If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like being on the receiving end of one of those pesky XCOM squads then I think Junkfish’s newest endeavour might be up your alley.
Attack of the Earthlings is a turn-based strategy game, but not quite as we’re all used to; this time the humans are the bad guys (obviously) and the insectoid inhabitants of this random planet are defending their right to live.
I got a chance to play a fair chunk of Attack of the Earthlings and it’s an interesting take on the genre (or any genre really), and quite refreshing after the million or so hours I’ve pumped in to that.. ‘other’ turn-based strategy game.
You start each stage with one unit, the Matriarch, and this is what you use to make your way around the stage and murder any poor Earthlings that may cross your path. Killing and consuming their corpses (which is a bit.. grim) gives the Matriarch resource points to spawn new units to increase the rate of human decapitation. It’s all fairly simple at the moment, with all of my current units only having an overwatch power similar to those in XCOM and the ability to consume. The real strategy comes in manoeuvring your way around the map, avoiding humans with guns and setting up synchronised kills.
The appeal of what I’ve played so far hasn’t come from any single moment or deep game mechanic, but from the level of humour Junkfish have managed to squeeze in to a game primarily about insects murdering everything. There are humorous posters throughout each stage, the workers have little lines here and there and there’s a gentleman called Dickinham (voiced by SungWon Cho, Vine star) who runs who whole operation. He frequently comes over the comms to berate his workers, call in re-inforcements or just to talk about… what food he plans on eating. It’s a nice break from the action, and stops the gameplay from getting monotonous.
From what I’ve read, the story goes rather offload later on, with birthday parties and executive meetings becoming the playground of you and your murderous hordes. I’m looking forward to seeing what else they layer on gameplay-wise and what other one-liners Dennis Dickinham comes up with.
Attack of the Earthlings is available on Steam in Early Access, so make sure you pack yourself a lovely lunch and make sure you check those air vents!