XenoShyft: On­slaught

SFX - - Videogames / Miscellaneous -

Alien as­sault! All hands on deck

Re­lease Date: OUT NOW!

Play­ers: One to four Price: £ 39.99 Pub­lisher: Cool Mini Or Not

Like a videogame

“Horde” mode, this mul­ti­player deck- builder pits up to four di­vi­sions of the NorTec Mil­i­tary against ram­pag­ing aliens. Sur­vive nine at­tacks split across three, in­creas­ingly bru­tal waves, and the group wins; if the base’s hit points are re­duced to zero, the aliens win the day.

Although con­vo­luted in set- up, the game is rel­a­tively sim­ple. At the start of each round, you re­in­force your squad with new troops and buy new equip­ment – both of which are in short sup­ply – and then use the men and ma­te­rial at your dis­posal to de­fend against the on­slaught. At­tack­ers are dealt face down and en­gaged one at a time, to add an air of sur­prise.

Both species have skills and perks that can be ap­plied dur­ing com­bat. But even though it’s just a case of match­ing dam­age vs health, you of­ten have a sit­u­a­tion where both char­ac­ters have taken dam­age, and are be­ing par­tially pro­tected and/ or buffed by another char­ac­ter or piece of equip­ment, so it can be tricky to keep track of who’s done what to whom.

De­spite its flaws, XenoShyft: On­slaught is en­gag­ing and fun. As the bat­tle to save the last ves­tiges of your base grows ever fiercer, the co- op el­e­ment – in which you can of­fer to lob a grenade or pass on a med­pack – re­ally comes into play, and makes for a pleas­antly dif­fer­ent gam­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Steve Jar­ratt

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