your earthly opponents are, find out what weaknesses they have and seeing you use that to your advantage in the most discreet way possible. It’s unlikely you’ll walk out of an alarmed floor alive.
Using three main types of swarmers: long-range spitters, brutes with more health than your typical swarmer, and stalkers with deadly attacks against armored opponents, you’ll likely learn to play better through trial and error, though of course if you’re skilled at turn-based strategy games you’ll likely breeze through Attack of the Earthlings, unlike myself.
This will see you giving birth to your various swarmer types through consuming corpses. The matriarch, your main alien which has to stay alive during each mission, will birth a standard swarmer for you to then upgrade if and when needed. You can use this bare-bones swarmer to scurry through the vents to catch the greedy humans off-guard if you can use them wisely.
Challenging bonus objectives bring welcome replayable opportunities to the table for those looking to fulfil their completionist necessities, and the achievements are regular but fair, feeling rewarding when you they do unlock.
Playing this slightly tedious 6-9-hour turn-based strategy game isn’t as frustrating as it could be though, and that is because the voice-over that brings it all together is genuinely funny, reinforced by the clean but smart script. You’ll find robots questioning their human overlords in ridiculous and unrelated contexts, as well as human employees just looking to get their next cup of coffee, while you sneak past and exterminate every other human on that factory floor.
I might sound like I’m being fairly negative on Attack of the Earthlings, but that’s only because there are a few issues to worry about. For the most part the game does a great job at being a strategic and thought-provoking turn-based strategy game. And the humour provides an excellent layer of polish and enthusiasm which makes playing Attack of the Earthlings much more enjoyable.
It isn’t a must-play title, but is still a worthwhile venture if you enjoy any of the listed characteristics.