Firaxis Games took one of its biggest recent releases to the small screen last week by making a full version of the triple-A title available on the iPad and iPhone. But this is no “lite” version or clunky mobile remake — for its mobile debut, Firaxis has rebuilt the game from the ground up. The game is almost exactly like the full title that came out for consoles and PCs last fall, meaning it provides all the hours of deep gameplay and dramatic alien invasion action of the original title. And the title translates well to the touch platform, though getting the right camera angle or elevation can sometimes lead to unexpected results.
Overall, the game is a smooth experience and a good representation of what more-serious mobile gaming can become. But there are caveats. The file itself is huge — over 3 GB — and can eat up a lot of your storage space. And the game’s $20 price tag may be far too steep for those who don’t yet see their iPad or iPhone as a primary gaming device. XCOM: Enemy Unknown on iOS is a good game and a hopeful step for gaming, but by no means an impulse app purchase. $20, for iOS devices.
— Hayley Tsukayama