Look, this story is about 450 words long. But you don't have time for all that. Here's the skinny: if you fancy yourself a fan of strategy games, and if you've got a reasonably powerful Android machine with about 4GB of free space, aaaaand you don't mind paying ten bucks for a mobile version of a game that was fifty bucks when it debuted two years ago, then you should go buy XCOM: Enemy Unknown right now.

Still need convincing? Alrighty then. XCOM: Enemy Unknown first showed up on the major gaming platforms in October of 2012. It's a modern revival of a much-loved series of classic PC strategy games, layering fancy new graphics and a much-improved interfaced over turn-based strategy, where you move soldiers around a grid and face off against a variety of aliens throughout a long campaign. Your decisions about troop movement and fire orders are given extra weight, because if a soldier dies, he's dead - it doesn't matter if he's a raw recruit or a seasoned veteran.

1 3 4

In between missions you manage your base, making tough decisions about facility layout, research priority, and appeasing the various nations that contribute to your budget. If you ignore a member nation for too long, they'll withdraw from the project, making your base and your fighting force less effective. The basics of XCOM should be easy for anyone to get into, but make no mistake: this is not a forgiving game. It's entirely possible to get into an unwinnable strategic position, with the only option being a complete restart.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown was released for the iPad last summer to almost universally positive reviews. Keeping in mind the limitations of bringing a full AAA PC game to mobile platforms, it's amazing how much of the gameplay has been preserved. Aside from an understandable dip in graphics, some of the campaign maps, the multiplayer mode, and the DLC, the tablet version is essentially the same game. Reviewers also praised the touchscreen controls on iOS.


The game is a whopper, requiring 3.6 gigabytes of free space. Hardware support seems a little spotty, too: In my hardware list, my G Pad 8.3, Nexus 7 2013, Nexus 5, and DROID MAXX are compatible, but NVIDIA's SHIELD and the original Nexus 7 aren't. (I get the feeling XCOM is intended for tablet play anyway.) Cautious gamers might also want to hold off on a purchase until the first couple of updates - console publishers do not have a good record when it comes to making stable initial releases on Android.

If none of that dissuades you, XCOM: Enemy Unknown is $9.99, half the cost of its iOS version. There are no in-app purchases. The game should be available in the Amazon Appstore soon.

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • Francois Guillemette

    An excellent game on the PC, thinking about buying it again so I can play just about everywhere.
    Yes, it's that good.

    • Cosmic Marionette

      Yes it's really awesome game back then on PC. Been waiting for this to arrive on Android since last year.
      But reading PlayStore comments even Note 3 had trouble playing this one. Perhaps I have to get Galaxy S5 first..

      • WhoaManWtF

        If the Note 3 couldn't handle it the GS5 won't be able to either...

      • solbin

        That is disappointing. I have a Note 3 and am thinking about buying this game. The SD800 is still one of the best processors out for mobile devices. The S5 is indeed a little bit faster than the Note 3, but if the Note 3 is having trouble playing the game, I would imagine the S5 would too.


        • Matthew Fry

          Yeah... there's no excuse for this. The Note 3 benchmarks higher than every Apple device. It's got to be a lack of optimization. Maybe they were rushed to get it out the door.

          • http://techsym.com/ cubanresourceful

            Could it be that some manufacturer's like to "cheat" benchmarks? Maybe this is a case of that (if I remember correctly, Samsung was one of the worst offenders).

          • carlisimo

            That is surprising. It runs somewhere between marginally and acceptably on my iPad2, and that's got pretty old hardware.

        • WhoaManWtF

          It is running fine on my LG G2.

          • Cosmic Marionette

            Ah, there's hope then. No need to get S5 :)

        • nioh

          It's running fine on my Sony Xperia Z1 (Snapdragon 800). It must be a specific problem with Note 3.

      • shaun walsh

        That's funny cause my moto x has absolutely no problems. Got to love those custom ui's they make

      • Avi

        No problems whatsoever on my Note 3. Not sure where/when you read that but maybe they patched it, because it's running smooth as silk. Now if I can stop sucking at the game, that would be a huge help.

  • neolid

    Not compatible with Nexus 10.

    • kosiara

      Yeah, I noticed too. Whyyy?

  • Anthony Evans

    Will wait on the torrent lol

    • Keno Levers

      "Lol, I'm a thief, lol". Jackass.

      • Anthony Evans

        Omg judged by a guy behind a computer... so hurt.

        • J. Martin

          Oh, there's a lot more than just one guy behind a computer calling you a jackass.

          • Anthony Evans

            and that changes what? That a bunch of dickless pussies can be mad on a guy over the internet?

      • Guest

        The correct phrase would actually be, "I'm a copyright infringer." If you're gonna be judgmental and call people jackasses, you'd do well to at least use the legally correct term for the action which you're denouncing and taking issue with.

        Not taking sides, just saying "call a spade a spade... not what you want it to be"

        • Cherokee4life

          Copyright Infringement in this case though IS stealing. I am not sure what you are trying to prove here... IF Anthony Evans downloads the torrent and plays it without buying the game then he is stealing. The developer it out $10. Soo If your going to try to sound smart and uptight at least make a good point.

          • Chris Talty

            Theft implies depriving another person of their possession.

            Making a copy is not theft, it is copyright infringement.

            If the person wasn't going to pay $10 for the product anyway, they aren't depriving the person of $10.

          • solbin

            I seriously love the mental gymnastics that people go through to make theft right in their eyes. Bottom line is, if the person wasn't going to pay $10 in the first place, what right do they have to take it? Justify it anyway you want, but it is outright theft.

            Hey, I am not going to spend $60k for a BMW anyway.....

          • Ettohg

            Piracy is *technically* not theft. It's illegal, wrong and whatever you want, but *technically* not theft. The $60K BMW actually belongs to someone, be it the owner or the manufacturer.
            The yet non-existent copy of something belongs to nobody, so you're not depriving someone of their possessions. You're depriving them of a potential profit, which is illegal anyway, but not a theft.

          • solbin

            Taking $6 or so out of someone's pocket. Is that theft? Yes? No?

          • Guest

            Taking $6 or so out of someone's pocket is theft. But unstated thing that you're overlooking is that you are taking what someone literally has in their pocket.

            That's why it's theft. A genuine loss has occurred that can be verified. They no longer have that money.

            If you download a game/pirate it no actual loss has occurred. The 1s and 0s that make up the game have been duplicated. In addition to which, if someone was never going to pay for that game in the first place then you can't say "you took money from someone's pocket". Why? Because that money was never going to go in their pocket in the first place.

            Is it wrong? We can agree that yes it is wrong. But that's subjective at the end of the day. Is it illegal? Again, that's subjective. Depending on where you live it is or isn't.

            If you're gonna make shitty analogies though, do try and keep them at least related to what's being discussed.

          • Ettohg

            Yes, because they are already in their pocket. Potential profit is not.

          • Guest

            You're talking about mental gymnastic and then giving an example of the same kind yourself.

            "Hey, I am not going to spend $60k for a BMW anyway..." That's right! But if you steal one from somebody or a dealership, you've committed theft. Why/how? Because you have deprived someone of the use of their automobile. It is a tangible item. It's loss can be verified. It's loss can also be felt by another.

            If, however, you could create a 1:1 copy of a BMW without depriving a person or dealership of one of theirs, you've committed copyright infringement. That is not the same thing as theft, no matter how you want to slice it or what mental gymnastics you want to make to try and equate it as such.

            To follow up on what you did say, they don't have the right to get that copy. But they did. Luckily for them, the law describes their actions as something completely different than what you're stating they are, at the end of the day it's the laws on the books that decide what transpired and what it is. Not you or your ignorant and misinformed opinion/beliefs. Ipso facto, not legally theft. It's copyright infringement.

            You can't bitch about theft and want to talk about what's legal or illegal and wave away any points made stating what the actual situation at hand is just because you don't like it. So, to reiterate. Not theft BECAUSE THE LAW SAYS IT ISN'T. Your mental gymnastics notwithstanding.

          • TechnicallySpeaking

            Don't Google and the carrier get a cut as well? So technically the dev isn't out $10. The dev also has to pay taxes on these earnings, so it might even be closer to $5-6.

          • Guest

            Not trying to prove anything. I am actually stating that the correct term should be used for what's taking place.

            If Anthony Evans downloads the torrent and plays the game, he has committed copyright infringement.

            If Anthony Evans stole a physical copy of the game from a retailer, he has committed theft.

            The law is very clear on both those things and why.

            That developer you speak of. Did ten dollars magically disappear from his bank account when Anthony Evans torrented a copy of the game? If not, then no loss or theft has occurred.

            If, however, you're making the argument that he MIGHT have made ten dollars had Anthony Evans bought the game instead of pirating it. That's another story, but it's one that I won't discuss, as it's purely hypothetical. Although, given Anthony's statement, it can be argued that no loss took place anyway, since he never intended to buy the game in the first place.

            Or, to put it in terms you might understand, you can't lose what was never going to be yours in the first place.

            And I'm not trying to sound smart, I'm actually trying to explain the intricacies of the law to people who think it should be what they want it to be to reflect their beliefs. That's not how it works. Downloading a copy of copyrighted material is copyright infringement. No ifs ands or buts about it. It is not theft.

            The point remains and it is a good one. Use the correct legally applicable terms to describe what the individual is doing and what they are. Not what you want them to be or think they're doing. Because the law is clear on the matter and disagrees with you.

            Don't respond to me if you're gonna try and spin things into something they're not and definitely don't try and insult me or dismiss my point just because the facts disagree with what you want them to state/be.

    • solbin

      This, ladies and gentlemen, is how the prevalence of F2P games came about. Why should companies waste money actually making a decent game because it will just be pirated, when they can just make an awful social game like Simpsons Tapped Out, Candy Crush, or the new Roller Coaster Tycoon and nickle and dime people to continue playing?

      But hey, keep pirating these games and then complain when nothing but F2P trash keeps coming out.

      • Anthony Evans

        One reason people pirate games is because we spend hundreds thousands of dollars on crap. Rather pirate it and if I dont like it then it gets deleted anyway. if Its worth it go out and buy it. So much garbage is made since the beginning of the pc game area that I have games from 1990's that I've played ONCE and never again because they sucked so much. Also console game as well.

        • slurivariv

          That is no excuse to continue to pirate.

          • Anthony Evans

            Good enough for millions of pirates. Luckily your opinion means nothing.

          • Steve Freeman

            Regardless of your opinion, it's still illegal.

          • Anthony Evans

            Yup. Never said it wasnt.

          • Anthony Evans

            next time you speed remember thats illegal to.

          • Steve Freeman

            Yeah, but I don't try to justify my speeding by saying "Well, the speed limit should be higher, so screw them!"

          • Anthony Evans

            No you justify your speeding by "I wont get caught"

          • Steve Freeman

            lol Good job trying to put words into my mouth. No, I fully acknowledge the fact that I'm breaking the law, and that I may get a ticket. And if I do, I deserve it. And if you get caught pirating and get fined thousands of dollars, well, you deserve it also.

          • Anthony Evans

            Good job putting words in my mouth but guess its okay your just a law abiding person that speeds and probably does other things and feels justified to do what they want only when its something they believe in lol.

          • xxritcheyxx


          • Guest

            Of note, it's not illegal EVERYWHERE. There are plenty of countries where downloading copyrighted content as long as its for personal use is LEGAL.

            It's best not to make broad generalizations about a given action's legality without knowing where someone is. Because a law applies to you DOES NOT mean it applies to everyone.

            Note that I'm not taking anyone's side, just stating a fact. Copyright infringement isn't illegal everywhere. The more you know!

          • Cherokee4life

            True, however but you have to take into account where the source material originated from. Let say for example pirating games in France is legal. But the game was created and sold in the United States. If you are physically in France and pirate that game is it still legal? With digital media where does jurisdiction end?

        • solbin

          If you keep buying crap games, I suggest taking time to do some consumer research and spending your money more wisely.

          • Anthony Evans

            Consumer research? You've played a game before have you?

          • solbin

            I have played many games, and have been burned more than a few times. But just because I got burned a few times doesn't mean that I get to steal other people's work.

            Consumer research? Yeah, I don't like to throw my money away, and actually look into what I am buying before I purchase it.

          • Anthony Evans

            Playing a game requires more then reading some over paid idiots review of it or watching youtube videos. Everyone has their own opinion on a game and without a hands on play on the game its really hard to determine if you will like it or not.

        • Guest

          This person is an idiot. Read his sentences. He is babbling like a teenage moron. Teenage boy on the internet crying for attention. Shun the moron and be on your way.

          • Anthony Evans

            Such an idiot yet your responding. Shows how smart you are.

          • NotYour


        • J. Martin

          Shun the moron and be on your way folks. Just another teenage boy on the internet screaming for attention in stilted English.

          • Anthony Evans

            or you will do what? Nothing beyond whine and cry on the internet which you seem to be good at.

        • DirkBelig

          The worst part of pirate a-holes like you isn't that you're a pirate, but that you're a self-righteous asshat about your piracy, acting as if you deserve a parade and rose petals cast before your feet because you're too cool to spend money on the stuff you use. Why do you believe everyone should admire your mad thieving skillz? Why don't you just do your stealing and keep it to yourself?

          • Anthony Evans

            Who said anything about admiring I stated an opinion and you get mad. Not my fault your a baby.

          • DirkBelig

            An opinion is, "I like hot dogs more than tacos." You are trolling for attention based on your self-proclaimed superiority because you're a braggadocios thief. Also, you're illiterate.

        • Dev

          Stupid piece of human dung I bet you never bought a game after you pirated and realized "its worth".

          • Anthony Evans

            Believe what you want doesn't change the facts.

      • http://www.youtube.com/crisr82 Kristian Ivanov

        You sir, have no clue what you're talking about, please go back to your seat.

        • Anthony Evans

          20 + years in the industry much more then you will ever realize.

          • http://www.youtube.com/crisr82 Kristian Ivanov

            Your experience seems to be useless or non-existent if you're actually backing solbin's statement above.

            Guess what? Piracy has nothing to do with this, and it's no more factor than the piracy existing on PC, but you don't see peop`le complain about that do you?. Why are developers making crappy cow-clickers? Because people play them, spend cash on them and watch the billion ads that come along for the ride - much more cash than a payed app.

            Why not make a good high-quality legit game? It's expensive yeah, but guess what - 80% of the mobile market won't care, because it's not what most people would play on a mobile device. It's called "demographic". Why every FPS game on PC that isn't Call of Duty or Battlefield fails? Because it's not what people want, so less and less people are willing to make it.

            Again, guess what? Free to play is a fantastic model. The problem is always per-game. The Walking Dead - episode 1 free, the rest you buy - great way to do it. Asphalt 8 - you pay for early unlocks - great way to do it. Games that have ads - acceptable, pay if you want to remove ads. Cow clickers - here it gets absurd.

            Having a game payed inherently means a lot of people will not touch it since you have to put money up-front for it, and in a market where 3/4 of the games are free, that's not what most people would do.

            What about IAPs? Here's some reading material for you, http://sealedabstract.com/iphone/how-in-app-purchase-is-not-really-destroying-the-games-industry/ Enjoy.

            That's not enough for you? Then go do your own research, look up statistics and charts and draw your own conclusions.

    • Mozaik

      Great of showing your appreciation , clap clap!!!

      • Guest

        That's a meaningless figure without anything to support it or to show it in any kind of context whatsoever.

        Citations or some kind of context or GTFO.

      • Anthony Evans

        When people get slapped on the wrist for reselling our data for apps we download who gives a crap about piracy. Hell all our personal data is stolen and used 24/7 they make there money back and then some.

        • J. Martin

          So you agree that its wrong.

      • J. Martin

        As much as I hate agreeing with -anything- these panty sniffing paint lickers post, statistics on piracy are almost exclusively put out to serve an agenda.

    • http://thegumshoe.com/ Michael Crider

      For the record: the official Android Police position is that piracy is bad, m'kay, and pirates are assholes.

      • J. Martin

        Don'y you feel compelled to, I dunno, remove this worthless garbabe pile of a discussion? Or go the funny route and replace all of the jackhole's posts with something embarrassing and hilarious? What's the point of having power if you don't abuse it for giggles (or in this case to distance yourself from copyright infringement advocacy).

        • http://thegumshoe.com/ Michael Crider

          Our approach to the comments section is pretty laissez fair - unless someone is making extremely offensive comments or actually doing something illegal, we tend to take a hands-off approach. Anthony Evans is skirting that line, both in tone and in content, but he hasn't crossed it. Yet. Just telling you that piracy is an option, and even advocating for that option, isn't the same as posting a link to a cracked app.

          I'm pleased to see that our more reasonable and community-minded readers are showing him the error of his ways, even if he's unlikely to heed their advice. There are some good points being made here, almost entirely in opposition to Evans, which wouldn't be seen if we had shut him up right away.

    • Evan Buchholz

      With people like this guy its not really a mystery as to why game devs aren't big on bringing big games like this (that aren't free to play) out on Android alongside iOS.

  • CrazyPaladin

    2K actually cares about android and even releases a top notch game? Impossibru

    • Anthony Evans

      To little for me. Came out on IOS first so android was more of an after thought.

    • http://www.youtube.com/crisr82 Kristian Ivanov

      Technically they don't, just hate a look how long it took them to release it on Android

      • Hahahahaha Hahahahahah Hahahah

        Well just think about how much longer it would've taken if they didn't do it.

    • Krzysztof

      If only they could bring Borderlands (controller required) and Civ to Android.

  • Mozaik

    One thing I ENVY about about iOS devices that it has good compatibility , you can straight up download and enjoy.

    • notSarcasticReally

      Or if everyone bought a Nexus 7, then we wouldn't have a "problem".

      Grow up.

      • Cherokee4life

        lol I literally laughed out loud when I read that. :)

      • Mozaik

        there are many different pc with many different drivers and screen resolution but still games will run on regardless of gpu power , this is no excuse my friend. Compatibility is biggest weak point on android in gaming.

  • Matthias

    This is OT but it has been bugging me for some time now:

    All your links to the Play Store have the parameter "hl=en" included in the URL, which forces the Play Store website to load in English instead of the user's default language (in my case German).

    Simply omitting the "hl" parameter fixes the issue. Could you maybe change these links? I see no point in forcing any specific language in the Play Store link, or is there a reason for this?

    • http://thegumshoe.com/ Michael Crider

      I think the link is generated by Playboard for the app widgets. You'll have to ask them.

      • Bob G

        Stop using Playboard?

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          No, the right solution is for us to work with Playboard. Which is what I will do today. Thanks to @matthias for bringing this up.

          • Matthias

            Thanks for looking into it.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      We have a close relationship with Playboard, let me work on this. There's no reason for hl to be passed in.

  • Anthony Evans

    Btw all you evil pirates out there the torrent is out lol

    • Samuel Rivera

      I by every means want to buy this game, but it is not "compatible" with my Nexus 7 (2012). I will be downloading the torrent only to test and see if it does work on the Nexus 7, then I will purchase the game and add a review to the store telling them about my findings.

      All my devices except the Motorola Atrix are consider not supported. I find it funny because the atrix is a dinosaur compare to my GNex and N7(2012).

  • Adrian Meredith

    Wait no IAPs??

  • 22

    This game may easily bring most Android smartphones made before 2013 to their knees.

  • Kashmieer

    What about Gamepad support?

  • h4rr4r

    Not compatible with Tegra 4 based tablets?
    Anyway to find out what might play it?

    • Bryan Pizzuti

      Well, it shows as compatible with my LG G2. Personally, I'd prefer to play it on my Tegra Note though....

  • Bruce

    "that was fifty bucks when it debuted years ago, two then you should go buy XCOM: Enemy Unknown right now."

    Typo with the two?

  • Bruce

    Well it works on my nexus 4 over clocked to 1.8 GHz and GPU OC to 487 MHz (from 400) and it actually plays at an acceptable frame rate, but I've just started so we'll see of it holds out. Does feel much better on my n7 though.

  • Sergii Pylypenko

    Uh oh, UFO: Alien Invasion got some serious competition now.

  • Cory S

    Looks like a fun game, but I think I'll grab it on steam. I don't think it would be as interesting on my Nexus 7's small screen.

  • Cherokee4life

    I loved this game on the PC... but $10?

    • kenjab

      It's $20 on iOS. And this is a two-year old PC game, not a 15+ year-old game like most ports have been up until now. I think it's worth it.

      • Asaf

        Sorry to say, but isn't it a 20+ year old game?

        • David Hart


          It can't be compared to the original.
          It's not like it's a 1:1 remake

  • Bryan Pizzuti

    Not compatible with Tegra Note? ouch!

  • Anthony Tyson

    Another game launching on android almost a YEAR after iOS. Pathetic.

    • Gunther

      Another comment from someone full of themselves. Pathetic.

      • Anthony Tyson

        Let me guess. You assume I use an iPhone. Don't see where I'm full of myself for thinking its pathetic that games continue to be released a year apart on the two platforms. Fnck off asshat

    • http://techsym.com/ cubanresourceful

      I'm gonna be that guy and say, "Better late than never". Seriously, they could of decided to never bring it to Android. Instead, they did. Hopefully, if sales are excellent, other AAA companies will consider Android as a first-day release platform. Until then, it's one of the negatives of the Android platform (nothing is perfect).

      Here's to hoping they bring an amazing Civ port (I would particularly hope for the new Civ Beyond Earth game port).

  • Da Fuq

    Could you please give a release date for the Amazon version? And what about the expansion Enemy Within?

  • Samuel Rivera

    I by every means want to buy this game, but it is not "compatible" with my Nexus 7 (2012). I will be downloading the torrent only to test and see if it does work on the Nexus 7, then I will purchase the game and add a review to the store telling them about my findings.

    All my devices except the Motorola Atrix are consider not supported. I find it funny because the atrix is a dinosaur compare to my GNex and N7(2012).

    I do not encourage or support copyright infringement, I am mainly curious to see if the devices do actually handle the game.

  • EJ_Su

    I wish these game trailers would actually show actual game play. It's pretty useless without actual game play.

    • thermoplastics

      I made a gameplay video of the first level, you can see it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMwqu2HyROY

      • Bans

        Wait wait wait...I have a Nexus 7 and it doesn't even show up in the Play Store...what did you do differently?

        • thermoplastics

          You probably have the 2012 model, while I have the 2013.

    • primalxconvoy

      Which is why I don't buy games without demos.

      • Dario

        Honestly, how hard is it to find these on the web? It has been on iOS since last year, clearly stated in the OP. Several videos exist already. I am sure the content hasn't changed from iOS to Android.

        • thermoplastics

          " I am sure the content hasn't changed from iOS to Android."

          Yeah, why show gameplay from any particular platform? No need for PS4 gameplay footage if XBone footage already exists, amiright?

  • saltyzip

    Can everyone who has a nexus 10, please email the makers of this app ([email protected]) to ask them to support the game on this tablet?

  • primalxconvoy

    Sorry, but the file size is too big, no moga support and there is no demo. The price is too expensive to justify the lack of features and lack of demo.

    One to avoid or sideload, methinks.

    • Francois Roy

      Lack of controller support is sad, but the Android version is half the price of its iOS counterpart and half the size of what it is on consoles and PC... which dont have any demo either.
      If THIS is expensive, Android users just dont deserve any AAA titles, sorry.

      • Dario

        I have to agree. People complain about the lack of triple A titles and when we finally get them people complain about cost. No wonder developers run away from Android. You cannot win.

  • nioh

    I installed it on my Sony Xperia Z1 and it runs very very well on that device. Loading times are short, graphics kills almost everything else I've seen on android, near Playstation 3 level of graphics, definately proves snapdragon 800 is a powerhouse.
    But most importantly, the game is just as fun to play on my Z1 as it was on my Playstation 3. =) Thumbs up!

  • igbboman

    It isn't popping up on my tablet's googleplay, does anyone know what the system requirements are?

  • Andrzej

    I have been waiting for this game patiently and when I have just wanted to buy it I can't because the game is not compatible with the Nexus 10. This is just ridiculous reading that some people were able to run the game on the Note 10.1 2014.

    • Sarah Login

      I feel your pain. I was also waiting for this and have been left out because I own a Nexus 10.

    • LightofHonor

      To be fair, the Note 2014 is a different beast compared to the aging Nexus 10.

      • stachel

        The game has been taken out for note 2014... no more option to download it on the playstore.
        and its crashing on my note 2014