Jun 20, 2016
Sometimes I play games to build. I want to grow an empire, lead a sports team to victory or just construct a castle of sorts. Other times I’m all about that destruction. Wiping out civilizations, demolishing towns and annihilating entire planets. Invaders Inc is the latter rather than the former.
It sees you playing as a race of aliens looking to make Earth their new home. If you’ve played Plague Inc., you’ll have an idea of how this plays. Like a cross between Risk and Xcom, you need to invade different countries and build-up your offenses.
This may sound exciting, but it’s really quite dull to play. For starters, this whole game plays out at one pace. You can’t fast-forward the game, so at some points you’re sat there waiting for something to happen – a new ship to be built (which is done automatically), a new genetic upgrade to unlock or a new weapon to invest in.
All of these upgrades and improvements are unlocked through nothing more than a series of menus, meaning the gameplay boils down to waiting and clicking through menus. This wouldn’t be too bad if there was some grand strategy to the things you’re doing. However, there’s not.
You see, the ‘strategy’ is all to do with each country’s heat, cold, science and military values. These values all relate to your own aliens IQ, strength, heat tolerance and cold tolerance values – and that’s it. If your aliens have a low heat tolerance you need to invade a mild climate country and then invest in, you guessed it, your heat tolerance. If a country has a high science value then you need to invest in your alien’s IQ values. There’s no risk or reward to anything and it’s all quite predictable.
Eventually, the invasion stops being a secretive operation and it soon descends into an all-out war. This might sound exciting, but like everything else in the game, this is all about bars filling up and upgrades being bought via a menu. You see, as you’re invading, the human’s ‘awareness’ gauge slowly fills up. It’ll fill up more quickly if you invade ‘high-science’ countries – this can be slowed down by upgrading your alien’s ‘stealth’ capabilities.
You should see a pattern here. One bar fills up so you need to buy an upgrade. You wait and watch bars fill up and as a result, you then buy another upgrade. Rinse and repeat. War breaks out but nothing changes as – yet again – you simply watch bars decrease this time.
It’s a real shame that such a good premise fails in its execution. Having played Plague, Inc. I could see what the game was aiming for, but there’s little polish or flavour to the game.