Disclosure: I ran out of non-depressing topics to write about, so here's one about a game nobody's ever heard of and nobody will ever play.

Xenowerk Tactics (680 megabytes, free to start, $6.99 USD full game) is a fantastic little game that nobody has played. Not hyperbole: it has less than 6,000 downloads on Google Play despite being a fantastic little game from a mid-list developer. It launched on October 9 and was completely forgotten about.

Xenowerk Tactics - Apps on Google Play
Play the first part for free. Get access to the full game with an in-app purchase. Play as the commander of an emergency response team after a disaster at a secret lab, hidden deep in the arctic region. Your task is to cover up and maximize profits for the Xenowerk corporation, or to save the world…
‎Xenowerk Tactics
Requires iPhone 6, iPad Air 2 or newer. Play as the commander of an emergency response team after a disaster at a secret lab, hidden deep in the arctic region. Your task is to cover up and maximize profits for the Xenowerk corporation, or to save the world, depending on whom you ask... EXPLORE De…


Pixelbite, the developers, are a small studio based out of Sweden. Their previous titles include Space Marshals 1 + 2, Xenowerk, and Reckless Racing 3.

The Bottom Line

It's a short game (~6 hours) with interesting ideas. I played it with a toddler in my arms. The action is simple, encounters procedurally generated, and I'm looking forward to the upcoming Hard Mode patch.

Pillars of Eternity, With An X-Com Skin

In XW:Tactics, you command a squad in real-time against the alie- sorry, mutant - scourge. Your squad is comprised of three soldiers, who have innate traits and differing tactical abilities - and by leveling them up, you gain access to Mutatations, literally game-changing powers.

Base Management is simple; apart from recruiting soldiers for your roster of six or assigning soldiers to infirmary, you'll spend very little time at base. The only reasons to return to base are to unlock the next XP level for your soldiers or because you ran out of dynamite to enter procedural dungeons.

Combat is real-time, but I found myself using the Tactical Pause button to plan attacks and ability usage. Particularly, the Scout ability is especially useful - it deploys a radar that displays enemies. If you're looking for an X-Com like tactical experience, this ain't it: it's essentially just Pillars of Eternity combat.

Instead of selecting a mission, much of the game takes place on the Overworld Map. Your troops travel towards wherever you tap; the terrain determines how often you get an Event (which can change morale, EXP, health, or add funds, or spawn an encounter). There are dungeons and bases to capture on the Overworld - the dungeons provide a sizeable chunk of XP and a one-time lump of cash, while bases add recurring cash drops.



There is an "ideal" team comp - a Recon, a Scientist, and then a wild card. While teams of three kept the real-time action manageable, the difficult needs to be increased to compensate for the game mechanics.

Combat at first is simple, but soon (about thirty minutes in) the pause buttom became my best friend. I nearly lost my god-tier units to a single exploding xeno; it took two-days of in-game time for them to recover, during which heavy lifting fell to the B-Team.

You can grind as much as you like before ending the day. This becomes most efficient after you've opened up the third area; clearing dungeons allows you to rapidly level up your units before you trigger the end-game.

If you have six hours and seven bucks to burn, it's a good time. And unlike chicken wings, it won't choke you or leave you a mess. It's a good game, with potential to be a great game.

Give it a download; on Android, it's free to start.