Disclosure: Key provided by the developer.
While XCOM has expanded to be a really rather huge game, Attack of the Earthlings is for those of you who perhaps don't have weeks to put into a single game. It's a more focused, slimmer approach but it has resulted in a strategy game that's surprisingly good.
Instead of controlling a group of soldiers, you're instead facing off against evil Human invaders from the comically dysfunctional energy corporation named Galactoil. You control the Matriarch, a Swarmer capable of spawning more units, that's not too pleased with the arrival of the Humans. You will be using stealth, along with your ferocious appetite to take them down as you jump out from various hiding places.
It's just so well executed all around, all elements of it seem to fit together so perfectly it's quite rare to get such a strategy game that does things so right. The animations are great, the comedy is actually funny without going nuts with it, so it doesn't take away from the actual gameplay.
Controlling the aliens is actually pretty fun! I like how they dealt with bodies, since obviously if people on patrol spotted a bunch of dead bodies they would know something's up—so you eat them. Seriously, you do, you eat them for biomass which enables you to spawn more units to infest the ship with.
As for the tactics you can employ, it's pretty fun. Hiding in vents and cupboards while you wait for an enemy to pass by, to jump out and take them down is pretty fun. There's also the group attack ability, as certain enemies have health too high to take down in one hit, or you might want to take down multiple enemies at the same time, so one doesn't escape. There's a good amount in the variety of things that you can do.
Each time you finish a mission, you get a certain "Mutagen" depending on the amount of turns it took, minus points for dead units and so on. You then use this Mutagen to purchase special abilities and upgrades, including the ability to take over the mind of an unsuspecting Human, lure an enemy with sound, fire a blinding dart and so on.
One of my favourite moments is such a simple one; I noticed the Humans had locked one of their own in a cupboard, so I decided to hide in said cupboard, which gave me a bit of amusement since I heard my little grunt devouring him. Later, I found two guys just being lazy, but one of them mentioned letting him out and they chuckled after deciding to give him ten more minutes. I definitely appreciate the hand-craft experience, it is a nice change from all the random generation in strategy games. There's a few nice moments like that, the voice-over from the Regional Manager was pretty well done too, some great lines.
The only issue, at least for me, is that content is a little limited. Once you've finished the campaign that's really it, apart from trying different unlocks. Not every game needs to go on forever, but I still would like to see more because it's just that good. There's seven levels, each taking approximately an hour to complete. I do think it could have done with difficulty options, as most of it was too easy for me. I'm not asking for XCOM level difficulty here, but a bigger challenge would have made it more interesting.
The overall style of the game is great too, the aliens look especially good. The Disrupter ranged alien was possibly my favourite, the big head that looks like a hood—freaky, even more so when you get one to eat a body.
Find Attack of the Earthlings on Steam. It's currently on a launch sale with 10% off until February 15th.