After Hours

Dinosaur sightings: XCOM UFO Defense

Now the aliens move. Yes, this is a turn-based game. Remember this is 1994 --- games don't have to be all about how fast you can push a mouse button.

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Mark W. Kaelin

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Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

29 comments
DaemonSlayer
DaemonSlayer

I know an old blog, and a new post on what should be left as "dead" but for those who like these games updates like this can be priceless. This even works with Windows 7 64-bit. Try DOSBox, on it's lowest CPU settings, still might need Mo-Slo though if it doesn't slow down enough. It also sets up a SB16 type card for you (emulated through your existing sound system.)

interceptorv6
interceptorv6

I need some help. I'm a fan of this game and in the '90 e read a very funny text about the gamers. It was called " You know you're playing too much XCOM when..." ( it's this name or something very close). Do anybody here ever read about it? Thanks.

Montgomery Gator
Montgomery Gator

We use XCOM to upload and download files between our mainframe and servers. I was unaware it had game functions also. Anyone know how to unlock the game playing features of XCOM? It looks like fun, a whole lot more fun than transferring data. :-)

chemikalguy
chemikalguy

XCOM (no dash) is the Unicenter data transfer system. X-COM (with a dash) is X-COM:UFO Defense, an old PC game...a GREAT old PC game. Do a google search and the first hit you'll see is for the game.

Dewboy691
Dewboy691

I spent hours/days playing this game. Great looks and the combat was fun too. Now I Miss this game! This will be my weekend fun. Happy New Years all!

fbarbara
fbarbara

Does anyone know of any dos apps or ways for me to get xcom to work on my windows xp media center pc. I have the collectors edition and I can'tm get it to work.

kirk_augustin
kirk_augustin

XCOM-2, Terror from the Deep, is the same game essentially, and Steam has an on line version that they updated to run on XP, exactly as they used to run on DOS. It was only $4, and installs completely on your machine.

WillLuongo
WillLuongo

I run Windows XP Pro SP2, but the patches and stuff you get on this site should still do it. I have the collector's edition CD, and I just patched it and it worked. http://www.xcomufo.com/ Compatibility mode did not. For the DOS version you could probably run DOSBOX.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin moderator

I used DosBox to run XCOM and get the screenshots. I am really surprised at how well DosBox works. It is small and easy to use (if you remember the DOS command line like I do that is) and all my old games run under it so far. It is available from Source Forge -- a simple Google search will bring it up or you can click this link. http://dosbox.sourceforge.net/news.php?show_news=1

joe.roberts
joe.roberts

If you havent tried yet, Windows XP has a feature where if you right click the icon and go to properties...Compatibility and click the run this program in compatibility mode for Windows 95 it might work.

fbarbara
fbarbara

It has a hard time pinning down what sound card to use... Is there a generic sound blaster type I can use? also i think I had video issues in the past using compatibility mode,

American-Tech
American-Tech

You may want to keep in mind that you need to have the 'BLASTER' variable set for some old DOS type games. If you'll remember, your Autoexec.bat file had numerous SET commands. You can see what windows has setup as default from a CMD prompt by typing SET. I do not remember the entire string, or if I've even got the correct string name (might not be BLASTER), but it's something like 'SET BLASTER=Q3 I220...' where your sound cards IO and Interupt are currently set, it may also need the DMA like 'D3' but again, I don't recall the entire string. Good luck!!

joe.roberts
joe.roberts

Usually Sound Blaster 16 would work.

sctang73
sctang73

Have not found anything online yet. Interim solution was to load this classic/ favorite onto an old P2 laptop still running Win98SE... that alone gives my old laptop a purpose to live.

chemikalguy
chemikalguy

I've always enjoyed this game, but unfortunately, they've never really been able to replicate it on anything newer. Some games have a similar interface, some a similar combat engine, but no one has been able to 'update' X-COM. Terror From the Deep was okay, but I still like the classic X-COM the best. I happened across the 'X-COM Collector's Edition' CDROM a while back. The games have been revamped so that they run fine on newer computers. I tried to play the original, and the system speed made it nearly impossible.

kirk_augustin
kirk_augustin

While I like XCOM-UFO better than XCOM-2, you can get an updated version of XCOM-2 on line, from Steam. It is identical in play to the original.

BluTiger
BluTiger

I remember this game and it had been the very first game that my brother introduced to me and got me interested in computers. I got so addicted to this game and wanted to win it so bad I couldn't put it down. I wish they had improved upon it throughtout the years to make it better than ever but it just faded away. This was one of the best games I'd ever played and thats what got me going into further playing of computer games to this day.

joe.roberts
joe.roberts

I agree with you Blu this is what got me started I remember playing it starting at 9pm and turning around and it was 6am. I didnt even notice the time going by. By the way I recently traveled to a company called itech for my job, any relation to where you work?

Wembly
Wembly

I loved this game and still have it. With a few tweaks it still works. If you listen to its sound bytes you'll still hear its spacey sound effects used in TV shows. There's not much more fun than firing a rocket launcher at a barn to clear out those pesky aliens.

Zaphod Beebledoc
Zaphod Beebledoc

The Tesla coil sound that was in Red Alert has been used in several tv shows. Also, the sound of door opening that was in DOOM was used earlier this year in Doctor Who, in a couple of the new episodes. UFO was a classic game.

iks
iks

Those screen shots brought a big smile to my face as I remember agonizing over how best to build a base, what each squad member needed to carry, and how each of them should exit their search craft to cover those that followed. To miss a "seen" alien, but kill and "unseen" one instead, was my ultimate "fist pump" of the time.

Leon Tribe
Leon Tribe

I was also a big fan of the game and recently discovered in the bargain bins of my local game store UFO: Aftermath for A$7. This is essentially a modernised version of the same. Base resource management has been simplified and player movement is no longer turn based but rather an action point/real time hybrid which takes getting used to but is actually pretty cool when you do (Think of real time play with you hitting the pause key at key points and that's how it works). For fans of the orginial definately worth checking out. If you want to live the original and the best, you can also get it from abandonware sites on the net such as abandonia.

banyangod
banyangod

Never played the first X-com but poured a ton of time into X-Com2 man that games was a ton of fun

kirk_augustin
kirk_augustin

I just bought a version of XCOM-2 ported for XP, from Steam, the on line provider of games like Half-Life 2. It plays great, and was only $4.

josegura
josegura

I loved very much ELITE from Microprose. I used to play it on a BBC computer and afterwards appeared for PC. I dont know if this game has had its graphics revamped for todays graphic boards

nighthawk808
nighthawk808

Elite was from Firebird. Microprose came out with a boatload of excellent games around that time period, but they had nothing to do with Elite. You can still get it at http://www.iancgbell.clara.net/elite/

josegura
josegura

Thank you very much for your information. Following the thread you gave in your last post I've been able to find the developers homepages and obtain some more info about this fantastic program. Thanks a lot!

American-Tech
American-Tech

I too played ELITE. And did find a revamped version with modern technology... I think it was called Frontiers or Final Frontiers. WELL worth checking out if you were an ELITE fan. As for X-Com UFO defense... I would love to see a new release with the turn based movement again. I used to love those type games.

nighthawk808
nighthawk808

It's Frontier: Elite II. It is a serious contender for buggiest non-Microsoft product ever. It also is one of the few games ever to use realistic spaceflight physics rather than the "arcade physics" that most games still use today. You are right; it is certainly worth playing if you liked Elite.