Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 20
  2. Negative: 1 out of 20
  1. Jul 2, 2014
    Taking everything into consideration, it's safe to say that Xenonauts is a must play for any fan of turn based strategy games, as it is one that I'll be playing for some time to come.
  2. Jul 11, 2014
    Whether you're a fan of the old X-COM/UFO games and you were not covered by the streamlined version of Firaxis either you adored the recent XCOM: EU and you are looking for something in the same style, but with more gameplay depth, then Xenonauts must go directly to your "to-buy-list".
  3. Aug 27, 2014
    The X-Com sequel we all have been waiting for.
  4. Jul 6, 2014
    Xenonauts is the best possible tribute to an evergreen masterpiece like the original X-Com.
  5. Jul 2, 2014
    Many software houses tried to follow the path of X-Com. Goldhawk Interactive is the first one that managed to do it.
  6. Jun 27, 2014
    While XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012) is a modern twist on the game UFO: Enemy Unknown (1994), Xenonauts is an exact copy of the classic that was released in 1994 – and that, we're happy about! Although the game looks much simpler than XCOM in terms of graphics, by remaining faithful to the original it is a lot more challenging and profound than the XCOM reboot. Unfortunately, faithful also means that it contains few original features. Nevertheless, it is a strong turn-based strategy title that mainly evokes a lot of nostalgic feelings.
  7. Jun 23, 2014
    With deep strategic systems, omnipresent dread, and clean turn-based combat, Xenonauts is a triumph of rebooted game design.
  8. Aug 24, 2014
    A true X-COM successor, its tactical depth will engross anyone up for the challenge. [Oct 2014, p.72]
  9. Aug 6, 2014
    The tactical squad-based combat is engaging and has plenty of depth, although there are moments when it also feels a little too long and the various human soldiers seem much too dumb to be the first line of defense against an alien invasion.
  10. Jul 17, 2014
    An ode to the strategy genre and a tribute to UFO: Enemy Unknown, Xenonauts takes all the best characteristic from his spiritual father and makes some little and very much welcome changes.
  11. Jul 2, 2014
    Xenonauts is an unlikely success, a challenging clone of a beloved classic with enough tweaks to entice fans and newcomers alike.
  12. Jun 20, 2014
    Xenonauts is a faithful modernization of a classic. It retains the features that made X-COM such a tense and memorable game, with base invasions and a gigantic open-ended campaign of depth and freedom. If Firaxis' revamped take on the series felt a little too directed and linear for you, then Xenonauts is likely to delight.
  13. Jun 17, 2014
    Mission accomplished for Xenonauts, who brings to the modern world all the refinement and gameplay depth of the original XCOM game.
  14. Aug 6, 2014
    It may be the closest thing to X-COM: UFO Defense we’ve seen in 20 years, but its frustrations make it tougher to recommend than it should be.
  15. Oct 22, 2014
    A worthy tribute to UFO: Enemy Unknown/X-COM: UFO Defense, but far from perfect. If you feel that your inner hard core gamer is not dead yet, give it a try and have fun. [Sept 2014, p.64]
  16. Aug 27, 2014
    Retro looks can only get you so far, and in the case of Xenonauts, the longer you play it, the more annoying things you discover. A primitive leveling up system (there are no classes or special abilities), contrived combat mechanics, a moth-eaten 2D engine that doesn’t know how to rotate or zoom. In the end, the strategic part becomes much more interesting than tactical battles.
  17. Aug 6, 2014
    Xenonauts is, in the end, a remake of the original UFO: Enemy Unknown. It has this retro-feeling and an old-school complexity: enough to please those who didn't appreciate the (solid) 2K remake.
  18. Jul 3, 2014
    Xenonauts knows exactly who its audience is, exactly what it's aiming for and, while it may never achieve a wider appeal, it will capture that audience in a very familiar act of alien abduction.
  19. Jun 25, 2014
    A tough turn-based strategy game with first-rate AI and well-executed level-design that suffers from a number of tiny technical issues, map repeating and a research tree that is not branched enough. If you get over its problems, in company with Xenonauts you will enjoy plenty of hardcore entertainment, however, do not be expecting strategic nirvana.
  20. 40
    The road to this borefest was paved by good intentions: building on a classic wasn't a bad idea, not improving on it is an opportunity sorely missed. [Issue#244]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 113 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 35
  2. Negative: 6 out of 35
  1. Jun 16, 2014
    Here we are, finally writing the proper review for this game. I've decided to wait for the final version before writing anything about it because despite the long time it took to be finished, it really deserves to be evaluated in its final shape.

    First thing first, I must say there are lots of x-com remakes out there. Since I'm one of the few lucky players that have played (and loved, despite I was just a kid) the original series the time it was released, it is well-known that all later remakes never really succeed to reach the quality (or even the game type) of the original. X-Com: Enemy Unknown and its successors were a very complex but still very engaging type of game. None of the later versions was as deep as the old ones, and this is plain truth.

    Xenonauts is just another remake, but this time it is the right one. It is clear that the developers have vastly played the old series and have absorbed the real nature of it. Everything here is in place and working, something (aka aerial fights, just to tell one) is even better than the original, if it could be possible!

    Now that I'm grown up and I understand what tactics mean, playing this game make me desire to come back in time and play the old series the way I'm playing Xenonauts now. It's really a lot of fun. My love to the old series is even bigger now, thanks to Xenonauts and its incredible fidelity to the original game.

    The game itself is really well done, in mostly every aspect. It does give you the right sensation of alien invasion, it is really hard to manage every ufo in sight and succeed. Aerial fights are often quite difficult but entertaining (only con: waiting time during retreat). Ground combat is simply great, the AI is sufficiently smart to even surprise you, sometimes, and that's really appreciated for a game like this. Base management is quite intricate due to a menu system I really do not love that much, but it is still playable without great difficulty.

    For me is a plain 10/10 also considering it is and indie game. Absolute try for every fan of the old series.
    Full Review »
  2. Jun 23, 2014
    Unfinished & unpolished.

    Artwork and graphics are obviously dated, but that’s not the problem. The problem is lack of animations,
    explosions, objects, scenery, art etc., it feels like hollow early alpha or demo.

    Turn based combat suffers same problems, you can only do four things, move, shoot, reload, duck. No abilities, no running, suppressing fire etc.. Grenades don’t have delay, they don’t bounce, and you can only throw them over small fence, but not a wooden wall, or into the window… Watching endless running animations begins to annoy the player sooner or later, and there is no option to speed it up.
    Squad development is virtually non-existent, you don’t level up your soldiers, only their basic stats (like accuracy, strength etc.,) grow a little after each mission, again no perks, or abilities to choose from.

    Base development and research are again extremely simplified. The game becomes grinding cycle of intercepting UFO’s, lunching ground operation (if you still care…) and waiting for final mission. Overall it’s not terrible game, but feels rushed, and leaves the gameplay overall lacking. 60/100.
    Full Review »
  3. Nov 27, 2013
    This. This is not one of those fancy-shmancy streamlined games with pixel shading lollipop graphics and stunning 'oh-my-word' audio FX... This is something completely different. A fan service for all 'old timers' perhaps?
    It's still in beta, the updates are rolled out on regular basis, but what's there already is all honey and no tar. This title has the look and feel of the 1994 classic, but with clean UI and comfortable, adequate graphics.
    Any veteran of old UFO will feel right at home the features and gameplay is nearly identical but with enough differences to pique your interest from the very beginning. The atmosphere is not lacking, there is a sense of loneliness and hopelessness throughout and, although you know very well what awaits, there is no telling what shape will it take. The difficulty is at least challenging, you can do your best on geoscape and on the ground but you'll still be watching your diminishing money supply and mounting casualties.
    Make no mistake this game is from previous era in terms of technology, but if you love it it really loves you back!
    Full Review »